Orion Learner Handbook
Orion High School was conceptualized by teachers who foresee the value of online learning for students of all ages. Orion exists to meet the needs of our customers by providing the highest quality online learning. Our goal is to provide the best high school program in the country, regardless of whether that program is “brick and mortar” or online.
Mission of Orion High School
As the premier online high school in the country, we are helping students achieve their goals of high school graduation and beyond by producing students who are high performers no matter what they choose to do in life.
Orion's Core Beliefs
- Orion believes that all learners, regardless of their past history with education, deserve a high quality, flexible way to learn content in a rich, supportive, online environment.
- Orion believes that learning is active and not passive. That online content can be rigorous and challenging, but can help learners exceed their own expectations for learning.
- Orion believes that content is not departmental - content must be integrated to be meaningful - to provide meaningful learning for learners.
- Orion believes that improvement is continuous and that Orion's existence is critical for learners who need to be challenged and need to be provided with the support necessary to be part of a high performing world outside of Orion.
Standards in Practice and in Course Development
The courses at Orion are aligned to the best practices in standards education, and are intended to provide a strong foundation for graduates entering into two and four year colleges and universities. Orion has researched individual state standards as well as the the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), in order to determine the extent to which our current content is aligned to research based best practices in learning and in digital learning. We have concluded that the best approach is to integrate practices with skills in order to develop content modules that are reflective of the highest quality digital learning accessible. There are CCSS currently in place for Mathematics and English Language Arts. The Literacy Standards for History/Social Studies and for Science are embedded in Orion’s rubric. Orion’s Literacy and Writing Center provides a vast library for learners, and is in place to support the best in standards education and in digital learning. Orion’s Advanced Placement Courses are aligned to the College Board Advanced Placement Examination. Learners taking AP courses will be prepared to take the AP Exam.
Non-Discrimination Policy at Orion
Orion Online High School/Orion Learning Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, or disability in providing education or providing access to benefits of education services, activities, and programs, including vocational programs, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The purpose of this catalog is to provide both learners and parents a clear understanding of the graduation requirements at Orion High School. Hopefully, the course descriptions and information contained herein will enable learners to make more informed decisions concerning their future educational plans. It is a further aim that parents (where applicable) review the information contained in this catalog and become more involved in the important educational decisions to come. If there are questions or concerns that cannot be answered through the information given in this catalog, please contact us at our main office.
Types of Learners
Full time – Full time learners are those learners who are attending ONLY Orion High School or middle school, and who are either on the annual or monthly tuition plan(s).
- Credit transfer learners – these learners are taking one or more courses ($300.00 per course), and will be transferring the credit to their public, private, or homeschool. With credit transfer learners, Orion High School does not provide additional services such as graduation planning, etc.
- Partner school learners – these learners are concurrently enrolled at their public school while taking courses at Orion High School. Partner school learners will either transfer to Orion High School at the end of their course(s), or Orion will transfer the credit to the partner high school. Partner school leaners will work with their high school counselor to qualify as this type of leaner. All others, coming from partner schools, will be treated on an individual basis.
- Recovery learners – these learners come from an Orion High School approved program, such as the Southern Dreams Partnership program in Mississippi. Learners through this partnership must enter through the program designated in their particular state.
Admission Requirements and Initial Course-taking Limit
- Prospective learners apply to Orion at www.OrionHS.org. Although unofficial transcripts may be uploaded during the admissions process, official transcripts are requested and evaluated against the Orion graduation requirements.
- Once learners are processed and accepted for Admission they must complete the Orion Demonstration/Orientation Course before beginning their course work. The Orion Demonstration/Orientation Course is not a graded course; rather, it is a way for learners to understand how to maneuver around Orion.
- Once a learner completes the Demonstration Course, the learner may request ONE course to begin. This will be the only time that a learner is limited to one course. After that, Orion allows learners to take two courses/credits (maximum) per session. One session is equivalent to two months. Please note that learners are not required to take two courses per term, this is just a maximum.
- Once admitted, and one the Demonstration/Orientation Course is complete, the learner may begin course work. If the learner begins any day from the 1st day of the month to the 15th day of the month that learner is a considered a starter as of the first day of THAT month. If the learner begins any day from the 16th day of the month through the last day of the month, the learner is considered a 1st day of the NEXT month starter. Start time determines end time in accordance with Orion’s Sessions/Semesters. This allows for consistency of start time (1st day of the month), and end time (last day of the second month).
Session/Semester (Means the Same at Orion)
One Orion session is equivalent to two months. For example, a learner starting his or her two courses in January finishes those courses the last day of February, regardless of whether the last day of the month falls on a Saturday or Sunday. New sessions, then begin on the first day of the following month.
Grade reports are available by the 2nd day of the month. Learners earn 1 credit per course completed – at the end of the second month, if the learner has a 70 or better in the course, he or she will have earned 1 credit per course. Final Examinations may be given as part of the learner’s grade (see Grading Policy). If a learner is required to take a final examination, then the final examination may count as a substantial portion of the learner’s grade.
Middle School Learners do not earn high school credit; however, Middle School report cards are also available for download on by the 2nd day of the month following the course end.
A learner may request a one-time one-month extension. (See Information later in this Catalogue).
Example of an OHS Session
In the example above, the learner does not need an extension so he finished his two courses and went ahead and requested two more, which were approved to start by March 1. If the learner needed an extension in one course, he would apply for an extension in that course, and, in that case, he would only request one more course.
Just remember the rule after initial start: When you first start with us you may request only one course. After that you may have two courses max during a two-month term. Here's an example for a NEW learner:
College Board AP® Courses
The following enrollment rules are in place as of August 2015, for Orion High School learners desiring to take Orion's AP® Courses:
- Learners taking an AP® Course during any term are only allowed to be enrolled in that AP course only, not any other courses. Because of the complexity, rigor, and expectations in our approved AP® Courses, learners will not be able to take another course during the term. Orion's AP® Courses receive weighted grade at Orion.
- Learners taking an AP® Course should expect to continue the course into the third month; however, during the third month, the learner may pick up the second course, and take that course concurrently with their AP® Course.
- Students from other schools, taking AP® Courses at Orion, should expect that the course will last for three full months, and that Orion's expectations is that the student participate fully in the course outside of the 'regular' school day.
Learners who are unable to complete courses within the two months may apply for an extension. The extension will allow the learner additional completion time (up to the 27th day of the following month). Credit transfer learners (learners who are taking one or more courses with Orion, to transfer to their home campus), must pay the 25.00 course extension fee. All regular/full time Orion High School and Middle School learners are not required to pay the fee.
Making the Grade on Assignment, Projects, and Communication with Your Mentor
Orion High Schools courses are intended for learners to have substantial interaction with mentors during the two months. There are daily assignments as well as end-of-module assignments that must be submitted. The learner’s grade is based on the learner’s timely submission of assignments. Assignments must be submitted in a timely manner so that mentors can provide appropriate feedback. A learner’s assignment or project grade is based on a combination of the learner’s ability to grasp the content/concepts from the module, as well as on the learner’s responses to discussion items (where appropriate). Interaction with the mentor through weekly sessions will also be a part of the learner’s grade in the course. When the learner responds in the forum, uploads a project, or communicates via phone or chat with the mentor.
When the mentor provides a grade and feedback, the learner is able to see the grade and feedback in the classroom area under the link, “My OHS Report Card”. Using this link, learners are also able to see all assignments for the course, and should, thus, be able to create a pace for the course.
Because of the high importance that we place on a learner’s ability to communicate effectively with the mentor, Orion will require a weekly meeting with the mentor and the learner. During the weekly meeting, a learner must demonstrate that he or she grasps the concepts in the module, and must present to the mentor a product demonstrating that knowledge (a Power Point, paper, video, or simply have a conversation). Without that weekly conversation, it will not be possible to earn a grade higher than a 70 in the course.
A course with 10 modules will have ten meetings with the mentor. These meetings do NOT take the place of submitting work and/or participating on ongoing discussion with the mentor. These meetings serve to substantially increase the grade from a 75% percent, which is the lowest grade before failing a course. What does this mean?
For example, let’s say that a module has 2 assignments, a paper and a Power Point. The learner turns both of the assignments in, but cannot/will not set a time to communicate and present the paper and/or the Power Point to the mentor. Then, the learner’s highest grade on each assignment maxes out at 75% (so, a 100 would convert to a 75). We cannot emphasize the fact that Orion needs for our learners to be able to communicate effectively in the world outside of Orion, and if we do not require this type of communication to occur, we are doing a disservice to our learners.
Please note that this grading policy does NOT apply to World Languages courses at Orion
Communicating in the Live Meeting with Mentor Area
Often mentors ask you to present a project or an assignment in the Live Meeting area. This area is found in the classroom, under the link, Orion Collaboration. There should be a meeting such as this as least once every two weeks, if not more! The intention of this area is for the learner to learn how to communicate and present a project as a coherent sequence of ideas that have been generated, and carefully thought-through. Assignments that require this type of meeting may be (but not limited to): PowerPoint presentations; video presentations; web projects; mathematics assignments; laboratory results; Career study projects; Psychology Labs; speeches, and much much more. Simple phone conversation, chat dialogue, and the the like, diminish the idea of communication. Chat dialogue is ok, as is messaging, and phone conversation; however, meetings where learners present findings such as the ones mentioned here, serve to create a learning atmosphere conducive to producing learner-graduates who are well-able to communicate in the real world.
OHS Assignment and Final Course Grading
The Orion High School Grading System is as follows:
A+ 97-100 A 94-96 A- 90-93
B+ 87-89 B 84-87 B- 80-83
C+ 77-79 C 74-77 C- 70-73
F = 69 and below IP- Course is In Progress I - Incomplete (I is recorded as a failing grade on the transcript.
Grade Points and GPA
Orion High School uses the following table for GPA conversion. The GPA is shown on the official transcript only:
The GPA on the transcript is calculated using the following scale:
For each course, the numerical grade (given above) is multiplied by the number of credit hours. This gives the grade points for the course. The grade points are totaled across all courses on the transcript and divided by the total number of credit hours on the transcript to give the GPA.
For example, given a transcript with these courses:
English, B+, 1.00
Algebra, A, 1.00
PE, B, 0.50
The GPA would be calculated as follows:
English grade points = 3.33 * 1.00 = 3.33
Algebra grade points = 4.00 * 1.00 = 4.00
PE grade points = 3.00 * 0.50 = 1.50
Total grade points = 3.33 + 4.00 + 1.50 = 8.83
Total credit hours = 1.00 + 1.00 + 0.50 = 2.50
GPA = 8.83 / 2.50 = 3.53
The GPA calculated on your transcript is a weighted GPA. This means that courses marked as Honors, Dual Enrollment, or Advanced Placement (AP) receive an extra "weight." Though this can result in a GPA that is higher than 4.0, most colleges accept and even prefer weighted GPAs.
The weighted GPA is calculated this way: Advanced Placement (AP) courses receive an extra 2 grade points. Honors and Dual Enrollment courses receive an extra 1 grade point. So when the grade points are calculated for a single course, you would have to add 2 to that course if its marked as AP, for example.
That would result in a higher, weighted GPA.
Bulk Uploading of Assignments
Oftentimes learners get so engaged in the modules and assignments that they lose communication with the mentor, just because they are working so hard on assignments. At Orion, we have a policy regarding bulk uploading of assignments. What does that mean?
Bulk uploading means that the learner waits until the last week or last two weeks of the course, and then uploads all assignments the night before the course ends, or the night before the extension ends. Bulk uploading is not permitted at Orion. In order to receive appropriate and adequate response from the mentor, the learner may not upload more than one assignment per day. If there are discussion assignments in the appropriate folder(s), learners may respond, and then upload a project or a product. Bulk uploading does not pertain to discussion or engagement activities. Bulk uploading pertains only to papers, projects, products, videos, podcasts, or any of those types of activities that would require feedback from the mentor.
Assignments that are uploaded in bulk will be returned to the learner without a grade. At Orion, we want there to be back-and-forth communication between the learner and the mentor, and uploading multiple assignments reduces courses to nothing more than a drop box (there is no meaning to the mentor-learner relationship).
Orion High School, Middle School, and Elementary School have consistently integrated internal social features with the intent of allowing learners, mentors, and parents to have a safe place to collaborate and to engage in less formal communication. To that end, we integrate chat rooms, instant message, video conferencing, and internal messaging. Historically, our learners have treated bullying seriously, and have started a community for anti-bullying.
Our policy against cyber-bullying is not just limited to the utilization of our internal structures; it also extends out to the utilization of social networking, insofar as that networking affects others who are part of our community. This policy outlines our stance on this issue.
II. Prohibited Behavior
The following behaviors are prohibited:
- Harassment and Sexual Harassment
- Retaliation against those reporting such defined behaviors; and
- Knowing and false accusations of bullying behavior.
Any person who engages in any of these prohibited behaviors that constitutes bullying shall be subject to consequences.
III. Bullying and Cyberbullying Defined
A. “Bullying” includes, but is not limited to, a written, oral or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof directed at a learner or learners that:
(1) Has, or a reasonable person would expect it to have, the effect of:
(a) Physically harming a learner or damaging a learner’s property; or
(b) Placing a learner in reasonable fear of physical harm or damage to the learners property;
(2) Interferes with the rights of a learners by:
(a) Creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment for the learner; or
(b) Interfering with the learner’s academic performance or ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by a school; or
(3) Is based on a learner’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, physical or mental disability, gender, sexual orientation, or any other distinguishing characteristic, or is based on a learner’s association with a person with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, and that has the effect described in subparagraph (1) or (2) above.
Examples of conduct that may constitute bullying include, but are not limited to (within or outside the confines of Orion’s Social Community):
- Repeated or pervasive taunting, name-calling, belittling, mocking, put-downs, or demeaning humor;
- Behavior that is intended to harm someone by damaging or manipulating his or her relationships with others, including but not limited to gossip, spreading rumors, and social exclusion;
- Non-verbal threats and/or intimidations such as use of aggressive, menacing, or disrespectful gestures;
- Threats of harm to a learner, to his/her possessions, or to other individuals, whether transmitted verbally or in writing;
- Blackmail, extortion, demands for protection money, or involuntary loans or donations;
- Blocking access to school property or facilities;
- Stealing or hiding books, backpacks, or other possessions;
- Stalking; and
- Physical contact or injury to another person or his/her property.
B. “Cyberbullying” means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including, but not limited to, a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted by the use of any electronic device, including, but not limited to, a computer, telephone, cellular telephone, text messaging device and personal digital assistant.
Examples of conduct that may constitute cyberbullying include, but are not limited to:
- Posting slurs or rumors or displaying any defamatory, inaccurate, disparaging, violent, abusive, profane, or sexually oriented material about a learner on a website or other online application;
- Posting misleading or fake photographs or digital video footage of a learner on websites or creating fake websites or social networking profiles in the guise of posing as the target;
- Impersonating or representing another learner through use of that other learner’s electronic device or account to send e-mail, text messages, instant messages (IM), or phone calls;
- Sending e-mail, text messages, IM, or leaving voice mail messages that are mean or threatening, or so numerous as to bombard the target’s e-mail account, IM account, or cell phone; and
- Using a camera phone or digital video camera to take and/or send embarrassing or “sexting” photographs of other learners.
C. “Retaliation” means an act or gesture against a learner for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. “Retaliation” also includes reporting an act of bullying when it is not made in good faith.
IV. Application of Policy
A. This policy applies to any learner, employee, contractor, visitor or volunteer who engages in conduct that constitutes bullying or retaliation, all of whom have the responsibility to comply with this policy.
B. This policy applies to bullying that:
- Takes place at our school’s website, including, but not limited to the Orion Social areas, and the course rooms;
- Takes place elsewhere or through the use of technology, but only if the bullying also infringes on the rights of the learner at school as set forth in this policy’s definition of bullying.
Bullying or suspected bullying is reportable by calling Dr. Gallegos at 877-647-1337, or by reporting it to an employee or mentor.
Dr. Gallegos will:
A. Promptly investigate and respond to allegations of bullying behavior;
B. Apply disciplinary actions, which may include expulsion/removal from our school
Orion Online Learning actively monitors all interactions in the social areas, chat rooms, instant message areas, video-conference areas, and internal messaging systems.
The term "netiquette" refers to the awareness of the need for a certain code of behavior (etiquette) in electronic environments (the net) ... Net + Etiquette = netiquette. Netiquette, while a general term, is complex at specific levels because there are so many different kinds of electronic environments, and so many different situations in which we may find ourselves in those environments.
Orion enjoys a lively social community, as well as a more formal community inside of each course room. It goes without saying that electronic communication is the way in which we communicate most often. In order to maintain high standards in our Orion Community (when we use the term 'community', we are referring to both our structured course rooms as well as our social community, we will all abide by these standards:
- show respect for each other, and to the mentor in the course
- respect the privacy of others
- express differences of opinion in a polite and rational way
- maintain an environment of constructive criticism when commenting on the work of others
- avoid bringing up irrelevant topics when involved in group discussions or other collaborative activities
The following list summarizes the kind of behavior that is not acceptable in our school:
Orion Learners Should Not:
- Show disrespect for the mentor or for other learners in the course.
- Send messages or comments that are threatening, harassing, or offensive
- Use inappropriate or offensive language
- Convey a hostile or confrontational tone when communicating or working collaboratively with others.
- USE ALL UPPERCASE IN THEIR MESSAGES -- THIS IS THE EQUIVALENT OF SHOUTING!!!
Advanced Education - Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Orion is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS/CASI). Orion is committed to ongoing continuous quality improvement using the Accreditation Standards as the bar and the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence as the vehicle.
Although Orion gives automatic credit for students coming from other accredited schools, Orion High School will (after review and verification of regional accreditation) accept transfer credits from home school, public school, and private school.
Official Orion Transcripts bear both the Orion High School Seal as well as the SACS/CASI Accreditation Seal.
College Board Advanced Placement®
Orion High School's Advanced Placement® Courses are approved by the College Board. Only courses with syllabi approved by the College Board are listed in the Orion High School Course Catalog, found in the Classroom Center. See additional stipulations for AP® Courses, found in the FAQs and in the tuition area.
Credit by Examination
Students who transfer from another school where credit was not earned, may take Credit by Examination at Orion High School. Students who fall into this allowable policy may have earned ½ credit at their sending school, or may have been denied credit (but passed the course), due to local attendance policies. Credit by Examination at Orion High School may ONLY occur at the end of the learner’s senior year at Orion. For example, if a learner comes to Orion with ½ credit in Geometry, and the learner wants to opt for Credit by Examination, the learner may continue on to Algebra II (or another math course), because he will not be eligible for credit by examination until the end of the senior year.
Once admitted to complete by examination, the examination may be taken once. Ample time is provided to study the course modules, in order to be prepared for the examination. Examinations are proctored by Orion High School, and must be taken during a specified time.
Orion High School requires 26* credits for graduation. Orion’s policy is that credit by examination may only be used for a total of 3 credits maximum.
Students who transfer to Orion High School from any school whose accreditation has been terminated, may complete the requirements at Orion High School. Orion High School’s 26* credits must be met. If the student already has 24 credits, then Orion’s policy is that the prospective student must complete six courses at Orion in order to qualify for an Orion High School diploma. (Diploma Eligibility)
Two credits may be earned by examination, and two must be earned through Orion’s ‘regular’ route. The cost for students transferring in to Orion High School in this situation would be:
2 credits by examination ($100.00)
2 courses ($450.00)
Discounts are available for military
Discounts are available for military
Grade Acceptance Policy
Orion High School will accept grades and credits as they are, from sending institutions. For example, if a sending school awards credit with a grade of “D” or “D+”, or “D-“, Orion will place the grade and credit as is, on Orion High School’s transcript. The transcript denotes with an asterisk (*), where courses and credits have been accepted from sending schools. Please note that all transcripts are entered as they are! If there is an F on the transcript with 0 credit, then it is entered as such.
The Orion Registrar will contact high schools in order to formally request transcripts; however, students are encouraged to request an “informal” transcript copy in order to expedite the enrollment process.
Half-Credits in the Traditional Setting
Often times, learners come to Orion High School or Middle School at what would be the ½ way point in their traditional school calendar (December or January). In many instances, the sending school will have awarded ½ credits since those traditional dates are typically end-of-semester dates in the traditional school. Where ½ credits have been earned in core courses, Orion recommends, in most cases, that the learner re-take those courses, since Orion’s terms are two-months long. In some cases, Orion may recommend a credit-by-examination to earn the additional ½ credit. Please see the Credit by Examination policy, below.
Orion’s ongoing commitment to meet the standards for accreditation requires that learners who wish to earn a diploma from Orion High School, must take 25% of the courses required for graduation, at Orion High School. This means that 6 courses must be taken at Orion High School, in order to be eligible for a diploma from our institution. Please see the Graduation Requirements/Diploma Eligibility further in this document.
Orion High School works with multiple agencies toward dropout prevention with the goal of graduation. With these agencies, Orion has state-specific requirements for eligibility. Please contact Orion, or local designees in those states for Diploma Eligibility requirements.
Learners should plan for and take the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, or ACT, at least prior to taking the last set of courses at Orion High School. When registering for any of the above College Board Examinations, learners should place the Orion High School Code – 444731. Registration occurs online at The College Board’s website. When a learner uses the OHS Code for registration, OHS receives a copy of the results. Orion uses results to help document whether or not any course revisions need to be made.
SAT Calendar can be found at: http://sat.collegeboard.com/register/sat-dates
ACT Calendar can be found at: http://www.actstudent.org/regist/dates.html
PSAT Calendar can be found at: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/reg/dates.html
Although Orion’s courses are not specifically intended to prepare students for state exit examinations, students will be amply prepared to do so, if they wish. We encourage our learners to take their applicable State exit assessments, and to provide results to Orion in order to provide Orion with comparison data.
Orion HS Chapter of the National Honor Society
Learners who earn Honor Roll status for three terms in a row will be invited to be inducted into the Orion High School Chapter of the National Honor Society. Members of the OHS NHS Chapter are bound by the organization’s by-laws including the upkeep of scholarship, character, and service. Once a learner becomes a member of the OHS NHS, the learner will have NHS listed as a course on the learner’s main course page.
The Honor Roll is published in the Orion High School Newsletter, “Weekly Warrior!” To be considered on the A Honor Roll, a student must have earned A’s in all courses. To be considered for the A-B Honor Roll, a student must earn a combination of A’s and B’s. A C in any course will eliminate a student. (The Honor Roll is Published in, “Weekly Warrior”).
Classification of Learners
Students are classified in the following manner.
Freshman 0 – 6 Credits
Sophomore 7-12 Credits
Juniors 13-18 Credits
Seniors 19+ Credits
Accumulating Credits at Orion
Credits are awarded upon completion of each OHS course. Course completion occurs at the end of each Orion Session (information above). All grades, including the final grade for the course, are based upon the Orion High School Grading Policy. Transcripts are updated upon course completion.
Upon completion of Courses, learners may print their Report Cards. Report Cards are uploaded to the Orion HS Message Center.
Report Cards may be printed any time from the Learner Home Page. Orion High School’s Graduation Adviser will send out an update of the plan, by the 5th day of the month following the end-of-term.
Honor Roll Certificates can now be printed from the Learner Home Page when you have a grade of 80 or above.
Learner Historical Grades are kept on file at Orion’s Offices. Final transcripts may only be requested online by logging in and going to the Orion Learner Center. Official transcripts ordered through the Learner Center are mailed directly to colleges and universities.
Transcripts are mailed via United States mail, and are sent the next business day after the request. Expedited services are available through the Transcript Request form in the Learner Center.
Using OHS Support Services
OHS advisors are here to assist you with your choice of courses, and to ensure that you are following the correct sequence of courses for graduation from OHS. For questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orion Advising Services assist learners through their studies by providing assistance for learner's questions. Advisors help learners understand and plan for life after graduation.
Orion High School will now have Dr. Shandi Marriott and John Feierabead both as advisers for our learners. Here's how you know who your adviser is:
- If your last name starts with A-F, your advisor is John Feierabend
- If your last name starts with G-Z, your advisor is Dr. Shandi Marriott
How does advising work, you ask? Advising can happen any time during the month; however, there will now be what we call formal structured advising. That means that you must meet with your advisor any time from the 20th - 27th day of each month. Here are some of the reasons you will want to meet with your adviser:
- Your adviser may tell you to file an extension if you are falling behind in your course;
- Your adviser will recommend your next course or courses for the term
- Your adviser will advise you on when to apply for graduation
- Your adviser will help you with SAT or ACT registration
- Your adviser will help you with NCAA courses
- Your adviser will assist you with leave of absence
- Your adviser will help you keep your graduation planner updated
- Your adviser will help you formulate a plan of action if you have an extension
- Your adviser will help you communicate with your mentor(s)
- Your adviser will be an additional advocate/mentor for you at Orion
Technology support services assist learners who need Orion Tech Help services. These services include e-mail support, phone support, and live online chat support. For immediate assistance, learners should call 1-OHS1-337 and enter extension 7 (or 707).
Transferring Credit to Orion High School
Once a student is enrolled at Orion High School as a full time learner, credit may be transferred to Orion High School in cases such as (and others):
- Personal Fitness/Health taken through a local swimming, dance studio, etc.
- Other courses – please contact Orion High School.
In order for credit to be transferred to Orion High School a $100.00 per credit must be paid.
Maximum of 2 credits.
The Learner Center at OHS
The Learner Center contains a vast amount of information and support for Orion Learners:
- Learner Forms – Request for Extension, Graduation request, Leave of Absence
- Mail Center - Web Mail access area
- OHS Video Center – Orion High School videos posted by learners and mentors
- Learner Records – Individual Graduation Plans and/or Transcripts
- Plan My Future – College Board area; Apply Texas area; My Plan area;
- My OHS Account – Pay tuition/fees
- OHS Facebook – Social Center for Learners and Mentors
Learner may self-refer or may be referred to a certified counselor at Orion. Upon referral, Orion will connect the learner with a counselor for needs other than course/academic needs.
Continuous Enrollment Policy & Leave of Absence
Orion learners must maintain contact with mentors at all times in order to have sufficient time for course completion. Learners are entitled to two approved one-month leaves of absence per calendar year. Learners desiring to take one month of leave must apply at least one month in advance of the expected leave. For example, if a learner desires to take the month of July off, then the learner must apply for leave no later than the first week of June. Application for Leave of Absence is found in the OHS Learner Center.
When leave is approved, the learner will be required to log in during the regular course request window (20th-27th) to request the next course. Please note: Learners who are on an approved Leave of Absence may request one course upon return from leave.
Learners taking additional time may have it approved; however, there will be a reinstatement fee applied in order to continue with the next set of courses. The reinstatement fee is $300.00
Learners who have lost contact with mentors for three days in a row will be suspended from course(s). If a learner is suspended from the course, the learner will be able to log in, but will not be able to access course(s). If that occurs, the learner must contact his or her adviser at email@example.com. Once contact is reinstated between the learner and the mentor, then the learner may resume the course. On the second (or more) time, then the learner may be withdrawn from the course, and an Incomplete will be placed on the transcript.
If an Incomplete is placed on the transcript as a result of suspension, the learner will be required to pay tuition to re-take the course.
Learners who are on monthly tuition: Learners who are on monthly tuition may not use the leave of absence policy to withdraw from Orion. In other words, learners may not use the continuous enrollment policy to take time off, then withdraw. If a learner is anticipating withdrawal, that must occur BEFORE LOA is requested, therefore making it a withdrawal, not a leave of absence. Monthly tuition is due and payable at the end of the second month of leave. Learners who choose to withdraw after the second month of leave will be charged the next month's tuition, and records will be withheld until that is paid. If there are extenuating circumstances, a learner must communicate those circumstances to Orion with a direct call and conversation.
Graduation and Commencement Ceremony
The Orion High School Chapter of the National Honor Society hosts the OHS Commencement Ceremony. The Commencement Ceremony is held during June of each calendar year. To receive a high school diploma from Orion High School, a student must successfully complete the required number of credits. Learners who have graduated effective any time prior to July, may participate in the ceremony. Commencement Ceremonies are held in Midland, Texas; Kingsland, Georgia; Mississippi (location determined yearly). Additional locations may be added.
Learners who have completed all requirements for graduation become Candidates for Graduation on the first day of the month following the completion of their last session. For example, a learner who completes all requirements by the last day of March becomes a Candidate for Graduation on April 1. Candidates are approved on the first day of the month. Upon approval, diplomas are mailed to the learner’s mailing address. (Learners must verify mailing address prior to having the diploma mailed). A copy of the learner’s final transcript will accompany the diploma. Candidates for graduation must fill out and submit the Graduation Request form, and pay the graduation fee, prior to being approved for graduation.
Graduation Regalia: Cap, Gown, Stole, Honors Chords
Graduation Regalia (cap, gown, stole, tassel) may be purchased in the Orion Learner Center, by clicking on the Orion Store link. Learners who have qualified for the Honor Roll any time during their stay at Orion HS my purchase the Honors Package. Learners who are members of the OHS National Honor Society may also purchase regalia in the store.
Upon acceptance/admission to Orion High School, a learner is provided with the OHS Graduation Planner. The OHS Graduation Planner lists all courses that have been approved for transfer to OHS. The Learner’s individual OHS Graduation Planner lists all courses that are still required at OHS. The Learner’s Individual OHS Graduation Planner is found in the OHS Learner Center under the link, ‘Learner Records’.
Orion High School requires 16 credits in the core areas – 4 in each area of:
- English Language Arts
- Social Studies
Orion High School requires up to 10 credits that come from elective courses (World Languages, Technology, Communication, etc.). Please see note, below, regarding the Senior Project Course.
Orion High School requires senior to take the Senior Project course once they have completed 24 credits at Orion High School. The Senior Project course will be the additional two credits for graduation. The Senior Project course is 2 credits, and is described in detail, below. Learners who opt NOT to take the Senior Project Course must enroll in two additional credit courses for graduation.
Learners who are transferring to Orion High School from a public school or another private school may transfer ANY of those credits into the requirements listed above. Please NOTE: Orion DOES NOT require a specific sequence of courses such as English I, II, III, and IV – Orion allows learners coming in to place credit where appropriate (with the assistance of Learner Advising Services). If a learner transfers in with more than 24 credits, the learner must take a minimum of six courses at Orion High School, in order to be eligible for an Orion High School Diploma – in some cases, that means that a learner may very well graduate with a large number of credits.
Orion High School readily accepts credit from other regionally accredited high schools. In cases where the school (public or private) is not regionally accredited, Orion High School will make a credit decision that is in the best interest of the school, and the learner.
The Senior Project Course
Learners who have completed 24 credits at Orion High School will be required to complete a Senior Project. The Senior Project is a course that is led by an Orion mentor, and by the CEO. During the first month of the Senior Project course, learners must select a project that will accomplish any of the following:
- Complete a research paper in MLA format, that is in an area of high interest to the learner. The research paper may be about a social topic, historical topic, statistical project, or any other type of topic, approved by the mentors.
- Complete a local community service project, with the goal of enhancing the local community. Some examples might be: participating in a local community theater; working a minimum of 40 hours in a homeless shelter/community shelter; working to improve a local church organization, or any other type of local service. The learner will document the work, and will begin with a stated purpose for the project. The leaner will present a documented (pictures, videos, interview with others) project at a time set aside for that presentation. Affected community members will be invited to the presentation. The presentation will occur at any time during the sixth, seventh, or eighth week of the Senior Project Course.
- Develop a website that will of service to an organization locally, or otherwise.
- Participate in an internship in a local business. A minimum of 80 hours must be completed as hands-on work in the business, and the business owner must participate in the culminating presentation.
- Creation of a product that would, if mass-produced, provide a service to others in the grater society.
- Any other project that will meet the goal of providing the learner with an enhanced opportunity for communication and participation in the greater community.
Sample OHS Graduation Planner
The OHS Graduation Planner is your tool to use for outlining your plan for completion at OHS. In the example above:
- Joe Learner has transferred English I, II, and III from another school, therefore he lacks one more credit at Orion, to meet the 4 credit requirements for English Language Arts Reading.
- Notice that although some credits are at “0.00”, the planner still records those as coming in from the sending school.
Orion High School Graduation Plan
Please note: If you are transferring credit to Orion High School, you may transfer any courses that are listed in Orion High School’s course catalogue. Under the course descriptions, there are also sample course names that can apply for a particular requirement.
Number of Credits Required at Orion High School Middle School Requirements
English Language Arts:
Transfer credits are accepted from other accredited schools, and will only be placed as English Language Arts, where the sending school has done so.
After that, the remaining English Language Arts/Reading courses may be selected from the Orion Course Catalogue
4 – The four credits can come from any of the courses listed in the English Language Arts/Reading folder
In middle school, Orion requires 6th Language Arts, 7th Language Arts, and 8th Language Arts
Transfer credits are accepted from other accredited schools, and will only be placed as Mathematics courses, where the sending school has done so.
After that, the remaining Mathematics courses may be selected from the Orion Course Catalogue
4 – The four credits can come from any of the course listed in the Mathematics folder
In middle school, Orion requires 6th math, 7th math, and 8th Pre-Algebra
Transfer credits are accepted from other accredited schools, and will only be placed as Science, where the sending school has done so.
After that, the remaining Science courses may be selected from the Orion Course Catalogue.
4 – The four credits can come from any of the courses listed in the Science folder
In middle school, Orion requires Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth Science
Transfer credits are accepted from other accredited schools, and will only be placed as Social Studies, where the sending school has done so.
After that, the remaining Social Studies courses may be selected from the Orion Course Catalogue.
4 – The four credits can come from any of the courses listed in the Social Studies folder.
In middle school, Orion requires World History, US History (early America), and Civics
Transfer credits are accepted for elective credit in areas where accepted courses do not fit into the core areas above.
8 – the eight credits can come from any of the Orion elective courses. Core courses may be taken as elective.
The Senior Project course counts as two additional credits, listed as Senior Project. See the description for the Senior Project.
Total HS credits: 26
In 8th grade, Orion requires leaners to take 1 credit in World Languages (the first level). This credit will be awarded as high school credit.
Not required for Middle School
Total Middle School courses: 4 + 1 high school credit in 8th grade.
Totals: 16 credits are required in the Core Areas and 8 credits are required as electives, and 2 are required with the Senior Project.
For learners desiring entrance into two and/or four year colleges and universities, we recommend two credits in same-language World Languages.
Courses Offered at Orion High School
Please note that Orion High School offers new courses at a rate of at least 1 new course per month. Not all of the courses, listed here, may show in the Catalogue; however, all courses listed here are offered at Orion. For updated courses, see the home page, for “New and Noteworthy Courses” listings. This list is as of 1-1-14 (courses with an * are currently under development):
English Language Arts/Reading (may use Penzu journal – free software)
Advanced Placement Offerings
Grammar & Composition
AP language and literature
AP language and composition
AP Spanish literature
Mathematics (to show your work, you should have a scanner or be able to take a picture of your work with a mobile device)
Advanced Placement Offerings
Mathematical Models with Applications
Personal Financial Literacy (Personal Finance)
Pharmacy Tech II (can count as math)
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
Advanced Placement Offerings
Anatomy & Physiology
*Physical Science/Earth Science
AP Physics A
AP Physics C (Calculus Based)
Advanced Placement Offerings
United States History
AP US History
AP Human Geography
AP Micro Economics
AP Macro Economics
AP US Government and Politics
World Languages (All languages after level II are designated as weighted credit ‘honors’ at Orion).
Other Elective Courses
Arabic I, II, III
Chinese (Mandarin) I, II, III, IV, V
Dutch I, II, III
American English I, II, III, IV, V
British English I, II, III, IV, V
Filipino (Tagalog) I, II, III
French I, II, III, IV, V
German I, II, III, IV, V
Greek I, II, III
Hebrew I, II, III
Hindi I, II, III
Irish I, II, III
Italian I, II, III, IV, V
Japanese I, II, III
Korean I, II, III
Latin I, II, III
Persian (Farsi) I, II, III
Polish I, II, III
Portuguese (Brazil) I, II, III
Russian I, II, III, IV, V
Spanish (Latin America) I, II, III, IV, V
Spanish (Spain) I, II, III, IV, V
Swedish I, II, III
Turkish I, II, III
Vietnamese I, II, III
Technology Proficiency I
Web Development (HTML & HTML V)
*Joomla Web Development
*MySQL and PHP
Microsoft Office (must have purchased a license that includes Outlook)
Pharmacy Technician I, II, III
Engineering I, II, III (Uses Google 3D Cad tool)
Introduction to Art
Music Appreciation I
Digital Photography Portfolio
Theater Arts I*
Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Learners should contact advising for courses not listed here, in order to request them. Courses are subject to change please click the link for full course catalog
Opportunities for Aligned Ideas
Orion High School allows choice for learners in all courses; however, if learners take the aligned courses, from the areas, below, they will be substantially prepared for entering into a two year associates degree or certificate program:
Pre-engineering involves taking a series of courses that start with using a CAD/Modeling program, and culminates with using that program through a senior project.
Technology involes moving through a series of courses that begins with introduciton to web design, and culminates with a major web project.
Criminal justice learners begin with Psychology and move through the final course in the series, "Crime in America".
Health Careers - Pharmacy Tech
In health careers, learners take the courses, listed above, and culminate with Orion's Pharmacy Tech preparation and examination course.
Tuition and Fees
Annual Tuition: Annual tuition covers a calendar year OR 10 credits whichever comes first. For middle school, Annual tuition covers a calendar year OR 10 courses, whichever comes first. For elementary school, Annual tuition covers the grade level only.
Monthly Tuition: Monthly tuition is NOT a per course fee. Monthly tuition is in place throughout, and is due on the 1st day of the month. The monthly tuition is only waived during an approved Leave of Absence.
There are no discounts for annual tuition, since it is already substantially reduced.
During the initial month, the tuition is 225.00 plus a one-time 100.00 setup fee. After that, tuition is due on the 1st day of the month. A late fee is attached after the 10th day of the month.
Learners may make payments by logging in to OHS and by clicking on the Learner Center link, then, “My OHS Account” area. Learners may also call the office to make a payment.
Graduation will not be approved until tuition payments have been completed.
Part Time Learner - Credit Transfer
Credit transfer learners (learners who are taking courses at Orion, to transfer back to another school, pay 300.00 per course, or 225.00 per 1/2 credit (for credit recovery). College Board Advanced Placement Courses are $500.00, and require a two-three month commitment. Courses start on the first day of the month, and end on the last day of the second month. Upon completion, the credit (official transcript) is mailed to the student's high school, and a copy is provide to the student.
Partner School Learners
Learners who are coming from Partner Schools receive a discount on the credit transfer tuition.
Discounts are available for military families, and for missionary families. Inquire upon admission approval.
A Note about Advanced Placement
Advanced Placement courses are rigorous, and will require substantial time and effort in order for learners to be amply prepared for the AP examinations. AP examinations are optional, and learners must contact Orion High School in order to participate if desired. Orion recommends that learners taking AP courses take them without additional courses on the schedule. Often, AP courses require an extension into the third month. AP courses are placed on the transcript as such, and have a weighted grade attached to them (above the 4.0 scale).
The Course Request Window
Orion High School and Middle School learners may request additional courses during the 20th-27th day of the month, and all learners must comply with the maximum course offerings during the term (see max courses). Courses requested after the 27th will not be approved, in most cases. Requests coming in after the 27th, require a call to be made to the Orion office, in order to discuss extenuating circumstances.
Withdrawal from Orion High School
Learners desiring a withdrawal from Orion High School or Middle School, must complete the withdrawal form. Records will be released only if tuition is not delinquent. See the refund policy for tuition paid annually, for further information.
Learners desiring to drop a course must do so within the first ten days of enrollment in the course. After the first ten days of the course, an “F” is placed on the official transcript, and that record will be sent to the new school. Leaners who stay at Orion will be required to take the course over in order for the failing grade to be replaced. Please note, that leaners who are on the annual tuition plan (maxed out at 10 credits), and who withdraw form a course after the first ten days – this course will count as one of your ten.
If a learner withdraws within the first 5 days of beginning coursework at Orion, the learner is entitled to full tuition refund for the month of withdrawal. For example, if the learner is on the monthly tuition payment plan, and withdraws within the first five days of that month the learner is entitled to a 225.00 refund. Note, however, that grades will be finalized as of the date of withdrawal, and may either be recorded as W (for withdrawal), or F (for failed) if the course has not been completed.
Learners who have paid the annual tuition payment of 1750.00, and who withdraw within the first ten days of enrollment will be refunded the entire amount of 1750.00. Otherwise, learners who withdraw during the first three months will receive a prorated refund. For example, if a learner has been enrolled for 3 months, but has paid the annual payment of 1750.00 will be refunded 1750.00 – 225.00(3) = 1075.00. (at withdrawal, the tuition considered ‘paid to date’ will be calculated at 225.00 multiplied by the number of months the learner has been enrolled. The difference will be the refund. After three months of enrollment, there is not refund for annual tuition.
Learners who withdraw after the 10th day of the month are not entitled to a refund for that month’s tuition. Learners whose tuition has been consistently late may be administratively withdrawn after the 10th day of the month as per the Orion Course Participation and Communication Guidelines.