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

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.

What Your High Schooler Should Know About College

College Prep School Orinda

Every prep school student has a different vision of what college might be like. Some students may dream of making lots of friends, while others are anxious to see the inside of a well-equipped laboratory. The reality is that college life will be whatever a student chooses to make of it. Every student needs to find his or her own path, starting with solid preparation that begins in high school.

Self-motivation is crucial.

Within a nurturing college prep school, students have access to ongoing support services and one-on-one time with teachers. They also have their parents nearby to check on homework and answer questions. In college, students must rely on themselves to stay on top of deadlines and get to class on time. Students who are motivated to succeed will reach their goals.

Good time management equals academic success.
Time management skills are also essential for academic success. In high school, students should master the use of day planners, wall calendars, and similar time management tools. High school teachers may sometimes be willing to grant an extension on a deadline, but students should not expect any special accommodations from their professors in college.

Conflict resolution skills can improve life in a dorm.
Life in a dorm can be both fun and difficult. Two or more strangers are expected to live with each other peaceably in one small room. Rising college freshmen who have good interpersonal and conflict resolution skills are more likely to get along with their roommates and other residents in the dorm.

Familiarity with one or two professors can open doors.
Achieving success in college takes dedication, but students must also look beyond graduation to their future careers. Networking becomes increasingly important in college, both with fellow students and professors. Students should strive to become acquaintances with one or more professors in their departments by visiting during office hours or perhaps taking a work/study job in the department. These mentors can provide letters of recommendation.

Students graduate from Orinda Academy as resilient, capable, and independent young learners ready to succeed at institutes of higher education. Our college prep school in Orinda, CA, focuses on giving students the tools and resources they need to fulfill their true potential. Questions about enrollment in our private prep school may be directed to a friendly staff member at (925) 478-4504.

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