This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Orion Alternative School5
Posted September 30, 2013
- a parent
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.