Principal's Monthly Update
Principal's Monthly Message
Posted on 07/07/2017
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Mary K. Ferreri, Principal



Summer Monthly Update

Good Morning Orchard School!

Happy Summer!  I trust that you all are already enjoying your time away from school and this well deserved break.  We are hard at work at Orchard preparing classrooms for 2017-18 and purchasing materials for the year.  

As the summer months progress, we look forward to sharing our many updates with you for the coming year.  We wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer.  Please read below for some highlights and thoughts as we head into the summer months!


Community Outreach Programs:  As many of you know, these valuable programs are a resource to our community here in Ridgewood.  There are quite a few topics of interest as part of the 2017-18 series.  Please visit the Ridgewood Public Schools website to see a comprehensive list of dates.  

Free Play:  We spent the last few months of the school year working hard on our upcoming Full Day Kindergarten schedules and plans.  We are committed to incorporating more play into the day, which is such an important component of learning for children.  Here is an interesting article from Jessica Lahey (The Gift of Failure, Community Outreach presenter) on the benefits of free play - perfectly timed for the summer months.  Consider how “downtime” can really be a gift for your child!

Writing Through the Summer Months:  You will often hear us encourage students and families to keep up their reading and math facts in the summer months.  Summer is an important time to maintain your skills!  One area that can be overlooked - students may not be writing as frequently as they do during school.  You may wish to encourage your child’s writing using the following ideas:  

  • Keep a vacation journal

  • Write notes to family members

  • Write letters/cards/postcards to friends/family (If you write Mrs. Ferreri at Orchard School, I will write back to you!)

  • Keep a log of observations (growth in the garden, weather, etc.)

  • Help keep lists for the home (To-Do items, grocery)

Please feel free to email me directly at or write to me at 230 Demarest St., Ridgewood, NJ  07450.  I promise to write back!

Media and Students:  As we discussed this year, we would like to host some evenings for parents to continue the conversation about media usage.  I believe we have the ability as a community to help shift practices and attitudes about certain social norms.  

We will start our year off with a parent discussion, tentatively set for Wednesday, October 11 (evening).  At that meeting, we will use The Big Disconnect, by Catherine Steiner-Adair, to fuel our discussions.  Please consider reading this book ahead of our meeting!  On October 19, the League of Women Voters will be hosting a screening at the Ridgewood Public Library, entitled “Screenagers”.  On November 29, our community outreach program will host Dr. Heitner, who will discuss her book Screenwise.

Please save those dates and consider being a part of our group!  To help facilitate our work together, there are two recommended titles that I ask you to read:


Here are some dates of note as you plan your summer.  Please visit our website for the most up to date information!

  • The first day of school is on Wednesday, September 6.  This is a minimum day.  All students will dismiss at 12:45 PM.

  • Orchard’s Back to School Night is on Thursday, September 14.  We begin at 6:30 PM.  More information will follow.  

  • Our first Spirit Day is Thursday, 9/14.

  • The orientation for new families will be held on Tuesday, 9/19, at 7 PM.

  • There is no school on Thursday, September 21, in observance of Rosh Hashanah.

  • School Photos are on Tuesday, September 26.

  • Our first HSA Meeting is on Thursday, September 28, directly following CBA at 9:15 AM.  Please join us!

Wishing you all a restful, healthy, and safe summer!  


Mrs. Ferreri