The Helping Schools Succeed project to encourage better-quality tuition in three more Regions of the Czech Republic
The Helping Schools Succeed project is expanding into three additional regions. From the beginning of the next school year, the Tomáš Šobr elementary school in Písek (South Bohemian Region), the Křížanská elementary school in Liberec (Liberec Region) and the elementary school in Staňkov (in the Domažlice District, Plzeň Region) will join the program. Since the project’s inception in 2010, approximately 300 teachers and principals from 50 public elementary schools have obtained technical assistance in improving teaching quality, to the benefit of more than 5,000 students. THE KELLNER FAMILY FOUNDATION, a family foundation of Mr. and Mrs. Kellner, finances the Helping Schools Succeed project and donated more than CZK 35 million in grants towards its implementation last year.
The project helps improve the quality of education, encouraging teachers to take an individualized approach to their students. It is based on the conviction that continued educational, material and personnel support can help teachers better identify students’ specific needs and adapt their teaching style accordingly, thus achieving the best pedagogic results. Every year leading educationalists and institutions take part in the program focusing on the development of teachers’ skills.
“Every child deserves the chance of a good education and respect for their individual abilities and skills. This is why our project is intended for public elementary schools willing to learn how to develop every student to their full potential and, in the long term, to share their experience with other schools. Our purpose is to foster positive changes in the Czech education sector,” says Renáta Kellnerová who founded The Kellner Family Foundation together with her husband, Petr Kellner.
Schools involved in the project receive intensive support focused on improving the quality of teaching over at least five years. For example, the Foundation finances teachers’ assistants and school psychologists as well as the purchase of educational tools for both teachers and students. Three days a week, a pedagogic consultant works with teachers, giving them feedback and assisting them when they try out new methods.
“The project has provided us with different perspectives on teaching and opened doors to new educational methods and approaches.
It is really quite unique, in that it gives teachers a great deal of freedom in choosing what they want focus on and at what pace. The key is for them to have the inner drive to improve their teaching so that the project can support them in accomplishing the best educational outcomes for every student in the school”: Bohumil Zmrzlík, the principal of the Mendelova Elementary School in Karviná, one of the schools to participate in the project since its inception in 2010, describes the project.
The schools for the new project were chosen in an intense four-month selection process. A panel of twelve leading education experts chose the schools through a thorough selection process which included full-day visits of the expert team to the nine schools that made it through to the second round. The primary selection criteria included having a clear vision for the school, teachers motivated to get involved in the demanding project, and the qualities of the principal.
The new schools selected will get their first taste of Helping Schools Succeed with a two-day session for their entire teaching staff this August. Teachers will meet their colleagues from the elementary schools that have been participating in the project for the last three to five years. In particular, they will focus on the efficient planning of the pedagogic development of their schools and on taking full advantage of working with teachers’ assistants and educational consultants. Prague’s Kunratice Elementary School will induct the Tomáš Šobr Elementary School in Písek and the Křížanská Elementary School in Liberec. The Zdice Elementary School in the Central Bohemian Region will assist the Staňkov Elementary School.
The Helping Schools Succeed project will involve seven model schools in seven Bohemian and Moravian Regions in the next school year. The Foundation’s goal is to get one model school in every Region of the Czech Republic involved in the project.
Overview of schools participating in the Helping Schools Succeed project
Mendelova Elementary School, Karviná, Moravian-Silesian Region
Kunratice Elementary School, Prague
Zdice Elementary School, Central Bohemian Region
Horka nad Moravou Elementary School and Preschool, Olomouc Region
New schools involved in the project with effect from 2015
The Tomáš Šobr Elementary School and Preschool, Písek, South Bohemian Region
Staňkov Elementary School, Plzeň Region
Křížanská Elementary School, Liberec, Liberec Region
Šromotovo Elementary School and Preschool, Hranice, Olomouc Region
The 2nd Elementary School – Propojení School, Sedlčany, Central Bohemian Region
Dobronín Elementary School and Preschool, Vysočina Region