Kids Connect

Program Overview

Orchard's Extended Day program offers numerous options during before- and after-school hours. Kids Connect's Preschool - Kindergarten, 1st-4th grade, and Teen Connect (5th-8th Grade) programs provide a full range of developed activities and also provide the structure to connect students with clubs and classes, athletic programs and events. These programs are available from 7:00 a.m.- 7:40 a.m. and from 3:20 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. An additional fee is assessed for Kids Connect.


List of 3 items.

  • Staff

    All Kids Connect programs are coordinated by dedicated staff who work together to design a challenging and entertaining curriculum. Kids Connect coordinators are trained in Responsive Classroom techniques. All coordinators have had CPR training. Additional part-time employees are hired, as class sizes warrant, to assist the coordinators.
  • Curriculum

    Kids Connect curriculum is broad in scope. Throughout its components, the curriculum maintains direct ties with Orchard’s core curriculum concepts. Growth opportunities extend beyond the confines of the classroom and limits of the day’s schedule while maintaining connection with the units, themes, concepts and values being explored and developed during the school day. Social interaction is seen as an integral part of learning. We believe that a child’s time is valuable and even when school is out, learning is still taking place. Learning can happen in a variety of venues. Kids Connect utilizes Orchard's Social/Emotional Standards as a basis for daily planning.
  • Fees and Billing

    7:00-7:40 a.m.: $17.00

    3:20-4:30 p.m.: $17.00
    4:30-6:00 p.m.: $25.00
    After 6:00 p.m.: Late fee of $2.00/minute
    • Normal fees will be assessed for students who stay in Kids Connect waiting for a class, club or lessons that starts after 3:30 and for those students returning to Kids Connect from a club, class or lesson. Also, any child brought to Kids Connect at the end of pick-up at 3:40 will be charged. As in the past, billing will be based on usage and will be billed through the business office on a regular basis.
    • Billing is generated through the business office once per month.
    • Questions about program attendance can be directed to a Kids Connect Extended Programs Manager.
    • Questions regarding payments or tax information can be directed to the business office.
    Fees charged for special programs will be published with program information and registration forms.

By Grade Level:

List of 3 items.

  • Preschool-Kindergarten

    Program Description:

    The Preschool-Kindergarten program emphasizes the skills needed for children to work and play with others. Activities are designed to provide the students with basic life and social skills to help them be successful in the classroom environment, in preparation of snack, and in the development of social skills, such as waiting a turn. We teach children how to work well with a diversity of individuals and situations and how to utilize good speaking and listening skills within a group. Students’ development of social skills is assessed through observation. We observe whether children can share during play, wait their turn during games, use their words to resolve a conflict, and how they accept the logical consequences of inappropriate behavior. Knowledge is further assessed through artwork and drama, or role-playing.

    Skills Emphasized:

    • Showing respect for each other and leaders in a group setting
    • Taking initiative
    • Waiting a turn
    • Sharing a toy or game
    • Practicing good listening among peers
    • Resolving conflicts with adult assistance
    • Respecting students with a different gender, economic and ethnic background
    • Learning consequences of behavior
    • Making choices for personal entertainment and recreation
    • Developing a belief in the ability to succeed
    • Identify and share feelings in appropriate ways
    • Understanding that people are alike in many ways (i.e. need for food and shelter) and different in many ways (i.e. skin color, hair color, language, and family configuration)
    Meet the Staff:

    Preschool-Kindergarten Kids Connect Coordinator: Jackie Smith
    Supervisors: Lizzie O'Connor, Luke Meyer, Ella Lerner, Kate Howell, Willa Kornstein
  • 1st-4th Grade

    Program Overview:

    The First-Fourth Grade Program emphasizes the skills needed for children to work and play with others. Orchard's Social/Emotional Learning Standards create the foundation for skills taught. Our curriculum draws upon brain research, such as the Minds-Up program, as well as utilizing the techniques of Responsive Classroom and team building. Individual and group projects and activities give students the opportunity to explore various interests, try new things and work on specific social skills. We teach children how to work well with a diversity of individuals and situations, to develop interpersonal communication skills and leadership potential. Student progress is assessed by observation. Students are given daily opportunities to practice the specific skills that are taught through the group meetings, guided projects, care for the Kids Connect spaces and individual opportunities for choice. Throughout the year we observe and guide students in their ability to resolve conflicts with peers. Students demonstrate understanding of Orchard values through team building, service, art and science projects.

    Skills Emphasized:

    • Showing respect for each other and leaders in a group setting
    • Taking initiative
    • Waiting a turn & sharing
    • Practicing good listening among peers
    • Communicating ideas among peers
    • Resolving conflicts with adult assistance
    • Respecting students with a different gender, economic and ethnic background
    • Learning consequences of behaviors
    • Working with peers cooperatively on projects
    • Learning to be a leader and a follower
    • Recognizing some personal strengths and weaknesses
    • Learning that practice helps improve skills
    • Learning that sometimes people choose to do the same thing as friends (dress, talk), but also choose to do certain things their own way
    • Making choices for personal entertainment and recreation
    • Learning that people belong to some groups by birth and some by choice
    • Developing a belief in the ability to succeed
    Meet the Staff

    Kids Connect 1st-4th Coordinator: Eli DeBrota
    Supervisors: Grace DeBrota, Maddie Darr, Sarah Norville (sub as needed)
  • Teen Connect Program: Grades 5-8

    Program Description

    The Teen Connect program emphasizes skills stemming from Orchard's Social Emotional Standards. The teens' growing need for freedom is balanced with an expectation of increased responsibility. Activities are designed to provide the students with skills needed to help them contribute to the overall effort of the group, while recognizing and providing for the individuality essential to adolescent development. We teach children how to work well with a diversity of individuals and situations, to develop interpersonal communication skills, conflict resolution skills and to develop their leadership potential. Activities are designed to help students set and manage goals, perform self-appraisal, determine risks, demonstrate perseverance and maintain a healthy self-concept.

    Skills Emphasized:

    • Contributing to the overall effort of a group
    • Identifying and dealing with the causes of conflict both personally and in a group
    • Developing a "voice" and utilizing that "voice" in a respectful and effective manner
    • Taking initiative when needed
    • Establishing personal goals and helping the group establish goals
    • Contributing to the development of a supportive climate
    • Communicating ideas in a manner that is respectful of others
    • Displaying empathy, friendliness and politeness with others
    • Reacting to ideas rather than to the person presenting the ideas
    • Occasionally serving as a leader
    • Occasionally serving as a follower
    • Enlisting others in working toward a shared vision
    • Challenging practices that are not working
    • Developing and maintaining practices that work
    • Recognizing the contributions of others
    • Weighing risks when making decisions and solving problems
    • Applying resistance skills to unhealthy choices
    • Applying preventive measures prior to a task to minimize safety problems
    • Persisting in the face of difficulty
    • Taking criticism in a dispassionate manner
    • Demonstrating compassion
    • Trying new things in hopes of making oneself more well-rounded
    • Recognizing personal strengths and weaknesses
    • Engaging in active listening and using emotions appropriately in dialogues

    Meet the Staff

    Teen Connect Coordinator: Sally Doehrman

Additional Information

  • All Orchard Students are enrolled in Kids Connectbut must have their medical emergency and student release forms on file with the Admissions Office in order to participate.
  • The program is designed to meet the needs of our parents and can be used on a regular, part-time or drop-in basis.
  • All children who are in the building before school or after dismissal and not under the direct supervision of an adult or in another extended program must be enrolled in Kids Connect.
  • If you are not a regular Kids Connect user, we recommend that you arrange to have your child attend a Kids Connect program at least once so that in the event of an emergency, they will be comfortable with the program, instructors and process.
  • If your child will be attending a Kids Connect program other than Teen Connect, please notify your classroom teacher so that they will know to send your child to our program and not to the pick-up line. If a need for your child to be in Kids Connect arises after the beginning of the school day, please contact the front desk. We will see to it that the appropriate arrangements are made to have your child join one of our groups.
  • A student who is not picked up at designated pick-up times will join a Kids Connect program.
  • Parents are responsible for signing their children out of programs before taking them from the building.
  • Conference day and other special programs require pre-registration. Forms will be accessible on this web site.
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.