THE ORCHARD SCHOOL'S NEW STRATEGIC PLAN
I’m so excited to share Orchard’s new strategic plan with you–most especially on the eve of our centennial, a milestone that grounds us in our past as we look ahead toward the future.
The Orchard School’s Next 100 Years: Building on our History, Impacting the Future
, reflects the work of nearly a year and input from hundreds of members of our Orchard community, including faculty, families, staff, alumni, Trustees, and Governors. I’m grateful for the thoughtful and meaningful engagement of our extended Orchard community and truly heartened by the deep love and high aspirations that we heard from participants of all ages.
I’m happy to share that work is already underway that reflects the four strategic priorities that are outlined in the plan. Our first strategic priority, “Leading the Way in Progressive Education,” is supported by our active exploration of opportunities to expand hands-on learning opportunities for students at every grade level, as well as Orchard’s inaugural Symposium for Progressive Teaching and Learning, which happened earlier this month. “Environmental Education and Stewardship” captures our school’s long-term commitment to the concept of nature as teacher, and Orchard faculty and staff have already formed an ad hoc committee, Orchard’s Gold Standard for Green, to investigate more ways to deepen and expand opportunities for student learning, operational excellence, and community engagement that reflects our commitment to being good stewards of the natural world. “Investing in People and Places” is reflected in the commitment of our Board of Trustees and Board of Governors to freeze tuition for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, holding tuition steady in the hopes that an Orchard education will be sustainable for current and future families. And finally, “A Community of Belonging” reflects our commitment to nurturing an environment where everyone feels seen, known, and loved, and work is underway to understand community engagement and belonging, as well as reimagining employee and student recruitment and retention through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to review Orchard’s short-term, midterm, and long-term initiatives that support our strategic priorities, and I look forward to sharing more about how the strategic plan will shape our future in the months and years ahead.
My thanks for all that you do to sustain our community today and into the future. As we approach our 100th anniversary, I’m confident that the vision of our nine founding mothers is alive and well.
Sherri C. Helvie, Ph.D.
Head of School