Orion Academy is a school in which I can be myself and walk around without fear of being judged. I'm taught by teachers whom I can rely on and I know I can ask them for help.
This school's teachers vary greatly in quality from very poor to extremely skilled. This school is small, and as such name-calling and gossip tends to spread like wildfire, with the result that I never felt safe anywhere as though someone were name-calling, laughing, or gossiping about me behind my back. I would give this school no stars if I could. They make a huge deal about how the courses here are UC accredited and thus challenging, but in reality they only prepare you for community college at best. It's as though they expect the students to be flipping burgers at McDonalds at the pinnacle of their career. I think students with autism and other so-called learning disorders deserve better than this. The whole game plan here is forcing the students to be as 'neurotypical' or normal like their peers as possible, regardless of self-esteem, happiness, or love. No one should be pressured to be something they are not. I am not saying that autistic children do not have challenges that need to be overcome, many of them do. But I don't believe that the leadership of this school, which practically drips with condescension for students and their families, constructively aids them at all.
Orion Academy is a great school for people with Aspergers, NLd and other neurological diagnostics. Orion Academy has a strong academy program. Orion know also offers winter abroad trips to selected juniors/ senior during the 3 week winter break. Orion in 2011 offers trips to the Oregon Shakespeare festival and in the summer of a 3 week backpacking program. The teachers I have have been excellent and pro at the subject they teach. Orion Academy also offers in the Fall and Spring and Track/Cross Country Program, which run around the town and in community races.
For me, the main strong point of this school is the social part. Going here, I made a lot of friends, more than at previous schools. I felt I fit in because my peers had differences like mine. Another strong point of the use of technology. The technology used in this school makes learning a lot easier. Academics here is okay. Small classrooms strengthens academics. There are definitely some very good teachers, but there are others that aren't as good. The lack of homework is nice, but it doesn't really prepare students for college, where they will have a lot of outside work. I also agree with some parents about the lack of respect given to students and their parents. I have experienced this. But still, better than public school for kids with Aspergar's and similar differences.
This school has been a vast improvement for my gifted son with NLD. He has friends, is comfortable, and is learning. Some reviews on this site have complained that the academics are somehow lacking. The academic level is not on par with a top tier private school, but it is college prep and brings the kids along academically so that they are successful and learn to compensate for their weaknesses. My son's academic testing is strong and we are confident that he will be successful in college. Most importantly, he is HAPPY now. The director of the school is an extremely strong personality. She does not endear herself to many people, but she has designed a strong program and the kids are the beneficiaries.
Orion Academy does not deliver on its promises academically. Also there is a pervasive and inherent lack of respect of students and their families, and it starts from the top.
This school is much better then all the other schools I've been too in a long time. I am making many more friends then I did at public schools, and my writing skills have vastly improved. Almost everyone is friendly with everyone else here, and small classes are a good thing to have, too. All in all, a great school for Aspergers people.
It is a good program. However, the administration takes a very strong and intimidating approach which has been counter productive in our case.
Not college prep as advertised. Difficult communication with administration. Expensive.
This school is the best thing for AS kids ever. My child is so happy here. Lots of friends, great curriculum, high expections, he can work independently. Teachers who 'get it'. We are so lucky to have this school in the bay area. The best place on earth for an Aspie!
This is a wonderful program, innovative and smart. I especially like that it is a high school only - not trying to do middle school or lower grades on the same campus. AS and NLD kids thrive, make real friends...so different from public school. The program has really grown and the facility and services have grown as well. Excellent course selection for such a small school...everything an AS kid could want. The director is an expert in the field with published books and the program refelcts this professional level.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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