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

Spotlight on Orinda Academy's Student Support Services

Private School Orinda At Orinda Academy, we are committed to creating a successful learning environment for all students. We welcome different learning styles at our college prep school and work to ensure that every student has the tools he or she needs to reach his or her goals. Our extensive network of student support services help us maintain this promise to the families who choose our school for their children. In addition to smaller class sizes, a variety of electives, and personalized college counseling, here are some of the support services students can access at our school.

Learning Plan Support
Orinda Academy takes our responsibility to support students with learning plans seriously. The Learning Support Coordinator and the Dean of Students work together to manage learning plans and ensure that the staff has all of the information they need to accommodate each student’s plan. During our staff meetings, we also examine learning plans in depth and collaborate on ways we can consistently improve the support that students get for their learning plans. Students have seating options (exercise balls, wobble stools) and access to fidget toys, audiobooks, notes, scribes, graphical organizers and other accommodations.

Study Skills Class
Studying is a skill that is often expected but seldom taught in the classroom. Every ninth grader at Orinda must take a one-semester study skills classed to help them learn how to take notes, scaffold assignments, prepare for tests, and organize their time. The skills that students learn in this class can help them throughout the rest of their high school and college educations.

Extensive Faculty Engagement
Students don’t slip through the cracks at Orinda Academy. The teachers and counselors are involved in tracking student performances in all academic areas and monitoring assignments daily to prevent students from falling behind. Homework and assignments are posted on an easy-to-access portal so students and parents can see what work was assigned and when it is due. Progress reports are sent home every two weeks and there are regularly scheduled parent teacher conference to track progress. Faculty members are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays for office hours. When families need more support, Orinda can provide access to academic tutoring and family counseling sessions.

Discover the difference of Orinda Academy for yourself by arranging a visit to our campus and learning more about our academic programs in Orinda. Talk to a staff member today by calling (925) 478-4504.

Examining Our French Curriculum

Private School Orinda

Kathryn Saxby, French Teacher

To help ensure that students in our preparatory school are competitive when they apply to colleges, foreign language is a major part of our curriculum. In addition to meeting state high school graduation and college admission requirements, learning another language builds confidence and helps students learn about different cultures. We offer French, Spanish, and American Sign Language at our college prep school. Here is a look at what students learn in our French curriculum.

Levels 1-2
In the beginning levels of French, students focus on vocabulary so that they read, speak, write, and understand short phrases and eventually longer paragraphs. Students also learn about different parts of speech and practice conversational skills. Learning about etiquette and culture in French-speaking countries is also part of the curriculum. These early levels of French also give students a chance to get used to language classes and the opportunity to get comfortable making the mistakes that are an invaluable part of the process of learning a language.

Levels 3-4
During levels 3-4 of French, students will build on the skills they developed in the first section and add a significant amount of new vocabulary and grammar knowledge. Students will learn the multiple verb tenses, practice with different types of pronouns, and learn to speak and write more fluently. In these classes, students will practice discussing things like hobbies and holidays and using practical skills, such as booking a hotel room.

Levels 5-6
These next levels of our French curriculum are focused on taking knowledge gained in previous courses and applying it at a higher, more precise level. Students will discuss current events, geography, and culture, and work on expressing themselves beyond basic phrase. They will also learn to incorporate idiomatic French expressions in their speech and writing to display more thorough grasp on the language.

Levels 7-8
The final levels of our French curriculum are focused largely on French literature as well as conversation and writing.

At Orinda Academy, our curriculum is rich and engaging, so our prep school students learn to love education while getting the tools they need to succeed. To see if our private school in Orinda could be right for your child, call (925) 478-4504 to learn more about our program and for information about enrollment.

The Parent's Guide to the High School Brain

Parents of kids in high schools tend to share one common trait: they sometimes wonder who this new teenaged person is who replaced their sweet, younger child. Although most people attribute the bumps in the road that occur during the teenage years with hormonal changes, the real culprits are the changes in the brain. Watch this video to learn more.

The brain undergoes massive changes during the teenage years, as it grows stronger and more adept for adulthood. These changes, along with hormonal changes, can create the angst and moodiness that parents associated with the teenage years, but once high school ends and kids grow up, the changes stabilize and adolescent behavior does too.

At Orinda Academy, our private high school is designed to encourage success in teens with an engaging curriculum and small class sizes that cater to different learning styles. Find out how our private school in Orinda can help your teen achieve by calling (925) 478-4504.

Planning a School Visit

Private School Orinda

There is only one way to know for sure if Orinda Academy is right for your child: visit our campus. We encourage families who are considering choosing our school to arrange a visit, explore our grounds, and learn more about our curriculum. Orinda Academy capitalizes on the beauty of the Orinda hills and is nestled against a lovely backdrop of redwoods.

We offer several ways to visit our school. Families can contact the admissions office to arrange for a school tour, during which you can get answers to your questions about our school and educational programs. For prospective students, we offer shadow visits that allow them to spend half a day attending classes with a current student and meeting fellow students and faculty. Shadow visits are usually scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday mornings or by special appointment.

We also host open houses every Fall and Spring, where you can meet current students and faculty to learn more about our school.

Start the process of setting up a visit today by calling Orinda Academy. Dial (925) 254-7553x 1005 to make an appointment to visit our prep school in Orinda and to get answers to all of your questions about our curriculum.

College Prep Curriculum: A Guide for Parents

College Prep School Orinda

Many private schools offer a college prep curriculum, but what exactly does this mean and is it right for your child? College preparatory schools come in all forms, but they all generally adhere to the graduation requirements of the state and they have a focus on preparing students to excel at institutes of higher education. For instance, students at a college prep school typically have greater access to one-on-one guidance and college counseling, as well as access to advanced courses. Norm Coleman, an Orinda Academy founder, is our college guidance counselor. This spring he is working with juniors in a series of 1:1 meetings to hone their college lists and brag sheets.

Graduation Requirements
A college prep curriculum sets the standards of graduation. Generally, students are expected to successfully complete four years of English, three of mathematics and social studies, and two years of science. Students must also complete one year of foreign language studies or visual arts, and three years of physical education. Of course, students can exceed these expectations and they may choose occasional elective courses. The content of these courses is structured in a way that builds a firm foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills that will serve students well in the college classroom. With this academic foundation, students graduate well-equipped for any course of study they choose after high school.

Advanced Courses
College preparatory schools typically offer a broader selection of advanced courses compared to most public high schools. Students may choose from honors classes that challenge them to reach new heights. They may also choose to take Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which are college-level courses that culminate in a College Board AP Exam. With AP classes, students can earn college credit before they graduate from high school. Taking these advanced classes in high school is an effective way to impress college admissions officers.

Students at Orinda Academy can also supplement their schedule with classes taken through Edgenuity. Current students are taking Entrepreneurship and Coding.

Student Resources
Comprehensive college prep curricula are supported by substantial student support resources. College prep students are generally assigned their own school advisor with whom they check in regularly. They can take advantage of savvy college counseling, academic planning conferences, and tutoring.

If you’re looking for a college prep school in Orinda for your child, look no further than Orinda Academy. We are a private college prep school that focuses on accommodating all learning styles, and providing extensive student support and counseling services. Call our office at (925) 478-4504 to request more information.

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