Dropout Prevention Program

A project to improve the scholastic performance
Of at-risk pupils in the Hatikva Neighborhood

The dropout prevention center for at risk JHS and HS students from Shechunat Hatikva in south of Tel-Aviv was established in the academic year 1992. The program suggested for the next school year 2009, is of multi – direction intervention. It aims at improving student’s achievement and their aptitude for competing with academic tasks; to trace effective motivational strategies, which can be, applied to the students; to help them master the learning material through effective use of their potential. The program will be accompanied with social activities for positive group interaction, uplifting self-image and self-value and mutual support. The intervention strategies are based on the pre-assumption that upgrading achievements will prevent dropout.

This program was established under the hospices of the educational department of Tel-Aviv municipality and the intensively support of ISEF organization. The main goal has been to prepare students for the Bagrut exams. Before the center was established, very few pupils in this area had the skills necessary for the Bagrut (matriculation exams). In 1992, only 5 Hatikva pupils completed the Bagrut exams. This year (2008), it is anticipated that 65 pupils will successfully complete these essential exams. Since October 1992, about 661 students graduated and completed the Bagrut exams.

Due to budget cutting and lack of resources the educational department of Tel-Aviv municipality asked some organizations to join the program in order to subsidizing the learning hours. This year ISEF by it self already provided 50 students in order to help pupils through individual learning, 36 vouchers for purchasing books, 65 scholarships for graduates and some budget according to the needs. It was just essential that the partnership with “ISEF” Foundation can improve the results and make this dream come true.

1. Academic assistance – strengthening areas in the curriculum, help with their homework and preparation for tests (professional teachers and ISEF students).
2. Social activities – conferences, group dynamics, psychodrama, parties, trips, etc.
3. Scholarships for books – a motivating factor (supported by ISEF).
4. Summer programs for 8th-9TH graders who are going into JHS – English, Math, Grammar.
5. Counseling and direction – each student to receive individual attention and support.
6. Operating program for improving learning skills.
7. Operating program for control of information, measurement and evaluation.
8. Computerized center for control of information, measurement and evaluation.
9. Close contact with students’ families – home visits.

The program proposed is based on past experience and new elements drawn from similar programs in the US. The total pupils expected for the next year are 266. These are the intervention’s elements suggested for the next school year:

1. Self-awareness of one’s cognitive strategies.
2. Practice of learning – teaching
3. Twice a month parents’ admission for counseling and support.
4. Home visits – to assist with teen-age stress and priorities.
5. Workshops and lectures.
6. Processing information and follow-up on students.