A quick history of The Ormewood School: In 2006 Dana Hughes, former pastor of Ormewood Park Presbyterian Church, planted the seed for a community preschool with the church leadership. Around the same time, Cindy Cahalen (the current Director of The Ormewood School) was searching for a preschool for her youngest child and contemplating a return to work. Cahalen was introduced to Dana Hughes and Tonya Bonner, the school’s first Director, and the three began working to build the education program for what would become The Ormewood School. At the time, limited options for preschools existed in the neighborhood. The goal was to create a preschool that they would be comfortable enrolling their own children in.
The Educational Philosophy of the Ormewood School in a Nutshell (hint: it’s not at all stuffy): The Ormewood School is a traditional, play-based preschool. The children spend their days developing social skills while learning basic academic skills through play, music, and art. Each day the children have time with a teacher who offers a class that is a combination of art, yoga, and Spanish. The children also enjoy a school garden, a lending library, and a relatively new, large playground.
Pre-K students spend their year working on kindergarten readiness skills (such as basic literacy, math, science, and social studies) along with the social/emotional tools needed to succeed in school (patience, conflict resolution, self-regulation).
The 5 Year Vision for The Ormewood School: Director Cindy Cahalen offers these thoughts on Ormewood Park and the place that she hopes The Ormewood School holds (and will continue to hold) in the community: “I have seen Ormewood Park change and grow a lot since the school opened. There are many more families with young children here now, and so many new houses being built. I have enjoyed seeing the neighborhood’s character and personality develop and change. My vision for the school is to continue to be a wonderful resource for the neighborhood and support that growth in whatever way possible.”
Without the Ormewood Park community, the Ormewood School would not exist. It’s the families that live in and near the neighborhood, that choose to send their children to the neighborhood schools, bring their dogs to the dog yard, teach their children to ride bikes (and later parallel park cars) in the parking lot, that make this place so special. This community thrives because of the dedicated residents that look out for each other and support their local businesses. I grew up in a very small town, and I get that familiar vibe from Ormewood Park.”
If The Ormewood School was a Crayola crayon… it would be Inchworm Green--a color symbolic of new growth. The children at The Ormewood School often go on “bug hunts” and inchworms are a favorite find. Plus, it matches the playground equipment!