Jewish K-12 Schools

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Neighborhood Public School vs. a Jewish Day School

October 2002

Our son will be going to kindergarten next year and we're trying to sort out the tradeoffs between Jewish day school vs Crocker Highlands, which is across the street from us. And if we go down the path of Jewish day school, what are the tradeoffs between Techiya and Oakland Hebrew Day. Pros we see for Jewish day school are the strong Jewish education (hebrew and judaica) and the values taught. Downside is the distance (including harder to make friends with the neighborhood kids, harder to arrange play dates with classmates), lack of diversity and cost. Do any of you have experience with these three schools? Can you share your own decision process and what you think in hindsight? Are the downsides real (besides cost!)? Thanks for your help!

My son just started Tehiyah as a 6th grader after going to public elementary school (Thornhill) for K-5. The issue of friends in the neighborhood is significant. Our son has local friends already. Though you will make friends thru sports, summer camps and synagogue. Still, I wish we had started Tehiyah sooner because 1) my son would have been better challenged. The public school teachers repeatedly told us that he was at the top of the class but fooled around a lot when things got boring. 2) the class sizes got much bigger at 4th grade and my son was more adrift as the teacher struggled with class control 3) my son needs a much more one-on-one relationship with the teacher to feel comfortable and engaged. The public school told me they don't really have time for that. The Tehiyah teachers actually want to know the kids. 4) the Judaic studies and Hebrew are a wonderful side benefit, will make his bar mitzvah prep easier, but were not our primary reason for going to Tehiyah.

We stuck it out in public school because of money, distance, friends. We were wrong. Doesn't mean it isn't right for your kid, but mine is very high energy, got in trouble a lot, and his learning disability was completely overlooked. He sailed thru on being bright - that DOES NOT WORK FOREVER.

The teachers and administration at Tehiyah have been very responsive to any concern I have. They like my child and he likes them. His core teacher says his hand is "always up." That may be a bit of a pain for her, because she can't call on him over and over again, but it tells me that he really likes the learning process and is involved.

Good luck and remember, either way you can switch if it doesn't work. Dawn

also see: Reviews of Tehiyah Day School (Oct 2002)