Advertisement
Advertisement

No rating

GreatSchools Rating

Orion Academy

Private | 9-12 | 60 students

Specialized education for students on the autism spectrum.

 

Living in Moraga

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $720,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,530.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 5 ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 14 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

31 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted April 27, 2014

My son has thrived during his 4 years at Orion Academy. With the guidance of teachers, psychologists, staff and administrators, my child will enter college with the academic, social and advocacy skills he needs to succeed as an Aspergers adult. Orion Academy has been life changing for our son and our family.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 27, 2014

This is amazing school. Our son has been at the school since he was in eighth grade. (Super 8 program). He is currently a Jr. and has found success here when all other private and public schools have failed him. Administration is very approachable and community is warm and close knit.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 27, 2014

My son will be successfully graduating from Orion Academy in May and attending college in the fall. Orion combines strong academics with social and life skills and the curriculum meets all requirements for any University. THere are psychologists on staff that meet with student groups on a daily basis and teach social skills and self regulation techniques. Classes are small, 4 - 8 students, and very structured. The PTO is strong and parents are able to be involved planning family and student social events, such as Prom, Bowling night, Speaker night, Graduation, and an annual family picnic/auction. Students learn independence and upper classmen are required to cook family meals, get to and from school using public transportation, hold a summer internship that is arranged and monitored by a staff "transitions" psychologist, go through the driver's permit process, write college application essays, write a resume and participate in mock job interviews. Orion has prepared my son for life after high school, and given him the tools to be successful in life.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 27, 2014

My son is very happy at Orion. I was worried that the classes might be dumbed down. This is not the case. The small classes really facilitate learning and he has made significant improvement in his writing skills. The teachers are fantastic and he responds to the personalized attention. Social activities are not numerous but everyone is included and valued and he participates as much, if not more, as he would at any other high school. Parents are wonderful, eclectic and very welcoming. A truly caring environment for students and parents alike with high character and academic expectations.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 13, 2014

Orion Academy has been a life-changing experience for our daughter. Your program has allowed her to come out of the shell that she crawled into during middle school. Her social confidence is improving; she enjoys school again, is academically challenged, and values the friendships that she has made at Orion. She has also learned to accept and to appreciate herself as someone with Asperger s and is learning to value the strengths that her unique skills offer. She adores all of her teachers and comes home with funny and interesting stories about things that are happening at school. We are so fortunate to have moved to the Bay Area, where our daughter can attend a school where she is understood and valued.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 31, 2014

Orion, for us has been the best way to keep our teen engaged and on track to a college future. The ways that help us out are the redirecting, alert strategies, voluntary time outs, and easy access to work to keep our son on track at home.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 13, 2013

Orion is the best school by far of any program serving spectrum teenagers - creating a community, providing education that is more than just classes, challenging kids to push themselves. The Dog class, Personal Projects class and the new Seminar class are all examples of innovation at a school that continues to look for more for our kids.


Posted November 15, 2012

Orion Academy provided an excellent learning environment for our son. The program is structured and well organized. In addition to the academic experience, Orion goes above and beyond to prepare students for higher education and the work world with their innovative Transitions Program. Students social skills and life skills are increased by having them participate in many activities such as the "State of the School Day" and the Senior Challenge, just to name a few. They also learn to use public transportation, to shop, to cook, banking, and many other life skills to facilitate their independence. We were involved with our sons education through Community Meetings every six weeks. On these days we observed his personal project presentations and attend parent/student meetings with his teachers, the psychologist and director to evaluate his progress. Our son thrived during his four years at Orion Academy which in turn changed our families lives for the better. He went from a struggling High School student to a confident young man and college student.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 12, 2012

My son attended Orion Academy for four years and it was the best money we ever spent. Orion is structured to totally support and complement the learning style of students with Aspergers, NLD and other similar disorders. That coupled with the wonderful community provided for the students AND the families made it the perfect place for us. My son flourished and continues to do so in college. Thank you thank you thank you.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 26, 2012

Administration is intimidating, and difficult to communicate with.While a good school for some, there are way better schools out there for students with Aspergers and NLD.


Posted July 11, 2012

My daughter loves Orion and for the first time has real friends and less anxiety about school. We couldn't be happier. Just wish she could stay here for college!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 23, 2012

My son absolutely hit the ground running in Jr. College and Orion Academy prepared him appropriately! I am a parent of a recent graduate from Orion Academy. This school serves a population of kids that are at great risk of being left behind from their peers in the typical public school. My son has absolutely flourished in jr. college and Orion is at the core of what has sent my son on this upward trajectory. Orion is a school that is intentional in how they work with and understand those in the Asperger's and NLD population. I do strongly recommend Orion Academy for both their academics as well as their committment to helping their kids in the socialization process. I know that my son was very well served by this school and is enjoying the success that he now has in large part due to Orion.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 18, 2012

Great Teachers, Good Curriculum. The best school in the west for Students with NLD or Asperger's


Posted June 18, 2012

We found the school both supportive and challenging for our son. We like the academic rigor as it is balanced with practical tools for leaning. The social program also has greatly effected my son.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 6, 2012

This school is not good at all. Discipline policy is unreasonable and it is really expensive. My son should've got an education some where else. Academics are so not college prep.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 6, 2012

I find Orion to be a very positive school with a great community and a good teaching style. Every staff member is very upbeat and rather fun yet they know how to teach and for the most part drill the subject into your head. Their is a strong sense of community among students which I find to be a great aspect of this school.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 6, 2012

I think that Orion Academy has a staff filled with teachers that truly care teaching students with neurocognitive disorders. I also like the times where school have social outings because it has helped me to enjoy new activities.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 6, 2012

I like the fact that this school is small. The teachers acutally care about our feelings and at The same time work us to our fullest extent. I also like that people respect each other(Most of the time
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 6, 2012

orion is a great school that feels safe and comfortable. the teachers are nice and help to improve your weak spots. there are a lot of class that focus on your way of learning and use that to help you improve. also the clubs help with socialization and give you something to do during lunch.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 6, 2012

Orion academy does many things well and there are a lot of things that I could say about it. I could mention how it manages to balance academics with social education, or how the teachers are devoted to their students success but there is one thing that stands out to me about orion. Orion is able to care for each individual student and adapt to fit their needs. it's able to tailor its curiculum and even its rules in order to create the environment each student needs
—Submitted by a student


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 90% 26%
Two or more races 5% 3%
Black 2% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 2% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hispanic 0% 52%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Students typically attend these schools prior to attending this school Public school
home school
Percentage of students going to 2-year college 50% (2013)
Percentage of students going to 4-year college 40% (2013)
Percentage of students going to the military 0% (2013)
Percentage of students going to vocational programs 10% (2013)
Percentage of students going directly into the workforce 0% (2013)
Colleges most students attend after graduation California State University
St. Mary's College
Art Institute
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Math specialist(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School psychologist
Special education coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Special education
Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Autism
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Technology
Staff resources available to students
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Clubs
  • Math club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Anime club
  • Art club
  • Arts and crafts

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Latin
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Community college courses
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:50 am
School end time
  • 3:45 am
School Leader's name
  • Dr. Kathryn Stewart
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • College prep
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Internships
  • Project-based
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Special education
  • Technology
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Autism
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
Foreign languages taught
  • Latin
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • Special education coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • College coursework w/credit
  • Counseling
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Community college courses
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • Passes/tokens for public transportation
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Audiovisual aids
  • College/career center
  • Internet access
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Tice Valley Gym
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Cross country
  • Track
Girls sports
  • Cross country
  • Track

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • None
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Anime club
  • Art club
  • Arts and crafts
  • Book/reading club
  • Chess club
  • Community service
  • Game club
  • JCL
  • Lesbian, gay, transgender club
  • Math club
  • Student council/government
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
More from this school
  • Orion Academy is the first school of it's kind and we are the model program for academically bright students on the spectrum. WASC accredited with UC approved courses, Orion also provides more than classes but a community for families and students. College counseling and other post high school decisions are part of the overall Orion program that includes a real internship experience. "Success" is more than good grades in high school, but realistic preparation for life after high school.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


4 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
15
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
35
Students typically come from these schools
Public school
home school

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$30000 - $35000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
California State University
St. Mary's College
Art Institute
College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
Community college courses
SAT/ACT prep classes
School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Students' post-graduation plans in 2013
2 year college - 50%
4 year college - 40%
Military - 0%
Vocational - 10%
Workforce - 0%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

350 Rheem Boulevard
Moraga, CA 94556
Website: Click here
Phone: (925) 377-0789

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools





Bentley Upper
Lafayette, CA



ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT