Principal's Monthly Update
Principal's Monthly Message
Posted on 10/01/2017
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Mary K. Ferreri, Principal




October Update

Good Afternoon Orchard School Families!

Welcome to October!  As we told the Kindergarten students on Friday, we have already completed our very first month together at Orchard School.  It seems hard to believe that we only started school 4 weeks ago!  We have done so much in the month of September and are already learning and growing so much.  I want to give a warm welcome to our new families here at Orchard - we have 38 new families this year!  Please stay tuned for your new family updates and feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have.  We want you to feel included and welcomed here at Orchard!

To begin our conversations this year, I will continue with a topic we led with last spring - media use and the family.  This remains a topic of interest to me, and I know to many of you. This summer, I read an article by Melinda Gates - “Melinda Gates:  I spent my career in technology.  I wasn’t prepared for its effect on my kids.” Of interest to me were her bulleted lists of resources, including a media plan from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  This is definitely worth trying if you have not already!

This month, we begin our first community discussion on media use and the family.  Using The Big Disconnect (Steiner-Adair) as a springboard, we will be holding our first event on Tuesday, October 11, at 7:30 PM. Join us as we discuss current technology use in district and discuss with one another how we attempt to manage this fast paced world within our families.  Many Orchard families were interested in this topic last year and I hope to see you there!



As we head into October, I have a few topics to remind you about.  Many of these are important upcoming dates, and I hope that you will join me at these events!  

Parent Coffees:  I am looking forward to the upcoming parent coffees.  This is a great opportunity for us to meet informally about any questions you may have or topics that are of interest to you.  This year, we are modifying our format, and will be holding them at Orchard School.  All coffees begin at 7 PM, but please feel free to come when you can.  We hope you can come out and attend!

  • Thursday, 10/12:  Grade 5

  • Tuesday, 10/17: Grades 2-4

  • Tuesday, 10/24: Grades K-1

Community Outreach Program:  Next week, we kick-off our first Community Outreach program with a focus on our families.  Dr. Kristen Race will present on “Surviving to Thriving in Your Family”, at 7 PM at GWMS.  You can learn more about the presentation and her work via her website.  I hope you make time to attend these informative and thought-provoking events - you will walk away with something to think about or try!  For more information, please visit the RPS website to view the lineup for the 2017-18 Well-Being series.  

HSA Meetings:  This year, we are hoping to have more attendance at our HSA meetings. We have moved our monthly meeting to Thursdays, directly following CBA.  We are hoping that a combination with CBA, and a slightly later start, will be beneficial to some families.  Our next meeting will be on Thursday, October 19, at 9:30 AM. This will also be our first “spotlight” meeting, with a spotlight on Grade 5 - including an overview on Family Life from Mrs. Coates, our school nurse.  All upcoming HSA meeting dates are listed on our website.  

Walk to School Month:  This month we begin our Walk to School Month campaign.  With our beautiful fall weather, I urge you all to get some extra exercise and plan to walk to school!  Omni the Osprey will make an appearance a few times this month - be sure to stop and say hello if you see him.  

In walking to Orchard school, many of our students cross busy streets, such as Ackerman, Lincoln, and Bellair.  Be sure your child knows to walk to the crosswalks and to be crossed by a crossing guard!  It doesn’t matter their age - we live in a busy area and the hours around school drop off and pick up are often hectic times.  If you have a child who bikes/scoots to school, remind them to walk their bike or scooter across the street.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to have everyone walk each day, which is understood.  To that end, a different reminder - please make sure you are aware of New Jersey’s car seat laws.  Often we will open doors in the morning and I will see students who are not properly secured or who are not in the proper seat.  This handy reminder from the NJ State Police will tell you where your child should be sitting.  Be sure to read the fine print!

I look forward to walking myself and hope to see you all out there!  Stay safe!



As with every monthly update, we need reminders about our procedures and policies here at Orchard.  Please read below on two items of note:

  • Drop Off/Pick Up:  Please remember to pull all the way up if using the drop off lane in the morning.  Also, please wait in that line and do not pull out of the line once your child has exited.  Additionally, at pick up time, please do not double park and please remember that we do not have a pick up and go area.  Finally, please remember - and tell all caregivers - the assigned spot for the HSA winner is assigned!  Please do not park there.  Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students safe!

  • If you’d like to help with drop off duty in the morning, we can use some volunteers!  Please email Brett Kelly Goldberg at

  • We are looking for a Tic-Toc Chair!  This person will help coordinate the Tic Toc events, art displays, and potential in class activities this year.  There are a lot of resources and the job is truly not too large!  Please email Mrs. Ferreri ( or Jennifer Szilva-Nitch at (  

  • Link and follow our Google Calendar for HSA events!  Go to this link and click on the +Google Calendar in the right bottom corner.  

  • Lunch Ordering:  Just some reminders for ordering lunch through Village Fresh.  All orders are placed online.  Orders must be in by 8:00 AM, day of, otherwise, they will not be delivered on that day.  October lunches begin Monday! Thank you!

Please review the list of dates below for upcoming events at our school.  I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming coffees and district events.  Happy October!




Mrs. Ferreri



Upcoming events:


10/4:  Community Outreach:  From Surviving to Thriving in Your Family, 7 PM, GWMS

10/5:  CBA; Back to School Picnic, 5:30 PM

10/9:  NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS ~ Professional Development Day

10/11:  The Big Disconnect - Parent Discussion - 7 PM @ BFMS

10/12:  Parent Coffee - Grade 5, 7 PM

10/17:  Parent Coffee - Grades 2-3-4, 7 PM

10/19:  Spirit Day!  CBA; Screenagers screening @ RW Public Library; 6:30 PM

10/20:  Bag a Lunch Fundraiser

10/21:  Fun Day @ Orchard! 10-2 PM

10/24:  Jingle Bell Jog; Parent Coffee - Grades K-1

10/31:  Halloween!  Parade - 2:00 PM

11/1:  Community Outreach Program:  Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder, 7 PM