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What to ask at a new school interview?

 
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amother




OP


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 7:23 am
We are registering my DD for 1st grade.
I usually go blank in these situations and forget to find out the necessary details. What are important questions to ask so that we can be well informed?
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nchr




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 10:06 am
Is this about the school or just this grade.. for the grade:
How many children will be in her class.
What they are doing to learn this year and what to expect of them?
Any school policies different than the norm.
Will there be a PTA?
Ask to see her classroom.
Ask how much homework they expect her to have.
Is there a bullying policy.
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 10:11 am
Thank you for this thread, I don't know why I didn't think to ask here because I am looking into new schools and feel like an idiot going speechless when it's my turn to ask questions.
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dankbar




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 11:33 am
It for the school to ask you questions & see if they want to accept you. Make sure to answer whatever they want to hear if you want to get accepted. It's not for other way around lol
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BatyaEsther




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 11:57 am
dankbar wrote:
It for the school to ask you questions & see if they want to accept you. Make sure to answer whatever they want to hear if you want to get accepted. It's not for other way around lol

Yes, that is true, BUT do you want to be in a place that doesn't want the real you? Where you need to pretend to be someone that you are not?
Just as on a shidduch date, you would want to present with your best foot forward, and you want to make a great impression. However only saying what the other person wants to hear and not being your authentic self, and not obtaining important information about the other person can be detrimental in the long run. It might get you engaged quickly, but will you really be happy in the marriage?!?
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Squishy




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 12:03 pm
BatyaEsther wrote:
Yes, that is true, BUT do you want to be in a place that doesn't want the real you? Where you need to pretend to be someone that you are not?
Just as on a shidduch date, you would want to present with your best foot forward, and you want to make a great impression. However only saying what the other person wants to hear and not being your authentic self, and not obtaining important information about the other person can be detrimental in the long run. It might get you engaged quickly, but will you really be happy in the marriage?!?


Ideally, you are correct, but if you are in a place that has way more students than spots, take the spot, and transfer later if possible.

I have lived in Monsey long enough to know many families that couldn't get placed and were without schools for months and in one case years.
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dankbar




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 12:08 pm
unfortunately with the school situation you don't get to choose, you go where you are accepted
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 12:10 pm
dankbar wrote:
It for the school to ask you questions & see if they want to accept you. Make sure to answer whatever they want to hear if you want to get accepted. It's not for other way around lol

I don't think so. I also think that hearing your questions can help them judge if you're the right fit. Like a job interview - they always ask if you have any questions. If you have none, you look shallow and underprepared. If your first question at a first interview is about benefits and vacation days, you're basically off the list. Anyway at the one school I visited they did not ask many questions and instead asked what questions I had, and I felt very foolish not having any ready. Some I had asked over the phone, some I asked other parents in the neighborhood, and some I only thought of later.
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dankbar




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 12:14 pm
I know someone who moved out to Monsey & has her child home for 2 yrs already because she was adamant that her daughter go to the one school she chose to send to, but girl was not accepted. Instead of sending het to a different school that might take her, she is sitting home
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SixOfWands




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 12:15 pm
dankbar wrote:
unfortunately with the school situation you don't get to choose, you go where you are accepted


And that's how people wind up in these horrible situations that we read about here. They let the schools bully them and act like they're Hashem and that we should be grateful just to allow them to accept our money. OP shouldn't accept that. No one should. (And in most communities, its not like that.)

NCHR posed good questions. I'd want to know what the school day is like for first grade, and how it changes over the years. In particular, I'd want to know if there is enough time for the kids to move -- recess, physical education, whatever. If there are any special rules you should know about. And whether there is anything in particular that your DD should know before first grade -- some schools want kids to be able to read, others are OK if they child just knows how to write her name. But you don't want a nasty surprise on Day 1.
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 12:16 pm
dankbar wrote:
I know someone who moved out to Monsey & has her child home for 2 yrs already because she was adamant that her daughter go to the one school she chose to send to, but girl was not accepted. Instead of sending het to a different school that might take her, she is sitting home

That sounds like a different type of problem. I'm sure Monsey has options. BTW homeschooling is also a valid choice.
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Squishy




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 12:38 pm
dankbar wrote:
I know someone who moved out to Monsey & has her child home for 2 yrs already because she was adamant that her daughter go to the one school she chose to send to, but girl was not accepted. Instead of sending het to a different school that might take her, she is sitting home


I know of family that did the same thing. My Rabbi advised her to get the kids into school and get a good name and then try again. She kept the kids home for years and got a crazy name because she had a home busines and ther kids are wild.
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STMommy




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 12:54 pm
back to your question OP - ask if the school has a health office/school nurse. My DD's school doesn't and we've gotten into some dicey situations with the main office secretaries pretending they're nurses.

I would ask their policies on technology use.

I would also ask how they weave middos/social emotional learning into the curriculum and school day.

Also, if you care - find out what they teach/hold as far as medinat Yisrael.
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amother




OP


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 1:45 pm
To answer those who say that we need to simply cooperate and say all the right things, firstly I am sorry to hear that this is what chinuch has come to. We have a few options for our child and we are choosing a school based on reviews and what we feel is a right fit for us and our child.

An interview- whether for a job or otherwise, is in fact for both parties to assess if it is a right fit. I want to utilize this meeting to ask the right questions so that I can make that assessment!
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amother




Cerulean


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 1:55 pm
OP I agree with you! Ask away!

I know there is a lot of ridiculousness in the school acceptance procedures. But there are also people behind all the nonsense. If you come in respectfully and ask questions that indicate interest in how the school operates (interest! not judgement!) then I can't see how it can harm you. Most people like to talk about themselves, their jobs, their decisions and why they think they are a good idea!
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Squishy




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 6:30 pm
SixOfWands wrote:
And that's how people wind up in these horrible situations that we read about here. They let the schools bully them and act like they're Hashem and that we should be grateful just to allow them to accept our money. OP shouldn't accept that. No one should. (And in most communities, its not like that.)

NCHR posed good questions. I'd want to know what the school day is like for first grade, and how it changes over the years. In particular, I'd want to know if there is enough time for the kids to move -- recess, physical education, whatever. If there are any special rules you should know about. And whether there is anything in particular that your DD should know before first grade -- some schools want kids to be able to read, others are OK if they child just knows how to write her name. But you don't want a nasty surprise on Day 1.


It depends on the market. In theory I agree with you. In practice those that have financial means and/or the right Rabbi aren't as vulnerable as others. It seems that as fast as they are opening up schools, the schools are turning down people in Monsey. I know one Rabbi, with a large hassidish, following who had to put all 6 kids in different schools.

Your suggested questions are innocuous. In theroy, what I would really would want to know is the education and experience of the teachers. I want to know how accessible administration is. What is the bullying policy? I would want the syllabus and the standardized scores of last year's students.
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