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The new school year gets underway, and the junior high school opens

Monday 15 September 2003

There was nothing routine about the opening of the 2003 – 2004 school year. First because a new seventh grade class launched the beginning of a junior high school; secondly because the primary school welcomed a new co-principal; and thirdly because just over the school fence, work was proceeding on a new school building.

A junior high school

For several years, NSWAS has been preparing to move up to the level of a junior high school (grades 7 - 9), and for much of the last year, a special committee was working towards this goal. Now it has finally happened: a seventh grade class has opened. The new junior high school is directed by Anwar Daoud and Eti Edlund (both previously primary school principas). Sixteen children started the school year, most of them Arab graduates of the Primary School who come from communities in the vicinity of NSWAS. Only two Jewish children registered (Jewish children in the area have more convenient choices). However, this was initially also the pattern at the Primary School, and we can expect the numbers to become more balanced as the junior high school develops.

The Jewish – Arab teaching staff of the seventh grade are enthusiastic both about their mission and the group, and the school year has got off to an excellent start.

A new co-principal for the primary school

Replacing Samiha Hijazi and joining Jewish co-principal Maya Karni, Faiz Mansour comes to us with many years of experience and a solid record of working with children. He accompanied Maya Karni, the Jewish principal, from the end of the last school year, so that, as she observed in the opening ceremony, they were already well-acquainted and working as a successful team.

The school year started with almost three hundred children in all of its levels (237 in the primary school, 47 in the preschool levels, and 16 in the junior high school.)

A new school building on the way

The rapid development of the school has long placed a strain upon its physical facilities. This year it was necessary to improvise new classrooms in outlying buildings in order to provide minimum conditions for the junior high school. The ultimate solution will be the long-awaited new school building – which we began work on this summer. Originally, there was a promise by the State for funding of the new building, however we were ultimately unsuccessful in this attempt and decided to begin with the funding available to us from American donors. This will not allow completion of the whole building, but will at least add new classrooms and activity rooms. If funding allows, the building should be ready in time for next year’s school year.

The NSWAS school system needs your help. The state gives only the minimum required by its regulations, and the expenses of running such an innovative educational system are much higher than those of an average school. See Primary School partnership program and Wish list for the primary school for how you can help.


The rainbow gets a new coat of paint Junior high school: girls... ... and boys Jr High first activity Faiz (right) and Maya (left) at the opening ceremony In the kindergarten Parents joined for the first day Site of the new school building 1st grade class

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