Englewood—For the town of Bergenfield, unlike Teaneck, Englewood, Passaic, New Milford, and Fair Lawn and most other communities in Bergen County, where busing is neither provided nor subsidized for private school students, The Moriah School, based in Englewood, has made an exciting transportation announcement. Beginning in the Fall of 2017, they will offer a busing option to and from the Bergenfield area. This level of expansion is more than just a commuting need. It is an indication of a diverse parent and student body, something on which Moriah prides itself. “We have increased our efforts to diversify by reaching out to different communities,” explained Moriah Head of School Rabbi Daniel Alter. “We have seen a positive response with families approaching us from more and more communities.” While we are spending a lot of time focusing on Bergenfield and Teaneck and are seeing renewed interest in Moriah from these locations, families have approached Moriah from Fair Lawn, Manhattan, Riverdale and even Passaic.
Rabbi Alter explained that in order to provide the bus for the Bergenfield families, they needed a commitment from a critical mass of families, “and we have already surpassed that,” he said. “We may end up needing a bigger bus than we originally assumed.” Rabbi Alter pointed out that this does not even include the many Bergenfield families who work at Moriah and do not need transportation for their children.
The school also made a commitment to ensure that the cost of busing from Bergenfield is affordable and that there are subsidies available for those that need it. Subsidies will be determined on a sliding scale based on criteria similar to the school’s TAP program, which offers discounted tuition to families that need assistance but don’t want to go through the complex tuition assistance process.
Current Bergenfield Moriah families were happy for the increase in local friends and neighbors, but not at all surprised. “I’m excited that more Bergenfield families are expressing interest in Moriah as a viable option for their children,” expressed Rachel Ratzersdorfer, whose four children attend the school. “After taking a tour they’re impressed and realize they want this type of environment for their kids. They like the balance of warmth and rigor, and are excited about Moriah’s ability to personalize learning so that every student is challenged.”
Rabbi Alter explained that Moriah is known for producing students who are well prepared to thrive in high school. The children enjoy coming to school and love Moriah. More recently, the TAP program, a progressive tuition model, ensures that the school can continue to provide a premium program while still being one of the most affordable school options for a high percentage of families.
The school looks forward to continuing to cater to the needs of their families, educationally, socially and now transportation-wise as well.
By Jenny Gans