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.
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.
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.
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
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.
It's a charter school that focuses on teaching the whole child; tolerance, conflict resolution, respect, charity, responsibility, with top notch academics.
I love Orion because it gives my beautiful Emeline the opportunity to be the best that she can be!
learn through play, the kids have fun every day at school and are excited to tell me every thing they have learned!
passionate students, teachers, administrators and parent participation
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.
Great head of school, great teachers, mandatory parent volunteer hours, open philosophy
I love Orion Alternative School because it is a school that helps make learning a joy for my granddaughter.
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!
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.
I just joined the Orion school and my daughter loves it . It a great environment. The teachers are great and the parents are amazing
Orion provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to participate in their child's education in a meaningful way.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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