OUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
TEACHING & LEARNING
Our unique school design and instructional program educates students in three interdependent learning domains— academic excellence, social emotional wellbeing, and social responsibility. These three domains are seen working in unison throughout our educational program, in every classroom, with the aim of developing students who are active in their learning, aware of their interests, and who seek to explore and expand their knowledge beyond the classroom.
Academic Excellence is the ability to think critically, transfer knowledge and undertake original thinking with creativity and imagination. A workshop based approach provides opportunities to integrate multiple content areas and for teachers to be responsive to student interests. By focusing instruction in a workshop based approach, teachers are better able to meet the learning needs of students, address student interests and incorporate standards within an environment of academic excellence.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL WELLBEING
Social Emotional Wellbeing is the ability to develop self-reflection and effective problem-solving skills. It describes the ability to motivate ourselves toward a positive goal, to understand and manage our own emotions and impulses, to handle the emotions of others, and to build positive relationships. These skills enhance the problem solving and decision-making abilities of students, improve their relationship satisfaction, and maximize their potential in school. Our Restorative Practices provide a holistic approach to school culture that is built on the understanding that children develop prosocial skills best in the presence of firm, clear boundaries and expectations, and persistent, motivational support from authoritative, fair, relationally connected adults.
Social Responsibility is a student’s ability to perceive social needs and global concerns. Through increasing awareness and sensitivity toward social, cultural, and environmental concerns, students apply leadership and problem solving skills to make positive contributions to their community and society. By accessing resources in the community, Odyssey provides students opportunities for ongoing civic engagement and leadership, which increases their understanding of ways to contribute to society. Students collaborate with teachers, parents, and the community at large to create innovative ways to apply their knowledge and leadership skills in a real-world context.
OUR INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN
Our instructional design recognizes that meeting the needs of all students requires purposeful, flexible design of learning experiences and environments. Our innovative instructional program is a structured yet flexible classroom setting that provides personalized opportunities for all learners to be supported, challenged, and engaged in the curriculum. Our looping classroom environments, grounded in the workshop model, foster this personalization and flexibility, allowing close, ongoing collaboration and deep engagement with student needs and interests.
DIVERSE BY DESIGN
Our innovative and unique school design attracts diverse learners. Our diverse by design approach details our commitment to ensuring we serve a truly diverse student population that is reflective of our surrounding community. It has become a defining characteristic of our community.
Our three interdependent learning domains— academic excellence, social emotional wellbeing, and social responsibility – work in unison to establish inclusive learning environments for all students. Our grounding belief and focus is that diverse schools provide greater opportunities for students to learn from one another, promotes the celebration and understanding of other cultures and viewpoints and strengthens neighborhoods by bringing community members together.
The workshop format provides a structured and predictable place where teachers are viewed as mentors and models. In workshop, student writers, readers, mathematicians, learn, and practice new strategies, develop understanding and explore questions using prior and personal experience as scaffolds to creatively integrate new knowledge. Teachers confer, stimulate, and question as they work with whole groups, small groups, and individual students to personalize their instruction. Since workshops are times when all students are working at their independent levels, the instruction they receive is inherently responsive to students’ needs.
The practice of teaching students in looping classrooms creates long-term relationships between teachers, students, parents, and ultimately improves learning and instruction. At its core, the intent is for students to have the ability to remain with a teacher for two years. This design also creates a learning environment that gives students extra time together to build relationships with each other and their teachers, and provides an efficient continuum of experience that boosts achievement, learning and social-emotional wellbeing. This approach benefits teachers as well, giving them more time to get to know students and families, to know their needs, and to use longer-term strategies to effectively teach all learners.
Technology is a tool which will be used to support the learning and teaching process. Via an integrated approach, teachers enhance their practice with available classroom technologies, with the ultimate goal of supporting student learning across the three interdependent learning domains; academic excellence, social emotional wellbeing, and social responsibility. Teachers use technology as a tool to assist in differentiating instruction and ensuring the needs of our diverse community of learners are met. At a broader level, technology is used to foster independent learning, offer individualized instruction, provide interactive hands-on experiences, support our interdisciplinary thematic framework, and teach important skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century.
SCHOOL FAMILY PARTNERSHIP
While our three learning domains create the foundation for educating the whole child, it is the school-family partnership that creates a true community of learners supporting our goals in students becoming self-motivated, competent, lifelong learners. Parental involvement is critical to the success of students as well as to the success of the school as a whole. Parents bring a substantial body of experience, knowledge, skills and talents that enrich the school and the learning experience of each child