Leadership program brings together educational leaders from diverse frameworks for Village Way training.
Village Way Educational Initiatives celebrated the completion of the first cohort of the Village Way Milestones Course for Educational Leadership. The course provided 100 hours of professional development training, focusing on issues such as developing an educational vision, strategic thinking, and implementing practical tools.
The 20 participants included school principals and youth village directors from diverse backgrounds and locations, including religious high schools, youth villages, schools serving Arab communities, and more.
The Milestones Course was managed in partnership with Avney Rosha: The National Institute for Principal Development. The Aveny Rosha Institute is responsible for leadership training of all school principals in Israel.
Village Way Educational Initiatives was asked to launch this program because of its unique focus on a value-driven educational methodology and innovative approach to leadership and education.
Haim Rubovitch, CEO, Village Way Educational Initiatives, said the Milestones course provided opportunity to look beyond the obstacles posed by the current crisis.
"Education leads society. Our society has gone through a great shift and there is no going back. As educational leaders, you know that the coronavirus crisis created an educational laboratory with surprising results. Now, the big question is, what do we do with this now? We need to ask ourselves about the purpose of the educational system."
Anat Rubo, Principal, Ort Marom Technology High School in Acco said she was inspired by the chance to think creatively with other like-minded educational professionals.
"I knew the Village Way. This program allowed me, on the one hand, to get out of the routine and, on the other hand, to stay with the same language. I got to know interpretations and nuances from other principals, get inspired and have new ideas," she said. "I have never come across a training that goes down to the smallest, personal details and models for us how to treat our students down to the very last one."
The Village Way Milestones program is ahead of the educational curve as it addresses Israel’s diverse at-risk youth population (more than 400,000) by building on the successful Village Way educational methodology in seeking a way to help troubled students learn and prepare for their future.
Dotan Levi, Director, Village Way Educational Institute, said innovative programs, such as Milestones, provides a new path for important conversations about values and language.
"I am so happy that we dared to start this program. We had heard from leaders in the field about the need for such a course. At the initial meeting with Avney Rosha to discuss the idea, it was clear no other courses talked about educational leadership, about values, it was all pedagogy," Dotan said. "Looking out at you today, I am happy that there are so many teenagers out there that have you as their educators. It gives me hope and strength."
A five-day trip to Rwanda to visit the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (now canceled), which integrates the Village Way methodology, was scheduled prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Milestones Program teaches new ways to solve ongoing dilemmas.
Ariel Vizel, director of Desert Stars Youth Village in the Negev: "I think that the greatness of the Village Way methodology is that it is almost obvious, but it organizes everything and gives a name to things that you already understand deep inside you. I have a great many things I wrote and learned during the program, and there are more changes that I want to make on the ground."
Bracha Dvir, the principal of Pelech School for girls in Zichron Yaakov: "The facilitators on the one hand were constantly in control of the content and on the other hand also in tune to what is happening to each one of us. They also worked with such modesty, it sounds obvious, but it is not."
Ellen Aviyashar, the director of Mevoot Ayron in Ein Shemer shared: I had said in my entrance interview that the most important part would be the facilitation, and the facilitation was excellent. The issue of graduates was something that I recognized as a missing link with us in our school, and I understood we have to be a supportive community even after they graduate high school. It is an insight that every principal must engage in learning, must be a part of a group of other leaders and continue to develop."