תוכן עבור BATEVA School

Mainstreaming Program
Preparing Children and Youth with Complicated Learning Disabilities for Independent Integration into Society


Bateva School Mainstreaming Program, a project which prepares children and youth diagnosed with complicated learning disabilities and borderline levels of functioning for successful independent integration into society by the age of 21.
Founded on September 1st,  2009 by Mira and Benny De-Kalo on behalf of their child Ariel who was diagnosed with learning and functional disabilities.
Bateva School is an integrated special education school, preparing students with complex learning disabilities for independent living, with an emphasis on natural sciences, social studies and the arts.  Our vision is for all graduates to become equal, active, and self-reliant contributors within society. Bateva’s multidisciplinary staff includes numerous advisory, therapeutic and specialized professionals, who augment our core faculty of talented special education teachers. The high staff-to-student ratio assures regular, personal attention for every student.  Our lovely school grounds foster a direct connection with nature and encourage an atmosphere of openness and growth. Bateva pupils take part in an extensive mainstreaming program with nearby schools, enabling a reciprocal relationship to be established between the pupils of these institutions. Bateva also offers a wide range of therapy to its pupils, including drama therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and more, along with extracurricular activities such as cooking, gardening and a petting zoo. We have also launched a computer project, teaching students basic computer skills and computer animation.
■    WHY - The Need
Bateva’s founders and directors firmly believe that the successful assimilation of special needs students into adult mainstream society is greatly enhanced by their integration with normative students from a young age. While full-time integration is known to increase students' stress levels and lower self-esteem, a sequestered, non-integrated framework jeopardizes normal development and behavior. The Israeli system offers finite possibilities for students with learning disabilities by funding special education schools that serve children with specific physical and/or cognitive conditions – i.e. blindness, autism, and mental retardation. However, these facilities are unsuitable for non-physically handicapped children with composite learning impairments. Moreover, special education students attending normative schools are not given any government aid.
■    WHERE - The Location
Moshav Beit Oved, Gan Rave Regional Council, Israel
 ■ How  -Program Goals and Description
Bateva (‘learning naturally and independently’), an Israeli nonprofit, was founded in 2009, after the Ministry of Education recognized the need for a school offering this type and range of activities and interventions. The school provides a range of educational and therapeutic services for children and youth diagnosed with complex learning disabilities and functions according to an official pedagogic curriculum under Ministry supervision. Bateva is an integrative school for special education, unique in its rural surroundings and the ambience it creates as well as in its academic curriculum. The school focuses on educating toward functional independence, preparing its students for independent living by the age of 21, and offering instruction in the physical and social sciences and the humanities. A unique and very significant part of its program involves integrating with students at school nearby at their location as well as hosting that school at Bateva. The Bateva School is supported by the Ministry of Education and private donors. The De Kalo family, whose daughter is one of Bateva’s students, founded the school and has been the principal supporter of the institution. Bateva’s Board of Directors includes professionals well-versed in management and education, as well as legal, financial, and business professionals. The school’s professional staff has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of special education.

The primary goals are as follows:
➢    Bateva prepares its students for integration into the community from an early age. The integration model is mutual, in that other schools and communities come to integrate at Bateva as well.
➢    Students with special needs are exposed to normative behaviors and are given the opportunity to expand their social repertoire, so that they can become part of a community. Non-disabled students learn to understand and accept others who may be different.
➢    Shared social and academic activities between youngsters with and without disabilities allows for the development of a common ground for dialogue and genuine peer friendships through educational and recreational activities.
➢    Bateva cultivates students who know how to give and how to receive.

At Bateva, along with a full curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education, there is a unique educational framework to support student independence and productivity by balancing personalized education plans with customized integration programs. To realize these goals, Bateva has experience partnering with other institutions and encouraging socially oriented and community-related activities:
➢    Gan Raveh School – A normal state school located nearby with a tradition of engaging in integration activities. The school places the Bateva children in a regular classroom and includes them at ceremonies and on day trips. The administration of Gan-Raveh regards the integration of special-needs students as an opportunity to educate their own students to become better human beings, supportive and accepting citizens who understand human diversity. Bateva students benefit equally, if not more, from the emotional empowerment they receive by attending normal classes as peers in the pre-determined subject areas in which they excel.
➢    Computerization and Animation Track – Computer studies are taught from first grade on. We see this course of study as a bridge for the integration of our students into society through social networking, email, familiarity with various internet programs and sites, and learning work skills for an office environment.
➢    Ayanot Youth Village – Bateva students are integrated into the youth village activities in preparation for independent life and the option of supervised mentoring by the youth village students. They participate in agricultural activities, taking care of animals (a petting zoo and miniature horses) and also follow the chain of food production and other products such as aromatic soaps, spending time in an educational kitchen, a laboratory, a recording studio, and a performance hall. Most important, the Bateva students are able to interact with ‘regular’ youth around neutral topics.
➢    Contributing to the Community – Bateva emphasizes contributing to the community, and has “adopted” MAAS (a department of a Social Services–sponsored vocational program for developmentally disabled adults) participants, helping them with various tasks and keeping them company.
➢    Communal Involvement – Bateva is involved with its surroundings; our doors are open to the local community and nearby schools, and together we share experiences and study.
➢    Scouts – Scouts lead a range of social, heritage-based, and field activities once a week.
➢    Retiree Activities –Older Bateva students teach retirees computer skills in a unique program that has been recognized by the Ministry of Education with an award for the intergenerational relationship.
➢    Recognition and Awards:
➢    In 2011, the Ministry of Education recognized the Gan Rave Regional council with a prize for hosting the Bateva School’s model integration program.
➢    The Ministry of Education has granted awards and certificates for the Bateva students’ computer and animation projects and has as well showcased the computer skills products on their website.
➢    The highest award granted to scouts was given to counselors running Bateva - based activities during the day, and integrating the students into mainstream Scouts activities.
■ Distinguishing Factors
Bateva’s framework is designed to capitalize on the advantages of a special education school with its professional staff and curriculum coupled with individual and group mainstreaming experiences. The school’s continuing development and growth is evident with every school year. No other institution in Israel uses this unique model, so Bateva has been the subject of studies by the special education department at the Achva Academic College, recognized by the ministries of education and social services including a visit by Minister of Welfare and Social services Mr. Isaac Herzog who studied the life skills and mainstreaming models developed by Bateva. The minister recognized the contribution of this model not only to the individual student and its family but to Israeli society at large as the independence and productivity of Bateva’s graduates will decrease the economic burden on their community and will enhance their integration. The Bateva school pioneering concept was described in several professional journals.
At Bateva, along with a full curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education, a unique educational framework exists to support student independence and productivity by balancing personalized education plans with customized integration programs. To realize these goals, Bateva has partnered with Gan Raveh School to facilitate individually-tailored mainstreaming classes which reinforce student success, while offering extra support in areas of scholastic or social weakness at home at Bateva School
The 2015-2016 Bateva School Mainstreaming Program will focus on mainstreaming through co-education with the neighboring Gan Raveh School. This program is currently completing its 7th year, and program assessments have underlined the need for additional teaching staff and equipment to achieve program goals for the coming school year. The actualization of this project will go far towards realizing the vision of Bateva’s guiding pillars of success: academics, social and community integration, emotional strength and independence.
The principles of our mainstreaming program are as follows: Mutual acquaintance with a diverse range of populations in the community, so as to enable the students to encounter pupils of normative schools, youth movements, pensioners, vulnerable populations and more; Reciprocity in the school’s relationship with the community, and developing the students’ ability to both give and receive. Our students serve as mentors of people with developmental disabilities and assist in their rehabilitative work. They take part in academic and enrichment activities conducted by nearby normative schools, and invite them to Bateva for activities on holidays, environmental issues and more; and care and preservation of the physical environment, by carrying out activity in cooperation with the Jewish National Fund for cleaning and rehabilitating forests, as well as gardening and animal care in the children’s immediate surroundings.
Personal Story


“It was supposed to have been a happy day, but it turned into a catastrophe. I arrived at my son’s classroom for what was to have been his birthday celebration, but instead, it was utter chaos. The kids were hitting each other, and my son, a first grader, was hiding alone under the table, eating the birthday cake I had baked for him.  In those few moments I understood that I must save him by getting him out of that system. When he had entered a regular school for first grade, he was placed in a classroom for children with special difficulties. This was detrimental to his emotional state, as he ceased from communicating with adults and children alike.  Three years ago, he was transferred to the Bateva School, where his self confidence increased dramatically, his social skills and his scholastic achievements vastly improved. “(Daniella, a mother of a 10 year-old, diagnosed with a learning disability and developmental delays at an early age.)
Daniella’s son continues to progress educationally and socially thanks to Bateva’s unique model of community integration, and its comprehensive educational and therapeutic services. These are designed to prepare its students for independent and community-based life.