I have been with this school for 7 years, with my last child currently in 5th grade. I've always been a strong advocate for this school and administration, but this year things are completely different. The school is divided, and much of the staff is new. Unfortunately the new administration at the Elementary school is not very good, nor are many of the teachers. They run a tight ship, and don't care much about issues a parent might have. Homework for a 5th grader is intense, with many papers taking up to 2 hours to complete, and the "punishment" for not completing it is harsh - below the line, lowered grade, silent lunch, walk laps at recess, and a reprimand from someone higher up letting the child know how irresponsible they are. Total overkill for a 10 yr old. They don't care much about high grades. Honor roll students aren't recognized or awarded, as they were in the past. I understand that since this is the first year the 2 schools are divided, there are sure to be kinks to work out. However I'm also glad that this is our last year there for us. I have spoken to many parents who feel the same. I also have spoken to many parents that are having problems at the Primary school as well, and even parents who have attended board meetings to address problems, only to be dismissed. I miss the days when Dr. Marsh was running the show. Things were much better under her leadership, for staff, students, and parents.
Besides my usual interest in what my granddaughter is doing, I volunteered a day in her first grade classroom. The class had Reading Workshop and Math Workshop where they were learning "strategies for solving problems"-- not just working on reading or math worksheets but strategies. The children spent time holding and reading real books they chose according to their interests and reading levels. The students knew what to do and followed class routines. They worked together and individually and helped each other. They also used computers or learning materials like matching and counting buttons to 100. The teacher used a smart board for stories and singing songs so the students could read the words along with her.
It was obvious the children loved their teacher and she cared for them. The students came from many different cultures and backgrounds and they all seemed to get along well. The teacher got a grant for the children to plant a vegetable garden and see how food grows. Many parents joined them as they visited the Pumpkin farm and learned more about where food comes from. Plus, it was great fun. The students were writing stories about their experiences when I was visiting.
The school was orderly, clean and quiet in the halls. I observed older students helping in the lunchroom. They cleaned tables and helped younger students carry their trays and open their milk cartons. The teachers ate with the children.
Odell has a teacher from China who is teaching Chinese to each of the classes. The students greet her in Chinese and then smile (it's very cute).
I'm glad my granddaughter goes to Odell, it's a great school and caring community.
Students are expected to treat each other fairly. There are students from many countries and cultures, there are students with disabilities and all are encouraged to work hard, respect and learn from each other.
Like many other parents we moved out of the Meck school system to Cabarrus Cty for the schools, and we're glad we did! Odell Elementary is truly top-notch! PROS -Security: All visitors must enter through two doors & a computer security system (not in that order) before entering the school. -Telephone Info: We get recorded telephone calls throughout the year reminding us of upcoming events and due dates. -Level of Teaching/Education: What ever happened to taking naps & making ash trays?! Not here! Kindergartners are taught math, reading, spelling, etc. And with a lot of support & love. Yes, our child's teacher gives lots of hugs. Needless to say she's an awesome teacher!!! -Keeping Informed: The school uses Class Dojo to keep the parents abreast of their child's day-to-day behavior. -Car Line: Students stay seated inside the bldg. until their name is called. Well done! -Respect: Our daughter is taught respect for other students and other teachers. -Expansion: There are plans to build another Odell on the site of the old school that has been demolished. As of today the two schools will be Odell Primary (K-2) and Odell Elementary (3-5) Cons: -I can't think of any.
This is my daughter's third year at Odell Elementary. I cannot begin to describe how great of a school this is! The teachers truly care for every child and make each day special from start to finish. We have nothing but respect for the way the administration responds to the communities needs. Even the KidsPlus program on-site is fabulously ran! We feel blessed to have given our daughter such a wonderful start to her education and look forward to the next three years!
My husband and I moved to Cabarrus County about 6 years ago for the schools as we wanted to the best possible public education for our young children. We had only a couple of elementary schools that we wished for, so we made sure that we moved into one of those districts. Our kids have gone to W.R. Odell for 4 and 3 years respectively and we couldn't be happier with our choice. I cannot imagine our children anywhere else. The teachers and staff that the school employs (main, encore, guidance, EC...) are top notch. The education that they are receiving is excellent and they are prepared for what is ahead of them. They are constantly challenged, nurtured, protected and most importantly continuing to make growth in all areas. The love and respect that the teachers and staff have for all of the children is amazing. W.R. Odell is not the "top rated" school in the county, but this is deceiving and only achieved by arbitrary numbers. Because of what I have seen and experienced at Odell, it is, by far, the top rated school for us.
My daughter has been going to Odell for 4 years and absolutely loves it. Lunches aren't great, you want to pack your own for sure. But remember, this is a public school and they have to work with the meager budget they are given. The quality of education and willingness for the principal to work with the parents on issues is very satisfying, and the facilities are impeccable, new, modern, clean and well appointed. We are absolutely thrilled with Odell.
I absolutely love this school. In my son's first year as a kingergartner, he learned al 50 states, all the continents, all the presidents, etc. Not only was his academic experience great, but the teachers really are some of the nicest people I know. they hug the kids and genuinely go above and beyond the call of duty in their jobs. My son is now a first grader and his teacher was voted "Teacher of the Year". I consider myself lucky to have him part of such an excellent public school!