WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Although finding the right learning environment that is a perfect fit for a child can be a daunting task for parents, The Orchard School in West Caldwell provides guidance in achieving.

“We understand the comfort that comes from parents’ knowing their child is safe, learning, socializing and having fun," said Erin Moss, Orchard School director. "The child wants and needs to feel loved. At Orchard, we understand it is our responsibility to provide and exceed these two goals each and every day.”

In order to identify a school and a learning environment that is right for a child, The Orchard School, located at 360 Passaic Avenue, provided the following tips:

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  • First, do your research well in advance.
  • Make a list of all the significant qualities necessary your decision making process.
  • Take into consideration the location of the schools you are interested in and what is most convenient for you.
  • Visit and spend some at the schools in which you are interested.
  • Speak with the teachers; Do they seem friendly and attentive?
  • Look into enrichment programs each school offers. Look into the staff and facilities of the schools you are considering.
  • Find out what the school's safety procedures are.
  • Does the school have pre-care and aftercare? What is the policy if you are running late?
  • Make sure the atmosphere matches your values for culture and community.

The Orchard School's stated mission includes meeting the needs of both children and parents. This is accomplished, according to Moss, by "solidifying routines and structure for the children and teaching them early life skills."

"Within the Orchard School, there is no line dividing learning and fun," she said. "Instead, they blend the two together and introduce topics such as math, language, science, art, music, and so much more to the curriculum. The teachers and staff are dedicated to taking care of each child as if they were their own, making them feel at home every time they walk through the doors."