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Orchard School

Located on the sloping hill of a former apple orchard, the nationally acclaimed Orchard School embodies both the comfort of nurturing care and the promise of new opportunities. Approximately one hundred fifty-five students in grades K to 9 attend the Orchard School year-round; 73 students are referred to our Residential Treatment Program by their local school districts or departments of social services and 79 are referred to be Day Students by their local school districts. Residential and Day students are educated together in the school program. All of us at ANDRUS are proud that the Orchard School has been designated a Blue Ribbon School three times by the U.S. Department of Education, and accreditation and affiliations have earned the Orchard School numerous credentials and awards.

Curriculum

Students at our school receive highly specialized instructional services in classrooms with an average of eight students and at least two staff, assuring each child the tailored attention needed to reduce frustration and foster success. We emphasize hands-on projects that encourage children to see themselves as capable and creative, while individualized reading, writing and math instruction permit students to forge ahead or catch up at their own pace, without feelings of stigma or difference.

The Orchard School is achieving the Common Core Standards through:

  • Smart Boards and Technology in each classroom
  • Direct Instruction Reading Program
  • Scripted Math Program
  • FOSS Science – Inquiry Bases Science Program
  • Library Media Center
  • After school tutoring
  • NYS Testing

To respond to the growing need for appropriate educational planning and placement for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), we have established the “STARS Building” for grades 6-9– our school wing catering to students on the Autism Spectrum. The STARS Building has evolved into a specialized program designed to meet the needs of children who may have primary or co-occurring diagnoses of Asperger’s Disorder, Autism, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder- NOS.

Behavioral Approach

Orchard School teachers utilize a classroom management plan that is proactive, positive, and instructional, and that aids in the student’s behavioral management. The goal of our approach is to develop a classroom of students who are responsible, motivated and highly engaged in meaningful tasks. An underlying theme of our work is teaching behavioral expectations in the same manner as any core curriculum subject. Rather than telling a student what not to do, our staff sets clear and positive behaviors as goals for our students. Some of the models and techniques we use include:

  • PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports)
  • CHAMPS program (Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation and Success)
  • Sensory Rooms

Enrichments

In addition to academic skills, our program includes abundant opportunities for artistic and athletic exploration and success, including an adventure-based counseling program, chorus, dance, sports and a six week thematic summer session.

Other enrichments include:

  • -Spring/Winter Concerts
  • International Food Festival
  • Field Trips to support thematic learning
  • Annual trips to Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
  • Parent Education Nights: Understanding diagnosis, Anti Bullying, Sexual Health and more.
  • Science Fair
  • Art Show

Day Students

Day students who are referred to ANDRUS by their local school districts are provided with highly individualized clinical and educational services. These youngsters continue to live at home but are an integral part of the ANDRUS community – attending the Orchard School and working closely with our Clinical Services Team to help meet the objectives of their individual educational plans as well as their broader treatment goals. Because day students return each day to their homes, their families and our staff are in close communication on progress and planning

For more information, please contact our Admissions Coordinator Leslie Zeller at (914) 965-3700, extension 1267 or lzeller@jdam.org.