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Orinda Academy is a Co-Ed, College Preparatory, Independent School for Students in Grades 8-12, and has a Convenient East Bay Location.

Which High School Classes Are Colleges Looking for on Your Transcript?

If you are feeling stressed as you begin to apply for college, knowing that you are taking the right classes can help you keep a level head as you begin the admissions process. Attending a private college prep school can give you a head start with your college applications, though it is still important to showcase your academic abilities by selecting the right coursework in high school. At Orinda Academy, you will have access to a number of challenging classes with a solid foundation in core subjects along with an array of electives that can further set your application apart. Here’s a closer look at the classes that colleges will want to see on your high school transcript.

Advanced math

With a high-demand for students in STEM majors, colleges are seeking applicants who are proficient in higher-level mathematics courses. The pre-college track at Orinda includes trigonometry, pre-calculus, and calculus with AP exam preparation to help students prepare for college-level mathematics.

Foreign languages

Most degree programs will include foreign language requirements, so taking a foreign language in high school can help you get a head start. Upper division language courses will be particularly impressive on your application.

Arts and music

Fine arts are not overlooked when it comes to college applications. Arts and music classes can improve academic skills and provide students with a broader cultural perspective, which is why Orinda offers a wide range of arts courses such as drama, studio art, stage band, and digital music production.

Advanced writing

Strong writing skills are integral to college success, which means that admissions departments will want to see higher level English classes with a writing emphasis on students’ transcripts.

To discover more of the advantages of an education at Orinda Academy, visit our website or call us at (925) 478-4504. Our beautiful East Bay Area campus offers a tightly-knit community for students from grades 8-12 with an emphasis on college preparation.

Learn More About Orinda Academy's School Rules

At Orinda Academy, students in grades 8-12 are held to higher expectations both in and out of the classroom. With high standards for student performance, Orinda Academy offers a challenging yet supportive environment for all students.

This video offers a closer look at the rules of Orinda Academy that help to create a safe, welcoming atmosphere for every pupil. Respect is the backbone of the school rules, which include guidelines like keeping a clean campus by remembering to recycle, being kind to others, and driving slowly on campus while keeping music at a reasonable volume.

To discover the respectful environment of the East Bay’s Orinda Academy for yourself, check our website or call (925) 478-4504 to RSVP for an open house event on campus. You can also get a look at our curriculum and college-prep courses on our website.

Preparing a Winning College Essay

The college essay is one of the most important parts of the application process. It gives students a chance to show schools exactly who they are, beyond names and numbers on a piece of paper. A great essay sells your application to admissions officers. A counselor at a college preparatory high school in Orinda can help students prepare an essay that stands out. These tips will also help.

Keep It Brief

Even if a college application doesn’t specify an upper word limit for essays, admissions officers have thousands to read. That means that essays shouldn’t run for multiple pages and thousands of words. A good target is to keep the essay under 700 words. In addition to being mindful of the admission officer’s time, keeping a tight word count forces the writing to be precise and economical, which are good qualities in college-level work. Colleges don’t expect any application and essay to give a complete picture of a student, so resist the urge to crowd the essay with extraneous information.

Make It Lively

A good college essay is engaging and entertaining. It should be written from a first-person perspective and contain enough color and detail to make the story come alive. If the prompt encourages students to write about a controversial subject, avoid trying to stick to the middle ground. Take a reasoned stand and argue the point, instead of staying bland and neutral; remember that debate is an integral part of academics.

Rethink Humor

Humor does not always translate well in writing. This is especially true when it comes to college admissions essays. It’s best to avoid humor whenever possible. If including humor seems necessary, have a few people, including a college counselor, read it to make sure the intent is clear.

Orinda Academy is committed to preparing students with all learning styles for academic success. Our college prep school’s curriculum gives students the tools they need to stand out after high school. To learn more about our private school, including our admissions guidelines, please call (925) 478-4504.

Exploring Technology Electives at Orinda Academy

Technology is only becoming more integrated into daily life, so it is important for students to take part in technological coursework that will let them thrive in a digital world. At Orinda Academy, we encourage our students to take advantage of technology every day with campus-wide internet access and computers in the classroom, and we also offer a wealth of technology courses that students may choose among their electives.

In 8 th grade, students may get an introduction to a technological education with Beginning Computers, which provides a general overview of computers and how they may be used for applications in creativity, organization, and communications. More advanced courses include Website Design, Multimedia, Digital Literacy, and Digital Yearbook. These classes can provide students with exceptional skills to help them thrive in college or begin careers in the growing fields of computer science, software development, and graphic design.

To explore all of the distinct advantages of an education at Orinda Academy, call us at (925) 478-4504 and schedule a tour of our campus. You can also visit our website to sample our college prep curriculum and course work.

6 Things to Look for in a Private College Prep School [INFOGRAPHIC]

Many schools claim to be private college prep schools, so how can you be sure you’re choosing the right one for your child? Lift the lid on what the prep school is actually offering to determine if it is providing the kind of education and support that will help your child succeed. Start by asking about class sizes. Students thrive in small classrooms, which is why Orinda Academy is pleased to have a 9:1 student-to-teacher ratio at our prep school. You should also ask the school about its track record for sending students to college and what schools past students have attended. Find out more about selecting a prep school in this infographic from Orinda Academy. Our private college prep school in Orinda has been preparing children for higher education for 30 years and offers college counselors, electives, advising, and much more. Help other parents make this important decision by sharing this helpful information.

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