Askonim: Girls’ High School Acceptance Letters Going Out in Stages; Exceptionally Difficult Year

The girls’ high school acceptance letters have begun going out for the coming school year, but due to the extremely limited space, the acceptance process this year is being handled in stages, an Askan working around the clock on the difficult task tells TLS.

The first acceptance letters arrived in the mail over Shvuos, but with 650 girls entering 9th grade and in need of placement, the task has never been more difficult, the Askan – who wished to remain anonymous, said.

“We’re working as hard as possible, but we’ve never had a year like this,” he said. “It’s an “exceptionally difficult year.”

In comparison to last year, over 80 more girls are in need of placement. The problem? No new schools have opened, and the same eight schools – including two Yiddish-speaking schools – will need to figure out how to place the girls.

In the coming days, schools are expected to return to the Askonim with their calculations – with space, availability and options – before the next batch of acceptance letters can go out.

Currently, the two main and most practical options, are either larger classes, or more classes, he said. [TLS]

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  1. then you dont send out the first batch because your just making all the girls who did not get a letter over yom tov feel bad. (please have some sensitivity)

  2. What criteria was used when deciding who is in the first batch of acceptance letters and who will be in the second batch etc.?

  3. Move to South Bend, Indiana. The BY High School has 17 students, with plenty of room for every one. The boys high schoolers are shteiging away. The Elementary school tuition is almost 100% covered by the State Vouchers. Imagine never paying another elementary school tuition again, all the while enjoying homes that cost $80,000 in a beautiful tree lined neighborhood. The shul, torah center and kollel are buzzing 24/7. The kosher deli, supermarkets and bakery offer the most Delicious foods. The 4 br, 2 bath homes cost UNDER $100k. Annual property tax is $1500. This means your month mortgage with tax and insurance will be under $700. Can you imagine that? Move to the wonderful frum community of South Bend, Indiana. Only 2 hours from Chicago, 2 hour flight from Newark and a world away from traffic, stress and headaches.

  4. Why give out those first letters to the girls who are accepted before making sure everyone has a school to go to ?

    What kind of feeling are we trying to give over to the girls who weren’t accepted yet ? That they are second class girls ?

    Aren’t we the “ihr Hatorah ” I believe we are forgetting about Derech Eretz Kodma Latorah !!

    Anyone have any ideas how we can change this quickly before the Igeros shniyus come out ??

  5. This system makes no sense as it is. Why should I have to pick out 3 schools be forced to pay an outragious application fee and then not even get a consideration for any of those schools. (one school didnt even give us an interview) whos in charge of all this, its ridiculous!

  6. The reason why there are 2 separate batches is because they cannot choose for you which of the schools you MUST go to. So yes, some girls did get accepted to more than one school (fair or not to other girls, if 2 schools do want this great girl, why can’t she actually have a say into which of the 2 she wants?) She gets a few days to decide which and send in her registration, and then the school she did NOT choose has her extra slot, so more girls can get an acceptance letter to this school in a second mailing because she turned it down. No parent/girl would be happy to be TOLD which she MUST go to, so once she decides, there is more room for those girls that did NOT get answers yet. Although it seems unfair to make those “second-class” girls wait, there is no other way to work this out. There is no way to “not send any acceptance letters at all until all girls are in a school” because how do schools really know how many slots they have left after girls decide? It’s hurtful, but there IS no other way….

  7. To no 14 – The only problem with what you’re saying is that MOST girls do not get to choose, they only get one yes, if they are lucky, and the few girls who get two yesses are not necessarily better girls. Sometimes it’s plain old money talking.

  8. to no 15- You are 100% correct! When I wrote that “great girls” get to choose, I did not mean that they are all great in their own right and that any “second tier” girls are second-best. Not at all! Sometimes the most fantastic girls do not get any yeses in the first round, and very often it’s because money and “pull” talks for the other girls. That part of the system is unfair- very unfair!- but that’s the way of the world with everything- shidduchim, jobs, mesivtos, etc. However, no parent wants to be told which school she HAS to go to if there really IS a choice. Even those parents that I spoke to who were worried that they did not have pull and maybe their daughters wouldn’t get in anywhere…. even THOSE parents told me they hope they will not be told they HAVE to go to their 3rd choice which they chose under duress because they were told they HAVE to apply to 3 schools. Yes, that might be the only one they end up getting accepted to, but there has to be some modicum of choice and not just all 850 girls being “put” wherever the askanim choose as a final decision.

  9. South Bend is seeing a steady increase in business activity so more talent is needed: accountants, IT, business, medical, Therapists: OT, PT, SLP…The frum community is so serious about helping yidden get good work, some businessmen hired a full time Jobs Schadchan to help. Let your friends know. For More Info: [email protected]

  10. To number 16, there is no need to threaten or curse out people who run schools. I for one openly admit I’d never want the fundraising burden.

    You may not like the way it sounds but the fact is most people would prefer a delayed acceptance letter to immediate pending/rejection letters. Because some girls or their families are more attractive to schools, those girls will get acceptance letters to all the schools they apply to. Because the schools cant accept more than they can handle, sending out all replies at the same time would result in more, not less, rejection and pain.

    This is not a conspiracy of cruelty to children and parents. There are simply more girls than chairs. Unless you want to donate towards a new school…..

  11. number 14: maybe they can have a few hired people to make phonecalls to those parents of girls that got accepted to more than one school telling them their choices and giving them the same few days to respond with their final decision and work from there until every girl is placed.

  12. although im not in the parsha this yr, my heart aches for those waiting to get their letter, especially after their friends already got one. why noy solve the issue b4 anyone gets a letter?? as everyones been singing…”wheres da sensitivity”

  13. all the schools are the same. if parents weren’t paranoid about what society would say, we wouldn’t be dealing with some of these issues. the schools are paranoid bc as some who are in the hock will tell you a school can go from being the “it” place to the “dumps” very quickly.
    if the parents weren’t out of their minds, the process would be that much better.

    In addition, it aint the cool thing to open girl schools like it is mesivtas. every shul in town has a yeshiva/mesivta…there’s at least 35 mesivtas in town and they opened 5 new ones this year…and that doesn’t include every town in NJ which has a yeshiva..they opened 0 girl schools.

  14. To #14/17; You seem to be very educated in the way this selection process works. All involved should be careful as not to lose focus on what they should be trying to accomplish.
    An 8th grader has her whole life ahead of her to feel rejection (seminary, shidduchim, job search etc.)
    If it is true as you say that some girls get 2 acceptance letters, The askanim involved should not allow this if it is coming on expense of another girl not getting accepted on the “first batch” of letters. By stopping, it would seemingly cut down the number of girls getting hurt.

    Parents would have to make do with getting accepted into one of their choices.

  15. #22 – you are so right – there would never be this problem if some of the schools didn’t base their enrollment – from day 1 – on being selective – they created a monster and all the children, parents and other schools are suffering from this

  16. I agree why can’t there be a phonecall to the girls who were accepted to several schools and have them pick which school they would like. Or else when they apply they can rate which school they would prefer as therir first second and third choice. The more work that is done behind the scenes the more sensitivity is shown to our beautiful bnos yisroel.

  17. Once upon a time every talmid/talmida was a yekar metzios…today, we’re so spoiled it’s the opposite. We should be utterly ashamed of our humiliating treatment of the next dor. Hashem yerachem.

  18. I am not involved in this process at all. From outside perspective it seems to me as follows. I think we are all forgetting about the people who opened the schools to begin with. A lot of them put heard earned money and time to open their school. They must continue to do so in order for it to stay open. For us to rag on them is spitting in their face and saying we don’t care how much time and effort it took. Now some of you will say big deal, they opened a school! Obviously it is a big deal because nobody opened a school this year and were coming up short! Now once they have a school that they worked hard to establish, shouldn’t they be able to decide who should come no matter for what reason. The same way if your a plumber you can turn down jobs if you want. This a democracy it’s not Russia!! I’m not saying I don’t feel bad for the people who are not accepted but this is part of life. My heart goes out for you and your children. But not everybody is equal. Some people do have better children then others and there is nothing wrong for a school to want those children and not your own after they created the school to begin with. They have a right to try and make there school the best it can be. Good night.

  19. Even though I do not have girls left in this partia, I am extremely disturbed how the process is conducted. What #16 had to say is extremely frightening. We can never afford to hurt any of the precious neshamos that we are raising today esp with the very high incidence of low self esteem. Parents should prioritize which school they want first, second etc to avoid the having to wait for acceptance letters to come back to decide how the “second ” group gets decided. Who dreamed up the system? The above method works in the real world….Doctors entering their residency years prioritize where they want to go, the residency programs prioritize, (the schools) come “match day” everyone hears on the same day where they go and no one knows who easily slid into the system and who had to be “placed”

  20. To all those that are disturbed by this process : I hear.
    However, there are very few Askonum involved.
    If you are really so concerned, instead of posting anonymous kvetchy comments, get involved.
    They need you.
    Or just keep quiet.

  21. When there was just one school everyone was accepted. When the ‘besser ah mentchen’ decided they didn’t want THEIR girls together with everyone else the elite separatism began. I understand the need for a yiddishe speaking school as the chasidic population grew but THATS IT! The parents themselves created the problem.

  22. Most of the schools accepted siblings and there were very few spots left.

    Once upon a time Lakewood schools accepted everyone.
    But imagine if you have a school with a large percentage of very liberal girls: ie hang out at malls, cell phone, ipods, internet use, hang with bochrim, drive SUVs etc, but school, hang out in Starbucks etc…
    If you have TOO many of that type of girl, it changes the character of the entire school and the very yeshivishe girl begins to transform into something else.
    Sad but true

  23. We should start being supportive of our own children and make them feel special and great, even if they didn’t get into XYZ. Life is long BE”H with alot of girls getting things that our children won’t get. Either because of money, family, brains and yes looks. If highschool is causing a breakdown, what about that job, shidduch etc. Our kids are great, let them know it.

  24. to # 27 – To compare having a school to having a plumbing business is at a minimum ludicrous but is also completely wrong – the people who started schools (at least some of them) did not do it for a business but rather to be mechanech our wonderful children and to instill yiras shamayim in them – they started it to accept all girls of all families who have their same hashkafa of wanting to grow – some people who do not exhibit this hashkafa can be denied acceptance based on that and it is not knegged hatorah – however, when ‘society’ opts not to send their children to a school based on true yiddish values but rather goes for the ‘glitz’ to which some very good people get drawn into – this creates an unbalance and forces those schools who ARE interested in being mechanech all ‘good’ girls, which is most of the girls in this town – to have to turn down those who ‘society’ deems inappropriate to sit next to their children even if the school gives a far superior derrech hachaim and education for life.

  25. All involved Askanim will tell you that if there were as many girls schools like Mesivtas ,then almost every girl would be easily placed . No school wants to have empty seats .

    We are all at fault for not coming up with the money to give people an incentive to open up schools .

  26. The only eitsa is to put the decision power for acceptance in the hands of the community leaders. The school owners should not be making such important life changing decisions based in their personal negios and power/control issues. Chinuch is not a business and someone has to put a stop to it.

  27. To fyi:
    Let me explain to you why you have no idea what youre talking about, i know for a fact that in bais yaakov of baltimore there are girls from very yeshivish families and ones from more modern families and I havent seen any problems with the yeshivish girls getting messed up from the others. And btw since when did driving an SUV make you a bummy person just because she doesnt have a mini van doesnt in any way mean she less jewish than the next girl!

  28. Everybody here missed the boat .There is not enough space because we don’t dedicate enough money for schools .All these comments are off the mark . The biggest proof is that the boys have no problems with mesivta even though there are the same issues by boys . So obviously if there was more schools these problems would go away. More schools means more money to make and support them and we are not willing or able to come up with the funds

  29. Why should people want to support people’s private enterprises? If schools were public institutions people would support them. I don’t see that the school owners are going hungry exactly!

  30. misunderstanding . Nobody said the community should fund peoples schools . The community should create and fund COMMUNITY schools that would be open to every child and accept everybody . Then we would not have any problems .Every child would be accepted without exception as you believe should be done .Why are they not doing that ?

  31. One school-South Bend
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    Tuition vouchers- South Bend
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    Brand new Bais Yaakov Building- South Bend
    No Tuition increase- South Bend
    Yes there are shoe repair places (2) room for more
    To talk more about, Yeshiva, Bais Yaakov, day school, Kollel, and lots jobs including OT, PT, SLP, nursing…[email protected]

  32. I have a simple solution to the tiered acceptance letters that cause so much anxiety to our girls and their families:
    Before any letters are sent out, each school will send a list of their first choice students to a central office/askan. That office/askan will then call all families of girls with names on multiple lists. They will be given 2 days time to make their decision. Then schools will be given the responses so they can go on to the second level based on # of slots left…and the process can repeat itself until all slots are filled.
    Anyone with me?

  33. In theory this sounds good . The problem is that in Lakewood every girl doesnt decide where to go until they see where theur friends go . So even if this was forced on parents ,you would be faced with a situation where girls mage a decision and then want to change their minds because they find out friends are going elsewhere. Even if you tell them they cant change their minds ,you then have a situation where girls go to a particular school kicking and screaming that they dont want to be there and therre is nothing worse for a school than having a student that doesnt want to be there . The dynamics of Lakewood make this well intentioned ideas very difficult to implement

  34. Mr. Job shadchan,
    What kind of Mortgage do you have. I would love to see that your mortgage is under $700 am month. Does that include taxes, insurance and PMI. Could I see a picture of this $700.00 a month mortgage house that you live in? As a home owner you must be very proud! How many kisd do you send to this day school that doest ever have tution increases. I am sure you know first hand about the schooling How many girls do you have in BY and How many Boys do you have in the Yeshiva. How big is the Kollel—10-20-50 Guys? So many questions, please post back so we can all get an idea of what South Bend has to offer.

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