Letter: The class is ready & the school is ready

Shalom u’vrachah, I have a good friend that works tirelessly to help families navigate the local elementary school scene. While he primarily focus on helping parents find appropriate places for their primary children he deals with many other difficult situations. BH  many new Mosdos have opened and continue to expand to help meet the growing diverse demands for different types of schools in Lakewood and therefore there is no primary boy at this time that doesn’t have a place to call home! There is one group of children that constantly have a challenge finding the right school for them and they are children with special education needs. While most schools have services for the more simple typical special needs when the child’s needs outgrow what the regular classroom can offer this brings the parent to a very difficult situation. While there are have several programs here in Lakewood to address many of the different types of needs there is still one group of children that is falling thru the cracks. They are children that are of higher level than the SCHI programs but can’t succeed in a Mekor Hachinuch self contained program.

Until now many of these children either fell thru the cracks or are being bused out of Lakewood to other schools but as Lakewood grows this is no longer feasible and it is time to open a program for this group of children. Mrs. Leah Schlesinger who is famous for her founding of Mekor Hachinuch here in Lakewood and in Monsey is ready to oversee this program to make sure it is successful. The school model is ready and she has a group of highly trained Rebbeim, teachers, and therapist that have the proper experience ready to open a class for eight boys in need for this year.

In order to get this off the ground we need people that have vision to see that this will be successful and grow into a prime jewel for us to be proud of. We would like to put together a board that will back Mrs Schlesinger with building a school that will service many children in the years to come. The class is ready, the school is ready we just need the founding to start.

I am not looking for comments, kvetchers and bloggers but rather for people ready to actually help. If you seriously care about the future of klal yisroel help to raise the funds to open this class this year. I would be happy to connect anyone with the Askonim working on this project and I can be contacted at [email protected] or 732-945-4922.


Chaim Cohen

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  1. I believe a class like you are describing already exists in the Special Children’s Center School. The Center is a NJ approved Private School for the disabled and children are placed there by the Lakewood District with their tuition paid by the district. Its a beautiful program with all teachers NJDOE certified and all therapy provided.
    Much Hatzlacha

  2. Unfortunately this is an old story .

    If you write a post that bashes the schools ,then you will get 100 comments complaining about how bad the schools are .

    But if you actually ask people to donate serious money to help create and fund a school ,you won’t get hundreds of people who pledge 5,000 each .

  3. Is there a way to join forces with the Center to expand or annex instead of starting from scratch? Leverage each other’s strengths and resource seems like the way to go. Less fractionalization and tribalism is a boon to our kids and community at large.

  4. To cool Masmid

    About making the first pledge . I have contributed quite a bit towards local chinuch and helped hands on also . That is how I know that it’s pretty hard to get others to follow .

  5. Koch Ei Ohr justvopened this past year. I don’t work fir them but I observed the program for potential students. The place is impressive with a lot of talent. The children seem to be thriving there. I did my homework and called 2 parents and staff that work there. I received great feedback

  6. Mrs. Schlesinger would not be starting from scratch. She runs a very successful special ed program called mekor hachinuch. BOE funded Programs and related services such as OT and speech therapy are incorporated into that program but it takes a lot more to make these classes a success. From a parent’s perspective, know there is a great need – I’m only amazed that Mrs. Schlesinger will agree to make herself available to expand and include more children. There has got to be someone out there with enough heart and enough passion to help these young innocent helpless special children.

  7. There are many people with heart and passion. What is needed is people with deep pockets who are willing to write big checks, not only to start it ,but to keep on funding it year after year ,for practically forever .

  8. I am a therapist who works at the Center and can therefore attest to the fact that they do have a program that you are describing in place- we Bh saw a lot of success both in terms of academics and social/emotional skills. Please please reach out for further info-

  9. Better to have local institutions run locally, than to attach yourself to someone who does not live here, who may, or may not, have the time needed to devote themselves and be committed to an additional school.

  10. I can attest to the fact that the need exists and these children need and deserve a class!
    I am aware of a situation that I was involved in trying to get an elementary age school kid into school this year with absolutely no luck. The boy spent all year at home because there was no school that would accept him with learning disabilities bringing him 2 yrs behind level and ADHD.
    (Great kid by the way!)

    Unfortunately the mother tried whatever she could unsuccessfully.

    She was told that if enough money is raised by the community they would make a special needs class with Mrs Shlesinger where her son would be included.

    Lakewood… we can do this and we must! I believe it isnt even that much money that is needed for this class.

    @letter writer
    Is there a link to donate?

  11. Unfortunately there is so much to be done ,but we as a community are not coming up with the money . There are hundreds, if not thousands of kids who are in regular classes who really are not surviving without tutoring . Many schools try their best to arrange it as long as the parents pay for it . There are numerous parents that can’t afford to pay and those kids end up struggling for their entire years in school. We are ” adopting ” Mosdos overseas, but are not ” adopting ” our own . We can do both if there was a will to do it .

    • Chaim, I appreciate your efforts. A large problem is also the oversized classes. Does anyone actually think that a teacher can effectively teach a class with 30 students. those 30 students are at a wide range of intellect and understanding. If the teaching is catered toward the lower end, the advanced students are bored and lose interest, if the teachers cater to the higher end, the less intelligent students are lost.

      There is no good solution, resources are limited. Parents need to fill in the gaps where there children need it.

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