Students encouraged to soar at new school

August 26, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

When fourth- and fifth-graders step into Orchard View Intermediate School Monday morning, they will be immersed in a school that has airplanes as its motif and teachers who are calling each other family.

Orchard View, on Delmar Orchard Road, is the county's newest school, and cost around $5.2 million to build. Some finishing touches still need to be done - rubber flooring will be put down in the gym when boundary lines needed for sporting events arrive, furniture in the library is expected to be delivered Tuesday and computers are set to arrive in November.

On Friday afternoon, some of the 56 school employees were on hand, getting their classrooms, offices or kitchen ready for the school's 450 students.


Fifth-grade teacher Tracy Heck taped small red, white and blue circles, each with an airplane on it, to her students' desks.

Teachers and students were culled from Rosemont, Winchester Avenue and Berkeley Heights elementary schools. Those schools will now teach kindergartners through third-graders.

Heck came from Rosemont, an "open" school.

"I'm loving the fact that I have walls," she said.

Heck bought items here and there to make her students comfortable.

"You try to make it look like home," she said.

Every teacher has a sink in his or her classroom, and a phone to call any room in the building. Administrators solicited suggestions from teachers on how the school could best suit their needs, Principal Joyce Chapman said.

Some problems found at two of the county's recently constructed facilities, Eagle School and Potomack intermediate schools, were corrected at Orchard View.

"The third time's a charm," Chapman and Assistant Principal Todd Cutlip said in unison.

In the large kitchen, industrial-sized stainless steel appliances and freezers shined, as stacks of red trays and bins of silverware waited for hundreds of hands to hold them.

Floors are buffed and countless laminated items adorn the walls. Fruit trees and wooden packing crates, gray with age, border one part of the school. A bare, brown field that will soon feel the brunt of soccer and baseball cleats borders another.

Art teacher Elaine Unnone (pronounced "You-know-knee," according to a sign in her classroom) hung prints by artists Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Georgia O'Keeffe in her room.

"I'm in heaven," she said of the new school. "I'm very happy. Very fortunate."

Students at Orchard View - mascot: Freedom Flyers - will be placed into one of four teams: Thunderbirds, Rumsey's Fleet, Blue Angels or Navigators. They will earn "wings" for good behavior, Chapman said.

"We want the kids to really soar," she said.

The Herald-Mail Articles