Tuesday, 25 Adar I, 5784
  |  March 5, 2024

Principal Didn’t Give Up On My Girl

From the COLlive Inbox: As my daughter graduates high school, I reflect on when her principal said, "we gave up on her a long time ago." Full Story

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Took the words out of my mouth
June 29, 2018 7:17 am

Last year my daughter was in a high school in here in h. When I was having issues with a class I called the school to try and work with the principal for 3 months. Only once I threatened the school with an op ed on col was when I was finally called back. What was the principals answer. Either your kid keeps up with the class or she needs to get P3 services. But my child was denied because she wasn’t on the level of needed it. So the principal says well we don’t help the average student. Excuse… Read more »

Beis Rivkah didn't give up on me!
June 28, 2018 10:41 pm

Many years ago when I was a student in BR, my teacher and Morah Tiechtel saw that I was struggling in many ways, not just academically. They perceived the need, and personally arranged for me to go to a much smaller out-of-town school where I was able to thrive, Boruch Hashem. That caring still echoes today in the many Neshamos who have benefitted from my Chinuch, in my family…and here in Pittsburgh, in my same beloved school.

Mrs. Saxon

To #39
June 28, 2018 10:33 pm

Tzohar is a seminary, not a high school

June 28, 2018 1:37 pm

I only have boys and no girls (yet IYH) but this is wonderful. I have seen this for long time coming, and it just brings to mind the saying “oib gut iz gut iz besser nit besser?” Unfortunately while the chinuch is failing many, there are enough kids that appear to be doing “ok” enough to keep the status quo as it is. But like some have said, this is the worst situation of all, when we become complacent. There is a book compiling R’ Hodakov’s teachings about education and in the chapter on the duties of a principal it… Read more »

Didn't see bashing in the article
June 28, 2018 12:21 pm

To me it didn’t look like the writer of the article was bashing a school. Seems like she was just shocked that an authority in the school would look at her child as a lost case and she was happy to get her daughter into a situation where they saw her potential instead. I think some commenters just took the opportunity to bash specific schools but that doesn’t help anyone. If you have a disappointing experience at a school you should seek other options or maybe try to do something with other parents and the administration to make positive changes… Read more »

From the author of the article
June 28, 2018 11:07 am

Comment from the author. Firstly, to those taking offense to the comments that are seemingly “bashing other schools”, I don’t think anyone is bashing any school in particular. It is ok to acknowledge and share the message that your child had a bad experience. On the contrary, it is often quite helpful and beneficial for others to hear it because it often gives another the courage to see more clearly something that might be happening to their own child. The point of the article is just that, if your child is in a situation in which she needs more individuallization… Read more »

Not only crown heights
June 28, 2018 6:00 am

Unfortunately the problem is not limited to Crown Heights. My child fits the example in this story….kind hearted, but just couldn’t learn like everyone. Fortunately she made it through the system, but it took a more than 50 percent dropout rate from the school before an internal evaluation was done. Fortunately the stale principal who sent so many girls to literally the streets, has changed her tune and let young blood, new teachers with warm truly Chassidish hearts, run the show.

to #35
June 28, 2018 1:28 am

My kid was in a small school here in CH and not so easy to reach principal either
had things come up that were not resolved…
had many amazing things too at the school
Everyone has to improve where and how necessary

Totally agree with 36 & 38
June 27, 2018 10:52 pm

I would just like to reinforce what they said
I completely agree with them
As a br student with br pride I just wanna let everyone know that br is amazing and everything about it is amazing but every person has a diff school that did them best

Just saying
June 27, 2018 10:51 pm

With all the subtle and not so subtle bashing of brhs, here’s a thought: when shluchim need powerful, chassidishe, solid girls to get a job done well, they know to ask Beis Rivkah girls specifically. They must be doing something right there!!!!

another great school is zohar
June 27, 2018 9:31 pm

My neighbor’s daughter attended this school in Pittsburgh and she bloomed and thrived and had the best year of her life. All talents are appreciated and nurtured and every girl shines in a loving atmosphere. It’s not for everyone, but if your daughter has a talent she wishes to pursue..this is the school for her.

Totally agree with number 34
June 27, 2018 9:10 pm

I would just like to put out out there that everyone is differ ent from each other so therefore not everyone will be happy with the same school. Some work better in mainstream schools and some work better in smaller schools. I agree with #34 about hearing negative vibes about other schools. Just bcuz someone had a bad experience in one school that doesn’t make the school terrible.a school will not work out for every single person. Just bcuz a school didn’t work out for you that doesn’t mean you should be bashing and putting it down.

Smaller schools
June 27, 2018 8:39 pm

Must start by saying BCA gives really amazing warmth, on personal and religious levels, my daughter attends. Must also say the larger schools, principals and administration, do give up on some neshomas saying ‘you have options, go elsewhere’ are run like factories with a strange twist of loyalty to some people who really don’t belong interacting with today’s generation . That said the teachers are typically amazing, getting paid less, having larger classrooms and navigating a system that is inveriably larger than them. None of that is my point, just experience. The point I did want to bring out is… Read more »

To number 34
June 27, 2018 8:33 pm

I totally agree. I have experienced being in a very large mainstream high school in crown heights (Aka Bais Rivkah) I really gained and continue to gain from the amazing chayus and chassidishe atmosphere that can only be found in bais Rivkah. Our teachers have many years of experience and give over their personal wealth of knowledge so that their students can benefit to the utmost. Bais Rivkah has an incredible amount of extra curricular activities for students to become involved with in addition to all the inspirational and applicable classes given over by our totally devoted teachers. Its not… Read more »

no 34
June 27, 2018 7:17 pm

im happy your daughter is doing well but when a principal refuses to take your call numerous times,,,,how is that acceptable….are you just trying to push issues under the rug

With all due respect
June 27, 2018 6:55 pm

It’s great to hear that BCA is doing good things. What’s not great are the negative vibes about other schools. For the record, my daughter is having a wonderful experience in a large local high school. She and her friends have had had many great personal conversations with the assistant principals and the chassidishe energy in the school is definitely something the rebbe can be proud. So please stop bashing just to make another school look better. What’s good for one isn’t necessarily good for all. Great that there are different schools to cater to different needs. Appreciate them all!

no 27
June 27, 2018 6:50 pm

glad you had this good experience in bnos menachem My daughter is in another big CH school….I had to reach a principal about an issue…I was put off over and over again my secretaries about speaking to her….Finally luckily I live inn Ch so i went to the school As i walked in the principal was coming out of her office…i said “good that i caught you I need to speak to You” she was not even embarressed to say ” Are you the Mrs B that was trying to reach me? what if I lived out of town and… Read more »

Proud Aunt!
June 27, 2018 6:50 pm

So proud of my niece. May all the Rebbe’s brochos be mekuyam for you and may you continue to literally change lives for the better!!!

Attended same graduation...
June 27, 2018 6:41 pm

And found it to be amazing!!! My girls went to the mainstream schools and after seeing the BCA experience I wish they had had opportunity to attend school in a warm and caring environment. Let’s get the word out there. This is really something special like the smaller out of town schools that I attended growing up. Attending this graduation with a dear friend was a zchus, and I feel I really got to know about nine other wonderful young women who will give a lot of nachas to their parents, and a wonderful school administration and teachers who devote… Read more »

Sad article
June 27, 2018 6:05 pm

The article focuses on giving girls and students a chance on the positives of BCA. Why does it have to come through bashing others? Is that the message you want to give over, that this community isn’t good enough? Why would your daughter or anyone then want to be part of it? Unfortunately, so many of the new things being done today spoil themselves with this approach. Instead of focusing and sharing what they have to offer and give and let that stand on its own, they knock other things in order to make their point. This does everyone including… Read more »

June 27, 2018 5:11 pm

We are all soooo lucky to have Mrs G and everyone in BCA!!!!!!!!!!

This is....
June 27, 2018 5:11 pm

….so sad. And so wrong. This is why serious attention is given to evaluating the whole present system of education in our midst.
The designated leadership must become involved, and if they don’t (or if they don’t understand the problem), then others must do something to get the conversation going. Please. Otherwise we are enabling harm to our children, which of course lfeads to a troubled adult community!

Let's not forget other schools
June 27, 2018 5:06 pm

I respect and admire Dena Gorkin tremendously, but I also want to give a “shout out” to Mrs. R. Majesky of Bnos Menachem. My girls are out-of-towners, and I did not want to throw them headfirst into a huge school They have attended Bnos Menachem High School and receive individual, warm attention from Mrs. Majesky and their mechanchos. Any time I reached out about any issue, I was called back within the day and listened to. Thank you, Bnos Menachem. A Grateful Mother on Shlichus “Out of Town” PS A large community needs all kinds of schools for all “shapes… Read more »

Thank You
June 27, 2018 4:57 pm

Thank You To all the educators in Crown Heights Wherever you teach No need to bash other schools and teachers and principals in order to bring out the qualities of another Education isn’t easy these days and parents need to also take on a lot of the acharayut of their children and what goes on in their own homes No child though should ever be given up on, not by the schools and not by the parents either. Parents should also work more on being a dugma chaya of the chinuch being taught in the schools they are sending their… Read more »

June 27, 2018 4:45 pm

Please be very careful when selecting an out-of-town school for your child. Not all of them are warm or caring. We had experiences with a boys’ high school and two girls’ high schools in three different out-of-town communities. The child and the goals of the school must match up very closely or the students will have a terrible experience. The out-of-town principals must have enjoyed making examples of students who “didn’t quite fit into the mold,” very normal young and intelligent Jews who weren’t buying the shtick. Principals: You are not the Aibishter; stop playing G-d. Don’t embarrass students in… Read more »

Dear Writer and commenter #3,
June 27, 2018 4:43 pm

I am dealing with a similar issue and would love to be in touch with you.

I agree with #20
June 27, 2018 3:52 pm

When a child has “obvious” problems like they had a crisis in the family or they have a learning disability then it is a no-brainer to take them out of a regular school for which you will pay more tuition but also get more for your money. The kids who really lose out are the ones who are doing ok in the regular school. Meaning that they are managing and there is no “problem” but they are just losing out so much because they are invisible and nobody is developing their ruchinyus or their mind. I sent my daughter to… Read more »

My daughter graduated h.s. in Crown Heights
June 27, 2018 3:43 pm

My daughter graduated high school in crown heights this year from a main stream school. The graduation was so large and busy, there was no individual attention and she was lost in the crowd. I came from out of town and was not made to feel special and my daughter was not made to feel special. Too bad!

Kol hakovod to the author
June 27, 2018 3:26 pm

…for sharing her personal story. We all gain from sharing our experiences – the ups and downs– enabling us to become more sensitive and attuned to the needs of our children and our community. Wishing the author continued nachas!

June 27, 2018 3:14 pm

It isn’t only kids who have “problems” …..
Perfectly normal, well behaving kids also aren’t getting what they need in our mainstream system.

June 27, 2018 2:34 pm

A principal that gives up on a child should NOT be in CHINUCH

There is one for boys
June 27, 2018 2:23 pm

It’s called Darchei Menachem

to 15
June 27, 2018 1:46 pm

I wholeheartedly agree and that’s why I am BZH going to open a yeshiva here in crown hights for boys in our community who need to have a warm and loving environment

Schools need to WAKE UP in several areas
June 27, 2018 1:45 pm

Small schools definitely are able to accomplish in individualized ways simply because of their smaller size, but that does not excuse the way students are sometimes treated by our local schools and just thrown out, told to go somewhere else, told we don’t have the resources for you, told to go somewhere else….I wonder how they would behave if it was their own born child…I wonder how they would behave if the Rebbe was standing in front of them when they talk to the parents…. Parents have responsibilities and accountabilities-Yes! Yes! Yes! but schools need to think twice, three times… Read more »

For boys
June 27, 2018 1:18 pm

We desperately need a school like this for boys in the community!

Response to #2
June 27, 2018 1:08 pm

If you’re surprised this is happening where have you been? This is going on everywhere not only CH. Problem was lack of options but not anymore BH thank you Mrs. Gorkin and others opening up new schools giving our Rebbe true nachas.

#8 I disagree – STOP FIGHTING. Instead put your hard earned dollars elsewhere.

Enjoy Your Nachas!
June 27, 2018 1:06 pm

You and your daughter can only feel a sense of pride in what you BOTH have accomplished.
Kudos to Mrs. Gorkin as well.

Penina Metal

given up?????????
June 27, 2018 1:01 pm

principal who “gave up”please note….and hopefully beEzras Hashem,a lot has been learned and improved on since then. Does HKB”H ever give up on us?

fire them
June 27, 2018 12:54 pm

a school faculty that gives up on any child deserves to lose their jobs immediately

June 27, 2018 12:38 pm

Every teacher rebbe parent mashpia should read this never give up it’s tough as a parent to send kids to school especially when they have issues one person can make a difference I pray my child will have the same outcome

Mrs Gorkin is a gift to our community.
June 27, 2018 12:38 pm

Mazel Tov Mrs Gorkin from a fellow New Jersyan. As a mom of a special needs child and as an educator, I agree we MUST advocate for our kids.. but at the same time we MUSTn’t view it as a war with teachers and principals .. rather as a team effort. I am SO sorry that the writer of this article was so hurt..but I do not believe there are many educators who would say they give up on a child. But, there are educators who are begging for support with students and really need guidance from parents, educators and… Read more »

with the old breed
June 27, 2018 12:01 pm

never give up. you have to fight for your children. this is the war.

June 27, 2018 12:00 pm

Same struggles heard the same thing from A principal It’s not just principles teachers anybody in the administration circle of certain schools very selfish have zero education zero understanding and how to tolerate and deal with people like human beings forget about going more than that. Book could be written on this but it still wouldn’t change anything.All I could say being in the same situation from the bottom of my heart truly happy that your daughter has found her place and may God continue shining a light on her so the path forward will always be lit up for… Read more »

June 27, 2018 12:00 pm

my daughter went to one of our CH high schools too and said in 4 years she never exchanged one word with the principal

Nice to hear
June 27, 2018 11:27 am

I live out of town. I had similar issues with my son. We tried to get him tutoring, evaluations etc..he still could not function within the structure of the cheder. He did not have behavioral problems. He just had problems focusing and learning. Our local Lubavitch Cheder basically shrugged and gave up on him. We pulled him out in 2nd grade. He home-schooled. He was excelled, regained his confidence and became a focused excellent student (without any medications!). When he reached 8th grade, he asked to go back to school. He is now in a non-Lubavitch high school. He is… Read more »

i love this school and everything it stands for!!!
June 27, 2018 11:16 am

I’ve never stepped foot in this school yet I love it so much! Every child needs a school like Bnos Chomesh! every child needs a teacher that takes a personal interest in them! when i say “needs” i mean “essential” my days in high school were fun, filled with friends and laughter but at the end of the day none of the staff cared about me. It is so painful to think about. I wish I had a school like this growing up. Parents: do the right thing for your child- it doesn’t matter what others think. I dont know… Read more »

June 27, 2018 11:05 am

I could have written this article. Same experience with my daughter. Probably was in the same “Lubavitch” Mossad. Shameful. Kudos to Dena Gorkin and all her dedicated staff!

June 27, 2018 11:00 am

really hard for me to believe that a chabad school should be so far off from our Rebbe’s view on chinuch and on a jewish neshoma….i am not familiar with Mrs gorkins school but am so happy that there is a mosed following our Rebbes directives… much nachas !!

Dena Gorkin...
June 27, 2018 10:49 am

is my hero; she is a precious gem in this community!

From an ex special ed teacher
July 18, 2021 7:10 pm

A principal with true education principles should not be letting students fall and give up on their students. It’s easy to look away and put kids in the too hard basket and concentrate on those high achievers who will give the school a good name. And it’s not enough just to see your child “pull through” all their years of learning. This is so tough for the child. Students have the right to assistance, which should be suggested and arranged by the school, students should be able to enjoy school at their own level, to feel that they are achieving,… Read more »