Education in Rishon LeZion

 

 

In 1886 the Land of Israel’s first Hebrew school was established in Rishon LeZion. In 1898 the first preschool opened. Now, as then, Rishon is spearheading innovation in education.

In the 2012-13 school year, there are 43,474 pupils in the municipal educational system:

  •  8,823 children attend 301 preschools and kindergartens
  • 18,527 pupils attend 50 elementary schools
  • 16,124 pupils attend 32 secondary schools 

In 2009, structural changes were introduced in the municipal secondary schools, and starting in 2010 the independent middle schools were combined with the high schools, creating six-year comprehensive schools (encompassing 7th-12th grades, in addition to the existing primary schools for 1st-6th grades).

The program, which has won the support of the Ministry of Education’s minister and director-general, is poised to achieve results placing Rishon LeZion at the forefront of Israeli education.

The mission is not complete! The challenges we face during these times of ever-changing reality oblige us all to strive constantly for excellence and continued cooperation. We are simultaneously building up the necessary cultural and educational infrastructures and creating pedagogic continuity at all age groups.

This process of change and improvement includes continually rethinking ways, means and goals, and pushing for educational and social achievements among city schoolchildren while taking all their diverse needs into account.

To improve achievements, we are focusing our efforts on helping the pupils having trouble in their studies and in adapting to school. This is one of most important objectives in the entire Israeli educational system, and particularly in Rishon.

Our Primary Goals:

  • Equal learning opportunities for all pupils
  • Fostering excellence and high achievements
  • Instilling values of heritage and a sense of belonging to the city and the nation
  • Teaching tolerance and preventing violence
  • Instilling values of social involvement and civic activism
  • Educating for sustainability – awareness of the environment in which we live
  • Conducting teaching and learning processes in a high-tech environment
  •  Educational staff excellence
  • Involving parents in the educational process
  • Effective, courteous service
  • Comprising an excellent, efficient organization that constantly learns and upgrades itself
  • Providing a clean, comfortable and safe learning environment in the city’s educational institutions
  • Implementing available, effective technical and physical maintenance of the city’s educational institutions and resources
  • Administrative control system including monitoring and measurement tools

 

Rishon Lezion is committed to providing our students and teaching staff with the optimal educational environment and conditions so they can maximize their achievements. The assorted activities that we pursue to fulfill this goal include:

 

  • Enriching the management and teaching staff through training courses, available to personnel at all educational institutions, from kindergarten through high school.
  • Differential programs customized to meet diverse pupils' needs and capabilities, to close gaps and give suitable opportunities to all pupils – weak, average, outstanding, skilled, and gifted.
  •  Detecting pupils with learning disabilities, behavior problems, socio-economic and family difficulties, to address these issues as early as possible.
  • Increasing individual and group classes for all pupils and special-needs pupils.
  • Operating nutritional programs at the various educational facilities.
  • Subsidizing enrichment programs.
  • Immediately making help available from psychologists, social workers, and other professionals at times of crisis.
  • Monitoring, assisting, and assessing current activities and programs within the municipal education system.

 

Some of the Special Programs Operating in the Municipal Education System

1.       "Language Disabilities" – individual tutoring for kindergarten pupils.

2.       "Ilanot" – program for kindergarten pupils with special problems.

3.       Neuro-functional approach for kindergarten pupils suffering from learning disabilities.

4.       "Looking Ahead – Learning to Live in a Sustainable World" – for kindergarten pupils.

5.       "Teaching Center" – for children of Ethiopian descent.

6.       Integrating Amharic-speaking mediators in the school staff.

7.       "Checkmate" – chess for 2nd grade pupils.

8.       "Municipal Bible Quiz."

9.       "School Day" – activities to encourage reading among 1st grade pupils.

10.    "Safe Streets" – teaching about arriving safely to and from school.

11.    "Ron Center" – classes for gifted and talented pupils.

12.    Pilot program for matriculating in social values.

13.    "Culture, People and the World" program.

14.    "Extra Psychology Service" – psychological and psycho-didactic diagnoses at a significant discount.

15 .   "Safety Counselors" – helping reduce the level of violence in schools.

16.   "Volunteering as a Way of Life" – encouraging our students to think about, initiate and lead actions that
        
contribute to the community.

 

 

From Daycare to University 

Rishon LeZion is proud to be the home of the first school in Israel to use Hebrew as its language of instruction. Rishon also opened Israel’s first children’s daycare center. The city continues to be a leader in education, having graduated from dip-in inkwells over 100 years ago to classroom computers today.
Rishon LeZion’s educational system has undergone a revolution. Traditional teaching methods was adapted to new concepts in education. Standard frontal teaching before large classes were replaced by a more intimate atmosphere, in which every pupil is given individual attention, allowing each child to develop and discover his or her own abilities. Exceptional students are provided with special programs for after-school hours (extracurricular lessons, classes at the Open University and Rishon College). Those who have difficulty in class are given extra tutoring to help them matriculate.
 

 

Equality

Rishon’s schools all adhere to the principle of educational equality. Students at every school, not just a chosen few, have an equal opportunity to develop excellence. Schools were built in the middle of the city neighborhoods, so that children will not require transportation, and also to serve as centers of community life. This is a totally new concept in Israeli society. 

Starting Small

Education starts early, and since preschool teachers have decisive influence on children’s development, the city’s educational system operates and nurtures its daycare centers and kindergartens in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education. Rishon’s preschool teachers, all certified professionals, are regularly updated on the latest educational developments. Young children benefit from extra classes in music, art, general culture, animal life and other subjects, all of which prepare them for moving on to 1st grade and beyond. 

Elementary School

Children in Rishon LeZion’s elementary schools no longer sit in closed classrooms as they once did. Classrooms have been replaced with large learning spaces divided into secondary areas, where pupils from different age groups study special topics, anything from watching a film to Bible study. To maximize individual attention, students are organized not only into age groups and classes, but also into anchor groups supervised by instructors who monitor the children’s development. 

Junior High and High School

Rishon’s junior high schools emphasize the sciences early on, while continuing to expose students to a wide variety of other subjects. The large number of programs offered enables students to choose and focus on the subjects that interest them the most. High school students can, for instance, choose to major in biotechnology, cinema, computerized graphics, electronics, international relations, computer communications, athletic programs, or of course in more traditional fields. 

Finishing at the Top

After Rishon’s young adults have completed their army service, they can return to the city to pursue academic studies. Rishon currently houses colleges of law and economics. Adults have many continuing education opportunities, such as parenting classes, foreign languages, alternative medicine and Far Eastern studies. Diverse courses are held at the Cathedra Amamit, such as Land of Israel studies, sculpture, painting, flower-arranging, numerology, astrology and many others.