Blog EntryBlog: Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Welcome Back!

Dear Parents,
Welcome Back Everyone!
Our 2016-17 school year is off to a great start; lots of old friends and plenty of new ones are coming to Orchard smiling and ready for school!
We have some day-to-day information to pass along as well as some “bigger” initiatives we want to share with you-
You may have heard this from your children so it must be true, teachers will not be assigning homework this year. After some thoughtful and reflective in-service work, our entire faculty/administration decided it is time for Orchard to become a Homework Free School.
We will not be assigning any work to be completed at home with the exception that students read each night. 
We understand this is catching parents off guard and so we recommend reading the attachment . We will provide more information and time for feedback at our Curriculum Night. Additionally, we will be seeking feedback later in the school year. We know our students are on board and believe parents will soon be on board too.
At our In-Service, our faculty began investigating the work of psychologist/author Carol Dweck on the power of developing a Growth Mindset. This work will actually complement the No Homework Philosophy. More will be shared in the near future.
Kindergarten & 1st Grade Parents—please remember that a parent, guardian or (communicated) designee must be at the bus stop for us to drop your child at the end of the school day.
We have new staff members to introduce—
Our new Kitchen Staff, Heather Liberty (Kitchen Coordinator) & Marshyia Ramos (Cooking and Food Prep) have just joined us. We are excited to have them at Orchard School.
We are pleased to announce we added staff members: Holly Gauding and Stephanie Smith to our K-1 staff. Also, Dana Blow will be joining our Pre-School Program. A listing of our entire staff can be found at the beginning of the Orchard Family Handbook, which is located on our webpage.
Finally, we have two staff members who are out for a little while. Our Administrative Assistant, Sue O’Brien, is away.
Allyson Yandow has moved into Sue’s position while one of our old friends, Shelley Butterfield is filling in.
Additionally, our librarian, Donna Sullivan-Macdonald will be out for a couple of weeks as well. Our librarian assistant Judy Gilmartin is filling Donna’s shoes while, Lynne Baechle, is taking Judy’s library assistant position (Lynne worked at Orchard as our Summer Librarian). Though we are missing a couple of key individuals of our daily operations, we believe our backup staff members will work nicely continuing to move us forward in our school year.
Welcome back everyone and here’s to an exciting and productive school year!
Have a terrific 3-day weekend; take some time to read with your child!
Mark Trifilio

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