Every now and then, my work for ISACS takes me along a familiar path. This was the case, and my pleasure, when I visited Tom Rosenbluth at The Orchard School in Indianapolis. Tom began his tenure as Head of School in 2013, placed by the consulting firm of Gregory Floyd & Associates. The consultants were Gregory Floyd and yours truly.
The Orchard School describes itself as a progressive, non-sectarian, independent school committed to advancing each student’s academic success, self-confidence, open-mindedness, ethical character, leadership, and love of learning. The school’s mission is to develop and educate the whole child. Spanning preschool through grade eight, the program currently serves approximately 620 students.
A walk through the
campus underscores the progressive nature of the program. Project-based learning, interdisciplinary studies, and elements of character education are visible in classrooms, corridors, and outdoor spaces.
What aspect of The Orchard School would Tom Rosenbluth most like to highlight for his ISACS colleagues? Says Tom:
We are fostering a culture of innovation in all aspects of the school in the hope that we can simultaneously honor and respect the traditions of Orchard and also be in the habit of studying current trends in education, examples of best practices and new ideas. After all, a main tenet of progressive education is a commitment to evolutionary growth and we expect to model adult learning in the company of friends.
Additionally, we are at work asking the courageous questions that require us to look at ourselves in the mirror and refine old practices that may benefit from fresh perspectives. This has led to an outpouring of new ideas and liberating discussions — a small renaissance of pedagogy and practice. The phrase I hear often now is, “I wonder if we….” Our doors are always open for fellow educators to visit and join the dialogue.