Shacharit High School teacher Emery Paz was recently named Educator of the Week by Beta Educators, the Jerusalem Education Authority’s innovation unit.
For the past two years Emery has been a member of the development team that successfully launched Shacharit, the first high school in Israel modeled after HTH high schools in the United States. “We were a team with big dreams,” he says, “to create a school as we believe it should be.”
Starting with seventh graders last September, Shacharit is the first co-ed religious high school in Israel in the spirit of High Tech High (HTH). HTH is a model developed in San Diego, USA, that enables personal development and excellence, experiential and collaborative learning, personalized authentic work and equal opportunity.
Emery speaks about the extraordinary evaluation process at Shacharit High School, and shares his insights on the evaluation in general.
′′We are currently dinishing the first half of the school year at Shacharit. Shaharit focuses on multidisciplinary exploration — beit midrash style: Judaism, spirit, science and environment, languages, math, creativity, and more.
“Every class opens with a question that drives a process of exploration, and ends with a concluding project. The learning program is based on the key principles of knowledge, skills, and habits, determined by teachers in advance.
“The evaluation process consists of three stages. In the first stage, towards the end of the first half of the year, the students fill out a self-reflection questionnaire for each of their classes. They rate themselves in the three key components – the knowledge I’ve learned, as well as the skills and habits I’ve acquired.
“The second phase is a learning presentation. During the week each student has a personal meeting with the educator and other teachers, at which they describe their personal learning process throughout the past half year, and indicate strengths, challenges and goals for the future.
“The third stage is the certificates. In the process of developing the certificates, it was important for us to reflect on the learning process, a dialogue shared by teachers and students. In every class, an evaluation is written, as well as a personal letter from the educator to the student, self-evaluation by the the students themselves and their parents.
“If this doesn’t make you want an evaluation that’s a little different – we don’t know what will!”
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