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GreatSchools Rating

Orion Alternative School

Public | K-5

 

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Living in Redwood City

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $357,800. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,440.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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26 reviews of this school


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Posted September 30, 2013

Orion is a great school, academically and socially. It is the kind of school which makes students and parents cry when they leave. The parent involvement requirement means that there are adults everywhere, no bullying or stealing. Teachers can focus on teaching. Children have interest, likely due to the parental interest, but come from all walks of life. Support for special needs children is excellent and the aids also interact with all children, as a bonus. There is an especially dedicated librarian, and a very rare focus on reading, authors and the literary side. Test scores are not very high, likely due to a lack of enthusiasm for test preparation, among not only staff but parents, and to the very diverse student body. Many teachers are parents of Orion Alumnae, turnover is low. Several teachers have spouses or children in high-stress professions, so they know what is required for children to achieve. Facilities are constrained, but well utilized and very clean and orderly. Probably the best elementary school in RWC, though North Star Academy has a Middle School attached and more homework, which will attract some. Too many good things to say, too little space.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 27, 2012

Orion is wonderful, small, tight knit community. Community events include camping trip, ice skating night, holiday craft fair, author/illustrator fair. My daughter entered 2nd grade as a new to Orion student and has been welcomed by all the children. There is a very respectful feeling between all the students and between the students and teachers. I love that they call their teachers by their first names, seting a tone of mutual respect to the learning environment. Orion requires parent hours to be fulfilled but it is fairly easy to do so. I work part time and my husband works full time but we are able to fulfill our house pretty easily. There are weekend, at home, and evening opportunities to volunteer. If each of us takes two mornings off per school year, we can drive on 4 field trips where we get double hours, going a long way toward our hours, and its fun too! Too bad there may only be one kindergarten class next year that will be almost filled with all siblings. Don't let this deter you, apply anyway, they may open another class, you never know. If you don't get in, tell the district you want more spaces open for this program, they need the feedback from the community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 14, 2011

I feel very blessed to see my grandson Andre attend Orion! The teachers are wonderful & work so well w/ the family. We have been very disappointed in many other schools in Redwood City that my other grandchildren went to. Thank-you teachers,assistants, & volunteers! You have made a great healthy learning environment for our children. My 5 yr. old grandson loves the school! This is so important for his outlook of schools & his learning interest for the future.


Posted February 6, 2010

This is a wonderful schoool my daughter gortin a san carlos district school but we choose Orion over it because of the feel of community and the parent participation make this school feel like the kids are learning from physics to sewing to art Thank you all the parents for enriching my daughters life
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2009

Orion is such a wonderful elementary school. Enthusiastic, skilled and respectful teachers, warm and efficient staff, plus great parents all foster an environment where our children become happy, confident learners.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 6, 2009

It's a charter school that focuses on teaching the whole child; tolerance, conflict resolution, respect, charity, responsibility, with top notch academics.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 5, 2009

I love Orion because it gives my beautiful Emeline the opportunity to be the best that she can be!


Posted October 4, 2009

learn through play, the kids have fun every day at school and are excited to tell me every thing they have learned!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2009

passionate students, teachers, administrators and parent participation
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2009

I love Orion because of its small, nurturing environment- there is definitely a community, not just a school! The staff, parents and students all make Orion a very special place.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2009

Great head of school, great teachers, mandatory parent volunteer hours, open philosophy
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2009

I love Orion Alternative School because it is a school that helps make learning a joy for my granddaughter.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 3, 2009

The parents are so involved here that the school has become a community - not just a place the kids go, but a place we all love to be!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 3, 2009

I love the fact that so many parents are involved and that the teachers and staff are very dedicated. It's such a warm and friendly atmosphere.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 3, 2009

I just joined the Orion school and my daughter loves it . It a great environment. The teachers are great and the parents are amazing
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 3, 2009

Orion provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to participate in their child's education in a meaningful way.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 5, 2009

Orion is an extraordinary school. It is truly a 'gem'. This is small school where everyone knows each other, with incredible teachers, an amazing and giving parent community, and has very bright children eager to learn. Orion should be a model everywhere of what a school should be. My daughter can not wait to go to school every morning!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 22, 2009

Orion is about teaching the whole child. The parents and teachers make this a special place for learning by expanding the standard curriculum to include multi-cultural events, student clubs and activities, and school-wide events ranging from hosting an annual author/illustrator fair to a family open invitation campout. The small school atmosphere definitely makes a connected community where parents can help out in various ways. From my experience, the more you put in, the more you and your child get back.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 12, 2008

I have sent two children through this school and the great teachers, sense of community and parent participation help the students to thrive and give them the skills to suceed well as they continue into middle school. The small number of students and the closeness of the community nourish the student and build their confidence, creating a strong ethic which allows them to rise to the challenges, becoming active in other schools as they proceed to higher learning.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 6, 2008

As parents of a new Kindergartner, we couldn't be happier with the environment, teaching, or focus of the school. In every way our expectations have been exceeded. We appreciate the opportunity to help in the classroom and the grassroots atmosphere of taking ownership of our child's education. Seeing Orion's test scores rocket to 870 (one of the best in Redwood City) is only proff of our perception.
—Submitted by a parent


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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

The API reflects year-over-year schools performance based on STAR test score results from spring 2013.

This school's
API score

854

Change from
2012 to 2013

-18

API Statewide Rank
(2012)

8 / 10

API Similar Schools Rank (2012)

3 / 10


API Growth scores over time

Did this school meet the API goal this year?
The state goal for API is 800. All schools that are below 800 are assigned an API improvement target each year.
  • This school met the state goal of 800.

API Growth scores by subgroup

In addition to schoolwide API scores, each student subgroup receives an API score.
Did this school meet all the API goals for student subgroups this year?
The state goal for the API is 800. All the student subgroups at a school that are below 800 are assigned an API improvement target each year.
  • This school did not meet all student subgroup API targets for 2013

This school's
API score

854

What is the API?
The Academic Performance Index (API) is a single number assigned to each school by the California Department of Education to measure overall school performance and improvement over time on statewide testing. The API ranges from 200 and 1000, with 800 as the state goal for all schools.
Change from
2012 to 2013

-18

Change from 2012 to 2013
Comparing the API Growth to the Base shows whether or not this school's test score performance improved between Spring 2012 and Spring 2013. The API ranges between 200 and 1000, with 800 as the statewide goal for all schools. Schools scoring below an 800 are given at least a 5 point target for the next year.
API Statewide Rank
(2012)

8 / 10

API Statewide Rank (2012)
The API Statewide Rank ranges from 1 to 10. A rank of 10, for example, means that the school’s API fell into the top 10% of all schools in the state with a comparable grade range. The 2012 rank is based on results from tests students took in Spring 2012.
API Similar Schools Rank (2012)

3 / 10

API Similar Schools Rank (2012)
The API Similar Schools Rank ranges from 1 to 10. It shows how the school compares to other schools with similar student demographic profiles. The California Department of Education uses parent education level, poverty level, student ethnicity and other data to identify similar schools.
English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 56% in 2013.

54 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
71%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
71%

2010

 
 
53%
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

54 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
80%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
75%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 46% in 2013.

51 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
51%

2012

 
 
65%

2011

 
 
44%

2010

 
 
48%
Math

The state average for Math was 66% in 2013.

51 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
71%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
64%

2010

 
 
72%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 65% in 2013.

28 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
75%

2012

 
 
68%

2011

 
 
70%

2010

 
 
73%
Math

The state average for Math was 72% in 2013.

28 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
40%

2011

 
 
75%

2010

 
 
69%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 60% in 2013.

24 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
54%

2012

 
 
76%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
80%
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

24 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
71%

2012

 
 
81%

2011

 
 
72%

2010

 
 
80%
Science

The state average for Science was 57% in 2013.

24 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
59%

2012

 
 
47%

2011

 
 
62%

2010

 
 
66%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students71%
Females80%
Males62%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino33%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)84%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Non-economically disadvantaged80%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability68%
English learner27%
Fluent-English proficient and English only81%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)n/a
Parent education - college graduate72%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate92%
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students80%
Females84%
Males76%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino50%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)96%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Non-economically disadvantaged89%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability78%
English learner27%
Fluent-English proficient and English only93%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)n/a
Parent education - college graduate89%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate96%
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students51%
Females57%
Males46%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino26%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)82%
Economically disadvantaged26%
Non-economically disadvantaged71%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability51%
English learner13%
Fluent-English proficient and English only69%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduate0%
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)n/a
Parent education - college graduate73%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate87%
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students71%
Females65%
Males75%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino52%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)91%
Economically disadvantaged52%
Non-economically disadvantaged86%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability69%
English learner31%
Fluent-English proficient and English only89%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduate27%
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)n/a
Parent education - college graduate91%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate100%
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students75%
Females81%
Males67%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latinon/a
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)100%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Non-economically disadvantaged82%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability75%
English learnern/a
Fluent-English proficient and English only88%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)n/a
Parent education - college graduaten/a
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students82%
Females81%
Males83%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latinon/a
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)100%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Non-economically disadvantaged91%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability82%
English learnern/a
Fluent-English proficient and English only96%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)n/a
Parent education - college graduaten/a
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students54%
Femalesn/a
Males47%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latinon/a
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)75%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Non-economically disadvantaged67%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability65%
English learnern/a
Fluent-English proficient and English only62%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)n/a
Parent education - college graduaten/a
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students71%
Femalesn/a
Males67%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latinon/a
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)92%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Non-economically disadvantaged89%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability75%
English learnern/a
Fluent-English proficient and English only81%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)n/a
Parent education - college graduaten/a
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Science

All Students59%
Femalesn/a
Males67%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latinon/a
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)100%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Non-economically disadvantaged78%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability60%
English learnern/a
Fluent-English proficient and English only67%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)n/a
Parent education - college graduaten/a
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
White 46%
Hispanic 38%
Two or more races 7%
Asian 4%
Black 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0%
Source: CA Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 34%N/AN/A
English language learners 26%N/AN/A
Source: CA Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
First-year teachers 0%N/AN/A
Source: Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-2012

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School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Cathy Okubo
Fax number
  • (650) 367-4364

Resources

Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

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815 Allerton Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
Phone: (650) 363-0611

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