Mission and Philosophy
Orchard Friends School educates children with learning differences through a non-sectarian, research-based, multi-sensory program
in a safe and nurturing environment.
Students attending Orchard Friends School may experience difficulty with any combination of expressive or receptive language, communicating in social situations, attention, dyslexia, anxiety, and organizing thought processes. Our student’s learning issues are addressed through engaging and joyful multi-sensory learning experiences across all the disciplines in the curriculum. In this supportive setting, OFS students explore their potential, learn their strengths, and find their voice.
Orchard Friends School’s small student-teacher ratio allows our highly motivated staff to individualize curricula. Our language-enriched academic and social program encourages our students’ involvement in the community, and promotes self-knowledge, self-esteem, and the ability to self-advocate.
An essential element of our mission involves learning in the context of community. We create opportunities to learn outside the four walls of a classroom. Our students, faculty and staff plan and participate in service and outreach projects. Family involvement and support is essential to our students’ successes in developing into lifelong learners and effective citizens.
Our programs are non-sectarian but grounded in the values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, stewardship and mutual respect.
Orchards Friends School began in 1999. At the beginning of that school year and at the beginning of each subsequent school year, the staff and students join together to have a series of group discussions. During these meetings, the students, faculty and staff brainstorm the basic tenets of how they would like the school year to be OFS. It is a collaboration during which a list is created. The final list is known to the school community as The Spirit Document. Once the Spirit Document has been created, all participants sign it and it is displayed to be seen as you enter the school. The signature is to formalize our commitment to function within its proclaimed values.