August 16, 2016
Greetings Odyssey Charter School Families,
We hope this correspondence reaches everyone in excellent health and spirits! Hopefully, all of you were able to spend some quality time with family and friends.
Summer is rapidly coming to a conclusion, and the start of another exciting new school year is just a few weeks away. Many exciting things have been happening at our campus over the summer preparing for the first days of school. Kindergarten students return for a half-day on Monday, August 29th. The first full day for all students is on Tuesday, August 30th.
We will be following the same bell schedule as last year with minor changes. We have made changes to expedite pick up procedures for lower school students in order to accommodate for the growing student body size. Lower School pick up will be conducted with parents parking in the parking lot across from building #21 and walking over to pick up their children. More information about this, along with updated car line procedures for the entire campus and bus route details, will be shared in the coming days.
As we prepare for the start of school, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with all of you some of the many exciting things happening around our school.
- We have leased building #26, on the far side of the athletic fields, to the Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School. They are a K-4 Spanish Immersion School with approximately 450 students. We welcome our new neighbors to the campus.
- We conducted successful summer school programming and our summer camps expanded to four weeks of programs.
- We have hired almost 30 new teachers and support staff.
- We are adding a ninth grade this year and will also be adding at least one new section in grades K-6 as outlined in our DOE Minor Modification. A complete school listing with all new and existing staff will be included in our back to school materials.
- We continued to explore new options with transportation. We are again contracting with First Student Transportation and have been assured that our refined bus routes and additional buses will help to improve their service for our families. The lack of transportation companies have limited our options for start times for our classes.
As you may know by now, the DOE released statewide results for the standardized testing program, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) by which all Delaware Public Schools are rated, in the third week of July. I am extremely proud to announce that our students in the first year of publicly released rankings, continue to achieve significantly better, generally by wide margins, than state averages in reading and mathematics.
Two years ago, we said "Let's see how we do when we are able to spread our wings in a new facility!" While the addition of many students new to Odyssey has had an impact, particularly at the middle level on our scores, Odyssey continues to achieve among the highest levels in Delaware schools. Additionally, grades three and above score reports were mailed out this summer. We are all tremendously proud of our teachers and students who produced such stellar results.
This year Mrs. Denise Parks, Supervisor of Instruction and Schools, and I will be working out of our Upper School location at Building #22. Mr. Winokur will return as Dean of the Lower School. Mrs. Renee Ickes will serve as the Special Services Coordinator and Mrs. Jenifer Leitner as the Educational Diagnostician at the Upper School. Kristin Nannas, Lower School, and Mrs. Lauren Hindsley, new to the Upper/High School, are our school counselors.
We are excitedly finishing preparations for the official opening of our High School. New Teacher Orientation took place this Tuesday, August 16th. Our initial teacher In-service is Monday, August 22nd.
The Welcome Back to School Picnic, hosted by the PTO, will be Thursday, August 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 on the athletic field. The annual Sneak-A-Peek will also be that evening (see below.) Complimentary food items from the PTO and prepared by our cafeteria staff will be provided. You will be receiving more information about that and other school related information in the coming weeks.
Safely enjoy the last few weeks of your summer!
Dr. Nick T. Manolakos
Odyssey Charter School
Sneak a Peek for all grades 8/25/16:
Grades K-5 last name A thru M 5:30pm-6:00pm
Grades K-5 last name N thru Z 6:00pm-6:30pm
Grades 6-9 from 6:00pm -7:00pm