Eeees and I have an 8th grader, who, for blogging purposes, is named George. As you can imagine, we've been looking at various high schools for George. Usually, George accompanied us to these open houses so that he could see what the school was like, but there was one open house to which we did not take him. Sadly, George was sick that day.
As it turned out, Eeees and I were somewhat impressed with what we saw that day. We were a bit sad that George missed the open house as it seemed like the type of school that would be just right for him.
Fortunately, the school held a "Spend the Day" program this past week for potential incoming students. And so, I drove George to the school for Shacharis that morning. Since I was in the neighborhood, I also stuck around for davening as well.
While I watched the students enter the shul and get ready for davening, I noticed something very interesting -- the lack of uniformity among the kids. Some wore hats and jackets with white shirts. Others wore hats or jackets. Some didn't wear either. Some kids had the big black velvet yarmulkes. Some had leather yarmulkes. Some had knitted. One kid had the large knitted cap that some sephardim wear. While all the boys wore button-down shirts, some wore white, while other wore colored shirts. Some even had stripes (sometimes of numerous colors).
I found it very interesting that this school is willing to accept (and seemingly embraces) kids from a wide variety of derachim (paths). In addition, it seems that they are willing to let each kid be who he is and not try to force him into a mold that he might not be comfortable with.
Quite refreshing to see. I think we might have a winner here.*
*Not for that reason alone, of course... but the seeming open-mindedness was a nice surprise.