Principal's Monthly Update
Principal's Monthly Message
Posted on 01/10/2019
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Mary K. Ferreri, Principal


Orchard Elementary

Ridgewood Public Schools


Good Morning Orchard School Families,

Happy New Year!  I hope that you enjoyed a restful winter break.  We have returned to school ready and willing to work hard. You will find that in the coming months, your child will surprise you with what they know, and what they are able to do.  Our students grow a tremendous amount during the winter months. I am excited to witness their progress!

Please take a moment to read below for highlights of Orchard events and happenings.



Choose to Be Nice - Family “No Homework” Nights!

Each month at Orchard School, we celebrate our Choose to Be Nice theme at a Community Building Assembly.   This month, our theme of perseverance is Teamwork, and we are reading Mia Hamm’s book Winners Never Quit!

Our second “Choose to Be Nice Family Night” will be held next Thursday, January 17.  That night, our teachers will not assign any homework. Instead, we are encouraging families to get together and enjoy some quality time with one another.  

Our suggestion for this month is to have a board game night!  Perhaps your child received a new game this holiday season. At our home, my son can’t get enough of “Ring It!” We will join you in game night on Thursday.  We hope that you can take advantage of this time together.  Of course, we recognize that family schedules vary. If Thursday isn’t ideal, maybe this weekend you can try setting some time aside to play a game together!

Stay tuned for more “Choose to Be Nice No Homework Nights” in the future!



Wellbeing Speaker Series:  Ana Homayoun, January 16, 2019

Our next wellbeing speaker series event will be held on Wednesday, January 16, at 7 PM.  Join us as author Ana Homayoun speaks about her book, entitled: Social Media Wellness:  Helping Teens & Tweens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World.  Ana is a nationally recognized speaker and educator; a teen and millennial expert.  We look forward to this exciting event. Hope to see you there! Please view this flyer for more information.  



Media Usage & Families:  An Orchard Conversation

Many of you know that this is a topic that is of interest to us here at Orchard School.  Over the last two years, we have participated in district wide events to discuss technology and media consumption amongst students K-12.  This year, we would like to tailor that conversation to our specific Orchard community, and address the topics that affect our students. Anticipated questions for discussion include:

At what age should my child have access to a device?  Their own cell phone?

How do I set limits for my child?

How can I monitor the content my child views online?

What technology is available to my child at school?

What can I do in my own home to educate my child on the use of technology?
What can we do as a school community to support one another as we parent in the digital age?

To start, we are considering creating a family media contract that students and families can use.  We would like to take this pledge starting next year, in September of 2019. Our hope is that it can bridge home and school, connecting students with what they are learning in school about technology use with expectations at home.  

We will be hosting a night for Orchard parents to get together and discuss these questions and this pledge.  Our goal is that this will be the first of many sessions where we meet collaboratively to share our concerns and help one another.  Perhaps this will influence some of the work we do in school, as well!

If you are interested, please mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 13, at 7:30 PM.  And, please take this brief survey to shape our work together!  



As with every monthly update, we need reminders about our procedures and policies here at Orchard.  Please take note of the following:

  • Drop Off/Pick Up:  It has gotten cold and we are now relaxing a bit on our 3 PM pickups.  Please follow these rules for the safety of everyone.

    • Please remember to pull all the way up if using the drop off lane in the morning.  Also, please wait in that line and do not pull out of the line once your child has exited.  

    • At pick up time, please do not double park and please remember that we do not have a pick up and go area - the red fire zone is just that!  Please do not pull up or double park into the red zone for pickup.  

  • 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:  Just some reminders 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. Get your orders in!  Thank you!

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



Mrs. Ferreri



Upcoming events:

1/17:  Spirit Day; No Homework Night

1/18:  Bingo Night, 6:30 PM

1/23: Long Range Planning Team Meeting, 7:30 PM

1/29:  Winter Concert, Grades 4&5, 9:00 AM

2/1:  Talent Show, 6:30 PM

2/7:  Grade 2 Play, 9:00 AM

2/15, 18, 19:  No School - February Recess