Educational Institutions

THE ORCHARD FOUNDATION

Alexandria, LA   |  www.theorchardfoundation.org

Mission

The Orchard Foundation's mission is to improve academic achievement for Central Louisiana students by promoting best practices, recruiting, retaining, and rewarding excellent and innovative teachers, building school leadership, and strengthening school and community relationships.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Dr. Marjorie Taylor

Main address

1101 4th Street Suite 101C

Alexandria, LA 71301 USA

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EIN

87-0730768

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Orchard Foundation is a nonprofit local education fund established as a resource for Central Louisiana (Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon and Winn) that works with school districts, businesses, and communities to improve educational opportunities. We believe The Orchard Foundation provides outstanding opportunities to develop leaders in education which enhance the education efforts in Central Louisiana.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Instructional Leadership Institutes

Regional institutes, administered by The Orchard Foundation and funded by The Rapides Foundation's Education Initiative, provide Cenla educators with the opportunity to receive leadership training. The institutes deliver training to participants from across the region, allowing for consistency of training and better measurement of progress in the region. The Aspiring Leaders workshop is designed for teachers who demonstrate leadership potential, and the Leading for Better Instruction workshop is designed for Principals and Assistant Principals. Participation is by application and based on the referral and approval of the District Superintendent. To learn more about how to apply, interested educators should contact The Orchard Foundation.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Cenla Work Ready Network is a program designed to link education and workforce development efforts and align them with regional economic needs. Through the Cenla Work Ready Network, high school students, and unemployed or under-employed adults are able to earn a nationally recognized certificate that demonstrates their work ready skills to a potential employer. The Cenla Work Ready Network consists of the following components:

(1) Career Ready 101 - a web-based, career training course that prepares students for certification with WorkKeys assessments
(2) WorkKeys - a job skills assessment that measures foundational and soft skills. Assessment through WorkKeys can lead to earning the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)
(3) National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) - a portable, evidence-based credential that measures essential workplace skills and is a reliable predictor of workplace success.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents (13-19 years)
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Career Counseling is being provided to Central Louisiana high school students individually and through group seminars to help students prepare for success after high school. Administered by The Orchard Foundation, and in partnership with the Central Louisiana Technical Community College and the nine public school districts, The Rapides Foundation is funding Career Compass of Louisiana to operate and provide these services in Cenla schools. Career Compass of Louisiana, is a nonprofit education organization located in Baton Rouge with coaches across the state. Career Compass coaches partner with high school counselors and are an added resource for students on their campuses. With state accountability, exit test coordination and administration, and scheduling and transcript issues, it is a challenge for guidance departments to help every student with postsecondary planning. In partnership with the guidance department, Career Compass coaches act as a liaison between the students of Central Louisiana and the postsecondary institutions in the state. Career Compass coaches are educated on all of the postsecondary schools in the area they serve and the programs each offers, thus helping students find the right school for their needs. Among the services offered to students by Career Compass coaches are assistance in navigating through the complexities of applying to postsecondary institutions, helping students go through a "career inventory" to find out what their interests and strengths are, and building good relationships with parents and guardians to assist with applications and securing financial aid for their student.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents (13-19 years)

The SECO Expo is an interactive, student-focused event designed to introduce public school students to career possibilities and is available to all tenth graders from the nine Central Louisiana public school districts served by the Foundation. SECO provides a dynamic venue for students to experience simulations and demonstrations from industries such as information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, construction, finance, and others. It is specifically designed to provide tangible hands-on activities aimed at fostering student engagement and ultimately sparking an interest in future careers. SECO provides tenth graders with the opportunity to get a head start in learning about different careers in Central Louisiana. Providing career information to this age group can help make school more relevant and can be a key contributor for them to stay in school and graduate.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents (13-19 years)

The Workplace Experience Exchange (WEE) Camp enables educators to learn through direct, hands-on experience about trends, skill requirements, and opportunities in industries within the region, and how externships can work for educators and students. Through the Workplace Experience Exchange Camp, teachers have the ability to connect theory with practice, and bring an understanding of workplace practices and policies into the classroom, increasing the relevance of student learning. The experience also gives teachers insight about programs offered at the postsecondary level and how it correlates to local businesses and industries. Educators can choose from two WEE Camp options: Option 1: WEE Camp I - For first-time participants; 4-day program for educators to visit local businesses and postsecondary institutions to learn about skills requirements for jobs, find out about available resources for educators, and tour facilities. Option 2: WEE Camp II - Preference given to past WEE Camp I participants; 5-day program with a more intense focus on the skills students need in today's workforce. Participants are embedded for two days in the day-to-day activities of select businesses to observe the successful workplace skills. The other days of the program consist of visits to local businesses and postsecondary institutions.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Orchard Foundation, with funding from The Rapides Foundation, provides summer institutes on Kagan Cooperative Learning, which provides teachers with resources, tools and strategies they can use to increase student engagement and learning. The Kagan Cooperative Learning workshops are presented by Kagan Publishing and Professional Development, and give teachers structures to implement in the classroom to improve student engagement, rigor and collaboration. Kagan Structures also help teachers manage their classroom and promote a positive classroom climate.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Orchard Foundation administers school readiness training institutes for PreK, Head Start and Childcare centers who are participating in the state of Louisiana’s Early Childhood System Community Network pilots. The School Readiness training includes: Teaching Strategies Gold, the state’s Birth to Kindergarten assessment tool; and CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) Observer Reliability training, which prepares an observer to conduct CLASS observations.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Orchard Foundation developed and coordinates its early literacy program, Read to Soar, to help prepare young children for school success by cultivating a love for reading long before they set foot in a classroom. The goal of the Read to Soar program is to help develop and strengthen a culture of reading at home through parent engagement so that children will have the tools for school success once they enter kindergarten. By the end of the program, children get a certificate of participation and 40 new books to adorn their home library, while the parents come away with tips and resources that help them teach their young ones. Each session focuses on a different topic area and is designed to be fun, giving parents and caregivers a chance to bond with their kids in a learning environment. Sessions include music, dancing, crafts and refreshments. The eight Read to Soar sessions follow early childhood education best practices and are specifically tailored for Central Louisiana.

Population(s) Served
Infants to preschool (under age 5)

The Orchard Foundation was awarded a $4.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education to recruit, train, support and retain math and science teachers in high-needs middle schools in the nine-parish area served by The Orchard Foundation. The goal of the CLIP project is to improve student achievement in nine rural, high-needs school districts in Central Louisiana by preparing highly qualified educators to teach in the critical shortage areas of science and math. CLIP will be implemented through an innovative teacher residency program with integrated professional development and induction support. Applicants selected for the CLIP program will complete a 15-month accelerated graduate program of study culminating in a Master of Arts in teaching degree from Northwestern State University and a professional teaching certification. While completing their graduate coursework, CLIP residents will be immersed in an academic year school-based residency in a high-needs school identified by the nine partner public school districts. CLIP residents will experience a variety of learning opportunities alongside a trained and experienced mentor teacher. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be placed in CLIP-participating schools and will receive two years of induction support with sustained coaching and professional development. CLIP graduates are required to teach in a Central Louisiana high-needs school for at least three years following graduation as part of the CLIP agreement.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

In 2004, The Rapides Foundation assembled a group of leaders from throughout the nine-parish Central Louisiana area to study the need for a local education fund and to determine the possible role it could play to improve educational opportunities for educators. The Rapides Foundation initially committed $600,000 over a three year period to establish the local education fund, and continues funding today under its Education Initiative. The Rapides Foundation’s Education Initiative seeks to increase the level of educational attainment and achievement among Central Louisiana residents. Research tells us that people with higher education levels are healthier and live longer. One of the core strategies in the Education Initiative is providing professional development and leadership opportunities for teachers and school leaders in Cenla. The Orchard Foundation administers these efforts through funding from The Rapides Foundation.

The Rapides Foundation created The Orchard Foundation in 2004 as a nonprofit local education fund to serve as a resource for Central Louisiana that works with school districts, businesses and communities to improve educational opportunities within the nine-parish service area served by the Foundation. The Orchard Foundation administers many of the programs developed under The Rapides Foundation’s Education Initiative with funding from The Rapides Foundation. The Orchard Foundation also seeks to partner with organizations who share its mission, as well as sharing in the goal of The Rapides Foundation's Education Initiative to improve health by increasing the level of educational attainment and achievement in Central Louisiana schools. Our program areas are: School Readiness, Career Readiness, and Professional Development.

The Orchard Foundation is led by Dr. Marjorie Taylor, a passionate educator with more than 25 years of experience, the last 20 of which have been in adult education, continuing education, and workforce development. Marjorie and the TOF board share the same vision of collective impact, with a deep understanding that our mission to improve academic achievement for Central Louisiana cannot be accomplished alone. Orchard was initially founded through the efforts of regional business and education leaders, and it functions as a way for organizations to work together to solve the overlapping issues of education quality, workforce development, and post-secondary readiness. We believe that while solo efforts can certainly improve individual schools or job sectors, long-term, systemic change can only come through broad, cross-sector engagement.

We annually set goals and objectives for each of our programs. At a minimum, we conduct an internal evaluation of our work. Periodically, we conduct longer-term assessments of our program goals and outcomes.

Please access the following web page for an overview of the ongoing outcomes of our work: https://www.theorchardfoundation.org/News.aspx

Financials

THE ORCHARD FOUNDATION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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THE ORCHARD FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 5/1/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Joseph Rosier

The Rapides Foundation

Term: 2004 -

Doug Godard

Turner Teleco-Alexandria

Murphy McMillin

Retired Mayor, Jena, LA; Retired Executive, Gulf Oil Corporation

Valerie Aymond-Long

Gilchrist Construction Company

Dwayne Lemoine

Former Superintendent of Avoyelles Parish Schools

Betty Westerchil

Former Mayor of Leesville; former Vernon Parish School Board Member

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Keywords

professional development, K - 12, school leader, teacher, workforce development