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Principal's Monthly Update
Principal's Monthly Message
Posted on 03/01/2017
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Mary K. Ferreri, Principal


February Monthly Update

Good Evening Orchard School Families!

Tomorrow marks the first day of March - hard to believe!  This year is moving at a rapid pace.  I take comfort in the adage, time flies when you are having fun!

Wait.  Stop.  Tomorrow is March 1?  Wow.  That must mean a new month is, please remember to order lunch for your student!

Now, continue on and read below on the wonderful happenings at Orchard School!



Community Outreach Programs:  Our last program featured Jessica Lahey, discussing her book, The Gift of Failure.  She also shared a bibliography of books and other sources that she cited, well worth checking out!  I encourage you to consider how her talk may inspire you as a parent.

Jessica shared her thoughts as both a teacher, mother, and writer.  She spoke about extrinsic motivators for children, and intrinsic motivations.  Here are some takeaways:

  • Extrinsic Motivators are great for one time, one focus, one purpose tasks (e.g., a reward for making your bed, cleaning up your room, etc.).  Extrinsic motivators are not helpful for tasks that require long term focus, effort or creativity (e.g., giving a prize for a good report card - the end goal is overwhelmingly complex and multifaceted).

  • Intrinsic Motivation is key to student success.  Building intrinsic motivation starts with three things:

    • Autonomy

    • Competency

    • Connection

  • Autonomy:  allow students to feel and experience natural consequences and disappointment.  Children who are not autonomous have a fixed mindset and often dissolve into frustration rather than an ability to solve their own problem and persevere.  What happens if you forget your homework? Instrument? Lunch? What happens if your homework is too difficult?  If the answer is mom/dad/sibling steps in to _____, then the answer is not promoting autonomy.  

    • Related:  make sure that the “punishment” fits the “crime”.  Taking away a cell phone for not completing homework serves no connection for students.  Instead, allow them to experience what happens when homework isn’t completed (loss of credit, time in with teacher, etc.).

  • Competence:  not the same thing as confidence! Competence is a sense of accomplishment, the knowledge that they can push through frustration and persevere until they find a better way - as compared to what makes them happy right now.

  • Connection:  tell your child you love them.  Not the child you wish you had, but them!  Ensure that your child knows that you love them unconditionally, no matter what.  

  • Finally, Jessica shared an interesting point that I felt was worth repeating.  She noted that every time she dropped off a folder, an instrument, homework, that she, herself, felt good.  “I did something for my child today!  I helped them not feel sad about ____.  I am a really great mom!”  In hindsight, she was taking away their ability to feel proud of themselves for remembering, their ability to be autonomous for oneself and to persevere through problems on their own.  

  • If you have read these points, I ask you to consider their relevancy to your own life.  Can you challenge yourself to allow your child to become more autonomous?  Does your child know the connection you feel to them?  Do they have a passion, an ability, an interest that fosters their competence?  

Upcoming events include “Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder” on 3/14 and “Least Restrictive Environment (Special Education)” on 4/4/17.  For more information, please visit the RPS website to view the folder for the 2016-17 Well-Being series. Hope to see you there!

Science Fair:  We are so excited to host our first Science Fair at Orchard School!  For both those who have a project, and those who did not try one just yet, we hope that you are able to attend!  See the information below for specifics:

Orchard Science Fair Timeline ~ All Events in Cafetorium

  • Exhibit Set Up: March 2nd, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Exhibits Open for Public: March 2nd, 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM

    • During this portion, students who have exhibits are asked to remain at their exhibit to present.

  • Exhibits Open for Class Visits: March 3rd 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM

    • Homerooms have signed up already for their visit.  Students with exhibits will present to their class when they visit.

  • Exhibit Cleanup: March 3rd, 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM(students must pick up their exhibits)

Lunch Ordering is open for March: Village Fresh.  All orders are placed online.  Orders must be in by 8:00 AM, otherwise, they will not be delivered on that day.  A note and a reminder:  if you are ordering school lunch for your child, please check in with them to be sure that they like it and enjoy it.  Many times a student will tell us that they don’t like what has been ordered for them.  Our staff does work hard to encourage students to try new things and to eat some of their lunch, but it would be helpful for you to follow up at home as well.  Thank you!



As with every monthly update, we need some short reminders.  Please read below on items of note:

  • Spirit Day is Thursday, 3/2!

  • Please remember to follow all regular traffic rules and regulations in and around the Orchard School area.  This includes parking in designated spaces, and not double parking 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.  

  • Please remind those you know to register for Kindergarten (or other grades) at Orchard School for 2017-18.  Registration is now open!

Please review the list of dates below for upcoming events at our school.  


Mrs. Ferreri



Upcoming events:

3/2:  Spirit Day - Orchard Science Fair evening event (7-8:15 PM)

3/4:  Super Science Saturday @ BFMS

3/9:  Dad’s Night Out - Steel Wheel Tavern

3/10:  International Night, 5:30 PM

3/14:  Community Outreach Program:  Life Beyond your Eating Disorder (GW 7 PM)

3/16:  Orchard SKY ZONE event, 4 - 9 PM

3/17:  HSA Meeting, Spotlight on  Grade 3

3/29:  Delicious Apple Banquet

3/31:  Celebrate Learning Day

4/4:  Community Outreach Program:  Least Restrictive Environments (Ed Center, 7 PM)

4/6:  Grade 1 Play (9 AM)

4/10 - 4/17:  No School - Spring Recess