925.478.4504
Orinda Academy is a Co-Ed, College Preparatory, Independent School for Students in Grades 8-12, and has a Convenient East Bay Location.

A Family's Guide to Community Service

Private School Orinda

If your child is attending a private school, he or she will likely be expected to participate in community service programs. Community service is arguably one of the most rewarding activities to do as a family. Spending time in service to others is fun, personally fulfilling, and teaches valuable lessons that build character—not to mention that community service helps others!

Organize a fundraiser.

Fundraisers are limitless in their versatility, and they’re a great way to bring together families from the college prep school. Your student can coordinate with other students to organize a bike ride, walk, or fun run to support a charitable organization. Other creative fundraiser ideas include:

  • Dance-a-thon
  • Recycling collection
  • Car wash
  • Crowdfunding
  • Cake sale
  • School-wide yard sale
  • Raffle

To host a raffle, students and their families can contact local businesses to request donated items for the raffle. To hold a school-wide yard sale, families can donate unneeded items and advertise the sale throughout the community.

Help the homeless.

There are countless ways to help the homeless in your community. Your family could organize a hygiene kit drive. Donated personal hygiene items can be assembled into gift baskets for delivery to the local shelter. Students can also host a shoe or coat drive.

Lend a hand to fight hunger.

Food pantries always need plenty of helping hands. Take the whole family to a local food pantry or regional food bank to spend a day sorting food for those in need.

Work with shelter animals.

Many shelter animals have been rescued from lives of neglect and abuse. They need lots of love and care, and shelter employees are often hard-pressed to give each animal the attention he or she deserves. Your family can volunteer to walk shelter dogs and cuddle with shelter cats.

Here at Orinda Academy, we take great pride in our school, students, and community. Our prep school in Orinda expects all of our students to complete 40 hours of community service prior to graduation, as we are firmly committed to compassionate, hands-on learning. If you have any questions about our curriculum or student life, you can call (925) 478-4504 to speak with a friendly staff member.

Get a Closer Look at Our International Program

Orinda Academy is a unique, independent college prep school that welcomes students of all backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities. When you watch this video, you’ll hear our founder, Ron Graydon, talk about some of our school’s many strengths. You’ll also hear from some of our international students and from one of our teachers, who has previously lived and worked as a teacher in China.

Our international students discuss what they most enjoy about our college prep school, including our smaller class styles, outstanding student support, and welcoming learning environment.

At our private college prep school in Orinda, we’re pleased to welcome a diverse student body. You can call Orinda Academy at (925) 478-4504 if you would like to discuss admissions to our close-knit, supportive learning community.

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.

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