IASA Israel Arts and Sciences Academy
The IASA way of life is based on a belief that the educational process must develop the general academic skills of each student while empowering him/ her to express his or her uniqueness , choices and talents. At the same time, it also seeks to cultivate social skills, leadership, and the awareness of the importance to contribute to society. This educational path, based on IASA's founders’ vision, represents a beacon - a national and international example of groundbreaking teaching that intends to nurture Israel's next generation of leaders within many different spheres. This harmonic synergy between academic and community life has led to the exceptional achievements of IASA’s students and graduates and so has aided the school to eke out a special niche within the education system. The implementation of the above ideology can be seen in our success rates. Although our school is relatively young, our pupils have shown high achievement in many different fields. We are rated first place in Israel's matriculation tests; we hold the highest number pro rata of service year participants before the army; we have 100% military service rate among our Jewish students; we produce the highest number of academic level research works, and our school, unlike most others, requires pupils to do three years of community service. In this way, they learn not only to take, but to give, too. This success is due to the combination of a highly qualified, dedicated staff (prominent figures in their fields, researchers, active artists etc.) and students blessed with talent and potential. Thus, each student is enabled to make a significant leap in terms of intellect, personal development and maturity.
IASA, Israel Arts and Sciences Academy is situated in the southern outskirts of Jerusalem. It is a unique school, considered, by many, to be the leading high school in Israel for gifted 10th-12th grade pupils as it successfully combines high level studies with a rich social life within a boarding-school. Most of the students in IASA live on the school’s beautiful campus in dormitories. However, the school is also open to a small number of students from Jerusalem, who do not board. IASA was founded in 1990 by the Israeli Center for Excellence through Education in order to serve as a unique school for special students from all over Israel and accepts pupils from major cities and peripheral areas alike. The school is open to students from all Israeli population sectors, secular and religious, Jews, Muslims and Christians and serves as a genuine cultural melting pot for gifted youngsters regardless of their socioeconomic background. The unique admission process enables students from these diverse backgrounds to apply and demonstrate their own personal abilities and talents, within the department to which they apply (Sciences, Visual Arts, Humanistic studies and Music.
Our Art department is intended for gifted and highly motivated students who share an enthusiasm for the arts and a need for self-expression through visual means together with general cultural curiosity and high academic ability. Our students enjoy a continuous experience of personal creation while they acquire professional skills, knowledge and the understanding of the uniqueness of art in the realms of culture and humanities. The practical studies in the department include all traditional techniques in drawing, painting and sculpture and their realization in the modern, contemporary artistic expression. In addition, the students acquire extensive basic knowledge in Photography, Video-art and in inter-disciplinary art forms. The theoretical part of our curriculum includes a profound study and the acquisition of research skills in three parallel tracks – ancient, modern and contemporary art. An integral part of this program is a personal final research work which allows our students to experience a seminar-like level of work.The department's staff consists of highly regarded active artists and art researchers.
In our science department we bring together excellent students and excellent teachers. Our academic goal is to reach deep and uncompromised understanding of the different subjects, and to achieve practical experience in intensive laboratory work. Our unique and original curriculum emphasizes the development of the student's own scientific studying and thinking abilities. We are committed to our student's success in the matriculation tests, although our main interest is knowledge widening and assimilation rather than focusing on the preparation towards the test. We also expose our students to the historic, cultural and ethical aspects of the different science fields. We also encourage independent study which results in numerous research works in various scales. The curriculum is based on a core program of thorough study of the three experimental science fields (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) to which complementary subjects are added, e.g. Computer Sciences and high level Mathematics, and obligatory courses Ethics in Science and The Philosophy of Sciences. In order to create a personal curriculum, the science students may choose from a wide array of numerous optional courses including Astrophysics, Thermodynamics, Brain Research, Quantum Theory and Oceanography and.
A pioneering department, both in its pedagogical goals and the teaching and study methods it incorporate. The main objective of the department is to allow eager and curious students to broaden their education way beyond the normal standards while acquiring very high level of reading and writing skills. During their three years of study at our school, the students learn to develop and master the ability to gain more knowledge by themselves. These skills and abilities enable our students to penetrate through the barriers that divide the different disciplines, and give them access, as young scholars, in the realm of Western Culture. A special program (written by our faculty) serves as the core of the department's curriculum. This program moves on the axis of multiculturalism, the western culture and the Jewish culture. The students deal with constitutive texts of the western culture, from Homer to Freud, through the Mishna, The Talmud, The New Testimony and the Kuran. The Jewish culture receives special emphasis in the program, and is taught not only for itself but for its role in the development of the Western culture. All the stuents in the department write a full fledge research work guided by experts from within the school or from the academy.
Iasa's music department is intended for musically gifted, highly motivated young students. The department's rich curriculum is mainly focused on classical music and is based on the notion of two stages in the general music education: the acquiring of knowledge and professional skills and their implementation in practice in the fields of musical performance, composing and research. This unique curriculum was developed by the department's faculty – composers and instrumentalists – all active musicians, leading figures in the Israeli classical music scene. The studies mainly deals with four central disciplines: the establishment of knowledge (Music history and repertoire from the middle ages to our days); the acquisition of all needed theoretical skills (ear training, harmony and analysis); creativity (composition and orchestration); and performance skills. All these disciplines are harnessed together for one purpose, to enable each student to fulfill his special, personal talent during his stay in our school and to put him in a proper starting point towards a professional future in the music world.