High School Program

Program Goals

The Orion program is present all aspects of the school environment including the setup of the classrooms, the bell schedule, the consistent process for presenting curriculum, the use of laptop computers, the discipline philosophy, the clubs, the texts and the courses we choose to offer.

Our students build upon their skills as they pass through the grades at Orion. During each grade Orion faculty and staff focus on specific goals for each grade level.

Freshmen Year

The goals for the freshmen year, as with all the years at Orion, encompass the overall ESLR’s mentioned above. In addition, the freshmen year focuses on two main areas:

  • Learning to be a competent and responsible student: This includes developing the skills involved in “being a student”  (such as; homework, assignment completion, organization of work and participation in classes).   These skills allow Orion students to begin to take responsibility for their learning and provide the basis for the second main goal.
  • Improving organizational skills:  The use of the Orion routine, the computer technology system and network at Orion forms the basis of a successful new way for students to organize their thinking and their class work requirements.

Sample Course Load for Freshman year:        Literature 1, Forensics, Geology, World History, Algebra 1, Language Arts, Group 9, Personal Projects, Dog Class, and PE


Sophomore Year

The sophomore year includes refinement of the freshmen goals, adding greater social demands, greater community responsibility and an expectation for increased independence in academic functioning while focusing on the development of:

  • Age appropriate social skills
  • Increasing the academic demands of homework and test taking
  • Developing conflict mediation skills

Sample Course Load for Sophomore year:        Literature 2, Art, Biology, Latin 1, Geometry, Group 10, Personal Projects, Dog Class 2, and PE

Junior Year

The focus this year is to increase the academic and social expectations and develop a greater connection and comfort with the larger community. Specifically, goals for the junior year will focus on:

  • The quality and quantity of written work
  • Increasing the complexity of personal projects and demand for independence in work completion
  • Developing transition skills that will be necessary for the work world, as well as preparing students for volunteer activities and greater social comfort in new and challenging situations

Juniors will be involved in increased testing (more standardized tests in certain subjects and preparing for the SAT when appropriate) and take over more social responsibility in the Orion community.

Sample Course Load for Junior year:        Literature 3, American History,Botany , Latin 2, Algebra 2, Journalism, Group 11, Transitions, Personal Projects

Senior Year

The senior year refines both academic skills and social acumen in preparation for movement out of Orion and on to post secondary activities.

  • Development and completion of individual goals the student has set in the areas of school, work and social development
  • Creating a transition plan that will include work and/or post high school education
  • Increased decision making as a class in regards to school activities

Sample Course Load for Senior year:        Literature 4, Advanced Topics in History, Physics , Psychology, Pre-Calculus, , Group 12, Careers and Colleges, Personal Projects


High School Graduation Requirements

Complete all required courses and 270 units. Students who transfer to Orion after their freshmen year can make arrangements for waiver of Dog Class, short courses, personal projects and Social Skills groups missed.  All other courses must be made up.


Required for Graduation for Transfer Students  (in addition to the courses required the years they attend Orion)

  • 40 units of Literature
  • 20 units of Mathematics and successful completion of Algebra 1(or Algebra 1A/1B)
  • 30 units of Science to include; Physical Science, Biology and either – Physics, Chemistry or Botany
  • 30 units of History to include: American History, Government/Economics and either Western Civilization or World History

Other Learning Opportunities


Orion offers lunchtime and after school activities for students.  The clubs vary each year depending on student interest, but the current offerings include:

  • Student Council – Represent the student body in annual State of the School Day and plan events
  • Mediation Club – student train with the school psychologist and offer conflict resolution  between students.
  • Junior Classics League – required for Latin I and II students
  • Cross-Country- Students train and compete in local runs
  • Performance Club- Drama, Improv, Music
  • Orion Ambassadors – Student group that welcomes new and visiting students to Orion
  • Movie Club- Watch and analyze some new and classic films
  • Robotics Club- Students program and build robots using Lego Robotics

Social Events and Activities


Bowling and Bigger and Better


Spring Picnic

End of the Year Dinner


Field Trips

Field trips are taken every year by our students. Some of the most popular are:

Deep Sea Fishing, China Town, Marsh Kayaking and Boomers

Student Store

Student run store at lunchtime allows for job skills and raises money for student events, activities and non-profit organizations

Travel Abroad Program

Student in the 11th or 12th grade can apply to participate in the Winter Travel Program.  Students must maintain a specific GPA and have teacher recommendations to be considered. During 10 days of winter break, a few faculty members take a group of students abroad.  Orion students have traveled to Greece, Italy, Costa Rica, and Japan. The 2012 Winter Abroad trip will be to Greece and Turkey.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Twice a year students travel for a weekend in Ashland, Oregon. There the see four productions performed that are part of the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Volunteer and Internship Requirements and Opportunities

During the senior year, all Orion student must complete 30 hours of volunteer activity and complete the necessary forms and writing requirement.  In addition, an increasing number of “internships” are offered to juniors and seniors to allow them to prepare for post high school choices and explore career interests.  These internships include settings like – the Oakland Zoo, Kaiser Hospital and local retirement homes.  More internship sites are being developed.


More information about applying to Orion Academy