In the mid-1980s, Bay County's Islamic community began to grow. One of its earliest residents, (May Allah be pleased with him) the late Dr. Ahmed Elkadi, saw the need for an Islamic School, so he established the Islamic Community School (ICS). The school was located in Springfield, Florida, and operated until June 1995. When ICS closed, Panama City Advanced School (PCAS) took its place in the spring of 1995. At first, PCAS used the Bay Country Islamic Society facilities.
In 1998, the number of students reached almost 100. It was time to grow again; PCAS leaders began an expansion project that included four classrooms and a gymnasium. The building was finished in 1999 at a cost of approximately $400,000. In 2007, PCAS reopened the Pre-K program with 12 students enrolled in Pre-K3 and Pre-K4. Today, the program thrives, reaching its maximum of 15 students annually, with a few on the waiting list.
By the end of the 2014 school year, 76 students had graduated from PCAS, with 88 of them receiving Bright Future Scholarships. Thirty-five percent of the scholarship recipients were awarded the Florida Academic Scholars Award. Fifty-Three percent received Florida Medallion Scholars Awards. Out of those 76 students who have graduated, most have completed college with bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, or doctoral degrees in the fields of law, medicine, and engineering.
Later that year, the founders of PCAS had a dream which involved a new building for the school. While the project was underway, PCAS operated in a rented building on 15th Street. The student body included 28 students from kindergarten through ninth grade. In May of 1995, PCAS formally registered with the state of Florida. In March of 1997, the new $500,00 building opened on Token Road. Enrollment jumped to 52 students.
In 2010, finding the need to expand once again, construction began on expanding the gym to include 4 classrooms. In 2013, PCAS became the first Islamic School in Northwest Florida to receive the distinctive designation of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation.
PANAMA CITY ADVANCED SCHOOL
3332 Token Rd, Panama City, FL 32405 | (850) 784-2520