Reader-submitted: Why is there no school today?

I am writing this letter as a frustrated employer. Of course I sympathize with the predicament of the wonderful mothers who really have the unenviable task of juggling their families and jobs. I truly do admire them and I have no idea how they do it on an ongoing regular basis. May they all continue to have the strength to keep it up.

Here’s my question though. My office has been a zoo for the past two weeks. Every day is now Bring Your Child To Work Day!

We have mothers talking on the phones with kids on their laps and balloons flying around the conference room. Of course, some employees took off because they can’t bring 5 kids to the office. It’s just chaos.

Why???? The girls have been off since June 17!!! Hasn’t everyone had enough time to rest? Three months off??

I’m sorry. This week is creating unnecessary havoc for yungeleit, employees and employers alike. I can not think of ONE good reason that school for girls did not start at the beginning of the week. Can anyone help me out??

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  1. Totally agree!!!! However these questions have been asked for years already and nothing has changed, so really, whats the point of asking??

    I work all day, my kids are at home with my older kids in charge and they had enough too!! They are bored!! I cannot take them to the mall or to the beach or shopping or to a park, and they literally are climbing the walls.

  2. Couldn’t agree more. What am I supposed to do this week?? My wife and I both work and it just makes no sense that I have to miss work for a week ? Something has to change.

  3. You can’t possibly believe that it’s the schools responsibility to have your office in mind. Schools have been scheduled this way for years in every town.

    • The author wrote:
      “I’m sorry. This week is creating unnecessary havoc for yungeleit, employees and employers alike” – his office was just an example of one type of havoc not being selfish.

  4. I absolutely agree, there’s official bussing as of September 1 with a long enough vacation before that. There is ample reason to start the school year come September. The boys start earlier fortunately and there’s no reason why the same shouldn’t be done for girls and playgroups. We pay tuition for the full month and plenty of days are taken off for yom tov days. Why take off more time? Also it’s high time for more structure as the kids themselves are bored from too much vacation. And like the author wrote, there’s a world outside of the school calendar and this shouldn’t need to cause undue stress on the employers and employees alike. It would also help if the boys’ and girls’ schedules would be better coordinated.
    So yes, I believe it’s time to change but we need to speak to those involved to make that happen.

  5. I believe all the businesses should stop causing undue stress to all the schools by demanding that the employees come in on days that school is off. This causes complaints called in and on the scoop

    • And who is going to make the business run and make money during those days? Every small business has overhead, sometimes to the tune of $10,000/day. So how is a small business to survive a week without adequate sales and costumer service staff “to stop causing undue stress to all the schools by demanding that the employees come in on days that school is off”, and then 2 weeks later Rosh Hashana, and then Yom Kipur, and Succos? Who is going to stay in business after a full month off? Who is going to pay the salaries? Where would the tuition for September/October come from?

  6. Response to #3 & #4
    The offices in question provide employment to parents who are working to provide for these kids and to pay the schools they go to. Almost no-one is working for their personal satisfaction.
    Of course the places of employment, and the employees, have to be considered. Without them, bderech hateva, our whole society would cave in.
    I am amazed that this employer allows those mothers to bring their kids at all, let alone for weeks on end- what chesed. In my office that would never be tolerated.
    We are all in this together and everyone has to take all angles into consideration.

  7. I’m just unsure what it has to do with the schools. You send your kids to get a good chinuch and an education. Why put more pressure on kids? Do you have a job to pay tuition, or pay tuition to have a job? And why are you blaming schools when there could just as easily be camp until the end? As a teenager I made an in-between camp and school camp for a few years. It’s not a new problem. Think of a solution; don’t just blame people!

  8. Of course, we are at fault. We continuously let the schools, who we pay good money to, treat us like we don’t exist. All we can do is complain on the Scoop.
    Parents in each school should band together and demand change! Who is with me??

  9. What I don’t understand is why all the working parents feel they have to take vacation during day camp time. Why not save your vacation week for in between day camp and school?

    • Would love to do that, but it’s Elul and most Mesivtas and Batei Medrash are in the middle of the Shtarkest Zman of the year! How could you take a vocation in Elul???

  10. Im more shocked that no girls camps stayed opem till this week ? I just told someone Im gonna do a day camp nect yr till the DAY BEFORE school opens. Ill be mobbed. Ur gonna need protektzia to get ur kids in.

  11. Anon –
    Actually I think most other towns start school the day after Labor Day- today. However, in Lakewood tomorrow there’s only a half a day in most schools, and school only starts on Thursday. It is very hard for working parents and learning fathers!!

  12. I am an employer and a family man.
    I treat all my employees with respect and patience.
    It is a small price to pay to have a good staff.
    School year really begins October 16th that will be the first full week of school on a regular schedule.
    Good Yom Tov!

  13. I couldn’t agree more with the letter writer, forget about the parents taking off of work/yeshiva, my kids are bouncing off the wall and need structure, they are practically begging to go back to school. Can a school admin. please give an answer as to why they are still off, the teachers and school had the last 2 1/2 months to prepare…

  14. I am with the writer. The school staff has been off for more than two months. Tuition is paid for the whole month of September & October with all of Yom Tov in those two months. The school needs the tuition paid, they have to understand that parents have to work in order to be able to pay. Even if a parent takes vacation during this time to be with the children, most people don’t have enough vacation time coming to them to cover the time in June in between school & camp and then the time in between camp & school and the Yom Tovim, including chol hamoed and Chanukah vacation and intersession and all the other little days off in between and school plays….. There does have to be some cooperation from the schools to consider how they expect parents to manage.
    Additionally, if the schools are so concerned about the chinuch of the children, having them doing nothing all this time and being left with babysitters who may not have full control, is not healthy for the children either.
    So, I agree with the employer – he/she is not being selfish. L’hefech, to allow all that is going on in his office to continue, shows that he/she is a mentch!

  15. Agreed! The system only set up for the mothers that workin the school system while there are many more people in this town. Tuition is for a full month so…however, complaining on this forum wont get anyone anywhere

  16. Without reading all the posts I feel I have to jump on the first few comments who are accusing the writer of being selfish. My thinking is that if he was as selfish as those earlier comments suggest he is, he simply could have come down very hard on his employees by telling them figure it out with your kids..ask your mother in law I don’t really care – just show up or else. I would say just the contrary this writer has shown tremendous flexibility and understanding towards his employees and is simply frustrated at how this is making the workplace difficult for many. Additionally he seems to be reaching out to others who may feel the same about this and hear their point of view. So to those who accuse him of being selfish I would beg to differ…

  17. One simple answer. The schools do whatever they want because we pay one flat tuition for the entire year. Each day they are off they save money.

    Can you explain to me why school starts at 9:30-9:45 and not 8:45-9:00 like when we were kids? And they have a short day and get out at 11:30AM? Why do we have a 2 hour school day and the same for Friday?

    One simple answer. Charge tuition by the hour? If they would charge by the hour then they would have had school since Sept 1 and wouldn’t be off every other day.

    • The changed start times had to do with the busing. That got put in place a few years ago in a (failed) effort to all the kids on buses.

  18. I couldn’t agree more!!!!!!!!! I have been making all kinds of (expensive and hassle) arrangements and jumping thru all kinds of hoops to work each day and arrive on time! I wish school would have started 2 weeks ago, as soon as day camp was over! We won’t discuss the exorbitant non affordable day camp costs (even for 2 full time working parents), which is a topic in itself. Even tomorrow, when school finally starts, they end at 11:30 and need special arrangements home as we’re at work. We really need a better system!

  19. The main problem as I see it is that like it or not this is a yeshiva town or at least it used to be and should be..and this scheduling of the school year messes up most of ELUL Zman which is a short enough Zman as it is!

  20. Can someone volunteer to canvass a few dozen parents and create a healthy pressure on the schools? There really should be more school, and should be coordinated more with boys Yeshiva’s.

  21. It is beyond comprehension that the kids are still off. Most households today have both parents out of the house during the day – either in yeshiva or at work, with a lot of those wages going towards tuition.

    If the boys have started why can’t the girls? Why do they have to start after labor day anyway? Surely it’s not because that’s the official NJ school calendar because then they will be open on Chol Hamoed, Purim etc.

    Next year, according to the current setup, school will begin less than a week before Rosh Hashana.

  22. everyone is talki about the same thing for the last 2 weeks : what are the kids doing all day. its insane. the boys start so there is no reason the girls cant start either. for the one that said about to much pressure on kids, thats crazy. let them spell and write properly, spend extra time on basics and they will benefit in the future. the yeshiva people have to miss learning because i am sure they have to help watch kids while mothers are at work so the roshei yeshives need to do something!

  23. What about all the yugerleit who cant go to Yeshiva during Elul because they have to watch their kids at home.

    We send our girls to school to learn about the importance of Torah and how necessary it is to have husbands in kollel. And then our girls come home and see jus the opposite! That they’re tottys are babysitting.

    Everything the school teaches goes out the door this week.

    A shanda!

    The Rabonim MUST get involved immediately.

  24. I agree with a lot of these comments. It is a problem not just for business owners, but also for employees.

    With all the days off, and Yom Tovim, it is already challenging enough to try to make a living covering all expenses, or run a competitive business.

    I went to school out of town where many of the English Teachers were not Jewish. Mid Winter vacation coincided with the goyish holidays, they had to do that or they wouldn’t have English teachers, it is also when the parents get off of work.

    I get the reason not to give mid winter at that time, but it makes things extremely challenging. If you work for a company, you don’t have enough vacation days. If you have your own business, you can’t do much business during their holiday season anyways.

    Ideology is nice, but sometimes you need to be pragmatic.

  25. I agree tuition should be charged by the hour. Reminds me of frequent flyer programs where they give you miles, but then they devaluate them. It’s only then you realize that you have no control.

  26. If u have kids u deal with them don’t make it someone else is problem how do u think your kids feel when they hear/read we don’t want you home we want you at school we want you as our children just don’t want to raise you that’s what you guys sound like you have to do a bit of raising yourself sometimes

  27. To all the comments like lol – there are a lot of silly comments here but yours take the cake. Everyone wants to take care of their children but when a person works they don’t always have that option! We work in order to provide for our children and that can not be helped. Most of us would love to be stay at home moms (I work on my kids schedule so this is not my issue) but most people can’t afford to. Wanting schools to accommodate a working and yeshiva schedule does not negate the fact that we all want to take care of our children. This is just the way we can do it best.

  28. To unimpressed – Spoken like someone who does’nt need to work for a living, but for those that don’t have that luxury were not misguided, we’re laser focused on working so our children have what to eat and our tuitions are paid.

  29. of course beat up the schools. We have an issue so the schools must take care of it for us. Did anyone stop to think about the question that is the title of the article “Why Is There No School Today?” (I guess the poor grammar was purposefully pointing at the detriment of missing days of school.), instead of treating it as a rhetorical question? Maybe there is a reason! What do you think that reason is. Do you really think that the schools just want to take advantage? Perhaps there is a logical reason.
    To comment #12 “who we pay good money to” You gotta be kidding. After tuition, the schools must raise enormous sums of money and, even then, can barely afford to pay the paltry salaries to their staff. Is it any wonder that so many of them must get a second and third job to live?
    Frankly, reading the comments here of so many parents that these rebbeim and teachers must deal with makes me think that they all deserve a raise!

  30. I think school system should be fixed and make our parents more relaxed and reasonable payment and you wonder why education have gone waste of our money? This reason why system isn’t great. We need break from our kids. While whole summer working hard with our children in office is burdened. Why are we paying full amount money when our children aren’t in school ??? I don’t agree with this issue and School need realize we paying for building? Or what ? This is another reason our children get education for half of month and what do you need fully payments for ?? This is upsetting that our daughter start with half day. This isn’t fair and we don’t need half day on fast day either. We need full day. We need stop excuses and let us function with our work if we paying the full tuition. We need school have reasonable schedule for our children and parents.

  31. The rabbanin and roshei yeshiva must get involved! The skools dont care about us. They have a monopoly. They dont need us. We need them. If a skool comes out with a sleeveless uniform there wld be an uproar. Where are the rabbanim? The askanim?! PLEASE! THIS IS OUT OF HAND!

  32. The schools would gladly charge by the hour or by the day ,As long as the parents agree to pay fully what it costs to educate their child. No more subsidies by the school. Lets see where that goes.

  33. I agree with mike 1000000% do you really want to pay for school by the hour????? What will be $0.05 an hour????? At an average of $3 per hour you will be paying $640 a month for the girls tuition!!!! Add another another approximately 10 hours a week/40 hours a month to the boys….that brings you to almost $800 per MONTH for boys
    Tell me again you want to pay by the hour!!!
    And this is at $3/hour which would be pathetic considering you actually want your children educated!!!!

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