Why would a vanload of elementary school girls make the 45-minute trek from Crown Heights to Bensonhurst every school day?
It’s because their destination is a school where they feel successful and cherished: Bais Yaakov of Bay Parkway (BYBP).
“School was a fight every morning,” remembers Mr. Dov Sufrin, whose daughter — now a BYBP student — struggled in a mainstream classroom. “She’d complain about stomachaches so she could stay home.”
Like Mr. Sufrin’s daughter, many BYBP students previously floundered in classrooms of 30+ girls. Despite their innate intelligence and talents, they found it difficult to keep up in class, build strong friendships, or meet key academic milestones — in foundational areas like reading and math. They struggled to build confidence and self-esteem. They grew to hate school, because it was a place where they couldn’t succeed, no matter how hard they tried.
BYBP restores their confidence, by giving them the tools they need to thrive.
At BYBP, classes are 6 to 8 students max, to allow personalized attention for students who need more individual support. Core subjects, including math, reading, and kriah, are taught with a 1:1 student-teacher ratio, so students progress at their own pace. And every student receives the supplemental help she needs, including in-house therapies (PT, OT, and speech), social skills guidance, and counseling.
“We’re a traditional Bais Yaakov, with a uniform, chagigos, and rich curricula,” says Principal Mrs. Chavie Silverberg, a 35-year veteran in special education. “The difference is, we have the training and resources to give every girl what they need. Our staff is licensed and credentialed, with Masters degrees and specialty certifications, and all of our teachers and therapists undergo continued training and supervision.”
Within each classroom, learning is differentiated to meet the needs of every student.
“For example, within the same class, one girl might be working on Alef-Beis while another is mastering nekudos,” Mrs. Silverberg says. “Both girls get worksheets and tests — but they’re modified for their learning level.”
Over the years, Bais Rivkah Preschool Principal Mrs. Chaya Sara Tenenbaum has referred dozens of students to BYBP. “The teachers know what they’re doing, and the girls get what they need,” she says. “When parents hesitate about sending their girls there, I tell them every parent who ever told me ‘My daughter doesn’t belong there’ is happy they sent their daughter. I don’t know what we’d do without the program.”
“They have a strong administration with warm, professional leadership,” says Mrs. Basya Weinstein, General Studies Principal of Bais Yaakov of Boro Park. Mrs. Weinstein regularly refers students to BYBP when they are a good fit. “The girls we have referred — we have truly seen them blossom. The classrooms are warm and inviting places where children are empowered to shine. The staff works hard on remediating weaknesses and building on the strengths to address the whole child: academically, socially, and emotionally. ”
Just several months in, Mr. Sufrin has seen a transformation in his daughter, whose school-morning stomachaches have disappeared. “Now, even when she actually is sick, she doesn’t want to miss a day!” he says. “It’s remarkable.”
Mrs. Shaindel Schapiro, another parent, has similarly watched her daughter Tzippy* flourish since coming to BYBP. At her old program, Tzippy flat-out refused to attend school. “They weren’t giving her what she needed al pi darkah, and she struggled so much it crushed her confidence.”
At BYBP, the difference was apparent almost immediately. “After just one day there, my daughter was talking about school with an excitement I’d never heard from her before. One Friday night, we saw her reading her own kapitel Tehillim, which we never thought she could do. She feels good about herself now that she can learn. I see a different child.”
For Mrs. Silverberg and her dedicated staff, the change is not a surprise: it’s the natural result of students being nurtured, supported, and cherished.
“When students have the academic support — and love — they need, school is no longer a battleground,” she says. “It’s a happy, safe place where they actively want to be.”
“Kids don’t want to be in an environment where they can’t keep up,” observes a veteran Crown Heights educator who has referred multiple students to the school. “At BYBP, the girls get the resources they need, on demand. They maximize their potential. And it affects their entire future! Every parent I know who’s sent a child to BYBP has been happy and thankful.”
Since its founding in 2007, 250 girls have gone through BYBP’s system. They’ve emerged with the knowledge base, skill sets, and self-esteem to succeed throughout middle and high school — and become confident, accomplished adults.
If your daughter could benefit from a warm, supportive educational environment like BYBP — a place where she’ll get a chinuch “al pi darkah” — visit www.baisyaakovofbayparkway.org to learn more, or contact the school at 718-534-8711.