Dear Orchard Families,
As we have concluded the 2018-19 school year, experiencing our culminating student events for the first time--Dime Day, Spring Pageant, and Graduation--was a joy. These meaningful traditions and program highlights brought our 96th school year to a close by bringing our community together to celebrate students. From preschool to eighth grade, our students have asked big questions, tried new things, and embraced diverse experiences and perspectives in their work and play.
Last week, David Epstein released his latest work, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.
Epstein takes a close look at some of the most successful athletes, artists, inventors, and scientists, and argues that the data patterns suggest something that calls into question our contemporary focus on specialization. In most fields it is generalists, those who dabble, tinker, explore, and immerse themselves in a broad range of experiences, who excel and find their careers most fulfilling. Epstein’s research captures the ethic of the work we have been doing at Orchard for almost a century, and I am pleased to announce that Range
will be the first book that we will read together in my Head of School Book Club this fall. I will share more details about the event in August, but in the meantime please read more about Epstein’s recent book here
While the daily experiences of our students are a testimony to the kind of hands-on, creative, experiential learning that Epstein highlights, later this month Orchard will begin construction on a new addition to our facility that creates a dedicated space for our preschool through eighth-grade students to define problems, develop prototypes, and build things by hand: The Fred Lorenz Makerspace. Named in honor of legendary Orchard shop teacher Fred Lorenz, our 3,600 square foot, LEED certified
Makerspace will reflect the innovative problem solving and practical applications that are at the heart of hands-on learning. Whether working in the Makerspace woodshop or digital design studio, our students and faculty will have additional space and tools to expand their explorations and create meaningful learning experiences. I hope you will join us at our annual Back-to-School Celebration on August 11th
to take a tour of the construction site, and again in January of 2020 when we welcome in students and families to the completed facility.
At Orchard, it is the people and the place that ensure that we live up to our mission to develop and educate the whole child. Our faculty and staff concluded last week reflecting together on our work of the past year, and planning for the next, and we are excited to welcome back our students in the fall for Orchard’s 97th year of joyful, dynamic learning.
I wish you a restful time with family and friends, many opportunities to explore and play, and a very happy summer.