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.

How Students Can Cope with the Stress of a New Year

Private School Orinda Although some students can’t wait to get back to the classroom, other students get anxious when a new year approaches. Everything from a competitive college prep curriculum to transitioning to high school can make even students who are usually confident feel nervous when the first day of school approaches. Fortunately, anxiety doesn’t have to derail the school year. Students can tackle their nerves about their new school years with these tips.

Plan Ahead
Nerves about new school years often start with not knowing what to expect. Get together with friends and compare schedules to determine what your school days will look like. For instance, you may discover that you have lunch with your best friend or that someone you want to get to know better is in your history class. If you’re new to the school, visit before the first day and find all of your classrooms so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

Get Involved
New school years mean new opportunities to get involved with student life outside of the classroom. Explore school sports teams and afterschool clubs that interest you and consider joining. Trying a new activity is a great way to feel like you’re part of the school and to build new connections with your private school classmates.

Learn About Your Classes
Often, a class you are dreading is nothing like you expect it will be. You may find out that the chemistry class you’re worried about has lots of fun experiments that interest you or that there is lots of afterschool help for the math class you’ve heard is hard. Find out what to expect before class starts by talking to past students or even introducing yourself to the teacher. You may find out that you actually have nothing to worry about at all.

The smaller classes at Orinda Academy mean a closer connection between students and their teachers at our private school in Orinda. We welcome students with a variety of learning styles and provide a comprehensive, college prep curriculum. To learn more about our school or to schedule a campus tour, please call (925) 478-4504.

Helping Students Cope with Senior-Year Jitters

Private School Orinda

Senior year of high school is both exciting and scary for students. The prospect of the leaders of the school is thrilling, but the idea of leaving the confines of their private school and heading to college can be overwhelming. Students in a college prep school program see the culmination of everything they have worked for throughout their school careers coming together, creating a great deal of pressure to achieve the goals they set for themselves. These feelings are natural, but they can make managing coursework and student life more difficult than ever. If your student is experiencing a case of senior year jitters, here are some things you can do to help ease their anxiety.

Focus on the Fun
Although senior year means facing several major decisions, there are still plenty of fun times to look forward to as well. Encourage your student to focus on those good things instead of weighing themselves down with worries about what next year will bring. Senior proms, trips, special privileges at school, and more typically await seniors, so look forward to those things together instead of focusing on the stressful parts of the year.

Offer to Listen
The pressure to meet your expectations may also be on your child’s mind, even if you don’t intend for them to feel that stress. Although offering advice as your child makes this transition to adulthood is important, sometimes, simply listening can be just as effective. Let your child know that you’re willing to listen to his or her concerns without comment or judgment so that he or she feels comfortable coming to you when the pressure feels overwhelming.

Make Plans
The unknown can be the scariest thing of all for high school seniors. Help your senior get a better picture of what the future holds by visiting colleges and otherwise making plans for life after high school. When he or she can envision what is coming, it will be easier to feel confident.

Orinda Academy is dedicated to helping students find academic success in high school and beyond with our smaller class sizes and college prep curriculum. Find out more about our private school in Orinda by calling (925) 478-4504.

Test Taking 101

One of the most important skills a student can learn in a college prep curriculum is the right way to take a test so that, when they do reach university classes, exams don’t lead to serious anxiety. Watch this video to learn different methods for overcoming test-taking hurdles.

The secret to doing a well on a test usually isn’t spending more hours studying. Instead, it usually means studying more effectively and learning how to look at test questions the right way. Going into a test with a strategy can make all the difference.

At Orinda Academy, students find academic success while building skills that will help them achieve in college and beyond. Find out if our private college prep school in Orinda could be right for your child by calling us today at (925) 478-4504.

Exploring the Developmental Milestones Faced by Middle Schoolers

Private School Orinda

The middle school years are a time of significant transitions for children. At this age, it’s common for students to experience peer pressure, question authority, and develop a worldview. Of course, every child develops at his or her own unique pace. During these years, it’s particularly important that your child enjoy the strong support of a positive college prep school environment.

Cognitive Abilities
Elementary school set the stage for an explosion of learning in middle school. During these years, your prep school student will refine his or her abilities to organize ideas, make decisions, and understand abstract concepts. Students often begin to take an interest in current events and they develop their own perceptions of the way the world works. In middle school, memory retention becomes increasingly important.

Language Skills
Your middle school student will improve his or her grasp on abstract language and pragmatic language skills as they apply to a social context. For example, he or she will display a heightened understanding of metaphors, tone of voice, and nonverbal language cues. Middle schoolers often enjoy debates and “what if” discussions.

Socio-Emotional Issues
Middle school students often find themselves caught between two worlds. On one hand, they want to have their own unique self-identity; on the other, they yearn to fit in with their peer groups and be like their friends. You might notice that your middle schooler becomes increasingly sensitive to the reactions and perceived opinions of other people. Support your student’s growing independence from family life, but provide ongoing guidance on ethical dilemmas and the need to empathize with others. Since middle schoolers can sometimes react poorly to perceived criticism, try to ask open-ended questions about difficult situations.

At Orinda Academy, it is our mission to guide every child in reaching his or her full potential by administering a rigorous curriculum and fulfilling the socio-emotional needs of our students. Our smaller class sizes in Orinda, CA, allow our teachers to provide the one-on-one support that students need to thrive. To inquire about admissions, parents can call (925) 478-4504.

Taking a Closer Look at Orinda Academy's Science Program

Private School Orinda

Here at Orinda Academy, we recognize that students have different learning styles and they progress at different paces. Our mathematics and science department supports each child’s individual progress through the curriculum. The eighth grade at our prep school learns about physical science, which lays a solid foundation for the basics of scientific thinking. In ninth grade, our college prep school students learn about environmental science. They explore ecosystems, renewable and non-renewable resources, and environmental health issues.

Students in 10 th grade may take either biology or honors biology. Biology explores cell division, genetics, evolution, and plant and animal classifications. Our 11 th graders study chemistry. They learn about atomic structure, chemical bonds, and chemical reactions. In physics, 12 th graders study energy, light, electric currents, and magnetism.

Our science curriculum in Orinda, CA, allows us to make use of the area’s many learning opportunities, including museums, laboratories, and natural resources. Parents can call (925) 478-4504 with questions about our academics.

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