Head of School Blog "My First Instagram Takeover"

Sheri Helvie, Ph.D.
Thanks to the members of our school community who followed along yesterday during my Instagram take over! I hope it offers insight into the work that I do here at Orchard, the incredible staff and faculty who make that work possible, and the exceptional teaching and learning that happens at Orchard every day. Yesterday’s posts highlighted the ways in which Progressive education, Joyful Partners in Learning, Nature as Teacher, and Parents as Partners guide our work--and I hope they also gave you a little insight into the fact that the adults at Orchard try to infuse playfulness and joy into everything we do. All of those posts and stories are collected here in this blog post for easy viewing. I wish you a wonderful week!


8 AM: Introduction



Checking e-mail before I start the day and getting ready for my #OrchardHOStakeover! Thanks for following my day at The Orchard School.


8:20 AM: Community building and connections



My first meeting is with Trustee Jennifer Shin and her mother Amy Distaulo: we’re at @ilstfoodemporium discussing opportunities for relationship building and development in Indianapolis. #OrchardHOStakeover.


10 AM: Pancake breakfast

So excited to be with fifth-grade students for my first experience turning maple sap into maple syrup! Mrs. P shared that she collected more than 200 gallons of sap within a 24-hour period this weekend, and then asked the students to apply some of their knowledge in math and science as they discussed how and why sap flows through maple trees, and why the yield of syrup to sap is 40 gallons to one. Terrific example of integrated learning in this much-beloved Orchard curricular highlight, and school tradition.

I left with maple syrup on my jacket, and smelling of campfire smoke: I’ve been christened!

Also, it was great spending time with Mrs. Shellhaas, who retired last year after 35 wonderful years! As one of the leaders in keeping this tradition alive, she plans to come back and help during maple syrup season.♥️ #OrchardHOStakeover


10:45 AM: Meet with Hal Schwartz, Director of Early Childhood and Elementary School



Meeting with Director of Early Childhood and Elementary School Hal Schwartz to go over admissions decisions for the new students. We also discussed Bohemian Rhapsody's big win at the #oscars last night. I’m a huge fan of Freddie Mercury. No seriously, click below to see my fandom...



Hal and Jennifer Bostrum (Director of Institutional Advancement) are also fans. Big thanks to them for having some fun with me! 🤣


11:38 AM: Posted to Orchard's "Story" feature


1 PM: Watching the Indy Opera with students



A brief stop in the theater to enjoy part of the performance by the @indyopera. They’re performing today for our students from Kindergarten through fifth grade. The students enjoyed this production with a homage to our hometown; appreciation for, and participation in the performing arts is a core tenet of our school’s program. Our students are performers themselves with multiple opportunities to act, sing, and dance throughout their years at Orchard.


2:10 PM: Talking science with second graders

Second graders are working on transformation of matter during their science and math time with Mrs. Cazares. In these pictures, students are discussing how tables might be the exact same size, but would be different weights depending on their matter. Lots of great dialogue and discussion!👌🏼

Second graders are also knee-deep in a national food waste audit. Click here for more on that. #OrchardHOStakeover


2:30 PM: Posted to Orchard's "Story" feature


2:35 PM: Engaging with the community



Orchard parent, Cyndi Lindeman, very kindly took me up on my offer at the State of the School address for parents to meet with me for an entrance interview. I’ve conducted over 70 entrance interviews with faculty, staff, parents, and Trustees since I’ve arrived in July, and they’ve been a wonderful opportunity to listen and learn as I do my current work for Orchard, and plan for future initiatives. Thanks for a great conversation, Cyndi, and for helping us live our school value of treating parents as partners. 
#community #OrchardHOStakeover



3:30 PM: Sneak peek of admissions boxes with Jennifer Bostrom, Director of Institutional Advancement




4 PM: Posted to Orchard's "Story" feature


4:30 PM: Cheering on Orchard's basketball team

Great game for the 5/6 Girls’ Basketball team:  playing our friends at Park Tudor. The owl mascot is Orchard student, Elyse E. Her family won “Be The Orchard Mascot” at the auction earlier this month! 🦉

ICYMI: It’s #spiritweek here at Orchard. Here is the lineup:

Monday- Pajama Day
Tuesday- Turn Back Time Tuesday: Dress from another decade
Wednesday- Wacky Wednesday: crazy hair, mismatch clothes, wear your clothes backward, or a silly hat. Get wacky! 
Thursday- Green and Gold/ Orchard Swag
Friday- NO SCHOOL (parent/teacher conferences)


5:10 PM: We LOVE Kids Connect



Last stop at Orchard is picking up Owen from the after school program Kids Connect, where Owen loves hanging out with his friend Mason, and teachers Miss Jackie and Miss Cassie. #OrchardHOStakeover


7:30 PM: Goodnight and thanks for following



Like past, present, and future Orchard parents, my evening winds down by putting my own little owl to bed.  Thanks for following my #OrchardHOStakeover today!  Have a restful evening. 

♥️ Sherri Helvie, Head of School

Follow us on Instagram here. To follow Sherri's journey on the Instagram app, click here.
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