Established in 1977, the city of Ma’ale Adumim is by now home to 37,600 residents. Its education system comprises of 8,587 students. There are six high schools, where 1,995 students are enrolled in 10th-12th grades. The matriculation graduation rate in 2017 was 89.2% (higher than the 68.2% national average), however only 13% completed with five-units in mathematics (in comparison to the national average of 14.3%). The education leaders of Ma’ale Adumim point to a big gap in performance between their secular and religious schools.
Diving into the data, the picture is even more complicated. In 2011, Ma’ale Adumim was above the national average of students completing five-unit mathematics, however in 2012 and 2013 there was a sharp decrease of more than 40%. The turbulence continued and in 2016 the city topped the average again, only to fall behind in 2017. The bright spot however is that 38% of the 4-unit twelfth grade students in 2017 graduated with honors, pointing to an untapped potential.
Following this unstable trend, the city has decided to set a coherent goal in order to increase the number of students completing 5-unit mathematics to 20% by 2021, and to work with the principals and the teachers to achieve this goal. In order to do so, they intend to increase the number of 5-unit mathematics teachers from 18 to 24, and to execute the following steps:
- Forming city-based learning communities for 24 current and potential five-unit teachers, as well as for 19 middle school teachers. In addition, each school will convene school-based communities of practice for its mathematics teachers. An academic institution will be hired to assist with the professional operation of these teachers’ communities.
- Providing in-school instructional coaching once every two weeks for mathematics teachers and department heads at each school. The schools will assess their needs and accordingly receive instructional coaching from a professional that will help them advance clinical expertise and promote excellence among their students.
- Creating a joint work group for the middle and high school department heads and principals, in order to smooth the transition of students between 9th and 10th grade and improve the communications between the teaching staff of the middle school and the high school. The school principals will meet five times a year and the department heads will meet in a community for 60 hours every year.
- Convening 2 conferences every year to improve the dialogue among the teachers and principals. The municipality will also offer summer courses and supplementary teaching hours to encourage students to move from 4- to 5-unit mathematics.
* The text presented above shows the grant as approved by the Foundation Board / Grant 287