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.

Academics at Orinda Academy

Orinda Academy is an independent college prep school serving the San Francisco East Bay area with a foundation of rigorous curriculum delivered by highly qualified and dedicated instructors. Class sizes are small to ensure individual success through all subjects from core curriculum to electives. With the academics discussed below, Orinda helps students develop intellectually, personally, and creatively to be fully prepared for the challenges ahead in college and the job market.

Core Subject Areas

At the heart of the challenging academics of Orinda Academy, there are four core subjects students will focus on in every grade level.

  • English studies in the lower division revolve around multi-cultural literature, which upper level courses are dedicated to American and European literature with an emphasis on grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills needed for success on the SAT and AP exams.
  • The mathematics courses at Orinda offer flexibility for students depending on their skill levels and preferences. The college-bound track in high school provides a rigorous and challenging curriculum that promotes superior test scores on college entry exams.
  • Science at Orinda focuses on unique subject areas each year, covering Physical Science, Environmental Science, Biology with an honors option, Chemistry, and Physics. All science courses take advantage of the amazing resources available in the San Francisco area to enhance learning outside of the classroom.
  • Social studies takes a humanistic approach to promote critical thinking as students connect to the overall human experience. Courses follow a sequence from 8 th to 12 th grade with U.S. History, World Geography, Modern World History, Civics, and Economics.

Foreign languages

Knowing a second language can be a valuable asset in the job market, and language instruction that begins earlier in life tends to stick more effectively than foreign language courses taught at the college level. Orinda students may choose between Spanish and French with 4-5 year language programs—including immersion experiences abroad for older students. Lower level classes cover basics like vocabulary and grammar, while higher-level courses are taught almost entirely in the foreign language for more advanced learning and long-term acquisition.

Arts Education

At Orinda Academy, the arts are fully funded and supported, because arts education serves an important purpose in the development of well-rounded students. Through participation in music, drama, visual arts, or dance, students may learn better ways to express themselves and communicate with one another. Plus, research has consistently shown that students who participate in the arts through quality arts education programs have higher test scores in the subjects of reading and mathematics.

Academic Coaching

Every student is unique, so some personalized instruction may be required outside of the classroom for academic success. Academic coaching is offered to students who want a little extra help in a one-on-one setting that incorporates personalized learning strategies.

Technology Courses

Knowing how to use and communicate through technology is an increasingly valuable skill, so students at Orinda have opportunities to complete coursework in advanced skills like web design and computer programming. Basic technological skills are built into the curriculum of all courses with technology throughout the classroom and campus-wide wireless internet access.

Orinda Academy has been providing education for grades 8-12 in the East Bay Area since 1982, and we remain committed to excellence in every aspect of the educational experience. You can learn if our school is the right environment for your child by calling us at (925) 478-4504 to schedule a school visit.