- Dannie Weston opens Old Orchard School with one classroom, six students, two grades and with herself as the sole staff member.
Old Orchard in 19731 teacher • 1 room • 2 grades • 6 students
Old Orchard School was established in 1973 by founder Dannie Weston. Uninspired by the educational opportunities available to her own children, Mrs. Weston decided to create the school she imagined for them: a warm and friendly educational community that would ask a lot of its students academically and socially, and provide them with the skills, encouragement, and support they would need to rise to the challenge. Academic subjects were accelerated, but never rushed; comprehension and critical thinking would be stressed above rote learning. Arts and enrichment programs would be taught at all grade levels, complementing and enhancing the academic programs, and providing balance to students' school day.
Old Orchard opened with one classroom, two grades, and with Mrs. Weston as its only teacher. Each year, Mrs. Weston added another grade, new teachers and classrooms. The first 8th Grade class graduated in 1980, and in 1996 a second campus was added. Old Orchard, much like its students, grew at a challenging but comfortable pace, always engaged, but never rushed.
Old Orchard Today
10 Grades * 2 Campuses * 170+ Students * 36 Faculty & Staff
Today, Old Orchard is led by Bonnie Weston, daughter of school founder Dannie Weston. The school offers Jr. Kindergarten through 8th Grade and employs 36 faculty and staff members across two campuses in Campbell, CA. The student body represents a diverse group of students, drawn from all corners and communities within Silicon Valley.
Old Orchard itself continues to grow and evolve, honoring its founder's values while keeping in step with the times. Technology is embraced in all classrooms, with the youngest students building basic computer usage and logic based skills using school iPads and slightly older students delving into digital media, videography, programming, game design, animation, robotics and more.
Graduates overwhelmingly choose to continue their education at one of the Bay Area's leading private college prep schools. But they rarely leave Old Orchard entirely. They return frequently to visit teachers and friends, to tell us what they are up to, and to say thanks for the great start in school and in life.
The reason is simple. Old Orchard has grown, but Dannie Weston’s original vision remains firmly in place: A school’s sole purpose is to serve children in every possible sense.