Odyssey Charter Schools develop active learners who discover their interests and broaden their knowledge in an engaging environment of academic excellence.
Through a workshop model that emphasizes student choice and emotional well-being, students collaborate with peers, teachers and community members. Our thoughtfully designed curriculum promotes social responsibility that impacts the larger community.
Odyssey Charter Schools is a nurturing environment where self-directed students develop academic skills and real life knowledge, through exploration, investigation, reflection, and collaboration with other students, teachers, parents and the wider community: a classroom without walls.
Odyssey Charter School opened its doors in September 1999 with 240 students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grades in a church facility located directly across the street from Pasadena City College. The opening of Odyssey came as a result of the vision of its founder, Kathleen O’Sullivan. Her tireless effort throughout the chartering process and then navigating the endless challenges we faced in our early years made it possible for Odyssey to become what it is today. With the dedication of dozens of teachers and hundreds of community members Odyssey became the first charter school in the State of California to be approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Education (LACOE). Odyssey has been able to create a nurturing learning environment for 20 years now, recently re-chartered to continue operating through June 2024.
Odyssey’s growth is a result of a steadfast effort by educators, parents and community members to construct an academic experience based on the values of Academic Excellence, Social Emotional Well-being and Social Responsibility. Leading to a learning environment where student choice and diverse learning styles are honored, celebrated, and cultivated in the classroom.
Odyssey’s enrollment and classrooms have grown year over year. Currently there are two Kindergarten classrooms, four 1st & 2nd grade classrooms, four 3rd & 4th grade classrooms, and four 5th & 6th grade classrooms. The middle school has four 7th & 8th grade classrooms, each with a specific focus on one core curricular area: Humanities-Language Arts, Humanities-History/Social Science, Mathematics, and Science. A second campus, OCS-South, was added in 2018 with students from Transitional Kindergarten to third grade. OCS-South is implementing a growth strategy that will have a fully enrolled Transitional Kindergarten to 8th grade school.
Among many of Odyssey’s teaching principles, looping and a workshop format are key. Looping is the practice of having the same teacher through several grade levels. This creates the opportunity for teachers and students to develop deeper relationships and a richer learning experience. The workshop format allows teachers to be both mentors and models. In this format students practice, develop and explore at their own learning level using their personal experience to scaffold and integrate knowledge. These two approaches further the goal of creating a sense of community and independent, interactive learners within each classroom.