For the fifth straight year, Orchard Elementary is being recognized by the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University for its efforts to build connections between the school and its community.
Last spring, Orchard’s Action Team for Partnerships (ATP) combined two family engagement activities to create one virtual program: Cultural Fair and One Book-One School. The book selected for the program was “All Are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman, which represents the school’s philosophy that students with different backgrounds grow and learn together in a welcoming school.
The online program used interactive links in Google Classroom to teach students and their families about other countries. Students were encouraged to share their family’s cultural traditions virtually through videos featuring clothing, food and language.
Other students drew maps of their neighborhood to celebrate that they are all tied together as one big community.
Marta Jisa, Orchard Kindergarten teacher and ATP chair, helped lead this year’s event. Her write-up about the program was featured in National Network of Partnership Schools’ 25th annual "Promising Partnership Practices" book as a great way to support learning, build relationships and strengthen the bond between students, families, and school staff.