Welcome from Our Founder
Hello and Welcome to Orion High School! In February 2023, this year, we underwent a system accreditation together with our parent company, Orion Online Learning, Inc., and our two sister schools in the system: All Gifted School (Singapore), and New Mexico Trinity Prep-all three digital schools who are served by one united Governing Board, mentors, and staff. We are proud of meeting the standards for System Accreditation with the Middle States Commission, and all three schools are now on equal footing for continuous improvement under those standards.
I can hardly believe that this school year we are beginning our 17th School Year. Seventeen years is a long time for a digital school, especially one that at its' founding was accredited on traditional school standards, not digital standards. We were founded on the sound principles of mentoring and learning. We hold steadfast to those principles. Since our early days, we saw the need for flexible, high quality digital learning, that would enable learners to truly engage in high quality content while being guided by a certified, competent professional teacher - we call them mentors. Our strategy for success has always been a one-on-one approach to learning - meaning that we truly believe that learning has no bounds; and that learners can engage in learning conversations with their mentors, through a structured one-on-one approach through that learning. To that end, we remember utilizing web technologies in those early days - many of those are still around today; however, we believe we revolutionized the use of learner engagement, and, to this day, we stay focused on the engagement of our learners through their own progression of learning and understanding. You may notice our core beliefs in another section of our site - those are real heart-held beliefs that still hold true to us, and that guide our work as digital learning continues to emerge in this field.
While many digital schools claim to provide high quality flexible learning, at Orion, we engage and immerse ourselves in a deep understanding of content standards, and we create the content that aligns to those standards. Through the years, and through our content revision process (based on the premise that we must continue to improve - see Baldrige Quality Principles), we are able to be pioneers in how we construct pedagogically sound modules (units for learning), that are truly engaging. The creation of what we call learning tasks has been a research-based undertaking for us in our journey. Learning tasks require our learners to engage deeper in their own understanding of content and concepts, and then require them to complete a self-designed task that allows them to show that understanding.
The task(s) are presented to the mentor during the structured weekly meeting. Engagement, though, goes beyond the weekly meeting - it goes into the course room, where learners must engage with the mentor in a structured discussion; with other learners in threaded understandings and common projects for learning; and in consistent communication through our various state of the art modalities inside of our school.
We are proud of so much that we have accomplished these past sixteen years! We invite you to be part of what we have always called our Online Learning Community. We look forward to seeing you in our Community, and in our course rooms. Come engage with us in the highest quality learning, that continues to get better and better as the months progress.
Joseph Gallegos, PhD