Growing passionate minds and compassionate hearts.


We are passionate learners.

  • We grow our minds

  • We believe in ourselves.

  • We are independent.

  • We are tenacious.

  • We are creative.

  • We are curious.

We are compassionate learners.

  • We grow our hearts.

  • We believe in others.

  • We collaborate.

  • We embrace diversity & value individuality.

  • We support students, families & staff.

  • We are socially responsible.


At Orchard Elementary we are motivated by this belief: students and their families hold the power to reinvent themselves and their world.[i] They must be given the opportunity to develop a strong sense of self, a commitment to social responsibility and the academic agility needed to improve themselves and their community. Education should not be the repository of the status quo. Rather, it should be an instrument for freedom, teaching students how to deal effectively with the world and to help transform it.  


We believe in the power of the individual and the power of community. We provide rigorous academics that stress flexibility of thought as well as a social-emotional approach that emphasizes empathy amongst all members of our school community. We know that emotional intelligence is strongly correlated to success in life, both personally and professionally. We believe that the best students are complete humans.


[i] Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed




It is our commitment that Orchard students will be:


  • Inquirers: Students develop their natural curiosity in literature, the arts and sciences.

  • Critical Thinkers: Students engage themselves in resolving complex problems.

  • Knowledgeable: Students explore concepts, ideas and issues with local and global significance.

  • Communicators: Students express themselves and information through a variety of modes of communication and with a variety of audiences.

  • Technologically Literate: Students understand the importance of technology as a means to an end. They infuse technology into learning and inquiry.

  • Open-Minded: Students appreciate their own cultures and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities.

  • Principled and Caring: Students act honestly and compassionately, with a strong sense of fairness, and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups, and communities.

  • Risk-Takers: Students face new situations with courage, as well as defend their beliefs.

  • Balanced: Students understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being.

  • Reflective: Students give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience.[i]



[i]  International Baccalaureate Organization 2007: Participant Workbook, Introduction to the PYP


How will this approach be put into action? Through…

  • Comprehensive preparation in Balanced Literacy.

  • School-wide and class-wide Community Service.

  • A high degree of Family and Community involvement.

  • Social-Emotional Learning.

  • Technology embedded into learning.

  • Mathematical Foundations and versatile Mathematical Reasoning.

  • Visual and performing arts infused in Core Curriculum.

  • Hands-On Science.


A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.

― Nelson Mandela, Higher Than Hope



The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.

Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education



Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.

 Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed



Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world. 

― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed


Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

― Aristotle, Politics, Book 8


The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.

― Plutarch, On Listening to Lectures


Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.

― Plato, The Republic