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The Junior High 2004-2005 School Year

Sunday 31 October 2004

September 1 brought a new school year – only the second in the Junior High’s existence. The efforts of staff, parents and students had paid off. The successes of the previous year encouraged many new students to join. Some are graduates of the NSWAS primary school, while others are completely new to the system.

Most of last year’s seventh grade students continued on to eighth grade, where there are 16 students this year (three of them new to the system). Another 25 students enrolled in the seventh grade (twelve of them coming up from the primary school).

Despite these successes, the school found it difficult to attract Jewish students, and this year most of our students are Palestinian. This is an inevitable consequence of inequalities in the Israeli educational system, which presents greater educational opportunities for Jewish students. Looked at from this perspective, the bi-national junior high school initiative provides an important qualitative alternative for nearby Palestinian students, and encourages greater educational equality in our region.

In the meantime, we are determined to continue with our efforts to develop the quality and breadth of our bi-national curriculum until the school becomes an attractive option also for Jewish students. The knowledge and experience we gain at the junior high level will in turn pave the way to a binational senior high school.

Teaching staff

Ety Edlund and Anwar Daoud continue as co-principals. Su’ad Haj Yehya, Ismahan Al-Nakib, Yasmin Al-Kalak and Ra’uf Hamoud serve as group leaders, as well as teachers. Each is responsible for a small multi-age group and students may turn to them for counselling and support. Also on the faculty are Lama Haj Yehya (sciences); NSWAS resident Nir Manor and Liora Erez (physical education), Dyana Shalufi Rizek (art); Hezy Schuster (media); Basel Ali Taher and Ronit Shefi (music); Gili Bartena (computers); and Lea Veis (dance). Ariella Bairey-Ben Yishai continues as educational counselor to the staff and management.


A week at the school comprises 34 hours of instruction in Arabic, Hebrew, English, Mathematics, History, Sciences, Current Events and Physical Education. An additional four hours are given to elective subjects, which are an innovation introduced this year. The project allows students to specialize and delve deeper into a particular study area that appeals to them.

This year’s elective subjects are computer studies, music, art, dance and media studies. The educational content in each subject will reflect both Jewish and Palestinian cultures. The elective subjects will be offered not only to regular pupils but to children from the vicinity who do not attend the school. The effect should be to widen the social circle for our students. In addition, we hope to make the school better known in the area, and thus encourage greater enrollment among Arab and Jewish students in coming years.


Like last year, the junior high continues to operate in temporary buildings until the new school building is completed and creates additional space for both primary and junior high levels. This year the school expanded into additional aging village structures, to create an another classroom and an auxiliary room.


Each morning, students arrive to the school from Lod, Ramle, Abu-Ghosh, Ein-Rafa, Kfar-Uria, and Jerusalem. Transportation costs are a major budgeting challenge for both the primary and the junior high levels. This year, thanks to the donation of school busses by NSWAS Friends’ Associations, we were able to reach a cooperative arrangement with our regional council. Accordingly, about a third of the Junior High’s transportation needs are met by the Council.

Tuition Fees and the Need for Support

Since the Junior High continues to be a private school, it enjoys no funding from the state whatsoever. This means that the school depends for its financing upon tuition fees and donations. We try to keep the tuition fees at a sum that parents on an average salary can support (about $1,000 a year). Some parents additionally contributing books, office equipment and art utensils. For the rest of the needed expenses we must turn to our Friends Associations and to various foundations in Israel and abroad.

The co-principals, teaching staff and students take this opportunity to thank all those who helped make the previous school year a success, and who continue to accompany us in our efforts to develop our unique school.


teacher with students ditto students on first day

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