Motivated students, dedicated teachers and superb facilities put ORT Maurice Grynfogel at the top of Haute-Garonne’s 50 high schools, says principal.
In Baccalauréat results just published, the ORT school enjoyed a 100 per cent success rate with 22 of its candidates passing the matriculation exam with honours much to the excitement of the media – the story was published in three national online French magazines.
But the astonishing performance did not come as a surprise to happy principal Rene Bendavid.
“We always have good results,” he said. “We’ve been among the top five for years. Most of our courses get 100 per cent success rate, even in further education programmes.”
Mr Bendavid has overseen enormous changes at ORT Toulouse in his 35 years (including 20 years as principal) there.
Determination and ambition, keys to success
Founded in 1962 as a temporary centre to give Jewish immigrants from North Africa the skills they needed to find work and integrate into French society, the school has evolved into a thriving secondary school offering post-Baccalauréat diplomas and degrees as well as vocational training.
“We want to give the students the skills they need to succeed in the society in which they will be living,” Mr Bendavid said. “Which is why we plan to launch an undergraduate programme in wealth management and pensions within five years.”
Underpinning the school’s growth is Mr Bendavid’s determination to provide a comfortable and secure environment for all. Misbehaviour is not tolerated and there has been massive investment in modernising facilities.
“Before, the campus was in really bad condition and didn’t offer the students the environment they deserved. Now we have a campus with state-of-the-art facilities and we are proud of it,” he said.
“Our job is to make better students”
But it takes more than excellent buildings to make a good school. Mr Bendavid makes a point of ensuring that both students and teachers fit the ORT ethos:
“I make a point of meeting prospective students and their families. And I focus more on teachers’ remarks than on the marks themselves. What matters to me and to our pedagogical team is that our students are well educated and motivated. If a student didn’t attain the best result in his former school, that’s not a problem – it’s our job to make them better students, to elevate them. But first they need to ‘know how to be’ before they can ‘know how’.”
He is similarly rigorous in his choice of educators.
“We want teachers who share the same values as ORT, who share our goals. I expect our teachers to be ambitious about the school’s continued development.”