Principal's Monthly Update
Principal's Monthly Message
Posted on 03/01/2018
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Mary K. Ferreri, Principal


March Update

Good Morning Orchard School!

We are nearing the end of February, and boy, have we been busy!  This month alone we have celebrated Black History Month, the 100th Day of School, and Valentine’s Day!  Not to mention that we are continuing to participate in the reading marathon, and plan our projects for the Science Fair!  All of this in a short month - whew!

We also had a short week, so I have a few items that would have come out in our e-news.  Please note:

  • The Orchard Science fair is next week.  There is still time to register!  Projects do not need to be elaborate in any way.  The Science Fair is on Thursday, March 1 through Friday, March 2! Registration is free and all students are encouraged to participate. This is a fun event and a great opportunity to grow our little scientists in a supportive and nurturing environment. No project is too small and we hope to see everyone get involved! And, as a reward, every child that participates will earn a homework pass!   Click on this link for more information.

Our Choose to Be Nice fundraiser is still going!  Help our fifth graders reach their goal of $600 to help them create a Buddy Bench for our playground.  We have raised $473 so far!  Please check your class parent emails for more details on the fundraiser.  You can use this link to order your apparel.

Our March update is out a few days early - we have a number of exciting events coming up at the end of February/beginning of March and I just want to make sure everyone is aware.  Mark your calendars:

  • TONIGHT:  Friday, 2/23:  Orchard’s Got Talent!  Show starts at 6:30 PM.

  • Wednesday, February 28:  Community Outreach Program - “Developing Grit, Self-Control, and a Positive Mindset” - GW auditorium, 7 PM

  • Thursday, March 1:  Orchard Science Fair, 7 PM, Cafetorium

  • Saturday, March 3:  Super Science Saturday!  10 AM - 2 PM, RHS

Mrs. Loonam has begun her time at Orchard!  We are enjoying the opportunity to work together and look forward to the transition.  She can be reached via email at:  She will be with us through May.  I look forward to returning on May 24th, just in time to meet our 2018-19 Kindergarten students at orientation!

Please read below on a few items of note.  Thank you!




Long Range Planning Team Meeting:  This month we held our second LRPT meeting.  Our final meeting for the year will be held on Wednesday, 3/21/18, at 7 PM at Orchard School.  The following topics will be discussed:

  • Updating our Performance Space:  Investigating updating/refurbishing curtains, upgrading stage lighting to LEDs

  • Making a Difference - Creating a Philanthropic Connection

  • Beautification & Aesthetics:  Creating a mural for our front school wall, completing remaining landscaping work near back playground, front school bed, amphitheater and cafetorium area

  • Playground Upgrading:  Repurposing basketball court to accommodate 3 smaller courts with adjustable rims, repainting and adding in additional blacktop games, refurbishing and repainting games on Kindergarten blacktop

Following our March meeting (3/21/18), information regarding fundraising options will be put out to vote by the HSA.  We hope to have everyone informed and involved! Again, each of these topics will be discussed in greater detail at our next meeting on Wednesday, 3/21/18, at 7 PM at Orchard School.  Any and all are welcome to attend, listen, and add to our work together!  

~ SAVE THE DATE FOR OUR AUCTION!  5/5/2018, 5:30 PM, Hackensack Golf Club ~


Full Day Kindergarten:  At this point in the year, we are halfway through the first year of full day Kindergarten!  We have enjoyed the experience of having our K students here all day.  As you may have learned last year, one of the benefits for this opportunity was the chance to increase social and emotional learning skills through play, increased responsibility and independence opportunities, and curriculum.  We have already seen the benefits of this in only 6 months!  This month, the elementary principals and our Kindergarten staff members presented at the BOE meeting.  If you missed it, you can catch the webcast here.  This is an informative presentation for both current and incoming K families...and those of you who have older children who may be curious about what we are now doing all day long!  

Cell Phones, Cell Phones, Cell Phones:  As you know, when I read these articles, I always like to share.  Good food for thought.  You may have seen this one in the NYT in late January:  “Is Your Child a Phone ‘Addict’?”  Worth a read!




After our last Community Outreach Program, I stumbled across this article involving teenagers and anxiety.  Anxiety symptoms, or even diagnoses are  becoming more and more prevalent in our youth today.  This article from Psychology Today offers some interesting perspective on what could be contributing to these concerns.  In light of recent news events, we remind parents to contact us at any time if they notice changes to their child’s behavior.  You know your children best, and while we see them each day, you may notice subtle shifts or see their “real” persona at home.  We do have resources here at school that can help, and we have connections or recommendations for outside resources as well.  It has never been more challenging to parent children, in our fast paced and uncertain world, and we invite you to collaborate with us.  It truly takes a village and we are here to help!  




As my husband and I prepare for the arrival of our second child, part of that process involved rearranging car seats and securing them in our cars.  Fun times!  Around the same time, an Orchard parent shared these resources with me, and they are worth watching for all of us!  Unfortunately, we don’t always see the proper protocols (or laws!) followed at drop off each morning.  Consider watching the short videos on this link to be sure you know how to secure and use car seats AND boosters!  The “booster seat safety” video is very compelling...and you’ll be surprised what you learn from the Jeff Rossen Today Show video filmed right here in New Jersey.  Spend a few minutes and ensure your child is safe!




As with every monthly update, we need reminders about our procedures and policies here at Orchard.  Please read below on a few items of note:

  • Please remember to follow all regular traffic rules and regulations in and around the Orchard School area.  Please do not park or idle your car in the fire zone (red painted area along the front loop).  This includes parking in designated spaces, and please do not double park in the lot.  Everyone is busy, everyone has things to do - please be smart and safe - and follow the rules!

  • Link and follow our Google Calendar for HSA events!  Go to this link and click on the +Google Calendar in the right bottom corner.  

  • Lunch Ordering:  Another reminder for ordering lunch through Village Fresh.  All orders are placed online.  Orders must be in by 8:00 AM, otherwise, they will not be delivered on that day.  March lunch begins Thursday!  Thank you!

Please review the list of dates below for upcoming events at our school.  Enjoy the busy month ahead!



Mrs. Ferreri




Upcoming events:

2/23:  Talent Show, 6:30 PM

2/28:  Community Outreach:  Developing Grit, Self-Control, and a Positive Mindset, 7 PM @ GWMS

3/1:  Science Fair @ Orchard, 7-8:30 PM

3/3:  Super Science Saturday (30th anniversary!) Ridgewood High School

3/8: Tech Night, 7 PM

3/15: HSA Meeting, Spotlight on Grade 2, 9:15 AM

3/16:  International Night, 5:30 PM

3/21:  Long Range Planning Team Meeting, 7 PM

3/22:  Spirit Day!

3/23: Celebrate Learning Day at Orchard!

3/28:  Community Outreach Program, “Change is Opportunity”, 7 PM GWMS

3/29:  No School - Staff Development

3/30:  No School

4/4:  Delicious Apple Book Club Banquet, 6:30 PM

4/9 - 4/13:  Spring Recess - No School