Program Overview

The Orchard School athletics program offers a wide variety of extra-curricular sports experiences for children in grades 5 through 8.

Our program strives to provide a positive atmosphere in which a child has the opportunity to develop physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually in a supportive, safe, yet competitive environment. We have a "no-cut" policy at Orchard, and all interested students who choose to participate are evaluated and placed on an appropriate skill-level team whenever possible. Individual and team skills and strategies will be developed and enhanced along with a regular emphasis on good sportsmanship and positive representation of an Orchard student athlete.


The coaching staff of Orchard is, for the most part, drawn from our interested full or part-time teaching staff. If necessary, a coach may be hired who is not a regular employee at Orchard. He/she will be interviewed and carefully selected and will be subject to an official safety check by the Human Relations department prior to being hired. Please remember that our coaches choose to spend many hours and devote much energy toward developing the individual and team skills of each student athlete assigned to them.

Questions, comments or recommendations concerning the Athletic Program in general or a specific team should be directed to the coach first. The same is true for concerns in regard to a coach's philosophy and/or expectations. If additional help is needed, a parent can contact the Athletic Director or the Director of Middle School. Concerns should be expressed directly and privately to the coach at an appropriate time, not before, during or after a game or practice.

Playing time, team strategy, play calling, lineups, substitutions, and other student-athletes on the team are not appropriate topics to discuss with coaches. Please notify the coach regarding any schedule conflicts and of any medical problems that could adversely impact a child's performance and safety.

General Information:

List of 11 items.

  • Time Commitment

    Practices and/or contests take place after approximately school four days a week. Practices last until 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. Parents will be notified in advance of pick-up times. Students should be picked up and signed out promptly at the conclusion of practices or sporting events, or arrangements should be made for the students to connect with Teen Connect.
  • Team Selections

    At Orchard, team sports opportunities are available to boys and girls in fifth through eighth grades. Other than soccer, cross country, tennis and track, most teams are separated by gender. Students are encouraged to try out and participate as members of an athletic team. We have a "no-cut" policy at Orchard and students are placed on a team based on the number of athletes trying out, their individual skills and/or grade level. (This, however, does not mean that players get equal playing time.) Based on try-outs, coaches then evaluate and determine what team the students will be on and communicate this information privately and indirectly to the athlete. Large numbers may dictate that teams be organized in a number of ways, including core teams or multiple-team rotations. These decisions are made at the discretion of the individual coach.
  • Team Membership

    Participation on our athletic teams is considered a privilege and is offered to students who show interest, desire, responsibility, good sportsmanship and acceptable academic performance. Athletes are expected to attend all practices and contests unless permission has been granted by the Head Coach prior to the absence. Students will not be allowed to participate in an Orchard athletic contest without special permission of the Athletic Director and Middle School Head if:
    • Athletic and Parent Code(s) of Conduct are not signed and returned
    • Student has been absent from school for more that half of the school day on the day of the contest
    • Student has been issued an in-house or at-home suspension from school
    • Student's behavior or academic performance has warranted loss of privilege, including after-school athletics
  • Codes of Conduct

    Both parents and the student are required to sign and abide by the Student/Parent Guidelines and Codes of Conduct.

    These Codes of Conduct need to be signed annually and are available under forms in the Athletic section of Extended Programs on the Orchard web site and in the Extended Programs office.
  • Playing Time

    Actual participation in the athletic contest is a decision made by each coach. There is no guarantee of equal playing time during an athletic contest, but coaches do their best to reward each athlete with some game action during the season.
  • Transportation

    Students are transported to athletic events on school buses whenever possible. There will be no return bus available. Students must go home with their parents or other designated driver, if parents submit a signed release form.
  • After-Practice Pick-up and Sign-out Policy

    Coaches will provide schedules for students and parents with pick-up times, which are as accurate as possible. Parents are to meet their child at a place designated by the coach. Parents are strongly encouraged to be on time to pick-up students after practices or athletic contests. Parents or an authorized family member/friend MUST sign the sign-out sheet when picking up students. Athletes not picked up by the designated pick-up time will be signed into the Teen Connect program. Students are not permitted to leave the building without a parent signature.
  • Uniforms

    Athletes will be issued game uniforms and possibly practice uniforms at the beginning of the season. The purchase of certain items such as hats and socks may be the responsibility of the athlete. It is the athletes' responsibility to launder and care for their uniform. At the conclusion of the season, athletes will have one week to return laundered uniforms to the gym office. If uniforms are returned damaged, the cost of the uniform will appear on the parent's next Orchard billing statement.
  • Participation Fee

    Athletes will be charged a participation fee for each sport. Fees vary by sport and are published prior to the season.
  • Parent Assistance

    Athletes' parents and/or guardians can expect to be asked to help with timing, scoring, line judging, concessions or assisting as needed.
  • Concessions

    The concession stand will be open only for athletes some days at school dismissal. Athletes will have access to purchase items during that time. Parents will be asked to participate in the running of the concession stand.


Fall, winter and spring sports seasons offer experiences in nine sports:

  • Soccer 
  • Cross Country
  • Volleyball
  • Tennis
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Track and Field
Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students: The Orchard School values diversity and seeks talented students. Orchard admits students of any race, color, national origin and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Orchard does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or age in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, and athletic and other school-administered programs.