Finding Schools

Learn more about how to find and evaluate private schools. Find out why price should not be your only consideration. Get valuable advice on how to save time and money when choosing a school. Learn more about ranking schools and why it may not work.
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If you are a Jewish parent thinking about private school for your son or daughter, you will probably want to consider sending your child to a Jewish school. Of course, much depends on how observant a Jew you are or consider yourself to be. That will influence your decision in many ways, some subtle, some more obvious.

Many questions will surface at this point. Here are some which you should answer before proceeding with a more detailed search for the right school. As you think of other questions which need answering, add them to the list.
 
  • Why should your child attend a Jewish school?
  • When should your child attend a Jewish school?
  • How should your child be taught?
  • What should your child be taught?
  • Where should your child go to school?
 
Why should your child attend a Jewish school?

This question addresses perhaps the most important aspect of this discussion. Why, indeed, do you want your child to have a Jewish education? This is something which only you as parents can decide. Is your family tradition driving this decision? Are your religious beliefs that important to you and your family that a Jewish education for your children is simply the only option? You need to understand that any parent who sends his child to a religious school is making a very strong statement about his faith and the importance it holds in his life. It will set your child from his peers in a very secular world where religious values and principles are
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As we have pointed out in Do Ranks Matter? it is extremely difficult and time-consuming for ordinary people to find the data and information we need to arrive at some sort of ranking system for private schools. But if we did rank private schools, here is how we would do it.
 
Visit the schools.
 
"Wait a minute!" you are thinking. What about important stuff like how selective the school is, where its graduates went to college, how many faculty have terminal degrees and so on? Put those considerations on hold. First things first. Visit the schools.
 
Would you buy a house based only on a few pictures and some publicly available information like taxes and comparables? No. You'd visit the house personally and look in every nook and cranny. You would visualize yourself living in the house with your things. You would make sure you liked the neighborhood. If being close to shops and other amenities is important  to you, you would review that aspect of the equation as well. How long a commute to work will you have? The list of questions which you will want answered is your own very personal list of questions.
 
See where we are going with this? How the schools you visit fit your needs best determines which school is best for you. Right now you are probably beginning to realize that this is a lot of work and will take a lot of time. Our Checklist For Comparing Schools will help you
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What is a therapeutic school? A therapeutic school is a special residential school designed to help troubled children, typically teenagers, with a variety of emotional and other problems. As a rule the child cannot get the consistent treatment she needs in a local school and at home. As a result it makes sense in many cases to send the child away to a highly structured environment where she will receive the treatment she needs 24/7. Most schools also work with their students to get the academics back on track as well.
 
The Admissions Process
 
Admissions under the supervision of a consulting physician or other professional can occur at any convenient time. You don't have to wait for once a year admissions deadlines as you do with normal day or boarding schools. Determine what the problem is. Identify a school which can turn things around. Pay for it. Those are the broad steps you will take to get your child into a therapeutic school.
 
The Diagnosis
 
How do you know for sure if you should consider a therapeutic school for your child? Always consult  with your doctor  and other professionals to discuss the situation if your child has any of the following symptoms or issues:
 
  • Substance abuse
  • Violent or threatening behavior
  • Defies authority
  • Refuses to follow rules or take guidance
  • Poor grades
 
How do the programs work?
 
Each therapeutic school has its own treatment procedures and philosophy. But most concentrate on providing a highly-structured, isolated environment in which your child can learn new behaviors. The schools provide the intensive support and
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Is your child struggling in school? Do you not understand why she is not doing well in school? Does she hate going to school instead of going eagerly each day?
 
At the first sign that their child has a learning disability, many parents go into a state of denial. That will not help the child. The first thing any concerned parent should do is have the child evaluated professionally. You must identify your child's strengths and weakness and proceed accordingly. Only professional learning specialists, pediatricians and psychologists are equipped to do these sorts of evaluations. Based on an evaluation you can explore the many options available to you and your child.

Helping children with learning differences become life-long learners is the mission of the 21st century special needs school. Generations ago these children were left to fend for themselves. Because learning was such a difficult, frustrating experience, many children with learning differemces simply gave up and dropped out of school. But the 21st century special needs schools have highly trained, well-qualified and experieced teachers who have committed themselves to teaching students with a wide variety of learning differences.
  
The Definition Of A Learning Difference
 
What exactly constitutes a learning difference? The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),  a federal law, defines it as follows:

The child does not achieve adequately for the child’s age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas, when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for
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Many parents agonize over sending their teenager to boarding school or keeping them at home and sending them to day school. The issue you really need to address is the quality of supervision you are able to give your children after school and on weekends. Let's face it, modern parents lead very busy professional and social lives. If you aren't around to see what's going on, do you know what your teen is up to?
 
The Advantage of Going to Boarding School
 
When you send your child to boarding school, you are buying the whole package: academics, athletics, social life, extracurricular activities and 24/7 supervision all rolled into one. That's just part of the boarding school DNA. It is an incredibly good deal for many thoughtful parents. Of course she will miss her mother and father, her siblings, her own room and all those other special things she knows and loves. But, the truth is that she will be off to college anyway in a few years. Getting a head start on leaving home is not a bad thing. It will pay huge dividends in later years as she has had to learn to cope and adjust to new circumstances at an earlier stage in her life. Teaching her to be independent is a good thing.

Living in a boarding school essentially prevents your child from being anonymous. She will be part of the school community. She will be engaged in its activities, academics and athletics. She will be
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