To reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus all schools in Israel have been closed.
The Society for Advancement of Education, Jerusalem (SAE) has implemented plans to maintain organizational continuity during this difficult time by launching distance learning initiatives and providing comprehensive support for the students in its 16 residences and schools throughout Israel.
“Alongside online learning,” explains SAE Executive Director Eitan Moran, “we are ensuring that a personal, supportive relationship is maintained with all students and education staff.”
For the past 58 years SAE’s primary mission has been to provide a high-quality high school education to gifted students from disadvantaged communities in Israel. Since many of the students in SAE residences come from low-income families, the government-imposed requirement that the residences be closed and all students return home has placed a significant economic burden on many students and their families.
Some lack the resources for even food and other basic necessities. In addition to their physical wellbeing, SAE also wants to ensure the psychological welfare of all students. The SAE Emergency Student Assistance Fund is enabling SAE to provide this much need support for their students throughout the country.
SAE relies on resources provided by donors worldwide to sustain the Student Assistance Fund from which necessary support for students is provided. (Please donate to the SAE Student Assistance Fund now).
Sunday, March 15th, was the first day of full school-wide online learning at a number of SAE institutions. Implementing remote learning will maintain the life routine of the students and SAE’s teachers and staff, and, more importantly it will enable each school to maintain personal contact and support students as needed.
At Mae Boyar High School in Jerusalem a morning educational class was held for all students in the Zoom environment and a noontime session was designed for teachers to talk with students and provide an opportunity for venting emotions and asking questions. Each day students will participate in three different study units in online, recorded classes with assignments and more. In addition, every day there is a 15-minute physical education unit – important and critical these days.
“Despite the complex situation,” the Boyar academic staff says, “we are creating an atmosphere of optimism, community and creativity.”
At Inbar, SAE’s new innovative secular girls school opened last September, the staff asked the question – “How can a crisis become an opportunity?”
On the first day there was synchronous learning via Zoom and non-synchronous learning through classroom apps, open guided traffic with YouTube, and an Interactive Bible Lesson. There was also a special online guest – Naomi Stuchiner, 2020 Rappaport Award Winner for Inspirational Woman, and newly announced recipient of the prestigious Israel Prize 2020, and founder of Beit Issie Shapiro, who was recently featured in an article in the national newspaper Globes, as one of the 30 women working to make Israel a better place.