July 31, 2014
Greetings Odyssey Charter School Families,
I hope this correspondence reaches all of our parents and students in excellent health and spirits and that you have had the opportunity to spend some quality time with families and friends. Throughout the summer here at Odyssey, we are continually working to plan and prepare for the opening of the next school year. As we pass the midpoint in the summer season, I want to take this opportunity to catch up with all of you on the many exciting things happening around our school.
In addition to the summer activities and experiences of our students, parents and staff, the administrative team has been diligently working to prepare for a successful start to the 2014-2015 school year. Some examples of the scope of our activities include: Moving our K-4 grades to the new Lower School at Barley Mill Plaza Building 20, conducting renovations for grades 5-7 at the Upper School campus at the St. Thomas building, interviewing and selecting 25 highly qualified new teachers and five para professionals, attending varied professional development sessions, completing our new textbook adoption process for English/Language Arts, preparing our Charter Renewal Application with the Department of Education, and initiating the financing agreement process for our new school. In addition, we are completing scheduling for all of our students, including the more than 200 students new to our school. This scheduling also includes transitioning our fifth grade students to a middle school model, whereby students move to a different teacher for each content area.
As you may know by now, in mid-July the DOE announced statewide results for the DCAS standardized testing program by which all Delaware Public Schools are rated. I am extremely proud to announce that our school and our students achieved their second straight year of record level scores. For example, our fourth grade ranked first in math and second in reading out of 108 elementary school across all of Delaware! Our other grades ranked in the top ten in almost every single category of disaggregated data analysis by the state. This is a sharp improvement over the scores just in the last two years, and I have inserted a table below to help you see the improvement trends.
Our new Upper School sixth grade DCAS scores were outstanding: we ranked 4th in Mathematics and 6th in Reading. This is higher than many of our cross-town rivals, and we achieved these results in temporary classrooms in the backyard at St. Thomas! Letís see how we do when we are able to spread our wings in a new facility!
These results are a direct result of providing quality instruction to challenged and engaged children who are supported throughout the process by their parents and other caring adults. We are all tremendously proud of our teachers and students who produced such spectacular results. Your child can be proud to be an Odyssey Owl!
In September, we will be adding our seventh grade class to the Odyssey family. Twenty-five new staff members will also be joining Odyssey for the new school year. I would also like to welcome Mr. Daniel Newcott as our Student Advisor working with Mrs. Jacqueline Pastis, Assistant Headmaster, and Mrs. Renee Ickes, Special Services Coordinator at the Barley Mill Lower School. Mrs. Denise Parks, Assistant Headmaster, and I will be working out of our Upper School location at St. Thomas School along with our Curriculum Coordinator Mrs. Katie Standish and Mrs. Barbara Berrick, our Student Services Coordinator.
We are excitedly finishing preparations for the official opening of our Barley Mill Lower School with grades K-4 in our newest building. The renovations and the room divisions at St. Thomas are nearly completed.
The Welcome Back to School Night will be held at both locations on August 21st from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Complimentary food items from our new cafeteria will be provided. You will be receiving more information about that and other school related information in the coming weeks.
Rest, relax and enjoy the last few weeks of your summer!
See all of you soon!
Dr. Nick T. Manolakos
Odyssey Charter School
|Longitudinal DCAS Statewide Rankings|