Working parent letter: two implementable ideas I posted

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  • #605057

    abcd2
    Participant

    A) All yeshivas should get together and make a standard week for winter vacation, and deciding if Chanuka vacation is at the end or beginning of Chanuka for a given year.(I am not saying to take away the right of each school to set how many days off are given but at least all schools can agree on the week to give the vacations.)

    Non-coordinated schedules can mean destroying two weeks of work for a parent. I really do think that this is something that parents if organized in a letter writing campaign can demand from our schools.

    B) Why do most preschools end between 2-3:30 pm? And even during the summer months almost all yeshivas preschool-mesivta end bet 12-12:30 pm Erev Shabbos?How are we expected to pay tuition if school hours make it hard to find decent work or a huge chunk of salary goes to a babysitter. There is no reason why preschool should end before 4pm.If certain kids might be tired at that time of day so use it as free play and arts and craft time. Most people are working dual incomes just to pay tuition. The schools should give parents that extra hour a day.

    I think the realization about a connection between parents working = teachers getting paid is sometimes lost in the collective conscious of parents and teachers alike.

    Additionally, we must lobby our schools that on friday Yeshiva for all grades should not end earlier then 1pm. In the spring after we change the clock there is currently between 6-8 hours after dismissal to get ready for Shabbos. Why are we dismissing are kids from Torah Learning and a safe environment before it is even Chatzos Hayom? It does not make any sense!

    These minimally longer hours would be most beneficial to the under age 40 crowd in the school who are the ones with the most kids in pre-k-middle grades and struggle most with balancing tuition needs and family.(I write balancing tuition needs and family as opposed to work and family as 90% of the time most mothers are working as much as they do or undertake post grad education solely for tuition)

    The short extra time the schools give can only help the tuition crisis and might even better enable parents to pay more regularly or to have less parents dependent upon scholarships.

    I truly feel if parents present these ideas to the schools in a united manner they can be implemented.

    #899357

    Boy’s Yeshivas do not have any winter vacation. (None of the many I am aware of, certainly.)

    #899358

    abcd2
    Participant

    Kiryas Yoelite:Boys yeshivas typically have a long weekend (Friday-Monday) as a winter vacation.All the major boys yeshivas in Brooklyn give anywhere between 2-4 days off.While girls schools have anywhere between a long weekend and a full week.

    #899359

    I know many Yeshivas in Brooklyn (Yeshivish/Litvish and Chasidish) and none give the boys as much as a single day off as winter vacation.

    #899360

    kfb
    Participant

    Ive never heard of a school that doesn’t give at least a week off for winter vacation. Why would the girls get off a week but not the boys? Doesn’t make sense to me

    .

    #899361

    Even the boy schools abcd2 mentions only give one full day (Monday) off. Though none of the major Yeshivas I know give any days off for winter vacation.

    #899363

    abcd2
    Participant

    kfb:This is standard practice in right wing leaning NY and Lakewood boys yeshivas, none of them give a full week off.( all boys have school on Sundays and 90% of girls schools do not.)

    Yoelite- if one child has off the week prior and then your next child has off friday through monday the following week that is a nice chunk of time off.

    Additionally non-coordinated schedules for winter vacation come a few weeks after taking off from work for Chanuka vacation.

    BTW: what do you think of extended time for fridays in spring and pre-k till 4pm? As a give back to Rebbes who also teach on sundays I would lop off an hour on sunday and switch it to fridays.

    #899364

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I intend to always take my kids out of school the week of Dec 25-Jan 1. I have vacation; that is when my kids should have vacation.

    And every year I’ll convince a couple more parents to do this with me, and eventually we’ll reach a critical mass and they won’t be able to have normal school then.

    #899365

    eman
    Participant

    I’m going to say something radical. Why do yeshivas give off on Chanuka. Chanuka is a time to reinforce Torah.

    I had a Rebbe who would give a Bain Hazimanim Shmuz. Before Chanuka, he would say “You are now going to be m’kayim the mitzvoh of L’hashgichom totosecha u’lhaviram mechukey retzonecho.

    #899366

    shmoel
    Member

    Why do they give off Chol Hamoad? That is a very important time to learn Torah in Yeshiva. Much more important than the other days some people are clamoring for.

    #899367

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    An electronic item with rechargeable batteries needs downtime to re-charge the batteries or else at some point the item shuts down.

    The idea of vacation serves the same principles. Take some down time and recharge your batteries.

    Its truly a shame that learning days are getting longer and longer and Bein Hazmanim gets shorter and shorter. Even teenage yeshiva boys need downtime to recharge their batteries. Burnout can be a terrible thing as witnessed by many threads posted here

    #899368

    miritchka
    Member

    I’m a working mother, just like my childrens morahs/rebbeim.

    We all have to make shabbos/yom tov, just like our childrens morahs.

    Some mothers are on the job more than their work hours, just like our childrens morahs/rebbeim.

    We all have to build our sukkahs, just like our childrens rebbeim.

    We all want to have chol hamoed off, just like our childrens morahs/rebbeim do.

    We all want to have the summer off, just like our childrens morahs/rebbeim do.

    We all want off from chodesh nissan to prepare for pesach, just like our childrens morahs/rebbeim.

    We all want huge discounts on tuition or give up only one spouse’s paycheck for tuition as opposed to both paychecks, just like our childrens morahs/rebbeim.

    We all chose what profession we wanted to go into (so dont complain that morahs/rebbeim get paid less than someone else), just like our childrens morahs/rebbeim.

    They (morahs/rebbeim/administators)shouldnt be getting all these days off and make the financial burden of those “off” days fall on us (working folks).

    #899369

    shmoel
    Member

    The rebbeim and teachers are getting paid a LOT LESS than you (and often are late or entirely miss in getting their paycheck) and are entitled to more days off than you.

    #899370

    Whiteberry
    Member

    1. Call it chanuka vacation or mid winter vacation, it’s a matter of semantics.

    2. Kids have an entire summer to “recharge”, not sure what an extra day of isru chag will accomplish. I do agree that with the crazy schedule kids keep over yom tov, isru chag is certainly a day to recover (especially for those who are machmir and are mikayem ad dlo yada on simchas torah).

    3. Put yourself in the schools shoes. You get vacation from work, who says it has to be on your time to take the kids to hershey labor day weekend, take your vacation isru chag and chol hamoed.

    #899371

    marbehshalom
    Participant

    also while where at it… .

    c.let us petition the schools to offer full a 10 month school year program— not sept 15 – jun 15 (as they are usually doing.)

    #899372

    shmoel
    Member

    Schools cannot cover their expenses as it is. Demanding more hours and more days is very expensive.

    And it simply will not happen.

    #899373

    smartcookie
    Member

    Mirichtka, I’ve been saying that for years.

    My husband works on all those “off” days, yet he manages to build the succah, buy an esrog, help clean for pesach, buy nosh for my kids weekly shabbos party, and he also learns a

    couple of hours every day and davens with a minyan 3 times a day.

    How does he manage? Wonders!

    Rabbeim get too much vacation, sorry if you don’t like to hear that.

    A 2 day yom tov turns into a full week yom tov by them with b4 and after.

    When shabbos is at 8, my boys are home at 12.

    Sundays, they go late and come home early.

    Summer vacation is 8 weeks, plus a week before and a week after.

    chodesh tishrei they constantly start late and finish early. It almost didn’t pay to send them at all.

    Why?

    I love my kids dearly, but kids need schedule and routine. Any mother can tell you that. And I don’t think any mother wants to describe how her kids act at the end of a week’s yom tov.

    #899374

    shmoel
    Member

    When your husband earns a rebbe’s salary, with a rebbe’s erratic pay schedule, you can complain.

    Or you can complain now. Who cares.

    #899375

    shmoel
    Member

    Schools aren’t a babysitting service. They aren’t here so parents can maintain a two-income work schedule. That is not a schools function.

    #899376

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    And the School DO have too many days off. I have no problem with Chol Hamoed and maybe even Isro Chag, But I have a serious problem with the days between Yom Kippur and Succos.

    Or 3 Days off for Purim and 2 weeks off BEFORE Peseach.

    And while PBA was being Sarcastic, It really is difficult to have the kids go to School on Thanksgiving, December 25 and Jan 1st and have 2 different vacations in January . That I have to beg and plead for car pools on those days or wind and wind up driving myself, and find child care on the others.

    #899377

    student
    Participant

    Miritchka – you said it perfectly!!!

    Shmoel – First, you don’t know how much I make in my office job – so don’t assume I make more than a Rebbe or Morah (and I certainly work longer hours). Second, they chose this profession – if they don’t like it leave or go teach in a more modern day school where salaries are higher and the pay is on time. If you are a teaher/rebbe beacuse of the days off you are in the wrong profession.

    The entire school system needs to be revamped to reflect today’s realities, not modeled on the way it was in the shtetl 100 years ago.

    #899378

    smartcookie
    Member

    Shmoel, schools aren’t a babysitting service, yet they are a business.

    And stop talking about salaries. Any rebbe can go become a lawyer if he doesn’t like his current salary.

    #899379

    shmoel
    Member

    They chose a low-paying job with many days off. And that’s how it’s staying.

    If you want to change it, start paying 20% more tuition and the school will add 20% more hours/days.

    #899380

    abcd2
    Participant

    Shmoel as I said above the realization about a connection between parents working = teachers getting paid is sometimes lost in the collective conscious of parents and teachers.

    Switching an hour from sunday to friday does not add to a rebbe workload and would be beneficial to all. In girls schools they charge just as much as boys and most teachers have off every other friday. Asking them to stay till 1pm would be a tremendous help to parents and their work schedules.

    The reality is we work for tuition it is incumbent upon schools to help us help them.

    Whiteberry- A) Chanuka vacation and winter vacation are two separate times off of school and usually are not put together.

    Chanuka vacation was an invention just like getting presents instead of gelt. This helped kids in America compete against x-mas. I admit that the idea worked. Chanuka becoming openly celebratory definitely has helped Jews when they are surrounded by christmas advertisements and decorations to not feel left out. However this has nothing to do with our current needs for most right wing yeshivas.

    Chanuka is really a time of Torah learning and simcha. It would be better if schools had an extended winter vacation so kids and rebbes time off in mid year.Perhaps make a local field trip and party in honor of chanuka. I am sure parents would pay for the costs as opposed to shelling out what it costs to have kids home for chanuka vacation.

    your third point: Unfortunately one cannot pick and choose days off. For instance this year all yomim tovim fall out during the work week eating up personal and vacation days.

    #899381

    YITZCHOK2
    Participant

    EVERY PERSON WHO WORKS IN A SCHOOL IN NO MATTER WHAT CAPACITY MUST GET PAID ON TIME! If we make sure this happens many of the concerns addressed here would be taken care of. If your child goes to a school where teachers are not paid on time try and change your kids school. Should schools start clamoring that they don’t have the resources then parents will demand that the books are opened and once the community is satisfied that there is no nepotism, favortism etc. the community will work hard to raise the money and make the school great.

    Once all teachers are paid on time teachers will be glad to put up thir succah at 12 o’clock at night like every other person does. Once teachers are paid on time they will work even harder to come up with a plan to teach the few kids who show up on isru chag. IF WE PAY TEACHERS GREAT SALARIES AND WE PAY THEM ON TIME WE WILL GET ONLY AWESOME TEACHERS AND ALL OF OUR KIDS AND COMMUNITIES WILL BE SO MUCH BETTER OFF!

    #899382

    gotbeer
    Member

    I had one day off in the winter……Sunday of Chanukah.

    #899383

    scor
    Member

    I had the same complaints when I was living in NY – schools there do not try hard enough to accommodate working parents! BH i now live out of town where every Friday school is over at 2pm, erev Rosh Hashana my kids had a half a day of school, erev pesach they get off just the one day of erev pesach…what a pleasure!!

    #899384

    In Brooklyn, while none of the major boys yeshivas give any “winter vacation”, they do give two or three days off for Chanukah. One is usually a full day while the other day or two is a Friday/Sunday off.

    #899385

    abcd2
    Participant

    litvishe kiryas yoelite

    I assume you are talking about chasidishe mosdos chaim berlin tora vadas chofetz chaim mir etc.. all have at least an extended weekend in january or feb.

    Have a good Shabbos!

    #899386

    No, I’m talking about the Litvishe mosdos. Chaim Berlin, Torah Vodaas, Mir, etc. do not have any “mid-winter vacation”, other than a couple days off for Chanukah.

    #899387

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I’m talking about elementary schools, not high schools. How bout you?

    #899388

    Whiteberry
    Member

    All industries come along with its positives and negatives. One of the “perks” of being a rebbe or morah are the days off. If it bothers you to no end, petition your boss for similar perks, or join the industry. So easy to whine and complain about everyone and everything.

    #899389

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    All industries come along with its positives and negatives. One of the “perks” of being a rebbe or morah are the days off. If it bothers you to no end, petition your boss for similar perks, or join the industry. So easy to whine and complain about everyone and everything.

    Don’t be an idiot. If it bothers me no end, I can change it.

    Who do you think sits on school boards? Morahs or baalei batim?

    If the kids need vacation, we can always have training days.

    #899390

    Whiteberry
    Member

    People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan. Yeshiva calendars are not a surprise to anyone and have not changed much in years. Sure you don’t like asking your neighbor, sister, parent or whoever of they can watch your kid, but you have to do what you have to do. One year we spoke to my sons mashgiach about allowing him to learn second seder at home to watch his younger siblings on a day they off. For the record, while he preffered to say no, he allowed it because he too is a parent and knew we came as a last option. You do what you have to. For some people it seems whining and complaining is hishtadlus enough.

    #899391

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Who do you think sits on school boards? Morahs or baalei batim?

    Depends which kind, MO schools do have a board, but more right wing schools are run by the R’Y and the board has actually very little power as they are unwilling or unable to overule the R’Y

    #899392

    avhaben
    Participant

    Any parent not paying the full sticker-price for tuition has no standing to complain.

    #899393

    Whiteberry
    Member

    From the way people are complaining, I’d guess a whole bunch of poppa types are running the asylum.

    #899394

    abcd2
    Participant

    Avhaben: I would amend your statement to say full tuition to the BEST of their ability. The system as it stands cannot work anymore.

    In NY to meet full tuition payment usually both parents are working and the necessary income level is 3x’s that of the average American family.(Outside of Brooklyn and Lakewood you are looking at a starting asking price between 10-15k per kid.)

    We must view the relationship between parents and our Yeshivas much more then a creditor/debtor situation (as I am sure you do). With the exorbitant cost of tuition and current economic climate full tuition is very hard and currently out of reach for many.I guarantee if people had they would definitely fargin the Yeshivas to charge as much as they want.

    May Hashem answer all those in need and answer ALL our tefillos today!

    #899395

    squeak
    Participant

    To those who think schools are not a baby sitting service, you are simply wrong. If children were not going to school, where would they be? At a babysitting service. The school is a surrogate babysitter, hence it is a babysitter. Just an extremely haughty and unreliable one.

    #899396

    bubka
    Participant

    Using that train of thought, schools are a soup kitchen, gym and sports arena too.

    #899397

    marbehshalom
    Participant

    i am all for giving rabbeim higher salaries but giving then more off days does not help the problem. its not like they can use the off days for a second job.

    if parents would have more time to work maye they will be able to afford more tuition.

    #899398

    squeak
    Participant

    Bubkis, every caregiver has to provide for the needs of their charges. Its not an additional role.

    #899399

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Why are people complaining about the rebbes and morahs having so many days off? If it’s such an enviable job, become a rebbe or morah yourself!

    #899400

    hodulashem
    Participant

    so many people told me i should drop my dream of teaching because the salary is so small and you can’t always count on getting those pay checks… but i ignored all of those comments because my dream of teaching came from my sense of responsibility for all of our children. i want to provide our young ones with the education and support that they need and deserve as they develop and grow… i want to help them discover their potential and reach it… i want each child to grow up with a healthy self esteem and an understanding of the power of knowledge… I am in college so that i can become a great educator one day… trust me, i have considered other fields that pay better because I know that building a home requires money and one day i would like to build my own home… but i’m still working towards this goal of being an educator because our children need motivated teachers. i assure you that most of the morahs and rebbeim out there didn’t choose this field because they have more time to build their succas… why are we bashing them? they love and care about your children so much and put so much of themselves into their students’ growth…

    #899401

    Whiteberry
    Member

    Considering all the older bachurim and girls who have no yeshiva/school today….there are not enough available responsible people to watch the children of those who are working?

    Are these working parents not a part of the same social circles that they don’t know a single one of these bachurim or girls? I’d venture a guess that not only are they part of this social circle, they are close family where payment is not a necessesity, especially in the situations described by the original letter writer.

    Who said the bachurim must sleep until the 10 o’clock shachris and the girls must spend all day at the mall? A little chessed for their parents, uncles aunts and cousins, or neighbors wouldn’t kill them. If it would we have a bigger problem than just another day off from school.

    #899402

    abcd2
    Participant

    Hodulashem: Nobody is bashing teachers or not showing hakoras tov to them. But the reality is that current economic situation cannot allow for the current system to survive.

    The least painful option would be to give back free time and to extend friday hours with a possible give back from sunday hours when parents are off anyway.

    Current teaching schedules for the most part have been in use since agricultural society was dominant.Another solution would be to teach in July schools/teachers would get more money and parents would save money. The summer does wonders for kids but August would be sufficient they do not need eight weeks off. July could have divided days with half learning half play with teachers supervising.

    Every profession and Industry all over the country has had to implant change to save money and survive. Unfortunately our Yeshiva system is not immune.You can’t draw water from a dry well, tuition rates can’t go any higher. The schools must be more creative so they can help us help them.

    While tuition has been hard since time immemorial, it did not grow into the current monster it is until the late 1990’s as salaries have not kept true pace with inflation. However, the schools have been raising tuition every year.

    If salaries have not gone up commensurate with expenditure this money is just not there.

    The only solution is further communal involvement in schools, and just like all professions across the country a give back to the people.Schools have by and large put burden of tuition on parents and ignored the problem.It has now reached a point where schools must give something back to the parents and together with us come up with fast easily executable solutions options or our Yeshivas will not survive.

    #899403

    The little I know
    Participant

    hodulashem:

    Forget about “motivated” teachers. Let’s start with “trained” teachers, or how about “dedicated” teachers. I assume that everyone who enters the field of chinuch does it with some level of motivation. Yet, we are far from off the wall if we question the degree to which our children are exposed to damage while in our own yeshivos/schools. The public embarassment, the frequent absence of love and caring, the bizarre “punishment” policies, and the hostage holding when tuition is not up to date are all examples that portray that our yeshivos and schools are NOT treating our children with the responsibility of a loving surrogate daytime parent (which is a prerequisite of chinuch). I congratulate you on furthering your training. But the skills alone, while valuable, will not replace the love you need to have for your students. If that is compromised, we will just have more individuals entering the field manufacturing OTD kids by depriving them of the cheshek for Torah learning and Yiddishkeit.

    #899404

    marbehshalom
    Participant

    we love our rebbiem, but giving them days off dosent help the sitch. rather it makes wives not be able to hold jobs and therefor cant afford tuttion.

    and plus the rebbiem then are busy taking care of their own kids w/o having time to accomplish- on the off days anyways.

    #899405

    avhaben
    Participant

    The bottom line is:

    You will NOT get any more school days and you will not get any more hours per school day, until and unless:

    1) Tuition is raised a commensurate amount to the number of additional hours and days you are seeking

    and

    2) Rebbeim, Morahs, and teachers salaries are raised a commensurate amount of money to the addional hours and off-days you seek to add.

    Without both these conditions stringently applied across the board, you cannot and never will get the change you seek. Complaining that tuition is too unbearably high and cannot go higher may (or may not) be true. But even if it is true, without an equivelent increase of tuition — for everyone including those who cannot afford it — you simply will NOT get more school hours.

    P.S. Girl schools have no Sunday hours, so you cannot do a trade-off between Sunday and Friday. And if you do it for boys schools, you’ll end up with your boys and girls having different school schedules on Friday.

    #899406

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Marbehshalom,

    Giving them days off helps them, if not you.

    It’s being quite dramatic to claim that a woman can’t take a job because of a few days when she needs someone other than the school to care for her children.

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