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Orion Academy

Orion Academy 2014-10-10

Moraga, CA, USA
Orion Academy offers high school (grades 9-12) students an academic curriculum that is challenging and structured, rich in its academic offerings and nurturing in its approach to fostering personal growth, responsibility, and independence. The Orion community–students, faculty, staff, and families alike–works collaboratively to help students discover and develop their individual gifts and strengths, become self-advocates, and realize their full potential. A safe, thoughtfully prepared environment encourages mutual trust, respect, and acceptance among those in its school community.

Orion Academy provides a quality college-preparatory program for secondary students whose academic success is compromised by a neurocognitive disability such as Aspergers syndrome, or NLD (Non-verbal Learning Disorder).

Orion students are bright young people whose potential for success in the world is historically unrealized as a result of their disorders. As a group, these students suffer profound difficulty with information processing and integration. This, coupled with significant social skill problems, often makes it impossible to function and succeed in existing high school programs. Without the necessary program modifications and social skill training, their future has been uncertain.

Orion Academy offers these students an academic curriculum that is challenging and structured, rich in its academic offerings and uniquely tailored to the strengths and needs of our students.

The student to staff ratio is 1:8 to start in certain subjects, with increasing independence as the years progress. Details of the program and the staffing needs follow. The school provides a 180-day full academic curriculum and has been approved as a Nonpublic School by the State of California and is accredited by Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC).

The Program

Our school is dedicated to educating students with neurocognitive disorders, targeting both individual social needs and academic excellence. The program is designed as a safe learning environment with a specific focus on remediating motoric, social, emotional, and visual-spatial deficits. The opportunities and tools for success will be an integral part of every class, group, and volunteer setting. The program includes high-level academics in small classes to allow for individual attention and increased opportunity for success in those courses. This is a unique program specifically planned with these students in mind.

All elements of the school are designed to optimize learning within this particular segment of students.

  • The average class size is 8 students, with an average faculty to student ratio of 4:1
  • Students have a chance to pursue their individual interests in a productive way through our “Personal Projects” program. We use students’ unique interests to teach them how to research, organize, write and present. This is a critical component for teaching executive function skills
  • Technology is integrated into every aspect of the curriculum
  • Orion’s Dog Class provides an opportunity for our students to improve their understanding of non-verbal social cues
  • Our new Bridge to College program allows students to begin college-level work with the support and structure of Orion
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