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giselle




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 10:46 am
My apologies if this was already posted, but I didn’t see it anywhere. I know many of these parents personally. I don’t cry easily. My heart truly breaks for them.

Letter From An Ateres Tziporah Parent
September 11, 2019

Dear Lakewood,

It is approximately 9 weeks since we received the letter that our school, Ateres Tziporah was closing. It is now approximately 1 week into the school year.

The new school, Bais Yaakov of Ocean County looks like it will open at some point. However, at this time it is no more than a pipe dream. The much-hyped administrator removed himself from the situation. There is currently no administrator, no menaheles, no building, and no timeline.

The situation is as terrible as you might imagine. We watch girls in their school uniforms get on busses by every morning while my daughter has nowhere to go. In the beginning, she asked me every 15 minutes if we’ve heard back from any schools. She’s stopped asking me. She cries herself to sleep every night while I soothe her. No one is there to soothe me as I soak my pillow later. All she wants to know is what color her uniform is going to be, and if I think they will start by Monday.

I have done everything humanly possible to try and get my daughter placed. I have begged, I have grovelled and I have humiliated myself. I have called in every favor that I could. However, at this point, I’ve given up. There is no one left to call or email. There is no one left to grovel in front of. Fathers, grown men are breaking down over this. And there is no end in sight.

We are stuck in an awful catch-22. There is no timeline for this new school, however knowing what we know, there is no logical way that it can open before Succos. On the other side, the schools refuse to budge. There are only about 120 girls without schools. They can easily be absorbed by other schools, but that is not happening.

I blame the callous school administrators and principals who will not budge. They will not agree to an interview. How they can sleep at night, on the tears of children, boggles my mind.

Keeping our children busy is impossible. There is no structure. Most of us are 2 working parent homes. It is causing incredible stress. While everyone has seemingly moved on from us as yesterday’s news, we’ve literally begun the battle for our daughter’s souls. It is at times an hour-by-hour battle and it is real. This is not hyperbole.

A while back there was a takanah from the BMG Roshei yeshiva which is still in place. The takanah was that no school opens until all girls are placed. For some reason that was not enforced. This travesty could be solved in 2 days if all schools were forced to close until each beautiful and vulnerable neshama had a school to call their own.

As a father, I cannot describe the utter heartbreak and hopelessness that has become our lives. But somehow, aside from some dedicated askanim, the town has moved on. So as you go about your day-to-day lives and prepare for the Yom hadin, please understand in no uncertain terms, this is on you Lakewood.

Sincerely,
An Ateres Tziporah parent
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amother




Puce


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 10:59 am
We had a similar situation a few years back - we felt no one cared - there are just no words.
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amother




Silver


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 11:07 am
The Rabannim of lakewood need to write a letter telling all girls to stay home from school in solidarity.
When a solution is made, they can all go back.

Im being serious.
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amother




Wheat


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 11:17 am
That is heartbreaking.

I would keep my daughter home if it was a community-wide effort, but it's a bit unfair to say that this is "on Lakewood."

Who is it on?

There is virtually nothing I can do, personally. We actually did help out a lot, in every way that we could, when someone we knew didn't get their daughter into school last year. Short of keeping my daughter home in protest (which would only work if *everyone* did it, and I would gladly participate), my hands are tied.

My DD's school absorbed a lot of AT girls. She has a few in her class, and now her classroom is stuffed to capacity. Having 30+ girls in a second-grade classroom is not a feasible option, I'm already worried about her class of almost 30. Her school opened an entire new class in one of the grades to accommodate AT girls, and it's a newer school, so they can't take any of the older girls.

What else can I do? If there is anything concrete I can do to help, I will.
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LovesHashem




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 11:26 am
I remember being out of school for a few months too for not being accepted anywhere.
It's a horrible feeling Sad
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amother




Floralwhite


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 11:29 am
amother [ Wheat ] wrote:
That is heartbreaking.

I would keep my daughter home if it was a community-wide effort, but it's a bit unfair to say that this is "on Lakewood."

Who is it on?

There is virtually nothing I can do, personally. We actually did help out a lot, in every way that we could, when someone we knew didn't get their daughter into school last year. Short of keeping my daughter home in protest (which would only work if *everyone* did it, and I would gladly participate), my hands are tied.

My DD's school absorbed a lot of AT girls. She has a few in her class, and now her classroom is stuffed to capacity. Having 30+ girls in a second-grade classroom is not a feasible option, I'm already worried about her class of almost 30. Her school opened an entire new class in one of the grades to accommodate AT girls, and it's a newer school, so they can't take any of the older girls.

What else can I do? If there is anything concrete I can do to help, I will.


I have no skin in the game, but why is it unfair. If the community bands together and refuses any school to be opened, there would be some drastic actions and plenty of brainstorming occurring. If 99% are the students are in class, there is no urgency for immediate action.

If 120 kids are crying themselves to sleep every night, and the community moves on with not much more than a sigh and some empathetic comments, why aren't they partly to blame?
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amother




Taupe


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 11:38 am
giselle wrote:


Letter From An Ateres Tziporah Parent
September 11, 2019

Dear Lakewood,

snip

There are only about 120 girls without schools. They can easily be absorbed by other schools, but that is not happening.

I blame the callous school administrators and principals who will not budge. They will not agree to an interview. How they can sleep at night, on the tears of children, boggles my mind.

snip

Sincerely,
An Ateres Tziporah parent


No. They can not easily be absorbed by other schools in Lakewood.

I went through the same thing and remain very burned by the Lakewood school system. Believe me I know what it is like to cry over your child out of school with no resolution in sight.

I still don't think it is all the fault of callous school administrators and principals who will not budge.
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chestnut




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 11:51 am
Heartbreaking.
Didn't 3 parents open a temp school, though, in some shul? I saw it in the news yesterday... Maybe it's the solution until this new school opens?
WHY didn't RY declare no school could open until each girl placed?? At least temporarily, until the new school opens? No room? Move the desk together in one row, without spaces. It's doable for a few months. And explain to all kids why - cause we don't let other Neshamos suffer. It'll teach everyone much more than often useless lip service lessons about ahavas yisroel
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amother




Wheat


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 12:12 pm
amother [ Floralwhite ] wrote:
I have no skin in the game, but why is it unfair. If the community bands together and refuses any school to be opened, there would be some drastic actions and plenty of brainstorming occurring. If 99% are the students are in class, there is no urgency for immediate action.

If 120 kids are crying themselves to sleep every night, and the community moves on with not much more than a sigh and some empathetic comments, why aren't they partly to blame?


Who is "the community" here? I can try to get my neighbors on board, and other parents in my daughters' school, but there are thousands of other parents with whom I have absolutely no connection.

Logically, what can I do?

I don't want to come across as callous, I know people whose kids are not in school and I feel terrible for them. And there are some schools that are callous and refuse to take AT girls. But my daughter's school is literally full to capacity (they'll probably need a new building or trailers next year, and nobody wants their kid in a trailer, and new buildings are expensive) - many schools literally do not have an extra inch of space.

So now what?
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flowerpower




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 12:16 pm
My friends 8 year old goes to work with her mother every day. This is sad!
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amother




Lawngreen


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 12:43 pm
chestnut wrote:
Heartbreaking.
Didn't 3 parents open a temp school, though, in some shul? I saw it in the news yesterday... Maybe it's the solution until this new school opens?
WHY didn't RY declare no school could open until each girl placed?? At least temporarily, until the new school opens? No room? Move the desk together in one row, without spaces. It's doable for a few months. And explain to all kids why - cause we don't let other Neshamos suffer. It'll teach everyone much more than often useless lip service lessons about ahavas yisroel


Sounds nice and all, but safety comes first
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DVOM




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 12:55 pm
I confess that with the business of the start of the school year, the fact that AT girls are still at home was not at the forefront of my mind. Whoever the author is, I owe him thanks for bringing it back to my attention.

Practically speaking, what can be done? I'd like to help. I have no daughters, only sons, but I sympathize, deeply. I remember what it felt like to try to get my oldest into school. I baked cake, cookies, brownies each week and my husband and I hand-delivered them to the school principal of the school we thought would be a good match for our kid... We did not even get the acknowledgment of a rejection letter. We were simply ignored. Our son was young enough that the process went right over his head, but I shudder to think how I would explain not having a school to my boys at their current ages.

What if all elementary school aged children stayed home in protest, boys and girls? I would happily keep my boys home. I doubt it would take more than a day or two with that sort of communal pressure to get schools to take the girls who are stuck. How could we go about organizing this? Are there any rabbanim who we could get on board?
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giselle




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:29 pm
DVOM wrote:
I confess that with the business of the start of the school year, the fact that AT girls are still at home was not at the forefront of my mind. Whoever the author is, I owe him thanks for bringing it back to my attention.

Practically speaking, what can be done? I'd like to help. I have no daughters, only sons, but I sympathize, deeply. I remember what it felt like to try to get my oldest into school. I baked cake, cookies, brownies each week and my husband and I hand-delivered them to the school principal of the school we thought would be a good match for our kid... We did not even get the acknowledgment of a rejection letter. We were simply ignored. Our son was young enough that the process went right over his head, but I shudder to think how I would explain not having a school to my boys at their current ages.

What if all elementary school aged children stayed home in protest, boys and girls? I would happily keep my boys home. I doubt it would take more than a day or two with that sort of communal pressure to get schools to take the girls who are stuck. How could we go about organizing this? Are there any rabbanim who we could get on board?

I feel like if the rabbanim get on board, then it won’t be necessary to keep our kids home, unless the rabbanim don’t have much say, which is a whole other problem.
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amother




Orchid


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:44 pm
amother [ Lawngreen ] wrote:
Sounds nice and all, but safety comes first


Of course.

But there are a total of 120 girls, spread across 8 grades. So about 15 girls per grade. There are also about 15 girls' schools in Lakewood. So if each school took one girl per grade until the new school opens, that would do it.

Are the classrooms really that crowded, that one girl per grade is going to make a difference?
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amother




Floralwhite


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:44 pm
amother [ Wheat ] wrote:
Who is "the community" here? I can try to get my neighbors on board, and other parents in my daughters' school, but there are thousands of other parents with whom I have absolutely no connection.

Logically, what can I do?

I don't want to come across as callous, I know people whose kids are not in school and I feel terrible for them. And there are some schools that are callous and refuse to take AT girls. But my daughter's school is literally full to capacity (they'll probably need a new building or trailers next year, and nobody wants their kid in a trailer, and new buildings are expensive) - many schools literally do not have an extra inch of space.

So now what?


We go back to the original psak that says no school can open their doors until all girls are placed. And once all schools are closed, you pose your question "now what" again. The responses should be fairly different.
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Sebastian




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:44 pm
giselle, they're working to open a new school for them, but it takes time to set things up. Read the thread about the Tom's River Boy's Yeshiva.

They didn't want to bail out AT b/c of issues in the administration that would've had it fail again.
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:50 pm
I wonder what the solution realistically is. My daughters school took in some AT girls . But they certainly can’t take 120. I’m not sure there is space to absorb that number of girls in Lakewood .

Maybe if everyone had known further in advance , a school could’ve hired more teachers etc. my dds class has a few AT girls but the class is already way bigger than it should be. I don’t really want 3 more girls in her class tbh as much as I feel for these girls Z
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giselle




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:54 pm
amother [ Mistyrose ] wrote:
I wonder what the solution realistically is. My daughters school took in some AT girls . But they certainly can’t take 120. I’m not sure there is space to absorb that number of girls in Lakewood .

Maybe if everyone had known further in advance , a school could’ve hired more teachers etc. my dds class has a few AT girls but the class is already way bigger than it should be. I don’t really want 3 more girls in her class tbh as much as I feel for these girls Z

Your daughter’s school is not part of the problem then. If every school did this, they wouldn’t be in this situation.
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chestnut




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:57 pm
amother [ Orchid ] wrote:
Of course.

But there are a total of 120 girls, spread across 8 grades. So about 15 girls per grade. There are also about 15 girls' schools in Lakewood. So if each school took one girl per grade until the new school opens, that would do it.

Are the classrooms really that crowded, that one girl per grade is going to make a difference?

Omg, seriously, it all comes down to roughly 1 girl per school per grade?? For goodness sake, put her at the teacher's desk for a few months!!!!!
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little neshamala




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:58 pm
Arrange for a field trip for all these precious girls to the local movie theatre.
Pose nicely outside, snap a picture, send it to the Rabannim. "Lakewood's bas yisroels have found something else to do all day"
Maybe that will do it
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