Tovanot B'Hinuch is currently operating – during the 2012-2016 school year – in 20 schools in Israel's urban and geographic periphery, with a total of 11,500 students. The schools include 9 elementary schools, 10 secondary schools (middle schools and high schools) and a K-13 campus.
The schools included in the project benefit from the help of human capital – professional accompaniment of the project's headquarters combined with volunteers from different sectors, and of financial capital – $50,000 of support per year for three years. This support is provided on the basis of needs and the work plan defined by the school principal.
Fundamentals of the programming and activities
Tovanot B'Hinuch focuses on field work and routine accompaniment of the schools:
Extending the limits of the definition of the school principal's role to that of a social and pedagogical leader, taking initiatives, such as creating a treatment continuum by lengthening the school day and conducting informal programs in the after-school hours and lengthening the school year with diversified summer programs and activities.
Empowering the school principals and their staffs, by creating a supportive organizational structure which makes it possible to promote the realization of the vision. This included appointing knowledge and knowhow coordinators and volunteers simultaneously with the functions of Tovanot B'Hinuch
Creating a supporting mantle for each school, including the establishment of an action committee, creating strategic partnerships and bringing volunteers in to the picture to provide responses to the needs of the schools. Notably, among the most striking programs are extended hours to the school day, programs for encouraging academic excellence, study centers established with the help of volunteers and mentors, developing programming and activities for the summer vacation and holidays.
Assistance in designing school work plans by pooling resources, constructing a vision and mapping objectives, needs and responses needed.
Close accompaniment of principals and coordinators of subject areas – routine meetings, counseling and guidance, support and assistance in promoting their programming and in changing the organization culture in the schools.
Developing a system of knowledge and information in the schools, including multidimensional and individual mapping, feedback and documentation.
Simultaneously and as an integral part of its programming, Tovanot B'Hinuch headquarters focuses on conceptualization of the operational model, its development and cohesiveness so that it can be turned into a model that is applicable on a national level. Development of the model is done by forming a learning community among the schools participating in the project, conducting interrelations which allow for insights to be drawn and for an educational model to be developed from a broad span of vision.
Circles of change
Tovanot B'Hinuch aims to generate change on three levels:
Improving the schools in relation to themselves – based on quantitative and qualitative indexes, in accordance with the principles of Tovanot B'Hinuch
Overall improvement beyond the improvement in each school, by conceptualizing the model of action and by its cohesive implementation
Changing the public discourse about the public education system – building the community bottom-up, acknowledging and respecting educators in the system