This year the ELS started teaching the German language from 3rd grade 3 periods weekly, 4th grade 4 periods weekly, and 5th grade 4 periods weekly. These three classes are taught using Peter + Petra 1-2-3. 6th grade is taught using Genial a1 and this class sat for the FIT I exam successfully under the supervision of the Goethe institute.
7th grade is also taught with Genial a1 (part two). This year the 7th grade sat for the FIT I exam as well. 8th and 9th grade are taught using Genial 2 and this year they successfully sat for FIT II.
10th and 11th grade, the advanced group, sat for the Germany level exam supervised by Goethe, and the results were excellent. 10 students from the 10th grade and 17 students from the 11th grade passed the exam. It's worth mentioning that the 10th grade sat for this exam for the 1st time. The school divides the classes from 8th to 11th grade into two groups; a weak group and an advanced one. This division helps to work with the students according to their abilities and was the main reason behind the success in the general exams.
MUSIC, CHOIR AND DABKEH
The ELS choir participated in many important religious and cultural events throughout the year. The choir joined the lighting of the Christmas tree in Beit Sahour, organized by the municipality of Beit Sahour. The choir plays a major role in showing the good standard of music in the school. In Christmas celebrations, the voice of the choir brought joy to those who attended, both to officials like the mayor and the Bishop, and to other distinguished guests. Besides all of this, the choir participated in the Reformation Day, Christmas, and Easter celebrations and in the graduation Ceremony of the school. Moreover, it represents the school locally and abroad, especially t countries like Germany, Switzerland, Finland, and Sweden.
Last year, the school established a music band which consists of students who are already playing on different musical instruments. This band participated last year in a competition arranged and held by the Ministry of Education in Bethlehem Area. The band came in first place among the other bands. We are proud of this achievement
In June two groups of students will be part of an educational visit to Germany. The first group, consists of 14 students and 2 teachers, will be guests of the Evangelical Firstwald School and YMCA of Moessingen. They will also attend the annual church day "Kirschetag" in Koln. The second group of 3 students will stay from June 13th to July 11th in Wiesloch, Germany as guests of the Wiesloch Gymnasium School where they will attend classes and study the German language.
Consulate is holding a project under the title "Deep Learning through Critical Thinking for Tenth Grade Students" in our school. Its main objective is to improve the quality of their thinking by skillfully imposing intellectual standards upon the structures inherent in thinking. During this project, students learn how to build their capacity in adopting new research methods, new research techniques and improving their writing skills.Six teachers are also participating in this project to assist and supervise future projects in the school. The workshop will be 60 hours divided into 20 sessions over 12 months.
The Special Education Program
The Special Education Program provides rights-holders with the individual instruction necessary to succeed in the classroom. The program supplements classroom learning and allows students to participate in normal classroom activities while also recognizing the additional educational needs of particular students. This program helps fulfill the goals stated in the ELS action plan (7.3 and 7.8) which value the educational differences between students and is concerned with meeting those needs in a way that does not disturb the overall classroom setting. These efforts have successfully students from having to repeat classes, thus, keeping them on track to graduate with their peers. This project is implemented through a qualified teacher hired for this purpose only.
The ELS is concerned with creating a safe space for students to creatively express themselves. By giving rights-holders the extra individual attention they need, these students can reach their full potential in the classroom. Additionally, this project provides technological facilities adequately adapted to the particular needs of these students, objectives stated in the school’s action plan (7.4).
For the past 20 years, World Vision has funded this program. The Special Education Program at ELS is unique to the school and has resulted in a zero percent failure rate since its implementation. The ELS is one of many private schools in the Occupied Palestinian Territories which provide a quality education, but it is the only school in the surrounding area with a supplemental education program for students with special educational needs that integrate students in the larger school community.
The Lutheran schools are committed to providing a high standard of education to the local community. We believe in the holistic approach to education and attention to the interaction with the various aspects of our students’ personalities. In addition, we view our mixed student body not only as a challenge, but as an opportunity to teach our students tolerance and understanding. Our goal is to provide our students with the tools they need to reach out to and understand other social, religious, and political groups in our society and in the wider world.
The rights-holders of this project are approximately 90-100 students of the ELS from 1st grade to 5th grade. The rest of the students (420 in number) do benefit from the teacher’s assistance in the school, as this helps to reduce unnecessary disruptions in the classroom and allow for more productive lessons. The project will affect approximately 90-100 rights-holders, boys and girls alike, as determined by classroom teachers at the beginning of each semester.
One of the main objectives of the Evangelical Lutheran School is to take care of students who have special needs in education, such as slower learners. As a result of this goal, the school has opened a special class for those slower learners who cannot cope with their classmates because they cannot concentrate, have dyslexia, are hyperactive, do not have motivation, cannot write, or have problems understanding what is required of them. This class gives them additional resources they need to help them achieve good results during the scholastic year.
The Vocational Education Program
The Vocational Education Program began in 1985 and was created to introduce students in grades 5 through 11 (approximately 320 students) to basic vocational skills that are necessary to improve technical competencies for their everyday lives and future professions. The program encourages creative and artistic development throughout the students’ education using vocational workshops to introduce both female and male students to activities and possible future careers involving olive wood, ceramics, pottery, candles, painting, drawing, recycled glass and paper, mosaics, handcrafts, carpentry, metal work, electrical maintenance, cooking, and sewing. Moreover, exhibitions displaying the students' work in both academic and non-academic subjects help develop students' self-esteem and allow parents and the public to see the fruits of their efforts. A souvenir shop on the school’s campus features the student’s work for visitors and guests to purchase, the profits from which go toward further funding to the Vocational Education Program.
The scope of the Vocational Education Program also includes the “School to Career” and “Career Counseling” programs, which work specifically with students in grades 8 through 10 to explore their desired future professions. The “School to Career” program works with students in grades 8 and 9, allowing them the opportunity to visit various companies, factories, and medical centers in order to gain firsthand knowledge of what careers in these areas look like. The program continues with “Career Counseling” in which students in grade 10 explore, through a research project, the future needs of society and how they can best contribute through a chosen career.
The Vocational Education Program is essential in providing a holistic educational experience for students and has been well received by the local community which has witnessed the student’s appreciation for local trade, a vital attitude for the future of any community. Teachers have also witnessed the creativity fostered in the vocational education classes integrating with the student’s work in their traditional subjects. These benefits have been lifted up by our partner organization, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM,) which began its financial support of the program in 1995. The continued financial support by FELM has made the Vocational Education Program sustainable from an economic standpoint, with FELM, at one point, funding 100% of the operating costs. Unfortunately, due to the global economic crises, FELM has been forced to cut funding for the Vocational Education Program from covering 100% of the costs to only 60%. As a result, activity offerings within the Program have been forced to be cut. While the school reinvests revenue gained from the sale of items produced by students participating in the Vocational Education Program, it is not enough to support the Vocational Education Program as financial aid is cut.
Based on the Vocational Education Program’s previous success, the ELS will seek to build upon an already firm foundation. In addition to using the format that has evolved during the Program’s 26 year history, the school plans to expand the project to include other vocational work such as oil painting, carving on brass, and various additional handcrafts for the 2013-2014 scholastic year. The school also plans to expand their art exhibition next year in order to present more of the work produced by the students. These next steps for the Vocational Education Program will benefit the students, teacher, and greater community in a unique way, particularly in that the ELS offers the only exhibition of art in Beit Sahour. The Vocational Education Program seeks to serve all students and to make such programming accessible to all students.
YAGM Volunteers - Evangelical Lutheran School—Beit Sahour
Activities, Responsibilities, and Roles of the YAGM
The Young Adults in Global Mission program, a program run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and present in Palestine by invitation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land, young volunteers participate in numerous activities around the school to aid teachers, the administration, and the librarian. The list of activities and responsibilities below gives a general outline of the roles and actions of the YAGMs :-
· Assisting English teachers in their classes by attending said classes, helping to prepare lessons, aiding individual students as they work in class, editing worksheets and exams for English teachers prior to their in-class implementation, reading and editing free response papers for older students, and helping grade worksheets and exams for younger students. The classes the YAGMs attend include Kindergarten, First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, Tenth, and both Eleventh classes.
· Implementing an after school English club three times a week. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the English club is primarily for older students who have a greater background in English. On Tuesdays, though, this club has been difficult to organize. We have a more organized club for the students who wish to learn more English through different activities. The older students have recently begun doing creative writing exercises as well as theatre improvisation games.
· Helping the administration by editing reports and writing newsletters for different supporters of ELS, and reorganizing the yearbook from the previous year. Also, the YAGMs take pictures of various events at the school.
· Participating in occasional gym classes.
· Helping with various art activities.
· Assisting various teachers with field-trips or larger projects/breakfasts in their classes.
· Taking on an occasional English lesson when teachers have been absent.
Helping with copying papers, cutting up papers, and laminating papers for different in-class assignments.
The Career Counseling Program and Research Project
The Career Counseling Program and Research Project for class 10 are based on five main ideas:
First: This program helps students identify themselves and their future job interests. Students will evaluate their own qualities, traits, skills, abilities, and ethics, and identify in which of their job interests these qualities are needed and used.
Second: This program measures the students’ potential proficiency on personal and professional levels. It measures this through different types of assessments, such as The Holland Code and The Super Assessment.
Third: This program identifies the Palestinian Labor Market and education through various sources of information. Students conduct this research and then use the information in their projects.
Fourth: This program invites community professionals to talk to students about their careers. The schools host professionals and specialists in their fields to give lectures to the students, advising them on which careers to choose after they graduate from school. Through these lectures, the professionals and specialists teach the students about their chosen careers and jobs.
Fifth: This program allows students to visit companies, workshops, centers, institutions, universities and hold interviews with specialists and experts in local areas and the industrial zones in the West Bank. Students visit work sites that are interesting to them and that they may consider as potential future work sites. There, students get to know the community, the existing institutions, and the extent of services provided by universities, colleges, and vocational centers.
After completing the project requirements through collecting data by using different tools, the students begin compiling all of their research. They develop and write a ten page paper and then do a fifteen minute presentation about their chosen career. Students use all of their research, including the lectures from professionals, data collection, interviews, and field visits to work sites, in both the paper and the presentation.
Three years ago, to support this program, the school implemented another program called School to Career (STC) in classes 8 and 9. Here, the students learn about professions and different jobs in Palestine. Additionally, the students learn how to collect data and what tools are needed to do it.
At the end of the scholastic year, the Lutheran schools display the research done by each student from class 10. A few students from the four Lutheran schools are even chosen to present their work in front of the others. This allows for the results to be presented across all of the schools.