February 10, 2017
I am extremely happy to be able to share with our community the news that our OCS School Board has unanimously approved a bold, comprehensive new Strategic Plan for our school. As long term Odyssey parents may recall, the school’s first Strategic Plan was introduced nearly four years ago. This new Strategic Plan has been completed under the guidance of OCS Board President Mr. Dimitri Dandolos, Board Officers and members. Additionally, the plan was supported and endorsed by other organizations, their leadership teams and membership. These organizations and leadership included:
- Parent Teacher Organization President, Ms. Shamekia Martin, PTO Officers and membership,
- Citizen Board Oversight Committee President, Ms. Sheryl Zeitzelber, and CBOC Officers and membership,
- American Hellenic Education Progressive Association President Dr. Michael Kirifides and AHEPA Officers and membership,
- Odyssey Charter School Headmaster Dr. Nick Manolakos, Supervisor of Instruction and Schools, Ms. Denise Parks and other members of the Administration and staff,
- Odyssey Charter School Teacher Team Leaders expressed support for the plan along with members of the faculty at the introduction of the plan at last month’s In-service Day,
- Student Government Leaders and members of the Student Council have had preliminary discussions supporting the plans initiative to improve the overall school climate and culture of our buildings,
- Coffee with the Headmaster and Administration - Saturday Morning Meetings, have helped provide more conversations around the plan. Additional it has provided parents with additional information to help generate interest in getting involved and join various committees from the nine possibilities / options outlined in the strategic plan, and
- Staff conferences with families via formal discussions at team/family meetings have also helped spread the news and garner additional support for participation by families on the committees and others options for helping to guide our school’s growth.
The OCS Strategic Plan was approved at the January 18th School Board Meeting. The Plan has nine major goals and they were formulated with input from all the major stakeholders at our school including: Board Members, Administration, teachers, parents, students and members of the community. These nine goals identify the key areas of focus for continuous improvement at our school. The Strategic Plan has information and links on this front page of our school’s web site.
I strongly urge everyone to take the time to follow these stories and links to read about these 9 goals and recommendations. After this initial first step parents can then take the next steps and get involved by joining one of the committees. These nine committees are listed in the addendum document of the Strategic Plan and also on our webpage.
Everyone brings special skills and talents to our community and collectively, if we make use of all of the combined skills and talents drawing from the community, we should be able to make great progress in achieving these goals. In this way, we can truly work hard to make Odyssey the great place that we all envision.
In addition to the very exciting news about our Strategic Plan, there are also many firsts occurring at our school. These are many new firsts are happening with our sports teams, our academic and community clubs and a host of student civic and social organizations.
These are truly exciting times at our school. I hope you enjoy reviewing the new Strategic Plan and the updated information on our website as much as I do in learning about events at Odyssey. The plan incorporated data gleaned by listening to all of our major stakeholders and listening to the recent concerns of our families, garnering input from all of our formal school organizations, analyzing quantitative and qualitative data from the DOE, and then implementing goals and objectives to meet the covenants of our investor group.
The result of collecting data from all of these groups and the various school leaders was to clearly hear and listen to our community in identifying our school’s overall needs. The process was not always easy and at times was difficult. However, the end result of all the hard work was bold action that taps into our school’s families to be involved and to provide opportunities for our people to take action and get involved.
The plan offers the opportunity for meeting our constituents desire to play a role in making the needed changes and insuring their voices are heard in the process. Our students, parents, staff and surrounding community want to get involved and participate in generating change to help Odyssey better meet the needs of our customers: our students, parents and our employees and our community at large.
Our new strategic plan is a screaming call to action for our major stakeholders to help the school meet the needs of our rapidly growing Odyssey Community. Again, please take the time to review the strategic plan and I strongly urge every one of you who can spare some energy and a desire to make Odyssey become the best place in education in Delaware. Sign up for a committee that appeals to your particular skill set and strap on your seat belt for an exciting journey to continuously improving our school and working for the betterment of our school and your children’s future.
Dr. Nick T. Manolakos
Odyssey Charter School