Mission and School Profile
The mission of Odyssey Charter School is to work in partnership with the family and community, with the aim of helping each child reach full potential in all areas of life. We seek to educate the whole child with the understanding that each person must achieve a balance of intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual and social skills as a foundation for life.
Odyssey Charter School has been in existence since 1999 and grew from 112 students in a church building to over 700 students in a healthy, high-performance school building. Odyssey was one of 22 finalists from 12 states in the Charter School Growth Fund, a grant program sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to replicate successful charter school models. Their analysis of the students’ academic data since the School’s founding in 1999 was that our students are making strong and consistent achievement gains. It should be noted that these achievements were realized while the school’s student population and staff tripled in size.
During the 2011 school year, Odyssey became accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and was designated a ‘High Performing Charter School’ by the Florida Department of Education.
Odyssey Charter School meets high standards of achievement by offering a holistic educational model, which blends methodology that includes the Montessori approach to education in Kindergarten through 3rd grades with other compatible models such as research/project-based education for 3rd grade through high school. As a result of the combination of philosophies, academics, and environment, the School’s achievement data has been promising. The school community focuses on establishing healthy relationships, providing rigorous academic instruction, and offering extracurricular activities to ensure each student a school experience that is challenging, non-biased and inclusive. The innovative use of programming, curricula, and technology helps bond teachers and students toward instructional delivery methods that encourage problem solving and that pave the way for a future that is unfolding.
The essential philosophy guiding the mission is the belief that all children can actualize their potential as productive and contributing members of society and that the school provides essential opportunities for students to develop the necessary skills for success. The rapport between teacher and students and the role of the family in supporting the student’s development are critical to meeting our expectations for student success. Our K-3 program is guided by the philosophy and technique of Maria Montessori. The classrooms encourage and foster academic learning while providing children the opportunity to make choices and direct the path of their learning. In grades 3-5, students are provided with project-based learning opportunities, which require that they make choices, plan a project from the beginning to end, and build responsibility to deliver the chosen project on time. At the middle and high school level, cooperative learning strategies are being implemented. Peer teaching, peer review and peer feedback are powerful classroom management strategies for focusing students. We encourage students to work on team building skills and develop global citizenship. Students will work on social causes and become citizens of the world in an environment that promotes conflict resolution and peace.
The curriculum focuses on clear and measurable expectations for student learning and is derived from the Florida Next Generation Sunshine State/Common Core Standards. Students take a variety of research-based assessments, which provide data to identify learning trends and learning gaps. Given the reflective, but difficult-to-measure goals of our instructional program, the high-stakes indicators such as FCAT and End-of-Course Exams are limited measures of student success. Because we strive to nurture and grow the whole child, we must look beyond academic assessments to measure our performance.
Odyssey has earned an enviable reputation as a school that delivers with a proven track record of academic performance illustrated by the annual school report cards.
Odyssey Charter School is governed by a non-profit Florida educational organization composed of parents, teachers, and community members dedicated to providing an enriched learning environment for all types of learners. This Board is comprised of business and educator professionals, most of whom are also parents of Odyssey students. The volunteer Board members work hard to continue moving the school forward, ensuring the on-going financial strength of the school, and providing for additional and innovative resources to increase student achievement
Our program is designed to foster individual uniqueness and potential. We treat each student as an individual and know that no two students will learn at the same pace, nor will they learn best from the same teaching methods. Our students learn not to be afraid of mistakes. They are encouraged to do their own research, analyze what they have found, and come to their own conclusions. In this way, we are helping students to become life-long independent learners.