Small School Advantage.
We believe some students do better in a smaller school environment (125 students or less in a graduation class) and numerous studies show that smaller schools can have superior academic results because the Head of School and other school leaders can better monitor the quality of academic instruction taking place each day and have a greater influence over the school culture.
A smaller school allows students more opportunities to be involved in the life of a school, such as participating on one or more athletic teams, in student government and leadership, and in social clubs. A smaller school can also produce a special feeling of camaraderie and team spirit because a smaller pool of classmates are concentrating their efforts to organize a variety show, make the athletic team, or ace the final exam. The students get to know just about everybody in a small school and build relationships with other classmates and faculty.
Although we seek to keep our class sizes a little smaller than many of the traditional schools in the area, research studies have clearly shown that the skills of the teacher are a greater contributing factor to superior academic results than class size. We do seek to have the following average number of students in a classroom led by a certified teacher.
20:1 Grades K - 1
22:1 Grades 2 - 4
24:1 Grades 5
25:1 Grades 6 - 12
Children grow up today in a digital media world. From a very early age, they are stimulated, nourished and learn from images, music and sounds from multi-media sources. The list of technology to deliver digital media is long and expands rapidly. Therefore most children become accustomed to the fast, varied pace of digital information. Then as students, they would rather watch and listen to or create images and music than listen to a teacher, unless he/she is very engaging.
What is needed is a new approach to education. In today’s world that means combining education and entertainment and using the technology that is familiar and engaging. You reinforce learning by making it fun; by making it interactive using music, art and dance; by making it a part of everyday life, not just something you do at school.
Orenda schools are on the cutting edge in using the latest in educational technology to enhance the learning environment. Very few schools are as far along as we are in adapting technology into the classroom to meet the individual needs of students who have different learning styles. With our blended-learning instructional model we combine face‐to‐face interactions with a teacher in a school building, with additional instruction –whether live or recorded – conducted in an online learning environment with some student control over time, place, path or pace.
Orenda has chosen the personalized learning platform (PLP) and the Blackboard teacher instructional learning platform (TIP). These two online platforms allow our students to have ownership over their learning and for students and parents to access teacher content, provide additional instructional resources 24/7, allow the teachers to “flip” the classroom, and students to move at their own pace.
Nolan Creek School