Advertisement
Advertisement

The Orion School

Private | K-8 | 28 students

We offer a superior education for bright quirky kids with ADHD/Asperger's

Student diversity

Looks like we have no information about the race or ethnicity of the student body.

 
 

 
 

Living in Atlanta

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $152,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $890.

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 16 ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Sweep tile
No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:00 AM Pacific Time (PT) on April 1, 2014 and ends at 11:59:59 on April 30, 2014 (the “Promotion Period”). Open to legal residents of the U.S. and D.C., 13 years and older. Each school that receives a new, published review will get one (1) entry into the sweepstakes, up to ten (10) entries throughout the Promotion Period. See the Official Rules for details. Sponsor: GreatSchools, 1999 Harrison St., Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612.

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

22 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted February 19, 2013

The Orion School has been a positive life changing experience for my bright and talented middle school age son. He has many challenges including ADHD, OCD, Aspergers, dyslexia, and sensory processing disorder (!) The teachers are experienced, dedicated, and creative. They are pushing him academically to stay ahead of grade level. At the same time they are teaching him the ongoing task of learning to self regulate - which they do with firm empathy :) He is getting the most well rounded educational preparation possible for the transition to high school in two years. In small classes of only four students the teachers work hard to make learning interesting which makes all the difference. The program has so many experiential components to keep the academics meaningful it would be hard to list. For example their outdoor classroom has chickens, an organic garden and a worm farm! In short, the Orion School has the highest academic standards, a staff with the training and experience to help my son with his schoolwork and emotions, and a fiercely dedicated and compassionate leadership team. Submitted by a parent
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 21, 2012

As the Assistant Director and teacher at The Orion School, I am alarmed at the negative comments by former disgruntled employees and parents. We are a school that serves children with neurobehavioral disorders who have not been successful in a traditional school setting. Our teachers use multi-sensory hands-on, researched based experiential teaching methods to allow our students to reach their true potential. We have the most current technology, including and iMac lab, an Interactive Promethian Board, and iPads that enhance our curriculum. We follow the Georgia Performance Standards with a 4:1 student-teacher ratio at all times. Although we have had a turn-over in staffing, our current teachers are better qualified, certified with advanced degrees in Special Education. My own son has Asperger's Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder, so I speak as a parent and a teacher. I am the biggest fan and advocate of our staff and am dedicated to making sure that everyone serves our students' best interest. If you have a child that would fit our population, I would recommend that you visit us and have a tour before making any decisions. Beth Brieske Assistant Director, The Orion School
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted April 21, 2012

I have been a teacher at Orion since January of this year. Many things impress me about this school. First, the teachers (current and for next year) either have master's degrees or certification (or both) AND experience with the population of students we serve. Second, I am impressed by the administration's committment to evidence-based practices. Third, I appreciate that teachers are allowed to mold the curriculum to fit the students we work with. Fourth, I respect tremendously that the teachers work together (with the approval of administration) to create behavior intervention plans customized to the students. Fifth, I love that when I have family situations that require my attention (especially given that I have a special needs child of my own), there is never a question. I have all the lattitude I need to meet the needs of my family. Every person, every organization, every company has room to grow. Nevertheless, I suspect there are few schools with directors who are so personally invested in the success of each student as ours. As a parent and an educator, I find tremendous value in that!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted April 20, 2012

As I write this review a side bar appears stating what a great school has.... it shows as: A great school has: Excellent teachers Strong principal/school leadership Challenging academic programs The Orion School has some improvements to make based on these points. While working at The Orion School I struggled as I watched both parents and teachers wanting more for the students. Parents and teachers wanted homework and additional academic time. Parents wanted to push their child to what they knew their child was capable of. Teachers wanted consequences for students that hit teachers and students multiple times. Resistance comes for the leadership at The Orion School. I also saw myself wanting more for me as an employee. I felt as if I was expected to spend evenings and weekends not with my family but working for The Orion School. I always put 100% into what I did but I was treated as if it was not enough. If they support their community and families they should start with the families in their building. Yes.... many of the students are growing socially and some academically, but if you want more for your child think twice about The Orion School.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted March 29, 2012

The Orion School has been a good fit for my son. He no longer dreads going to school each morning. This, in and of itself, is huge for us, considering where we were just a few months ago in the public schools. We have recently been told by a new psychiatrist he has PDD-NOS, meaning he is on the spectrum. My son struggles with anxiety, impulse control and anger, often leading to melt downs at home and in a school setting. A child cannot learn when they are in this heightened state; the skilled and experienced teachers at Orion have seen it all, and help him process through these episodes so that they don t define him. This helps diminish his anxiety and low self esteem, and fosters a more positive self image. I also feel the empathy and understanding from the teachers and staff has been therapeutic for me as well. I hear things like, I understand , that s what we DO here , and Your son is an amazing child, I love having him in my class . These are things parents like us have never heard, and it s wonderful. Of course he s not perfect, the point is, they accept him and take him where he is; it s a process. We all have a story; if you are reading this, you probably have one too.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 29, 2012

My son, who has been diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome, had terrible experiences in public schools and another private school. My wife and I were at a loss - until we discovered The Orion School. My son has made so much progress and has really flourished there. The teachers and administrators understand how to educate children who learn best in a more supportive, nurturing and experiential environment. We recommend The Orion School to any parents who are looking for a haven for a child who needs just that.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 27, 2012

While we are new to the Orion School, we have already begun to see a major transformation in our child. Our child went from extremely anxious and combative to happy and excited about school. Thus far, we have had a great experience!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 26, 2012

I am a very happy teacher at The Orion School. Our school specializes in children with neurobehavior disorders, primarily ADHD and anxiety. As teachers, we have a highly supportive administrative team who are always available to provide innovative ideas for high-interest, experiential teaching activities. Rather than being tied to a boring textbook and worksheets, we have the opportunity to use a wide variety of modalities. We use cutting edge technology, including interactive whiteboards, an iMac lab, and iPads to further enhance the curriculum. I so appreciate the opportunity I have to "think outside the box" and educate our students in new and unique ways that are far more meaningful than methods used in traditional schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 26, 2012

We are new to Orion this year. My son has thrived academically and socially under their wing. He comes home excited about the things he learns and I know that information is being planted and nurtured and that it will grow and become a part of him - not just spit back out on a test, and then lost. The small teacher to student ratio means they can accommodate his fluctuating level of stability, as well as his unique interests. They reward positive behavior and expect the best from my child, which has helped his self-esteem. They focus on the big picture and create opportunities for my son to be successful and share his talents and gifts. I have been very happy with Orion, and my son thinks it is "awesome". When education is interesting, meaningful and above all EXPERIENCED, it becomes a part of you that never leaves- it forms who you will grow up to be! When you feel loved, safe and valued, you keep trying... you grow as a student and a person. When mom doesn't flinch every time the phone rings, mom is happy! I am a mom with three unique kids at three schools - and each is growing to be the best THEY can be. My son has special needs, and Orion specializes in HIM!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 26, 2012

In my teaching experience from preschool- to university-level and Montessori to public school education The Orion School is the only place where I, as a teacher, have truly had the opportunity to join a staff that is committed to nurturing the whole child. Our teachers strive to cultivate and strengthen the students' social-emotional and self-regulatory skills, which in turn, facilitates their academic trajectory and ensures meaningful learning. Specifically, we provide a multi-sensory, student-centered approach to education by complementing our curriculum all of which meets Georgia Performance Standards with a variety of hands-on, multi-sensory experiential and enrichment activities. The respective activities help to foster our students' sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy; their ability to engage in healthy, positive social interactions; and their capacity for success in the classroom. As a teacher at The Orion School, I genuinely feel as though the faculty and staff members create an environment in which students feel nurtured and encouraged to continue growing, learning, and flourishing in fulfilling their greatest potential. Best regards, Michael Largin, M.A.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted March 25, 2012

The Orion School has been a God-send to our family. We visited over 15 schools in Atlanta trying to find the right fit...a school that gave our son the support to be successful and feel good about himself in a school setting. While he hasn't started attending The Orion School yet (he's starting Kindergarten there in the Fall), I was so touched by the mission of the school and the work that they're doing for children with special needs that I left my 10 year career in the business sector to work at the school. I was so moved that I offered to work at the school in whatever capacity was needed. My decision to become part of the Orion family has been wonderful for our family. Further, being at the school every day and seeing how wonderfully the teachers work with our children has further reinforced my decision to enroll my child there.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted March 24, 2012

Orion has been life changing for my older tween son with ADHD, OCD Aspergers and other issues. The staff is doing the work of angels by helping him stay ahead of grade level and teaching him the ongoing task of learning to manage his behavior which they do with firm empathy :) Orion has the highest academic standards and the staff has the expertise and compassion to help my son with his schoolwork and his emotions. In small classes of four the teachers work hard to make learning interesting and meaningful which makes all the difference. Teachers who were struggling did leave last year and the new teachers were more qualified and friendlier. The leadership is welcoming, available and aware of what is going on at the school and the teachers talk to me daily.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 23, 2012

The Orion School has greatly benefited our daughter this school year. She was doing okay in public school, but she needed constant re-direction to stay on task and we were slowly watching her grades start to decline. The 1:4 teacher/student ratio has made a big difference. The teachers are better able to cater to her individual needs, as well as her strengths. One of the best things about it is their belief that a complete education should also include the area of social/emotional growth. That was another reason for leaving the public school environment. It is focused solely on academics. And while the academics are important, without learning the proper coping skills to regulate your body, interact with others, and attend to your lessons, you cannot learn. Orion does a good job of incorporating both aspects into their curriculum. Despite some turmoil when some teachers and families left, our experience at Orion has been very positive and we would highly recommend it to others.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 18, 2012

The Orion School has been a God send for us. Our son was diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger's and anxiety disorder. He was so unhappy at his old school. Even though his old school was a small private school (10 children per classroom), he didn't get the type of attention, patience, and direction he needed. With a 1 to 4 teacher ratio, he gets it in spades at The Orion School. He has friends (finally!) and feels part of a community. The experience has really helped improve his confidence and decrease his anxiety so he can focus on learning and growing! We only wish we had moved him earlier!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 17, 2012

The Orion School is by far the best school in Atlanta for kids who are bright yet have big challenges like ADHD and just need more. The school has the same quality education that the best private schools in Atlanta have...yet it is for kids who are not self directed in school because they are socially unaware with Aspergers, emotionaly unsure, or have big attentional issues. The school has exceptionally high standards for academics and incredible support in place, yet makes it so easy and accessible for kids to want to learn that they do not realize how much they are learning! Kids should love to learn and deserve more than dreary homework, worksheets, and textbooks. Their future is not predetermined and The Orion School does a fantastic job making sure the whole child is given everything they need to succeed. The entire staff is warm, welcoming, caring and happy to help in any way they can. Every time there has been turnover it has been an inexperienced and kind of unfriendly teacher who was replaced by a more credentialed or seasoned and complassionate teacher...which is what every school should be able to do to keep standards high!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 12, 2012

I was inspired to write this review after watching the segment on the Khan Academy on 60 minutes last night (3/11/2012). It is amazing that this modest little school in midtown has been practicing, for its whole six years of existence, what 60 minutes is now touting as the state of the art in education: focus on experiential learning with limited use of textbooks, check. Teacher time spent on classroom teaching and curriculum development and not on creating and grading homework assignments, check. The place holds teachers accountable for results and its educational approach makes those parents who are more comfortable with a 1970s model of education somewhat anxious but the proof is in the results. I was worried that my son would never learn to read and write and now, according to standardized test results, he is two years ahead of grade level. He s made friends, gets a lot of physical activity and loves going to school. I could not be more pleased with his progress.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 11, 2012

We are new to Orion this winter. It has been such a blessing for our family. The teachers are well qualified (many with master's degrees and certification). I love that many of them have years of real experience working with children with special needs. They really seem to be using some incredibly creative and varied modalities for teaching. Additionally, they have some innovative behavior supports in place, which is super-important for kids like mine. I appreciate how supportive the director is. She's interested in me as a parent and works hard to keep me informed. If your child needs a low ratio, innovative instruction, and a lot of movement, don't even think twice about enrolling here!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 2, 2011

The attention given to each student is impressive at this school and the leadership is very involved. The school offers plenty of opportunities for parent involvement and parent learning as well. We are so glad we found this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 26, 2010

We chose the Orion School because they focus on special kids with high energy who can benefit from social skills training and other special programs, which is our son in a nutshell. Their 4:1 student teacher ratio, with highly trained and caring teachers, help create a supportive learning environment. It is a special place and their attention on the individual student's needs is second to none. It's a wonderful school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 26, 2010

We searched for years to find a place for my child. The Orion school is a God Send for us. It has made a difference in our family's quality of life with a happier better adjusted child
—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.

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.

Oops! We currently do not have any student information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

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
  • Emotional behavioral disabilities
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Outdoor learning lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Theory
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv

Language learning

Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Therapeutic
Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School start time
  • 8:20 am
School end time
  • 2:40 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:45 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Laura Markson
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • GAC

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Direct instruction
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Multisensory; Experiential Learning
  • Project-based
  • Standards-based
  • Therapeutic
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Special education
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
  • Emotional behavioral disabilities
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Foreign languages taught
  • None
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • OT; adventure based therapy,
  • Remediation
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Learning lab
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • None
Girls sports
  • None

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Theory
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • None
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
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
More from this school
  • The Orion School has a dedicated profile helping complex and capable students with social and emotional challenges reach their potential. We offer more intensive support for reluctant learners who may need a high interest and enriched educational option to love school again.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$20000 - $20000
Vouchers accepted
Yes
Financial aid offered
Yes.
Outside scholarships
Tax credits
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

458 Ponce de Leon Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30308
Website: Click here
Phone: (404) 551-2574

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools







ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT