Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Druze School in Israel is #1

Shalom Yeladim:

I'm off to Beit Jann -- a Druze village in the Galilee. The Druze are a non-Moslem, religious minority in Israel that

speak Arabic and serve in the Israeli Army. Most interesting of all, though, is the really special Beit Jann high school: if you ask the students how much they love their school, the answer is -- "A Lot!"

Can you imagine!!!! I even know why.

Here's the story. In the past, this high school was nothing to write home about.  They had a high drop-out rate and one of the lowest matriculation rates. That means only a tiny number of students took the tests needed to go to college. 

But this year -- they're #1! That's right: they have the highest rate in the whole country. How did that happen? The teachers decided they were not going to give up on any student. They even tracked down the drop-outs and convinced them to return to school. I know I'm going to sound like Barak Obama, but what did they tell the students? Yes, you can! And they did, thanks to a new upbeat atmosphere, a program developed by Yeholot (which mean capabilities) to bridge the gaps, and a lot of hard work by the students. 

It didn't happen overnight.  It took the school four years to reach an amazing 100% graduation rate. But you know what I like the best? Something that can be done in all schools, starting from 1st grade. The school wants the parents to believe in their children so the principal and teachers constantly call the parents to tell them about their children's achievements! You heard right. Parents aren't only called in to school to hear the usual complaints. And you know what? It worked!!!! The parents are proud and the students love their school. As one girl puts it: "Until I came here I never met teachers who looked out for the students."

What a school! 


1 comment: