Our school has recently been the recipient of major academic awards from the State of Delaware and the Delaware Charter School Network. The awards, for two years of “exceptional academic performance,” strongly support the notion that our students, parents, teachers and administration, working with our PTO, have helped orchestrate dramatic increases in student achievement to record levels at Odyssey.
Just two years ago, at the conclusion of the 2011 – 2012 school year, our school’s third grade reading scores were ranked 35th out of 108 in the state and 27th in mathematics. Our fourth graders were 23rd and 17th, respectively. They have improved to rankings of 11th and 3rd in third grade and 3rd and 1st respectively in fourth grade among all state elementary schools. From those lows two years ago, while the school’s staff and student population have nearly doubled, our academic achievement levels have improved to the point where they have been recognized as “exceptional” by the State of Delaware and our Department of Education (DOE).
The Delaware Charter Network has also recognized this outstanding performance and awarded Odyssey the DCN Academic Achievement Award for the second year in a row. I was also awarded the Delaware Charter Network Impact Award. This award is given to the school leader having the most significant impact on an educational institution in Delaware. Also supporting the focus of teacher academic excellence at Odyssey, our art teacher Mrs. Natalia Ciriaco received the State of Delaware Art Teacher of the Year Award.
The Delaware Recognition Award recognizes the “significant and exceptional” two-year academic achievement improvement from those lows the school touched in 2011-2012, while still meeting Annual Yearly Progress. The award stated that your school has been selected because it was one of the schools that had “exceptional performance,” that met Annual Yearly Progress for each of the past two years, and in 2013-14 ranked based on a weighted score of: percent proficient in ELA, percent proficient in Math, and percent of population in at-risk groups (combined African American, Hispanic, students with disabilities, ELLs, and Free/Reduced Lunch), all in the most recent year.
These recognitions of our instructional staff’s two-year performance and our administrative and teacher excellence are what is helping to propel our school to continually higher levels of student achievement. Speaking for the entire school community, I want to commend our students, teachers and administration for these exceptional recognitions.
Our academic rebound has been phenomenal. As we move well into the second year of our middle school expansion and move into new facilities, our staff and students continue to work exceptionally hard to support our school’s theme for the year to “Be more awesome!” With your help, I am very confident we will help our young owls be their best!
Dr. Nick T. Manolakos
Odyssey Charter School