Welcome to Odyssey 2.0! Thank you for joining us in reimagining education. Odyssey Atlanta has a long history in guiding students in their quest for knowledge on their path to college. Our award winning thematic curriculum has demonstrated that an engaged student is a successful student. The results speak for themselves through our SMART Objectives.
Having completed Kindergarten, our youngest Odyssey scholars enter the first grade showing marked improvement in language arts and math, while being exposed to science and the arts. Our 9th grade Odyssey scholars begin high school having practiced and improved their writing skills through their creation of the perfect community. Our 12th grade “Odyssey U” scholars are ready to push “submit” on their college common application, having worked all summer on perfecting their essay writing, and working on a college finance plan while touring the universities of their dreams.
As we looked to reimagine Odyssey, we began with the premise that student engagement was essential to our successful culture. Our challenge was to elevate excitement in classroom by getting students talking and learning about the things they care about while mastering the academic skills critical to their success. The model that seemed to be the best foundation and fit for Odyssey was a hybrid Project Based Learning (PBL) and individual coaching model. The PBL model by definition is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. This layered well on top of Odyssey’s thematic curriculum that used projects such as filming, criminal investigation, and health and nutrition as vehicles for bringing education alive.
PBL gave our teachers permission to move students to the center of their learning and grapple with issues that were important to them. Robotics expanded into “Hidden Figures,” civil rights, and the critical role of diverse teams in problem solving. Our 3rd graders explored how to live to 100 and what they could do influence healthy eating and lifestyles in their own communities. Our 6th graders explored affordable housing and gentrification as they recommended improvements to waste management to lessen the impact of the school community on the environment. I invite you to read more about our new curriculum, and follow along in the year ahead as we continue to make changes and develop these ideas.
As with our students, Odyssey is ever evolving and growing. Odyssey 2.0 is the latest version of this evolution as we strive for every child to have the tools to make their dreams a reality. We know that starts with a strong educational foundation. We know the best foundation is built on students finding their own passion and developing the skills and confidence to graduate high school, college and become leaders in their fields and their communities.
Thank you for believing in Odyssey and believing in youth.