Arab Teacher Integration in Jewish Schools Program (ATI)
The program’s overall long-term goal is to ensure the full and successful implementation of the Ministry of Education’s Plan to integrate a total of 500 Arab teachers in Jewish schools in five years to increase familiarity and comfort between Jewish and Arab citizens and fill the need for professionals skilled in the teaching of English, math and science in the Jewish educational system.
For the 2016-2017 school year, the project objectives are to expand the implementation of this plan by:
– Continued advocacy work both at the government level and at the MOE, with senior functionaries involved in the program, including but not limited to, Ayman Saif, Director of the Authority of Minority Development at the Ministry of Social Equality, Dr. Sarah Silberstrom, Director of Internship and Entry Instruction, and Education Ministry Deputy Director, Eyal Ram.
– Completing recruitment, sorting process and placement process for teachers to be integrated in the 2016-2017 school year following a nationwide ‘call-out’ for recruitment of candidates and launching the 2017-2018 recruitment campaign.
– Providing ongoing support to new teachers, and their colleagues, in integrated schools along with the provision of best practice tools necessary for successful integration and the promotion of shared citizenship. The tool kit includes the revised best practices “Integration Manual” that was recently revised and republished (Hebrew/Arabic). See below.
– Sharing examples/research of the positive outcomes of the integration experience thus far as carried out annually at the ATI conference.
The ATI is highly regarded among peers in the field for its successes and outcomes. In the Inter Agency Task Force report Shared Life in Israel’s Public Education System in which the ATI program was referred to frequently and positively.
In the 2016-2017 school year our efforts will be focused on following activities:
1. Participating in the program’s planning and implementation committee. This committee is headed by the Senior Deputy Director of the Ministry of Education for Personnel, and includes senior officials from this office, from the PMO and from Merchavim. The committee’s task was to devise a comprehensive operational plan for the program, and presently to oversee its implementation. Merchavim’s role will be to continue to ensure that the experience gained from years of work of integration is reflected in the committee’s work and decisions, especially when it comes to matters of training, cultural sensitivity, and shared citizenship content.
2. Recruitment and the sorting process for teachers to be integrated in Jewish schools. This will include, for each school year, publications in the media calling for candidates, events exposing the program in relevant teaching colleges and introductory ATI workshops/exposure assemblies at which a large population of Arab students study education e.g. Al-Qasemi College, Beit Berl, Gordon and Oranim. Followed by an initial sorting of hundreds of applications in order to select the most relevant for an interview and placements process that will take place during the summer.
3. Provision of individual support for Arab teachers. Due to geographical challenges (teachers in the program are dispersed across the country from north to south) the most effective way to provide support is individually on a one to one basis (phone conversations/field visits) by a dedicated Merchavim team member to veteran teachers new and veteran teachers.
4. Working with district-level professional supervisors and school principals to facilitate the integration process. This work will involve conversations and meetings with relevant supervisors and principals, to highlight effective approaches to integration and identify potential challenges and methods to overcome them.