The Orchard Park Central School District covers approximately 50 square miles and includes portions of six adjacent townships: Orchard Park, West Seneca, Hamburg, Boston, Elma and Aurora. We have four elementary schools, a middle school and a high school, serving some 5,400 students.
We are continuing a long tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, service and the arts. Our schools are known for outstanding academic achievement at all levels. Over 90 percent of our graduates go on to higher education.
We have acclaimed programs and opportunities in honors/accelerated courses and special education, and a program in reading and writing remediation that has won state and national acclaim. We have championship athletic teams, award-winning music groups and programs ranging from marching band and Destination Imagination to foreign student exchange and Students Against Destructive Decisions.
Adults can participate in shared decision-making teams, Parent Teacher Organizations, the High School student government, Music Boosters, Quaker Athletics and SafeHomes (a substance abuse prevention network), as well as community education and a variety of school-community committees, clubs and organizations.
We will give our students the vision to reach for the stars,
the skills and fortitude to climb the ladder,
and the wisdom to appreciate the beauty of the journey.
The Orchard Park Central School District, in partnership with families and community, will prepare our students to:
- Achieve their fullest potential
- Develop critical thinking, creativity, and character
- Become healthy, lifelong learners
- Be responsible and contributing members of an ever-changing and global society
Our belief in fostering partnerships with parents, students and the community to provide an education of distinction and excellence has led to the formulation of these Guiding Principles.
Orchard Park Central School District is a place where:
- A healthy, safe and orderly learning environment is provided.
- Resources are focused on the continuous improvement of student achievement, citizenship and character development.
- Informed decisions are made based on data analysis, educational research, and professional/community input.
- Our professional learning community is enhanced through the support of staff development, ongoing curriculum evaluation and design, effective instructional practices and technology.
- Communication, accountability, long range planning and fiscal responsibility are embraced, encouraged and shared among constituent groups.
Based on these guiding principles, a three-year Comprehensive District Education Plan (CDEP) was developed. Goals established by the CDEP Committee were adopted by the Board of Education in June 2015. The following goals are based on the work of the Goal Setting Committee and were adopted by the Board of Education for the 2016-17 school year.
2016-17 District Goals
- Continue to implement and monitor the academic strategies, professional development and availability of resources as established in the three-year Comprehensive District Education Plan (CDEP).
- Engage in a district-wide book study to develop and promote knowledge of 21st century teaching and learning skills for our educational community (Literacy is not Enough- 21st Century Fluencies for the Digital Age).
- Assemble the facilities committee with representative stakeholders to assess the short and long term needs and recommend a plan to address those needs, using the 2015 building condition survey
- Continue the implementation of the safety and security recommendations/improvements, using the safety audit.
- The Board of Education will receive regular updates on the achievement of these goals and the goals of the Comprehensive District Education Plan.
- Comprehensive educational program encompassing all of New York State Standards, grades K-12.
- Library media center in all schools.
- Guidance and career counseling services in 6-12.
- A uniform testing program in all schools.
- Psychological and social work services at all levels.
- Librarians, nurses, computer specialists and art, music and physical education teachers in all schools.
- Four reading specialists in the elementary schools and one shared reading teacher at the Middle School and High School.
- Special education, resource room, consultant teacher and related services available for children who need special help in addition to regular classroom instruction.
- Special education academic class instruction available for K-12 students in select buildings. Special class life skills program available at the secondary level.
- Accelerated programs in math, science, business, technologies and foreign language are available to 8th graders when appropriate.
- Work-study program in distributive education.
- Driver Education in summer and during the school year outside of the academic program.
- The High School is accredited by the New York State Education Department.
- Instrumental music lessons are available on personally owned or school rented instruments from third grade.
- Alternative education is available for at-risk students at the Middle School and High School.
The district’s four elementary schools house Kindergarten through 5th grade. These schools are Eggert, Ellicott, South Davis and Windom.
Within each grade there are predominately self-contained classrooms where pupils are instructed in English language arts using a balanced literacy approach. Students are also involved in a hands-on science courses, as well as health concepts using the Growing Healthy curriculum. Math instruction centers on making students active participants by using manipulatives which lead from concrete to abstract concepts. Beyond learning facts, students are challenged to use mathematics in problem-solving and critical thinking processes.
Every effort is made to mainstream children with learning disabilities into regular classrooms with help in resource rooms. Some children with more severe learning disabilities are in special classes. Other services include speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, adaptive physical education, math and reading/writing remediation.
The Middle School houses approximately 1240 students in grades 6, 7 and 8. Each grade is divided into teams called bases. This base structure provides autonomy, security, and a "sense of family" to an otherwise large building. Homeroom starts at 8 a.m., and the day is divided into eight 40-minute periods and lunch, with dismissal at 2:30 p.m.
In grade 6, base teachers teach math, science, social studies and English language arts. The 8-period day (plus lunch) consists of five base periods and three satellite periods. The 6th grade satellite classes are technology, life and careers, general music, art, computer and physical education. Some students may also take band, orchestra, chorus, special education classes or Academic Intervention.
Seventh graders have five base periods and three satellite periods. Their base classes are English, math, social studies, foreign language and science. Satellite classes for 7th graders are health, life & careers, art, technology, physical education and some form of music - band, orchestra, chorus or general music. Some students may also participate in Academic Intervention or special education classes.
In 8th grade, the five base classes are math, science, English, social studies and foreign language. Eighth grade satellite classes are computer, health, life and career skills, art, technology and physical education. Some students pursue classes in band, orchestra, chorus, special education and Academic Intervention. Some students may be selected to accelerate in Latin, Earth science, business, math or technology.
In English 6, 7, 8, there is an emphasis on writing skills, including grammar and spelling, as well as expository and creative writing, literature, oral expression and reading. Seventh and 8th grade social studies consist of two years of American history.
Life science is emphasized in 7th grade, while physical science is emphasized in 8th grade. Regents Earth science is offered to selected 8th graders, as is Latin I.
In math, students work toward mastery of a wide range of concepts and skills, with a strong emphasis on hands-on math and problem solving. Integrated Algebra I is offered to some 8th graders who demonstrate readiness.
Project Adventure, a challenge ropes program, and swimming are part of the physical education program at each grade level. After school activities and clubs are offered in the areas of academic interests, sports, music, computers and more. General guidance and counseling services are also available to all students.
Accelerated oppprotunities are offered for 7th graders in mathematics and 8th graders in technology, art, business, latin, Integrated Algebra, and earth science. Also, a Creative Writing course is available for 6th and 7th grades, some students will be challenged with independent studies.
Orchard Park High School has one of the highest percentages of Regents diploma graduates in the county, and has fielded many championship athletic teams, as well as musical groups, which have performed everywhere from Walt Disney World to Europe. More than 90 percent of our graduates go on to higher education.
Academically, OPHS offers general, Regents, Honors and Advanced Placement classes in a full range of subjects including languages, math, sciences, social studies, history and the arts. To provide the program advantages of a large school and maintain the close, personal atmosphere of a smaller school, OPHS organizes its 1700 students into groups called "Houses," comprised of randomly selected students from grades 9-12.
Homeroom affiliation remains the same 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 and continuous contact with these key staff members.
Subjects and faculty are also organized according to House. House 1 includes: technologies, music, art, health, biology, special education, business and physical education. House 2 includes: math, social studies, media and Earth science. House 3 includes: English, reading, foreign languages, chemistry and physics. Assigning subject areas to Houses provides efficient use of facilities, materials, planning areas and teaching strategies.
There are many arenas for student involvement and participation. There are boys and girls teams in cross country, soccer, swimming, tennis, volleyball, basketball, indoor track, bowling, track and field and lacrosse. There are girls teams in cheerleading, field hockey, gymnastics and softball. There are boys teams in football, baseball and wrestling. Rifle and golf are co-ed.
Clubs and activities include American Field Service, art, Bible, chess, bicycling, drama, environment, math, science, technology and writing. Students also can join Future Business Leaders of America, Future Teachers, International Club, The Orchard Park Voice (student newspaper), National Honor Society, Destination ImagiNation, Pep Club and Quaker Marching Band. In addition, there is a Sports Card Club, Stage Crew, STAP-Comm (student government), Students Against Destructive Decisions, Varsity Club, Still Life (literary magazine) and Yearbook. These are in addition to the class organizations at all four levels.
Elementary/Middle School Services — The Instructional Support Team (IST) is a team of professionals who support the classroom teachers’ efforts to assist struggling learners. Support is provided to students who are at risk of school failure with necessary academic, behavioral, communications and/or social supports to succeed in school. The IST team is composed of a principal, general educator, special educator, school counselor/social worker and additional support personnel as needed. Children with a suspected disability may be referred to the Building Committee on Special Education where special education services may be considered.
Secondary — In addition to general guidance to help students adjust to personal, social, emotional and educational problems, guidance counselors are available to counsel students individually and in groups and to initiate evaluations, instructional support team and/or building committee on Special Education referrals.
Students with special educational needs may receive services, attend programs or be enrolled in special classes in district-sponsored elementary or secondary level schools. A number of these classes are housed in district schools where emphasis is placed on integrating the pupils in regular classes and special subject areas whenever appropriate. Children with more intense needs may be served by BOCES programs, agencies, or private schools in the area. Special education teachers, teacher aides, psychologists, social workers, speech/language, occupational and physical therapists constitute a support team for the district’s effort to secure or provide help for students. For more information, call 209-6249.
Non-Public School Students
Non-public schools located in the Orchard Park Central School District are provided with the following services:
- Health examinations (grades K, 2, 4, 7 & 10).
- School nurse services, including hearing and vision testing.
- Psychological, reading, academic, speech and occupational/physical therapy evaluations.
- School social work services, on request.
- Summer reading program.
- Acquisition of textbooks.
- Special education support services for students with disabilities.
- Annual scoliosis testing.
School Service Groups
The Orchard Park Music Boosters promote music programs in our schools. Money generated by the Music Boosters and their Music School is donated, after expenses, to the Orchard Park Central Schools. . For more information click on the link below.
SafeHomes is a parent networking campaign based on the belief that to prevent a child from using drugs, you need to create an atmosphere where drug use is unacceptable. This program aids parents in educating themselves about the use of alcohol and other drugs. It encourages parents to openly communicate with one another about parenting concerns and assists them in establishing reasonable guidelines for their children’s behavior.
SafeHomes’ quarterly newsletter is filled with information to help parents achieve these goals. Please check your individual school’s Welcome Back packet for the SafeHomes sign-up form. The District SafeHomes Coordinator can be reached through the High School (209-6243) if you have further questions.
Before/After School Care
The Southtowns YMCA, in cooperation with the District’s elementary schools, provides before and after school care for children in grades K-5. Activities include physical education, arts and crafts, cooperative games, self-esteem builders, homework time and a snack. There will be a minimum of one staff person for every 10 children. All child care staff are certified in CPR, and attend specialized training programs at least once a month. For more information, contact the YMCA at 674-9622. Financial assistance is available.
Our Community Education program is open to district and non-district residents. Look for our brochure mailings in the May, Back-to-School and December/January editions of the Community Report for Fall, Winter and Spring and Summer sessions. For more information, call 209-6295.
Gold Cards entitle district residents age 60 and over to half-price admission to district-sponsored events such as plays, musicals, operettas and home games. To obtain a card, please call 209-6222.
AFS (American Field Service)
The Orchard Park Adult Chapter of AFS provides full-year and summer international exchange programs and scholarships. There are many volunteer positions available. It is not necessary to be a host family to assist in this international endeavor for world peace. The Student Chapter of AFS offers activities for OPHS students and our exchange students to meet and share cultures, experiences and friendships. For information, contact Jennifer Francavilla, 209-6242.
PTO Project Know/Growth and Development Program
The PTO Project Know Program offers preadolescents and their parents information and insights into human sexuality, with topics such as puberty, relating to other people, self-concept, and communicating with the opposite sex and with parents. The program is held in the evening, usually in March, with separate sessions for boys and for girls. The program is officially for 5th grade students, but 6th graders are welcome to attend any session. Additional information may be obtained from the Curriculum Office 209-6236.
The QA Booster Club is an all-sport booster club which promotes the Orchard Park Central School District’s Interscholastic Athletic program. The club helps plan for special athletic functions, capital improvements and multi-team needs, as well as providing refreshment services at various events during the school year. Meetings are held monthly. Various levels of involvement are possible. Those interested in joining may call 209-6208 or send a note to Quaker Athletics Booster Club, 2240 Southwestern Blvd, West Seneca, NY 14224. Mr. David Hack, Director of Athletics, is the district liaison.
QMB Boosters, Inc.
The Quaker Marching Band (QMB) Boosters is comprised of individuals committed to the fostering of excellence within the Quaker Marching Band. The Boosters consist of parents and supporters of the musicians and color guard. Each year, the Boosters’ involvement with the band grows as our organization matures.
Boosters fundraise to support the purchase and maintenance of show enhancements and props, uniform maintenance, scholarships and out of town performances. We transport the band instruments and props, prepare and serve meals and supply countless volunteer labor hours in support of our students and staff.
The Boosters welcome everyone, and invite all parents and supporters to join with us and march in unison into the 2007 - 2008 Quaker Marching Band season. For more information please call 209-6321.
High School STAP-Comm
STAP Comm is Orchard Park High School’s special forum of student government, and one of the shared decision making units at the high school. STAP Comm is a group of students, teachers, administrators and parents, who address student issues, serve as a forum for discussion, develop leadership skills and promote school spirit.