Orthodox Jewish Day Schools provide children with a well-rounded education as well as instills in them Jewish pride and Jewish values. All schools vary in some way but here are four areas that most Orthodox Jewish Day Schools have in common. Keep the following in mind when choosing a school for your child:
- Core Values Should Be Aligned
It’s important for children to have consistency and continuity in their lives. Part of this is ensuring that the values they see at home align with the values taught in school. Since children spend most of their waking hours in the school setting, parents should ask themselves if the ideology being taught to their children aligns with the ideology portrayed in the home environment. Any inconsistencies may have a negative impact on the child’s ability to absorb, learn, and respect any values at all. It is essential for a parent to be honest with themselves about their own willingness to conform to certain standards and policies in order to create consistency and congruence for their children.
- School is Safe and Certified
Before registering a child, parents should first confirm that the school is state-certified and follows all state-regulated protocol. This can be done by checking the school’s website, speaking with a school administrator, or by searching state databases. A typical benefit of private school is the small staff to student ratio, although parents should find out about the ratio at their chosen school. Smaller staff to student ratios help provide children with more individualized attention and more specialized education.
Many Orthodox Jewish schools have security staff and safety procedures to keep children protected at all times. Parents should inquire about the precautions taken by the school to ensure their child is in a safe environment.
- Both Judaics and General Studies Are Taught
Most Orthodox Jewish schools have a dual curriculum. This generally creates a longer school day in order to provide enough academic hours to learn about each subject. Dual curriculum provides students with the skills they need to succeed in both the Jewish community and the secular world. The skills learned during the Judaic portion directly connect to the skills required for general studies, such as the ability to analyze and evaluate text, make inferences, and transfer knowledge across multiple content areas. Additionally, children’s brains are strengthened by being exposed to dual languages. Learning multiple languages when still young helps to improve critical thinking, retention of material, creativity, and communication skills.
- Financial Aid is Available
Everyone’s financial situation is different. Since the cost of sending to private schools can be prohibitive to some families, parents should look at the tuition prices and/or financial aid options before registering. The majority of Orthodox Jewish schools offer financial assistance to make a Jewish education accessible to everyone. There are federal agencies and community foundations that help provide schools and individuals with financial support. Additionally, schools expend much effort on fundraising campaigns to raise enough funds to be able to offer Jewish Day School scholarships for those in need. Community members and school alumni often appreciate the role the Jewish Day School has played in their lives and look for ways to give back. This greatly assists schools in raising the necessary funds and making school tuition more affordable and accessible to all.
The values taught in school should be reflected at home, schools should be a safe place for children, the curriculum should be well-rounded and all-encompassing, and tuition shouldn’t break the bank. Keep the above in mind when researching the best school for your child knowing that Orthodox Jewish Day Schools truly provide a great service to children and families.
Questions or comments? Please contact our Director of Admission, Mrs. Miriam Chait, at [email protected]