To whom it may concern,
Upon opening a website of a boys summer camp this week, I noticed unusual dates for the summer season posted. After asking a teacher, I learned that Oholei Torah apparently changed the date of the last day of school to June 14.
Opening dates for next school year have also been determined. They are 2 weeks earlier than the rest of the frum world and one week earlier than last year when it was already unusually early.
Several questions and problems come to mind.
How can a school board make a significant decision like this (removing a week from the summer break when they have already been taking off a week for 4 years) without the community knowing.
Are we, the paying parents of the school, not part of the equation? I understand that a school has the prerogative to move the calendar by a few days earlier or later, but to suddenly and arbitrarily end the summer on August 20th- 2 weeks earlier than almost every other school, it is really disturbing.
Aside from the fact that parents’ wishes and concerns were obviously not taken into account, which is itself completely disrespectful, the principals in Bais Rivkah as of Friday had no idea Oholei Torah was making this change. Which means a major community decision was made by “responsible” people in the communities largest boys school but the girls school was left out of the equation.
Why and how does a summer camp know about major schedule changes that affect many hundreds of families in Crown Heights before the other local schools, their students and parents? It seems the business of camps is more important to the board and the school than the business of Crown Heights families managing their lives- very sad indeed!
The girls schools cannot possibly follow suit and conform to this new secret schedule because their year goes according to public school dates for government testing, including Regents, and the JOFAZ bus transportation won’t be operational for the last 2 weeks of August etc.
As it seems to stand now, boys and girls in our community from the same families will not follow the same schedule. Boys are going to be in sleep away camp while girls from the same families will still be in school, and at the end of the summer, boys will be in Yeshivah at least a week before their sisters- just outrageous!
July and August have always been the summer months, yet now we will be different from almost every other frum school in Brooklyn for the reason (I was told by a staff member in Oholei Torah that this is the main “reason” for the secret change) of having a little extra school time before Rosh Hashana!?
I understand this helps the decorum in school and gives the teachers extra time to teach about dipping the apple in honey etc, but it is one factor among many that should have been considered.
Most puzzling, however, is the secrecy. When a school believes in the merits of a policy they are enforcing or starting, they should do so with an openness and transparency.
This seems to have been a decision made behind closed doors (as if there is a Politburo that decides what is good for the masses) and was then quietly communicated to the Rebbeim, to the camps and others the board deemed fit to know, but not to the parents of the students, MOST of whom have sisters in schools that still don’t know about this change!
I urge you to rethink this idea and consider the impact this decision will have and the upheaval it will cause, if finally implemented, on other schools and on huge numbers of parents from the community.
A concerned, upset and puzzled parent