To mark the last day of the school year for high school students in Jerusalem, June 20th, Kol Halr, the largest newspaper in the city, published year-end interviews with five high school principals.
The paper reported that 102,486 students from grades 7-12, in more than 1,000 schools, completed the school year, High school students are roughly equally divided between ultra-Orthodox students, secular and religious students, and Muslim students in East Jerusalem.
Remarkably, two of the five principals chosen for interviews were from high schools owned and run by the Society for Advancement of Education, Jerusalem. All principals were asked to summarize the past year and share their expectations for the 2020 school year which will start on September 1, 2019. Here is what the SAE school principals had to say.
Dafna Menashe-Baruch – Mae Boyar High School
Boyar, a non-religious, pluralistic school founded in 1964, is one the leading high schools in Israel. Located in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood, it enrolls 1,000 students, 700 from Jerusalem and 300 boarders from all over Israel. Learn more about Boyar.
The principal of the high school, Dafna Menashe-Baruch, says she was apprehensive about her decision to place two educators in the classroom this year. “The fear that accompanies me every year,” she explains, “is that students will feel transparent and no one can see the uniqueness of every boy and girl, so in recent years most of the classes have two educators who serve as mentors for students.”
Menashe-Baruch concludes that the last school year was full of successes and innovation, and was most proud of the new teaching model that they implemented in Boyar this year. “To my delight, the 2019 school year was fruitful and full of educational work and pedagogical innovation,” she says, “and the school implemented a pedagogic model of multidisciplinary learning, in which students learn several areas of knowledge in an innovative space with a number of teachers.
“Learning, and teaching is more dynamic and students in this model demonstrate greater independence and responsibility for their learning processes. They created projects for the benefit of society, thereby, creating a true connection between the contents of the study and the values we have at Boyar. ”
“My goals (for the next school year) and that of the school,” Menache-Baruch concluded” are, first, to create skills for students so that they can cope in a dynamic and changing world, and, second, to make the school a relevant and meaningful place for students’ lives. We will continue intensive and dynamic work in the coming year. ”
Roni Hazon-Weiss — Dror High School
“This year was very creative and intensive,” notes Roni Hazon-Weiss, principal of Dror High School, a pluralistic religious high school with 150 students in Kiryat Moshe. Learn more about Dror.
“We focused on out-of-school learning,” she explained. “We had several projects that students chose, one of which was to study in interesting Jerusalem institutions in various fields, such as technology at the Hansen House and the Khan Theater. A creative year.”
In addition, Hazon-Weiss described the challenges that accompanied her during the past year. “The challenge is the educational aspect – branding the school as religious, egalitarian, etc. In some sectors it is very challenging, the whole issue of integrated and religious education. Together with the Education Ministry and the Ministry of Education we created an innovative school on a new track, which is very exciting. Next year we will continue the development of the Dror school in terms of pedagogical content, new community outreach and more. ”
Asked about cases of violence taking place in high schools around the country, Hazon-Weiss says that at Dror “We have made a school climate of talking to the students and with the students. They receive support and encouragement. When there are incidents, and they are very rare, we deal with them quickly and decisively.”