My daughter has made exceptional strides at the Odyssey School in the 6 months that she has been there. The staff has and continues to go above and beyond the call of duty to help my daughter be successful. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to send my child to such an accepting and supportive school.
This school really lacks academically. The small classrooms don't really give students the edge that one would hope for. In many ways the school has less structure and discipline than a regular public school which is not necessarily a good thing for students in the long run. The smallness of the school almost contributes to their being too many "social issues" as everyone knows each other which can actually be a negative versus a larger school where there is more overall activity. The PE program is not very challenging if you have a child who needs or likes physical activity.
Odyssey is a great school where students get individualized attention and they can earn all the credits they need to graduate. Good classes too like cooking and spanish, music and art. Teachers are great too and really care about the students.
My son started here in 7th grade and is now finishing his freshman year. The teachers are very patient and dedicated, and the principal does a good job understanding my son and pushing him to try his best. The math teacher is fantastic. I am interested in seeing how the next 3 years go in terms of prepping for college.
We are very disappointed in Odyssey School. Although our daughter is a high achiever academically, she suffers from anxiety and our local public school was not working out for her. She needed a less noisy and more controlled environment to succeed. Odyssey did provide this and she was doing quite well. However she only made it 38 days before being kicked out for walking off campus to cope with the stress she felt after an unpleasant interaction with a fellow student. We had told the school that walking alone was one of her coping mechanisms. Their attempt to restrain her only made things worse and there was a bad scene. Perhaps we did not do enough to make sure our daughter had workable options available to her. However we feel the school/principle could have handled things better and worked with us more. We now are on our own to find alternate arrangements.
Odyssey School is a wonderful place. The teacher's are patient and creative. Your child's esteem will shoot up from being here. Our only complaint was that the academic standards were lower than we had expected. The academic work was not challenging. This is a great school for someone who needs a break from the regular class environment, but probably not a good idea if your hoping for four-year college.
The teachers at this school are amazing! Extremely dedicated, very well educated and truly understand the challenges of their student population. For those with extreme difficulties in the social aspects of peer relations and problems with the rigors of a public school, this school is your best bet. Extremely bright students capable of higher academics, will be disappointed. We assumed the Study Skills class would address organizing and planning issues. This isn't needed as there is no homework assigned. Students will have multiple chances of completing assignments without penalty. No AP courses. Language, computer and P.E. are in addition to tuition. Too small for class rankings and no standardized testing to help when applying to colleges. You will get a diploma. We were sure this would be the right place for our student, based on interviews of staff. If academics are secondary to you, and you are looking for a safe learning environment where all of your child's social disabilities will be tolerated and accepted, this school will be a great choice for you. If you want all of that and an education that will prepare them for a 4-year college experience, you will be disappointed.
A few things about Odyssey School in Austin TX. Before attending Odyssey my son suffered from a lack of confidence in himself, but more importantly in the institutions (public school s) he was attending. He just wanted not to be seen and left-alone. He is currently a second year student and best known for being a spirited supporter of his school. In under a year he managed find himself and reclaim his self-esteem. The atmosphere supports intimate class sizes and one-on-one mentorship. These conditions coupled with faculty that are enthusiastic about their positions, have helped to renew my sons fanaticism for learning and growing-up in public. Odyssey is a firm supporter of its community and has an excellent Service Learning Program. The students are taught to go out to make a difference, by giving back to those that would accept a helping hand. My son is proud of who he is today and I feel we owe that to the wonderful faculty at Odyssey.
Our son has attended the Odyssey school for 6 years. The staff has bent over backwards to find ways to accommodate his challenges. He feels capable and confident and sees himself as a successful student. We feel so fortunate to have a school of this caliber in the Austin area. The facilities may not be state of the art, but the teaching that takes place within those walls is stellar. Odyssey's commitment to serving in the community on a monthly basis has fostered a heart for others in my son. Because of his experiences in the Service Learning Program he has a desire to make positive contributions to his world and give back to his community. That lesson alone is priceless in my book.
This school has been very good for my son, who didnt fit the "mold" of the local AISD middle school. Wish it were nicer looking and more structured, sometimes feels "too easy" for some of the kids. Effective though in using different techniques to teach. Very friendly teachers. This is an open and accepting environment for student with learning differences and students with learning disabilities, which is nice but not sure how that contributes to the overall learning environment. Overall a positive experience as a parent and for a kid who has come to dislike school.