Orchard Faculty & Staff Lead the Way in Progressive Ed at ISACS Conference

Last week seven Orchard faculty and staff members attended the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. Not only did our parliament of Owls learn and grow from this professional development opportunity, but all of them did more than attend the annual conference.
Kindergarten teacher Taleesha Martin and sixth-grade social studies teacher Stone Robbins are Orchard's Lead Learners (Lead Learners connects designated Lead Learners across ISACS schools, inspiring and energizing, collectively sharing ideas, disseminating knowledge, growing skills, and together, lifting all schools to a higher level.
Middle school director Angie Brothers helped facilitate the annual Roundtable for Division Heads, where school divisional leaders discuss current opportunities and innovations, and share practices and resources with their ISACS colleagues. FUN FACT: While out at dinner, Angie ran into Orchard grad Rebecca Elliott '14 who is a recreational therapist in Minneapolis.

Sixth-grade science teacher Ragen Mitchell and sixth-grade math teacher Aiyasami Sreenivasan presented on their Birding Winterm Course. Head of School Sherri Helvie and Director of Marketing and Communications James Layne presented on building school community remotely and beyond.

We recently announced a new strategic plan (The Orchard School’s Next 100 Years:  Building on our History, Impacting the Future). One of the four initiatives is “Leading the Way in Progressive Education” with the goal to create signature programming that differentiates Orchard’s program and establishes The Orchard School as a local, regional, and national leader. 

We were thrilled to have seven members of our community leading the way in Progressive education at a two-day conference for educators and leaders from independent schools representing 13 Midwestern states. With more than 140 sessions over two days on a variety of topics for independent schools, there was an abundance of knowledge and collaboration happening across these days and our Owls were thrilled to share Orchard's mission. 

ISACS serves more than 240 member schools, offering accreditation services, professional development, and opportunities for networking in thirteen states “to uplift the educational experience and formation of the next generation.” Their “mission is to lead schools in providing exemplary education. [They] are committed to fostering and furthering equitable, affirming, safe and just environments for schools.”

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