Orchard Gardens’ Bethune Academy is named after Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator and civil rights leader best known for starting a school for African American students that eventually became Bethune-Cookman University, and for being an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Bethune Academy is comprised of approximately 300 students in K0 through grade 2, including general education classrooms, Sheltered English Instruction classrooms for students whose native language is Spanish and students whose native language is Cape Verdean Creole, and special education classrooms for students with Autism.
The Bethune kindergarten program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC Accreditation of programs for young children represents the highest standard of quality in early childhood education. NAEYC Accreditation began in 1985 with the goal of providing an accrediting system that would raise the quality level of early childhood programs. NAEYC-accredited early childhood education programs benefit children with greater readiness for and success in school. Programs must demonstrate how they meet specific requirements throughout a rigorous four-step NAEYC accreditation process.
Bethune teachers in K0/K1 use the Opening the World of Learning (OWL) literacy curriculum and Building Blocks math curriculum, while teachers in grades K2 – 2 use the Reading Street literacy curriculum and the envision math curriculum. Students in Bethune participate in a variety of enrichment classes offered at OGPS: dance, physical education, visual arts, theater, and music.In addition, students engage in structured games and team building through Playworks and we have recently expanded our Mandarin program to provide Chinese language instruction to all students in Kindergarten through grade 2.