With this exceptional school year half over, the Social High Schools mark the mid-term by displaying what they’ve been working on
Though almost all of Israel’s high schools have been largely closed since March 2020, Dror Israel’s network of eight social high schools and three boarding schools have been open with special government permission, in recognition that a proper and consistent framework is the best place for at-risk youth from difficult homes, even during a pandemic.
Dror’s Social High Schools are different than your standard high schools. They educate on the basis of Project Based Learning - a method in which students educate themselves about real-world challenges and problems through inquiry and research. The middle of the year is a time to exhibit the projects the students have been exploring and it is always an incredible show of vibrant creativity and curiosity.
Students at the Social High School in Haifa are building a virtual simulation of the school itself so that parents can still come see it despite the pandemic. Each class and each vocational track at the school will be represented in the simulation, and final projects will be exhibited digitally for parents and the community at large.
At the Social High School in Tel Aviv-Yafo, the 9th grade Keshet class displayed a project that they recently completed entitled “The Personal is Political,” in which each research team had to discover what motivates people to fight for a better society. In order to answer the question, each group chose a case study of a societal campaign and a person who led the struggle. The students started each day learning about events that changed history in order to enrich their classroom projects. Each group then researched their struggle and created a short video explaining about the leader and what they learned from them. To learn how to edit their videos, the students met with Nadav Ambon, chief director of the Israeli news channel Kan, who taught them how to convey their messages in short videos. The Keshet class also helped with re-designing the school entrance in a greener, more inviting and pleasant way. They put in pollinators, ornamental plants and edible plants, and they also built a new wooden bench to add to the space. They also spruced up the backyard by adding benches, small fruit trees and a hydroponic system.
The Dror Educational Centers run social high schools across the country, including in Haifa, Kiryat Atta, Kibbutz Ravid, Carmiel, Mitzpe Ramon, Ramle, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Yafo.