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 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 School opened its doors in September 1999 with 240 students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grades, in a church facility located 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 navigating the endless challenges we faced, paired with the dedication of teachers and support 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 build community through education for the past 20 years, recently renewing our charter for another 5 year term through June 2024.
Odyssey grew the organization to become Odyssey Charter Schools, and added a second school, OCS-South, approved by the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) on November 16,2017. OCS-South opened its doors in August 2018, serving 165 Transitional Kindergarten to third grade students. OCS-South is implementing a growth strategy that will become a fully enrolled Transitional Kindergarten to 8th grade school.
Among many of Odyssey Charter Schools teaching principles, looping and a workshop format are key. Looping is the practice of having the same teacher through several grade levels. This creates consistency in the development of learners and strengthens teacher and student relationships, to create a richer learning experience. The workshop format allows teachers to be both mentors and models in the learning environment. 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.
Odyssey’s success 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.