[Haveil Havalim is up at Shiloh Musings.]
My daughter entered ninth grade this year. This year she has “the best teacher and the best class.” She was able to request a number of friends, and they’ll be together for the next four years.
Her school has six grades, each with about eight classes of thirty girls. The six grades are divided into three batim (lit. houses), each with its own building, vice-principal, secretary, advisor, and two teachers who serve as grade-level coordinators.
The school operates several large volunteer projects:
- All ninth graders volunteer in a public gan (kindergarten) once a week. My daughter catches a van from school at 7:30 to take her across town, where she assists the teacher for two hours. Girls coming from out of town, like the ones in my younger daughter’s gan, volunteer close to the school so they don’t have to commute twice. They gave the girls (unfortunately bright green) t-shirts so they will be recognized. Good marketing, so long as I don’t have to wear that color.
- The school runs a country-wide organization to collect used appliances and furniture and redistribute them to the needy. Seventh-graders work in the warehouse; during the summer my daughter took a few shifts answering the phone to schedule pickups.
- Students volunteer in the special-education gan right on school premises. My daughter hasn’t worked there yet, but girls in her class have.
The school is handicapped accessible, has an ethnically heterogeneous population (Jewishly speaking), and boasts the third highest bagrut (matriculation exam) scores in the country, after two secular schools in Haifa. It discourages graduates from enlisting in the army but many still do (my daughter isn’t interested).
When my kids were younger someone told me that I would be happier with the girls’ schools in Israel than the boys’. The girls don’t have the pressure of gemara (Talmud), leaving little time for anything except the bagrut requirements.
[I tried to stay positive all the way through.]