About Our School

  • The Mandarin Immersion Program serves 140 students in K-5 grades. In addition, a private provider, Odyssey Preschool, offers Mandarin Immersion PreK at our school site.

    Our program is housed at Orion Alternative Elementary School. Together with Orion Alternative, our site serves 480 children. We believe that working together in collaboration with our families and community is the key to strong, engaging education.

We provide a rich, hands on educational experience with a S.T.E.A.M focus.

    • Science learning outdoors with Education Outside in our garden and with integrated FOSS science units.
    • Technology and Engineering in the classroom and in the Maker Space with our S.T.E.A.M. coordinator.
    • Art in partnership with Art 4 Schools through the California Schools for Music and Art. 
    • Mathematics Common Core mathematics and hands on math projects

Performing Arts

  • Students at Orionl receive performing arts instruction from kindergarten through the 5th grade. The performing arts program includes:
    • Integrated art in the classroom that align to the unit of study.
    • Weekly music classes with a Music for Minors teacher for a trimester.

    Hands on art program through Art 4 Schools with a master art teacher. The curriculum develops a hands-on approach to teaching art appreciation and cultural understanding of art and history.

    Our Art instruction culminates in a year-end art show which showcases one or two art pieces from each student.

    Our objective is to provide children with high-quality performing arts experiences so that they may experience the joy, self empowerment, academic growth and physical exuberance associated with the arts and performing.

    More about our Performing Arts Focus

Other Programs

  • Orion offers before and after-school care through several on-campus programs. We also provide special education programs to meet our students' specialized needs.

School Facts at a Glance


    Our beautiful, historic campus is located on Eagle Hill in Redwood City, California. Visit or write us at:
    555 Avenue Del Ora
    Redwood City, CA 94062
    Orion, previously called John Gill Elementary School was dedicated on Nov. 6, 1932. The public elementary school is named after former Redwood City School District Superintendent, John Gill, who died suddenly of pneumonia in the 1930s.

    Orionis part of the Redwood City School District. The RCSD operates elementary and middle schools serving students from kindergarten through grade 8. The district serves nearly 7,200 students and has 12 schools. Orion and the Mandarin Immersion Programs are School of Choice 

    After-School Care After-school care is offered through an on-site Child Development CenterNew window and the Redwood City Parks, Recreation, and Community Services DepartmentNew window.