Primary School: Teachers, Parents, Children Coping with War

The primary school is currently navigating through a remarkable situation, one that presents them with an opportunity to learn and grow together. Due to a shortage of air raid shelters, the Yehiel Waldorf School located in moshav Tal Shahar has been provided with two rooms in the WASNS primary school. To ensure that the new students feel at home, they have been merged with some classes and have also been invited to participate in some really exciting active recess breaks that are exclusive to the primary school. The sixth-grade students of WASNS recently organized one such break and invited the Yehiel students to join in the fun. 

It's great to see that the majority of children have returned to in-person classes, but there are still some challenges to overcome. One such challenge is transportation, which remains a concern for some students. While students are well-prepared for emergencies while in school, getting to and from school can be a bit more difficult. To ensure their safety, people on the road are instructed to pull over, exit their vehicles, and lie down on the ground. Many parents are taking measures by driving their children to and from school instead of relying on minibuses for transportation. 

Managing the impact of war and the emotional distress it causes is particularly challenging for a binational school. School principal Neama Abo Delu explains that providing support for Jews and Arabs requires different approaches, while at the same time fostering a sense of community. "This new conflict presents a unique challenge for everyone involved, and we must learn to cope with it and support our families, children, and their families."

Coping, she says, will work best if the parents and school can see eye-to-eye on the purpose of the school and the way it continues to teach friendship, peace and understanding. That is why special effort is now being applied to support the outer circles that help the children cope: Teachers and parents. This includes mental health assistance on levels ranging from mindfulness sessions to psychological help and assistance from specialists in children’s mental health.

“This is a long-term project,” she says. “As things change, we will adapt our approach and continue to build on what we have already accomplished.”