The ORT de Gunzburg School No 550 in St Petersburg is a state Jewish school which forms part of the ORT Russia schools network – the school is a collaborative project between the local educational authorities of St Petersburg, ORT and the Israeli Ministry of Education. The school was founded in 1993 and has since become widely recognized as one of the best schools in Russia.
Boasting outstanding academic results, the school provides an excellent level of education in conjunction with a Jewish curriculum including topics such as Hebrew, Jewish Traditions and Jewish History. Teachers of Jewish studies subjects also organize extracurricular Jewish culture and heritage activities. There are currently four hundred and twenty students aged between seven and seventeen years enrolled at the ORT de Gunzburg School No 550, and over the past few years the school has been heavily oversubscribed. Every year, one hundred per cent of ORT de Gunzburg School No 550 students go on to higer education.
ORT has invested millions of dollars into the school since its foundation, and it is with the support of major donor and World ORT President Dr Jean de Gunzburg, a descendant of ORT founder Baron Horace Gunzburg, that the school has achieved such extraordinary success. Alongside financial investment, ORT has provided technical, methodological and pedagogical support to the school and its teaching staff, with a particular focus on the development of technology education and ICT facilities including mobile computer classrooms, interactive whiteboards, and technology and art laboratories, as well as an integrated school ICT environment. All teachers have access to extensive training, resources and support in order to maximize the benefits of new technologies in education.
The school has been recognized in Russia and internationally as an excellent educational establishment. In 2009 the ORT de Gunzburg School No 550 received two great accolades, affirming its place as a leading school.
In June 2009, the school was one of only fifty schools throughout the whole of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, to win a grant from Hewlett-Packard. The grant is designed to help the school improve student achievement through the innovative use of technology.
Later in the year, ORT de Gunzburg School No 550 was the only school in Russia, and one of only thirty five of the best schools in the world, to be chosen by Microsoft as a ‘Pathfinder School’. ORT de Gunzburg School No 550 was selected because it demonstrated strong school leadership with a proven record of innovation and successful change implementation.
International recognition for the achievements of ORT de Gunzburg School No 550 affirms its status as an exemplary school. As not only an excellent school - but particularly an excellent Jewish school - ORT de Gunzburg School No 550 has become a leader within the ORT Jewish schools network and the entire Russian educational system. ORT Russia and World ORT are both extremely proud that such a highly regarded school is located in St Petersburg, where ORT was first founded 130 years ago.