"Torah Day School" vs "Modern-Orthodox"

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Post  Sun, Jun 21 2009, 11:07 am
I am trying to understand the difference between a "Torah Day School" or Yeshiva and a Modern-Orthodox" school. Are there actual definable differences beyond the "rule" (I do not see this to be true, at least "out-of-town) that only "Modern Orthodox" schools are Zionistic, or put equal emphasis on secular studies. Are there differences in adherence to and teaching of halacha? Curriculum? Hashkafah? Tznius? Negiah? Co-ed vs single-sexed? Extra-curriculars? Etc?

I am not asking this to get anybody aggravated - I am in the process of considering high-schools for my daughter and am trying to understand if what I see in some schools is a reflection of their "philosophy" or a lack of enforcement of school rules or a dilution (or over-emphasis) of halacha/hashkafic concerns. Confused

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Post  Sun, Jun 21 2009, 12:33 pm
I wouldn't put everything into the labels because they are just labels.

I would want to check that the more yeshivish school was at least somewhat Zionistic and that the secular subjects were reasonable.

The tznius, negiah issues are more likely to be driven by the student body(there obviously will be school rules but it's how they affected their thinking/and lives). It won't matter if the rules are there if the girls are not following them. So, I would look closely at the kids who are attending the school.
How do they dress outside of school? Do they hang out with boys etc?
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Post  Sun, Jun 21 2009, 2:30 pm
I agree - We have never been much into labels (hate them actually - as all we need is more divisiveness between Yidden), so that is why I find this all the more frustrating.

A local school has changed its "label" and I am not yet sure of the implications. Some of the girls already hang out with boys, are somewhat lax with tzniyus (neither of these condoned by the school - but not enforced either), go out to movies and watch higher than PG rating, and other things that I have difficulty with. I am not sure that these things do not happen in more yeshivish environments as well. I do not begrudge anyone the option of doing what they choose as a family or individual - I am nowhere near perfect and struggle to grow in my Yiddiskeit as well - I am more concerned with the position/philosophy of a school in order to make an informed choice that would be best for the growth of my child. I realize that the situation comes down to the girls in each class and the families involved - but I figured, if a school has a certain shittah, it would generally attract a certain group. I also realize that out-of-town, options are more limited.

I never had any intention of sending my kids away for school (always thought I would move first, but that isn't so easy, now that we are faced with the possible need) so now I am forced to look at options without actually understanding the way things work now-a-days.
I very much appreciate your input,
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Post  Sun, Jun 21 2009, 3:25 pm
I've know many MO schools that emphasize very high secular studies standards as well as girls limudei koddesh (eg girls doing gemara shiur as a core, not as an optional). There is a school in my SIL's town where Day School evolved from Community Day School where the student intake includes good chunk (say 30%) from non-orthodox homes. Though probably not safe to generalize.
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Post  Sun, Jun 21 2009, 5:39 pm
Is Gemorah learning for girls generally acceptable / standard curriculum in a MO school?
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Post  Sun, Jun 21 2009, 9:56 pm
It varies. In my experience, there will be some teaching of Talmud in MO girls' schools. However, not all call it Talmud (more "centrist" schools have "Torah She Baal Peh" instead) and it isn't always the same as what boys get. (For example, I know one school where the boys get double Talmud, girls get 1 period Talmud and 1 of Navi.) It is VERY individual. However, teaching Talmud/TSBP as a formal subject is a pretty noticeable difference between "modern" and "right wing" schools.

There isn't a clean dividing line between "MO" and "right wing" but IME there are certain tendencies. MO may be co-ed, RW never is, at HS level. RW always demands covered elbows, MO might or might not.

Again, it can be very individual but these would be things I would expect to see.
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Post  Thu, Jun 25 2009, 7:45 pm
I've seen the term "Yeshiva" to refer to any type of Orthodox Jewish Day School. I think it's used as a pretty generic term, and a lot of different types of schools can be labeled as such.

I think each individual school needs to be evaluated on its own merits. Are there things they teach that differs from your family's outlook? Is it set up in a way that woudln't work well for this particular child, regardless of the school's overall "fit" with your family?
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