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Forum -> Chinuch, Education & Schooling
Which school?



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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 9:55 am
We live in a small community that has two schools. Both of them have pros and cons and we’re really undecided where to send our daughter. I’m obviously not going to make a decision based on imamother, but I’d like to hear opinions from others. Please respond if you’d choose school A or B.

School A
Pros: very academically focused, they put a lot of effort building their curriculum. I also really like their hashkafa. Larger school and more popular, more easily accepted into camps and more with it.
Cons: not many extra curricular activities. Large school also means it’s harder to shine. Very materialistic.

School B
Pros: small school, easier to focus on each student (I don’t know if they actually do focus more). Lots of extra curricular where they really give each student an opportunity to shine. Less materialistic, more out-of-town feel.
Cons: not very academic. Small school and lesser known, so harder to get into camps and high schools. I don’t love their hashkafa.
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giftedmom




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 9:56 am
It really depends on your child
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amother
Lightcoral


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 9:57 am
I'd choose B. I cannot stand academic pressure for girls. Very often, in my experience, the students of the schools with a high academic level, have poor middos.
And of course, it depends on the child.
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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 9:59 am
giftedmom wrote:
It really depends on your child


You’re right.
Our daughter is very bright and likes to learn. Extremely intelligent. She’s very shy and introverted and has a hard time speaking up for herself.
Which is why this decision is so hard. On one hand, I feel like she can definitely benefit from a very academically focused school, with a lot of learning resources. But on the other, maybe she needs a place where she will have the opportunity to shine without being the loudest girl in the class.
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giftedmom




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 10:01 am
amother OP wrote:
You’re right.
Our daughter is very bright and likes to learn. Extremely intelligent. She’s very shy and introverted and has a hard time speaking up for herself.
Which is why this decision is so hard. On one hand, I feel like she can definitely benefit from a very academically focused school, with a lot of learning resources. But on the other, maybe she needs a place where she will have the opportunity to shine without being the loudest girl in the class.

I’d personally go with A. Besides for the academic part, being part of a more well-known institution can give her a leg up later on if she’s shy. It can also give her the push she needs to speak up for herself.
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amother
Lightcoral


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 10:04 am
giftedmom wrote:
I’d personally go with A. Besides for the academic part, being part of a more well-known institution can give her a leg up later on if she’s shy. It can also give her the push she needs to speak up for herself.


Or it can also cause her to lose her voice completely and be in the sidelines throughout all her school years. There's a big chance of that happening in a large school. She might get lost in the crowds.
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DrMom




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 10:14 am
I'd go with A. You can always find her extra-curricular activities outside of the school framework.
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amother
Fern


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 10:16 am
Academic pressure is never worth it. My kids are above average top of their classes. I had them in an academic school and while they did well they were miserable. I switched them to a small warm school that is focused on the kid, and while some classes are a bit easy for them they are thriving and doing so well emotionally. No one needs academic pressure.
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amother
Fern


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 10:17 am
amother OP wrote:
You’re right.
Our daughter is very bright and likes to learn. Extremely intelligent. She’s very shy and introverted and has a hard time speaking up for herself.
Which is why this decision is so hard. On one hand, I feel like she can definitely benefit from a very academically focused school, with a lot of learning resources. But on the other, maybe she needs a place where she will have the opportunity to shine without being the loudest girl in the class.


She’s like my kids, I would choose the non academic school 100%.
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amother
Black


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 10:18 am
Are there opportunities for extra curriculars outside of school in your area? You could send her to dance or music or art or swimming or gymnastics or whatever outside of school, so I don’t see that as much of a factor
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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 10:19 am
amother Fern wrote:
She’s like my kids, I would choose the non academic school 100%.


Won’t she feel bored and unchallenged? She’s extremely bright. She’s in a kiddie group now and her morah says she’s bored because she knows everything already.
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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 10:21 am
amother Black wrote:
Are there opportunities for extra curriculars outside of school in your area? You could send her to dance or music or art or swimming or gymnastics or whatever outside of school, so I don’t see that as much of a factor


Yes, there are Sunday clubs she can go to. However, because she’s so introverted, I’m afraid maybe she won’t even be interested to try it, even though I’m sure she would enjoy it. If it’s a school project she will be involved even if she didn’t go out of her comfort zone.
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amother
Fern


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 10:24 am
amother OP wrote:
Won’t she feel bored and unchallenged? She’s extremely bright. She’s in a kiddie group now and her morah says she’s bored because she knows everything already.


I found my kids were bored as toddlers but there is enough in any regular school to keep them occupied. In math class one kid gets extra sheets to do, another is allowed to read harder books than the class… you can do all that in a regular classroom. Academic elementary schools are just busy work and pressure. Completely not necessary. Especially a kid that will thrive in a smaller and warmer environment.
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amother
Blushpink


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 11:51 am
I would make my decision based on the Haskafa of the school. You don’t want to either the only parent who doesn’t allow a phone, or the one who is resentful of the restrictions and has a “hidden” one.

(Same to be said about TV/Style or dressed….)
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dena613




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 11:57 am
I would choose A
Hashkafa is very important. What is the difference in hashkafa? If B is more to the left of your family I would definitely not start out there.

Why do kids from B have a harder time getting into camp and high school? Is that your assumption or based on reality? If it's true that's very concerning. Find out why.

Also, you mention that B is smaller but you don't even know if that means the kids get more attention.
Find out.

Speak to parents in both schools.
Ask for the mailos AND CHISRONOS of both.

What may be a mailah forv them may be a mailah for you too... Or a chisaron.
And vice versa with the Chisronos.

More academic and bigger might also mean having resources to work with gifted or shy students.
Small schools don't tend to have resources for different student needs.
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amother
DarkMagenta


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 12:03 pm
A hands down.

Hashkafa comes first that she and your family fit in socially and religiously.

The primary experience in school is social. If child is socially happy, school tends to be a good experience.

Secondly, if your family and dd are the academic type, she belongs in the appropriate place for that.

She doesn't need to be loudest, you make sure she gets friends by facilitating those opportunities outside of school.

Materialism is more taught by the home than by the school although it does influence somewhat but if you live in that neighborhood, so be it, you get some of that anyway.
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amother
Mintgreen


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 12:54 pm
Where will she have the nicer peer group? You can correct any flaw in your child's schooling except for negative peer pressure.
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amother
Papaya


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 8:37 pm
My kid isn't at a Jewish school --- she has pretty intense special needs---- at one point I thought she might be ready to step away from the intervention specialist support public school provides and try what a Jewish school can offer with just a 1:1 aide and a very different type of intervention. I met with one of the schools---- our city has three frum schools and I only met with one--- the one where the middos are above and beyond the middos at the other two schools. Not to say there aren't wonderful kids at the other schools, but the overall vibe is one of support and inclusion. Ultimately I didn't send there but for me it was a clear choice--- middos was much more important to me than hashkafa. We're MO (and daven in a Yeshivish shul and husband wears a black hat and etc--- so Soleveitchik MO), but this school is MO with a CAPITAL M and our hashkafa best meets with another school but based on middos alone I wasn't willing to consider that school.

I'm also not a fan of schools with no extra curricular opportunities. My son is at a school like that and it creates no sense of community with the families. I never have a reason to be at his school---- they don't even have a parent group of any type.

If middos are similar at both schools----- School B sounds best to me *IF* my child is not headed towards college. If you're modern and pro-college, A is more of a consideration.
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amother
Chicory


 

Post Mon, Mar 20 2023, 9:24 pm
I would choose A.

I don't think you can make up for weak curriculum and while in theory a small school means more opportunity to stand out, I haven't found that it works so simply in practice. There's also fewer opportunities to do so and when there's only a small number of children, it doesn't have the same significance.

With a bigger school (and even then, few Jewish schools are really that large) what matters is that the teachers and administration know the students.

I have a very introverted child and in some ways it was easier to get her to do activities outside of school. I had to be proactive and find the right fit for her. She wasn't going to do things 'just because', regardless of who organized them.
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