High Schools in Monsey and the surrounding area

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  • #616884
    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    Hi, everybody. My oldest daughter is in eighth grade. We need to choose a high school. We live in Monsey. Where do we start?

    #1120928

    Bais Yaakov of Ramapo is the smallest high school in Monsey. They accept thirty girls to a grade, the result being that if those girls are cliquey or not your daughter’s type, she will have a miserable high school experience. The staff is very warm- too warm for some girls. They are very into having personal relationships with their students. Some girls thrive from the attention; others feel stifled and hate it.

    Bruers has between forty and sixty girls to a grade. They’ve become a lot more modern over the past few years, but have been trying to change that by accepting more yeshivish girls. They have a very high level of academics.

    Bais Yaakov of Monsey is the biggest school, with 100 girls in each grade. They accept girls of every type, from extreme yeshivish to modern. Their staff is very warm, but due to the large amount of girls in each grade, your daughter would have to actively seek a relationship with a teacher if she wants one. They are known for having high level academics, but they are very accommodating to girls that have a hard time keeping up. There is an option to take lower level tests in the mainstream classes.

    While your daughter has to be a very specific type to have friends in Bruers and Ramapo, there is a very low chance of her not making it socially in BYM due to the large of array of girls.

    #1120929
    ChanieE
    Participant

    Where to start:

    Which elementary school is your daughter currently attending?

    Which high schools do girls from this school usually attend?

    What does the elementary school administration recommend, knowing your daughter? They will take her academic, social and hashkafic needs into account.

    Do any of your daughter’s friends know where they would like to go?

    In addition to the more traditional Bais Yaakovs listed above, there’s also Ateres (which my daughters have attended for many years), as well as schools outside of Monsey. I know Monsey girls travel to Bruriah, Manhattan and Machon Ora (Passaic).

    #1120930
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Why don’t you start by asking your friends and neighbors who have the same values and hashkafos as you? From there, continue with a Rav who knows your family and the needs of your daughter well. You might also want to ask some of her current teachers.

    The Wolf

    #1120931
    Lovelyme
    Member

    My daughter went to BYM and absolutely loved it! Very academic but there is an option to take lower level tests. The teachers are very very warm! The girls range from modern to very yeshivish there is always something nice going on weather G.O activity in the morning or a speaker in the afternoon great school!!!

    Than there is BY of Ramapo they only accept 30 girls leaning more toward yeshivish side. Not as academic as BYM

    Brewers is a mix of main-stream to modern to chasidish

    Ateres is becoming more yeshivish than they used to be very fun school. I believe there isn’t a uniform.

    #1120932
    ChanieE
    Participant

    We have been with Ateres almost since the school started and BH we are very happy. It’s not perfect, but then nobody is. Ateres has been the right school for our daughters, ranging from elementary to high school to coming back as a teacher.

    Ateres is really about helping each girl develop her unique relationship with Hashem. Questions are encouraged because the Torah has all of the answers. Lovelyme – it is interesting that you picked up on “fun” as simchas hacahim is a crucial value.

    Ateres has a dress code, not a uniform. I love seeing how the girls express their personalities through their clothes and accessories.

    #1120933
    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    Is there anyplace in or around Monsey that can prepare my daughter for advanced educational opportunities? My daughter is KA”H really smart. REALLY SMART. She’d be miserable in a school that wouldn’t stimulate her.

    #1120934
    Lovelyme
    Member

    BYM would be great for her as I said it’s very academic and fun she’s gotta be prepared to work hard

    #1120935
    ChanieE
    Participant

    From what I hear, Bruriah is big enough that it has separate, more advanced classes.

    #1120936
    writersoul
    Member

    Girls in Monsey tend to go largely to BY Monsey, Ramapo, Breuer’s, and Ateres in Monsey and MHS and Bruriah outside Monsey (I obviously know people who went elsewhere but not in particularly big groups).

    Which elementary school your daughter goes to makes a difference. Some will encourage some schools over others and some will provide an edge to get into some schools over others (it’s harder to get into Ramapo from Ateres than from YSV, for example, or it was when people I know tried a few years ago).

    If you want intellectually stimulating, you may want MHS. (As I basically already essentially outed myself on here years ago, I may as well continue and say that I went to MHS from Monsey, if you have any questions.) The hashkafa might not be what you’re looking for (while it is right-wing it is not explicitly BY and there are some non-BY girls, to be sure), and the types of girls there really depend on the year, it easily has better academics than any Monsey school. I really enjoyed it, though I’m shocked at how much elements have changed since I was there not particularly long ago.

    Bruriah also is out of town, has great academics (though in a different way than MHS) and is probably the most “Modern-with-a-capital-M” school on the list. I have several friends who went there and loved it.

    The next best academics is probably Breuer’s. They seem to be doing a really good job in that regard, and are known for it. It is definitely a Bais Yaakov but more chilled girls feel comfortable there. I know people there and they definitely like it. The class sizes are getting smaller and they’re getting more selective, apparently trying to become more BY (though I haven’t personally seen the ramifications).

    Ateres is much more chilled. The academics are probably similar to Breuer’s’, with the addition of AP and more college-level classes (including a Touro partnership). The population of girls will depend on the year. It has BY hashkafos to whatever extent but the population is largely not BY. This is a fact, not at all a condemnation- you just have to know if it’s for you. It’s definitely very warm, very relaxed, etc. The dress code aspect is good (they copied it off of MHS, which has the same thing). I have a lot of experience with the school and it’s great for many but not for all (which is the same for any school, really).

    I know very little about BY Monsey currently (everything I’ve been saying about the other schools comes from personal or close second-hand experience, which I don’t have with BY).

    Same with Ramapo, except that I’ve heard that they’re trying to become much more yeshivish. But like I said, I have little to no first-hand experience.

    Good luck! If you have any questions, feel free to follow up!

    #1120937
    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    I’m lost: how do you define ‘yeshivish’ or ‘modern’?

    #1120938
    writersoul
    Member

    Differently than you do, perhaps- that’s probably a question you should answer here so you can get targeted replies. Everything here has been really general- everyone likes every school for SOME reason but nobody will know what you like unless you say so.

    I didn’t really use the terms (very deliberately, as I didn’t know what you wanted) but the only time I used “modern” was in the capital-M sense, about Bruriah, as in a school with a Modern Orthodox hashkafa. (Which it is to an extent- it has many types of girls- but they lean more BY than other MO schools do. And I’m not sure they officially call themselves MO.)

    Like, if you were to ask me, I’d say:

    BYM=really yeshivish

    BYR=really yeshivish

    Breuer’s=yeshivish but not excessively so

    Ateres=hanhala yeshivish, students not- “modern” but not Modern

    MHS=weird mix- hanhala mostly yeshivish but not entirely, mixed BY and not student body

    Bruriah=hanhalah mixed yeshivish and RWMO, student body RWMO

    This may make perfect sense to you or you may vociferously disagree or you may think it’s gobbledegook- it’s helpful to know what your frame of reference is.

    #1120939
    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    Does ‘Modern’ mean that the girls learn Gemara, or does it mean that they have boyfriends? Does ‘Yeshivish’ mean that the girls kasher their own chickens, or does it mean that they willingly wear mid-calf skirts? I need concrete examples in order to understand.

    #1120940
    writersoul
    Member

    I think maybe your giving us an example of where you’re at (which elementary school, be’erech) might be helpful so we can customize.

    No girls’ school on this thread teaches gemara. Several may have girls with boyfriends, though none in an “institutionalized” way. (Then again, I know a BYM girl with a boyfriend- it’s an individual thing, nothing to do with the school specifically.) For Bruriah, Modern=Modern orthodox hashkafa. For MHS/Ateres, modern (which is a misnomer that I hate)=no uniform, less BY hashkafa, looser internet, etc rules.

    Yeshivish hanhalah means school emphasizing strict uniform, internet ban, smartphone/cell phone ban, kollel ideology, etc. Yeshivish student body means that the girls would have done that anyway. Some such schools have a student body which is less yeshivish.

    #1120941
    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    Thank you, writersoul. Now I have a better understanding of the terms that were being used.

    #1120942
    Hashemisreading
    Participant

    okay writersoul, no offence but you were a bit off with your assessment? BYM- really yeshivish?! its a community school! Breuers isn’t yeshivish! Theses statements are way too general

    These days, most schools are a big mix. very few can be defined as really yeshivish or really modern.

    #1120943
    writersoul
    Member

    If you look at my definitions of the terms, you will see that we seem to have different definitions of the word yeshivish (which is logical- I seem to be coming from a less yeshivish mindset than you are.) I know Breuer’s pretty well- I have close relatives there- and the school is absolutely yeshivish. Not as yeshivish as BYM or BYR, but definitely yeshivish in ideology, specifically compared to Ateres, MHS and Bruriah.

    I defined yeshivishness generally by the hanhala. If there was a disparity between hanhala and students, I noted it.

    The majority of the people I know of who go to BYM (and I live in a yeshivish enough neighborhood that the majority of the people on my block go there) are very yeshivish. Their parents are in chinuch or other klei kodesh and they will go on to BJJ, Hadar, Nachlas, Bnos Sara, etc (just a few people have gone to off the top of my head). For years BYM was known as “the most yeshivish” of the Monsey high schools. BYR is working hard to catch up. My mom went to BYM when it was a community school- chassidish girls as well as girls in pants. No uniform, just a dress code. That’s a community school. BYM is definitely yeshivish. Yes, Breuer’s is as well.

    Student body wise, the schools are definitely a mix. 100% true. But each school still has a certain character.

    While I personally didn’t go to a Monsey high school, I grew up here, still (basically) live here, and have siblings and friends who have gone to the schools being discussed. I’m not pulling this out of a hat.

    #1120944
    Joseph
    Participant

    Is there a more yeshivish high school in Monsey than BYM?

    #1120945
    writersoul
    Member

    It’s down to BYM and BYR.

    There are one or two girls who go to Passaic, maybe…?

    #1120946
    Mammele
    Participant

    Joseph: If by more Yeshivish you mean more frum I believe Bais Rochel of Monsey used to fit the bill, but I think it’s become more Chasidish. And IIRC they teach in Yiddish.

    #1120947
    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    Now we’re adding ‘Chasidish’ to the mix, but without a definition? I thought that Chasidish people send to their own schools (Satmar, Belz, etc.) And I personally know people who send to Bais Rochel who I would definitely not consider Chasidish.

    #1120948
    Hashemisreading
    Participant

    Mrs. Plony- Bais Rochel officially isn’t considered chasidish, they call themselves heimish. yet the teachers all teach in Yiddish, they daven sfard, and most of the girls come from chasidish or tuna beigel families..

    And btw I think now BYR is more yeshivish than BYM- they are more close minded, and are not as willing to accept girls from less yehivish backgrounds, thus resulting in generally 1 type of girls.

    #1120949
    writersoul
    Member

    Hashemisreading: Yes, that’s true, but that’s more because of a concerted effort to keep up with BYM. By now, yes, on average they probably are more yeshivish. (It’s literally a contest, apparently…)

    MRS PLONY: Yes, Bais Rochel is not all chassidish- just very, very heimish. I do know very, very yeshivish people who send there and teach there. It’s just still not on the radar of those considering most of the other schools here.

    #1120950
    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    Okay, so let me get this straight: ‘Chasidish’ means they belong to a specific Chasidus (Vizhnitz, Ger, etc.) And ‘heimish’ means…?

    #1120951
    Lovelyme
    Member

    Ok so my daughter went to BYM it’s a big mix

    As long as you follow the rules nicely while ur in school you are good. Girls go to whatever seminary they want to its up to them and when they decide the school will help them get in. It’s a great school!! Always something happening. Why don’t you attend the school concerts and look from there I believe the concert is in Feb. BYR is on Jan 18

    #1120952
    Hashemisreading
    Participant

    Great. I’ll be there.

    #1120953
    Health
    Participant

    Which school does Fink run?

    #1120954
    Hashemisreading
    Participant

    Ateres

    #1120955
    Joseph
    Participant

    Don’t some of the mothers there wear pants?

    #1120956
    writersoul
    Member

    I’d be really surprised if more than one or two mothers wore pants at all.

    The parent body is very diverse but not to that extent.

    I know some alumnae who wear pants but that’s a personal thing. Their mothers don’t. (I also know a BYR alumna who wears pants. People do different things.)

    ASHAR might be more likely to have mothers who wear pants, but even then I don’t know how common it is. (Actually, Joseph, you may be mixing them up, as R Fink was involved with ASHAR about fifteen years ago.)

    I have a lot of different feelings about Ateres but I will say that it’s a really warm and welcoming school and that’s a great thing for students who want that.

    #1120957
    Hashemisreading
    Participant

    I’ve never heard of a parent in Ateres wearing pants, yes the school is slightly out of the regular Bais Yaakov system, (no uniform..) But they are still Orthodox, and nowhere near MO.

    #1120958
    writersoul
    Member

    No, it definitely doesn’t have an MO hashkafa (though in that case they would still be Orthodox…). They are definitely a Bais Yaakov by hashkafa, just with a diverse student body.

    #1120959
    Lovelyme
    Member

    BYR is not modern!! It’s a mix of learning to working fathers

    BYM many black hatters but also many other types.

    What school is your daughter in?

    #1120960
    writersoul
    Member

    Who said BYR was modern?!?!

    #1120961

    As an Ateres Bais Yaakov parent of elementary and high school students, I can attest to the unique environment and learning experience that Ateres provides. Rabbi Fink’s vision of a school which nurtures the individual potential of each student, bringing out the best in each of them, in a positive, warm and caring environment is expressed in every aspect of the school. Our daughters are imbued with a love of learning, a love of Torah, and the belief that they can have a unique and meaningful relationship with Hashem. The teachers are dedicated and in tune to the unique needs and strengths of their students. Learning is exciting, extra curricular activities are enriching and there is great emphasis on Chesed and Middos development.

    #1120963
    Lovelyme
    Member

    Ateres is a great school, I believe they’re moving to a real building no?

    #1120964
    Hashemisreading
    Participant

    Who said BYR is modern?! Its pretty close to BYM now in yeshivishness

    #1120965
    MRS PLONY
    Participant
    #1120966
    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    Thank you mods.

    #1120967
    writersoul
    Member

    However many glowing reviews of a school you may see here, it’s hard to know where your kid will fit in. Ateres, for example, isto many people how PAP described it, but it was most definitely the wrong place for me. My high school (MHS) was the wrong school for my sister. It takes finesse to make the right choice.

    #1120968
    Hashemisreading
    Participant

    It takes finesse to make the right choice.

    it takes only siyata dishmaya to make the right choice

    #1120969
    writersoul
    Member

    Yes, okay, then, finesse=hishtadlus. You definitely have to do due diligence as well, as well as counting on siyata deshmaya.

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