Frequently Asked Questions
We are a fully self-contained program. Our students access all of their classes on our campus and are with us from 8:40-3:20. On a typical day, our students meet with each of their core teachers for subject-specific instruction while also having additional time for projects and homework.
Each grade level has their own elective classes and health/fitness, which rotate on an every other day basis. This is the same model as Liberty and Skyridge.
Odyssey also has its own bus routes to take students directly to and from school. Additionally, we have buses to bring students to Liberty and Skyridge at the end of the day for athletics and activities, if they so choose.
What does the schedule look like?
Odyssey Middle School serves approximately 250 students.
How many students attend Odyssey?
Do you use other teaching methods in addition to PBL?
Yes, we will still employ traditional methods of instruction to make sure students are showing growth on all of the same standards as their peers at Liberty and Skyridge. This is particularly the case for math and science.
Odyssey students have their own middle school lunch next door at Discovery High School.
What about lunch?
No, the interest form does not commit you to a decision. You will be notified after March 4 if a spot has been reserved for your student through our lottery system. Families will have 3 school days to accept or decline an enrollment offer.
Does submitting an interest form commit us to the program?
The gryphon [pronounced grif-uhn] is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion and the head, wings, and talons of a hawk or eagle. The gryphon was also thought of as king of all creatures. Gryphons are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions.
Our mascot was suggested by our students at Liberty and Skyridge in the spring of 2016 since it is a combination of our other middle school mascots; a lion and a hawk. Go Gryphons!
What is a Gryphon?
What about Highly Capable Students?
The PBL middle school option is open to students who are currently receiving highly capable program services. Due to the engaging nature of PBL and the opportunity to go deeper with student voice and choice when solving problems, there are many opportunities to differentiate for student abilities with teacher guidance. Click the link below to read an article about gifted students and PBL from the National Society for the Gifted and Talented.
What does research say about the effectiveness of PBL?
There is a strong body of evidence demonstrating a number of benefits of PBL, ranging from deeper learning of academic content to higher levels of engagement. Click below to review some research summaries.
Is it a full year commitment?
Yes, accepting an offer to attend our PBL program is a full year commitment. Changing programs after the year has begun is not recommended for a number of important reasons.
First, although we teach the same standards in all three middle school programs, we do not follow the same sequence or schedule. Therefore, changing programs significantly disrupts the continuity of learning for students.
Second, we plan our staffing and budget based on student enrollment at all three middle schools. Moving a student out of the PBL program puts a strain on class-sizes and requires us to find a student willing to move into our program after already settling into Liberty or Skyridge.
For these reasons, we will only consider changing student placement during the first six weeks of the school year. During this time period, families can request a conference with their student's teaching team and Principal Smith to discuss any concerns. Please do not tell your student they can return to Liberty or Skyridge without contacting us to set up a conference.
Ultimately, we will do everything we can to help our students succeed and to foster a sense of belonging in our thriving community of learners!
My student has an IEP. Are they eligible for Odyssey?
Students served on an IEP are welcome to apply to attend Odyssey. Due to the integration of curriculum and the flexible nature of our environment, special services look different when compared to a typical school.
While many students' instructional needs can be met within our grade-level and full-inclusion framework, it is not designed to meet the needs of all students. In some cases, a student is best served at their neighborhood school where a range of specialized services or designated district programs are available.
Therefore, students who are being served on an IEP will be considered on a case-by-case basis according to their needs and IEP team recommendations. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us or speak with your child's current IEP case manager.
What does math instruction look like?
While some projects include significant opportunities to apply math concepts, students still receive daily math instruction to ensure they are meeting grade-level standards. We regularly assess our students' math progress using traditional and online resources to provide additional opportunities for differentiation and small group instruction. In addition, we employ blended learning strategies. Blended learning combines classroom learning with online learning, in which students can, in part, control the time, pace, and place of their learning.
While students of all math abilities are served in our program, sixth grade students placed in compacted 7/8 and seventh grade students placed in Algebra will want to consider their learning style. If they are not comfortable with a blended learning format and more independence, they may best be served at Liberty or Skyridge.