Advice for starting a new school?

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Post  Wed, Nov 06 2019, 9:26 am
I'm strongly considering opening a school in my community that will meet my child's needs as well as other kids in the community who aren't strong academically yet but are good kids. I have an education background and Rabbonim and mechanchim have encouraged me when I've asked what they think. I'm not rich at all, and don't have connections so al pi derech hateva, it would be hard, but I strongly believe that the Ribono shel Olam put me here to create a good solution for His children that are hurting so much in our large OOT community's current system. I'd appreciate any advice or anecdotes from people who've seen schools succeed or ch'v fail, so I can learn what to do and what not to do. Thank you so much!
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Post  Wed, Nov 06 2019, 10:13 am
Best of luck!! I would send my DD to a school like this. My only advice would be to make sure to weed out behavior problems so you don’t get a reputation of being a school for “bad kids.”
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Post  Wed, Nov 06 2019, 10:21 am
I reiterate the make sure it doesn't become for children with behavioral problems.

Also make sure you have the same standards of acceptance regardless who the child is. Meaning if your friend's child has behavior issues don't accept the kid. Your admissions policy should be based on the child and not what you think of the parents.
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Post  Wed, Nov 06 2019, 10:26 am
I suggest looking for new schools of all kinds and talking to the founders. They will have useful advice, even if they opened a completely different kind of school in a different community. You might want to start with your local board of education. If you are going to affiliate with a larger organization, like Torah Umesorah, you may want to reach out to them too.

My only advice is not to open the school too quickly. It may take a few years from conception to opening day, but that's better than being underfunded and underprepared. You'll be the new game in town, and parents will be hesitant to send, so you really need to have everything in place.

Good luck!
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Post  Wed, Nov 06 2019, 10:51 am
Another idea I just had for you. If you are in a relatively small community and there are just a few children who are in need of this, instead of opening a totally new school try working with the current school and open a separate track for these students. You could then utilize the currents schools facilities, the initial outlay of funds would be much lower.
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Post  Wed, Nov 06 2019, 9:34 pm
I did it.

Some things to keep in mind.
Educational background is great, but you really need to be ready to do a lot administrative stuff.
Get familiar with your school district, and the resources they can provide.
Be ready to deal with all kinds of people.
Have a plan! A real plan! A financial plan and a financial backup plan. Be ready to put your last dollar into it. Or find someone who is!

Be sure you really believe in your cause, cuz if you don't, you'll give up. And you can't do that to the pple who entrusted their kids with you.

Be ready to stress, cry, and run yourself ragged, but also smile, and shep nachas beyond belief!
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