The Orchard Park Central School District has a historical tradition of excellence in education beginning 200 years ago with the first one room schoolhouse located on the northeast corner of East Quaker Street and North Freeman Road. There was one teacher for all grade levels and the subjects taught included reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, geography, and grammar. The issue of the day was avoiding bears and wolves while clearing land for farming; not which team would win the Friday night football game.
From this quiet beginning the Orchard Park Central School District has grown and presently the District services over 5,000 students in 6 schools – 4 elementary, 1 middle school and 1 high school. The Elementary schools have a full day kindergarten program, art, music, computers, library media centers, and physical education; as well as a strong academic core promoting a hands-on inquiry approach to learning. Tutorial and remedial education are available based on the levels of performance of the student.
The Middle School houses grades 6-8 in a team-centered environment. Beyond math, science, social studies and English language arts, students receive foreign language, study skills, health, art, music, physical education, technology, and life and careers instruction. The Middle School accommodates a student’s full range of academic potential, offering academic intervention services, resource room, and self-contained classes, in addition to accelerated programs awarding high school credit. The Middle School also allows students the opportunity to participate in many after school clubs and intramural sports.
The Orchard Park Central School District High School is proud to be a comprehensive high school with one of the highest percentages of Regents diploma graduates in the state. The High School has fielded many championship athletic teams, as well as musical groups that have performed everywhere from Disneyworld to Broadway to Europe. Daily attendance approaches 100% and more than 90% of the graduates go on to higher education. Academics come first at Orchard Park High School and the school offers Regents Honors and advanced placement classes in a diverse range of subjects. The High School is organized into a three-house system while accommodating grades 9-12. Homeroom affiliation remains consistent throughout the student’s high school career with the same house principal, secretary, counselor and homeroom teacher. In this way, students and families have common, continuous contact with key staff members.
The school district as a whole is currently ranked #4 among Public School Districts in Western New York by Business First’s 2018 Guide to Western New York Schools and received subject awards in English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. The District also is ranked #6 in Cost-Effectiveness. The District has annually been on the Top 10 list since Business First began ranking districts within the eight-county region of Western New York in 1992.
The Orchard Park Central School District received the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Orchard Park is one of 4% of districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2017 and 2018. The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. We are proud of the support of our community so that our students can excel in academics, athletics and the arts.
The goals for the Orchard Park Central School District remain constant and can be summarized in several words – dedication, commitment, and a determination to strive for the success of all children. We do this through the volunteerism and service of our towns, villages, parents and teacher community. Adults and businesses are encouraged to participate in school-based shared decision teams, parent teacher organizations, community education, and community/school outreach forums. The maintenance of open and honest dialogue promotes understanding and appreciation of not only the educational issues facing all of us today but resource allocation as well. The Orchard Park Central School District prides itself on helping our students to build lives which can be lived capably, responsible, and fully.