We have been very happy with Odyssey Day School for 3 years now, my child has made great friends here and loves going to school and being involved in the next adventurous discovery! He loves: Maker spaces (they can take apart and put together loose parts from electronics), robotics, programming and creating games, international studies, geography, theater and drama class, film workshop, yoga class, and nature discoveries like identifying animal tracks and freezing bubbles outside! Going into his 4th year we couldn't be more excited at what new adventures await!
My daughter is in 4th grade now and has been attending Odyssey since 1st grade. I cant express how much I love and appreciate the teachers, the philosophy and the community! At Odyssey the students' creativity is allowed to flourish and different learning styles addressed. There is so much opportunity for parents to be involved and for the children to learn what is interesting to them. The new natural play space, music, Spanish, computer programming, yoga and art classes all add to the children's experience of School as intellectually stimulating and a place of discovery. And while it's not the most important part of finding the right school for your child, the cost is significantly lower than other independent schools on the North Shore... and they offer financial aid! I have been able to offer my daughter the education I dreamed for her where she's able to "be a kid" and be exposed to a wide range of subjects taught by passionate and caring educators.
This school saved my children. Public school was crushing their spirit and Odyssey gave them a new enthusiasm for life and education. The teachers are caring, dedicated and go way beyond what is required. The opportunity for intellectual exploration and launching each child as far as their talent can guide them is extraordinary. If you want a sweet, kind, ethical and wholesome environment for your kids, I can't recommend it enough. The other parents are are invested in the school and are a pleasure to interact with - highly energetic and fascinating people who all have a common goal - the raising of smart, motivated, responsible and principled children.
Some adjectives: Terrible, Awful, Disappointing, unhelpful, miserable. My child attended the school in the 2013-2014 school year and it was a terrible experience my child is still mentally recovering from as a person and a student. We didn't get at all what we were promised as parents, and or child didn't get what we were promised as a student. They played bait and switch with the teaching situation. When we visited there was a single first and second grade teacher, when school started instead it was a class room with 1,2,3 grade and two teachers. By October the 1st grade teacher who we had loved as gone, and our child was left with a terrible teacher. This change of situation was never discussed with us as parents and we just had to accept it. My child and this replacement didn't mesh at all, and we have slowly found out this teacher was mentally abusive to our child. The school never got a handle on this class room. In February they decided to split the classroom in two. This broke our child and their best friend and only motivating reason to even go to school apart. The teachers and administration wouldn't even discuss this situation with us. STAY WAY-UNTRUSTWORTHY
My oldest is about to finish up at Odyssey after a great experience. He came from public where the focus on rote practice and memorization had him bored to tears and fidgety. Odyssey presented him with a challenging, meaningful curriculum. He had the opportunity to enter poetry contests and the American Math Challenge. The nurturing environment led to the formation of many good friendships. He will miss ODS when he is gone!
We signed up for a grade 1-2 classroom and, just after the withdrawal with refund date, they announced it would be 1-3. My 1st advice is to visit and research all the teachers in case of a change. 2nd, be very diligent in reviewing curriculum. My child had been highly successful with Singapore Math, but the school uses Investigations. My child had used the 2 lined paper with the dotted line in the middle for handwriting for the previous 3 years. The switch to HWT actually made handwriting more difficult 3rd, Private schools have nothing to prevent teachers from coming in physical contact with your child. We understand hugs, but this also means that the physical grabbing of your child s chin and forcibly raising it to meet the teacher s eyes in front of you is acceptable. 4th, If your child has a chronic condition, be sure you are available to come dispense your child s medication. The classroom teachers are in charge of this and repeatedly forgot to give my child the inhaler per my child's asthma plan. Other private schools do force the parent to come in to dispense the medication when there is no nurse or allow the child to carry his or her own inhaler.
When your kid says "I think Shakespeare is funny" you have to be happy with the rest of that conversation. The depth of learning is what I like best. Other things I like include: The teachers really know the kids. The kids treat each other like siblings. They teach math and reading based on the individual's ability, so that they all learn better. Older kids read to the younger kids. Every kid is on stage for a school play. The do a number of trips to places that expand the in class learning. I like that my kids have learned about art, music and spanish. I think the school is run a little bit like a family, meaning not perfect all the time. The one area that they could improve upon is communication.