This morning I started my day with an appointment with the principal of the local girls high school. I was there to discuss what to do for dd15 for the coming year, and the conversation went really well. Besides the fact that she’s a very caring person who very much appreciates dd and wants her to be happy, over the course of this year I’ve had a chance to develop a nice relationship with her and the school advisor (who also was there for the meeting).
Here were some good things about the meeting:
- They offered (not just offered, but started making phone calls while I was still sitting there) to activate their network to research the school that I told them is the most likely place for dd15 for the coming year to ascertain what the peer group is like in dd’s grade. As they told me, they’ll be able to get honest information parents would have a very hard time finding out.
- The principal offered to call the principal of the other school after Shavuos if she doesn’t hear from her before then, and give the warmest possible recommendations of dd. The school advisor also was quick to offer her willingness to provide her strong recommendation of dd.
- The principal asked me if I’d be willing to serve as the liason between the Anglo parents and students and the school for the coming year. She feels that I understand the Israeli school culture as well as obviously coming from an American mindset, and has already spoken to the chief rabbi of the city and told him she wants me to do it. As a long term homeschooler I find this a little ironic but told her I’d be happy to help out.
- She and the advisor have told me in each of our meetings (this was the third) that they’d like me to address the staff as well as have a separate lecture to the student body. I asked about what and they said my general approach to dealing with life and the inevitable difficulties. I brushed them off about this in the past and today as well, but it was nice to be asked and to be appreciated. Afterward I thought that I really should have taken their offer more seriously since they keep asking; it would probably be fun though a challenge since it would be in Hebrew.
Overall they were both very supportive and understanding of the decision we’ve made not to send dd back to this class for the coming year. They’d like her to stay but even so they’re willing to actively help her get into a different high school. And she also agree to something else I discussed with her at the end of our talk, to give dd a lot more leeway regarding attendance for the remaining weeks of school, based on some concerns I shared.
I’ve appreciated the administration and teachers at this school, as well as their overall approach to dealing with the girls. Despite being different than my personal approach to education, it’s very, very balanced when you look at what the administrative norm of charedi girls’ schools are. I didn’t anticipate so much active willingness to help us find a new school, even though I know they are very caring women. So that was a really nice way to end our meeting today.