Since the beginning of middle school, I have managed to be one of the few Bellmore residents to attend an outside school.
In the faraway land of Hewlett, I attend Stella K. Abraham School for Girls, more often referred to as SKA. My school community prides itself on being a vibrant and welcoming center of Jewish education. Not only does SKA offer in-depth classes on Judaic topics, but it has a huge range of secular classes as well. This includes vast Advanced Placement classes, theater activities, special event programs, and sporting competitions.
For the average SKA student, a school day entails taking both Hebrew and English classes. This inevitably results in longer days, but the upside is a greater scope of education. I have been taking classes in the Hebrew language, Jewish philosophy, and Jewish history since elementary school, all the while having the standard secular studies incorporated into my school day.
Living in North Bellmore has its own perks and faults. The one disadvantage that I most relate to is the feeling of isolation from my school community. Whenever I would like to host a get-together, the immediate response is the debate of who has to ask their parents to drive the 45-minutes to North Bellmore. This inescapably causes a divide between my friends and me.
More often than not, I lose sight of the fact that I am an outsider both here and there. On the other hand, there are times where I tend to enjoy the remoteness of Bellmore. I believe that all high school students can attest to how school can be extraordinarily, academically demanding and forcibly inclusive at times. The separation of my school life and home life allows me to have peaceful nights and weekends, both of which I take advantage of.
From my experience, private schools differ from public schools primarily in the classes that are deemed important. A student’s perspective on the similarities and differences between public and private high schools would be fascinating. These intricacies could be revealed in a hypothetical scenario through trading places with another student at a public school. I personally would participate in a social experiment of this nature, that would aid in expanding my education beyond simply academics. Though I can’t speak for all private schools, this type of exposure could stimulate a greater understanding of teen relationships that students could seek. The deeper relationships and potential connections formed would be highly beneficial for all those involved. This is essentially what I believe will foster teen relationships both now, and when they enter society later on.
Lippman is a student contributor, writing a School Daze column on a bi-weekly basis for the Bellmore Herald.