Several exciting developments have taken place at Sindiana since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. Here is an update:.
Opening of New Science Lab – Due to a generous donation from the Otto and Marianne Wolman Foundation, the long-awaited multi-purpose science lab at Sindiana finally opened in March 2022. It comprises the lab itself, a prep room, and a storage room, and is in use throughout the week, serving a total of some 150 biology, chemistry, and physics students in classes of up to 22 students at a time. The lab is a very important and exciting addition to the school, and particularly for students studying in the science matriculation track.
Previously, students were forced to travel to other schools to use their labs in order to perform experiments, an extremely inconvenient, inefficient, and costly arrangement, as it required traveling time, and costs of transportation and lab rental, and neither staff nor students had ongoing access to a lab. The new lab and prep room are available to students and staff on an ongoing basis, enabling increased time flexibility and opportunities for development for both teachers and pupils. A greater number of students are expected to choose to study in science matriculation tracks due to the lab. In short, it is a wonderful improvement to the school’s facilities.
Staff Development – Sindiana’s staff development program held a number of activities since the beginning of the school year, exposing staff to aspects of the country’s culture and heritage, and guiding them in specific pedagogic methods intended to expand their pedagogic toolbox. These included:
– A day-long seminar in preparation for the upcoming school year, held on August 30th with 50 participants (teachers, administrators, and residence staff). A number of workshops were offered to teachers, focusing on such topics as self-management and taking responsibility; organizational structure, and behavioral patterns. There was also team work for homeroom teachers of each grade level, and of course common meals and socializing, to encourage staff bonding. Each participant received a small gift in preparation for the school year
– A two-day retreat in Jerusalem at the end of December, in which 30 teachers and staff members participated. The retreat included three tours accompanied by lectures by experts: A tour of Jerusalem focusing on the city’s uniqueness, complexity and challenges; a tour of the seam line; and a tour of the Al Aqsa mosque. Participants also visited the Museum of Islamic Art, and those who chose to, went to pray at Al Aqsa. Common meals and socializing contributed to staff bonding. A second overnight retreat is being planned for the end of the school year in June, likely in Acco, but the location has not yet been finalized.
– Professional Development workshops: One workshop took place every other week from August through January, focusing upon training in the “Spaces for Self-Management” method. The method increases motivation, willingness to accept responsibility, and a sense of belonging (https://maba.org.il/), and all the school’s teachers participated in it. A second biweekly workshop currently taking place focuses on training teachers to speak to students in a style that maximizes their development and growth. Twenty 9th– and 10th-grade teachers are participating in the workshop.
– Biweekly classes for teachers divided by subject area. Teachers were divided into groups according to the subjects they teach, and every two weeks, each group has a lecture by experts in their fields or by professional staff from the Society for Advancement of Education, Jerusalem. All teachers participate in the classes.
– A day of activities to sum up the second trimester was held on March 30th for all the school’s teachers. The day included social activities and a meal to advance staff bonding, and teachers spoke about their challenges, successes, and insights gained during the previous trimester. Teachers also received a small gift in celebration of the month of Ramadan.
Sindiana Academy – The Sindiana Academy program, intended to prepare senior students for university and college, included the following activities during the current school year:
1) Lectures about academic study and methods to improve acceptance to university were presented to 11th and 12th grade students.
2) Private meetings focused on directing students to an appropriate discipline in higher education were held for students in 11th and 12th grades (not all needed a meeting as some students already know what they’d like to study). The meetings took place with the coordinator of the Sindiana Academy program, who is also the school’s consultant regarding professional direction. Each meeting lasted and hour and a half, and included setting goals and counseling regarding subjects suited to the students’ personalities.
3) A tour of Tel Aviv University took place for some sixty 12th-grade students. The tour included lectures about the university, registration procedures, and different fields of study, including those in which TAU specializes (such as the various engineering fields).
4) Conversational Hebrew classes were (and still are) held on a weekly basis, for 12th grade students. The classes are intended to help students integrate into Israeli society and a Hebrew speaking academic environment.
Registration for 2022-2023 — Sindiana’s reputation is spreading rapidly. Additionally, a considerable number of siblings of satisfied students want to attend the school, and this creates great demand. As a result, registration for the coming school year was completely full before the school even finished publicizing it. We are extremely proud that the school is in such demand, and look forward to the time when it has a larger facility that can accommodate a greater number of students.
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