OCS Newsletter

January 2015

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January 2015

Dr. Nick’s Message

Greeting Odyssey Charter School Families,

I hope this letter reaches all of you in good health and spirits. There were a number of important issues I did not get to fully address with our community immediately prior to the start of the holidays. While I was hoping I could respond conclusively on all of those issues, that is still not possible at this time, but I will at least be able to provide some important updates on a few of the most important concerns.

As you know by now, due to some extraordinary circumstances, a private personnel issue between the Board President and I was shared with the entire school community. I was offered a Headmaster position at another school. While I wanted very much to remain at Odyssey, the school administration and I needed to reach agreement with the Board on how to best continue leading the school in a fashion that was acceptable to the Board, me, our entire school community, and the DOE. Additionally, this new path forward had to remain true to the original vision of our schools founders.

I am happy to report to you that the Board and I have reached a mutual agreement for me to continue as Odyssey’s Headmaster for another three years. My contract renewal involves a variety of new processes, procedures and responsibilities for both the school Board and myself. This includes Administration taking full responsibility for the Greek, Before/After School Care, and Food Programs, rewriting of the Board by-laws, and Board succession planning. This combination of changes and new responsibilities, with greater input and more transparency for our parents and staff, will prove beneficial as we continue to grow into one of the regions elite K-12 charter schools.

As for our purchase of the Barley Mill property, immediately prior to the start of winter break, we had expected to hear news of the bond financing to complete the purchase. For a variety of reasons this has not yet happened, so we obtained a one month extension from the Barley Mill Seller. As I write to you, we are still awaiting the final word from the bond investors.

In our recent conversations with our financial representatives, we have been informed that a response by our bond investors is imminent. I, along with every one of you, am anxiously waiting to hear the news. I will let all of you know the moment I hear any news regarding this purchase, and am looking forward to being able to bring news to all of you very soon. There are other new and exciting initiatives and activities going on at our school. These include the new $25,000 grant for our ACE program, the $50,000 Recognition Award grant from the Governor's office and DOE, and new programs funded through our annual federal grant. Our sports program is also in full swing. We are in the middle of our basketball season, and preparing for spring sports.

We are also initiating a major new effort to create a “student voice” for our middle school students to engage and allow them to feel a special identity as members of our growing middle school. This includes establishing a student council, Honor Society, and a whole variety of exciting new organizations and student service activities for outreach in the community. In addition, it will also include a middle school advisory component where students will meet and discuss issues associated with becoming growing young adults in an expanding school environment.

Many of these new initiatives will be discussed in greater detail at the upcoming PTO meeting next month. I would encourage all of you to continue to stay involved and not hesitate to contact your PTO officers or parent Board members to help answer any questions you may have. I hope this answers some of the questions that you may have had as we begin the new school year. I hope to continue to see many of you around the school, and wish you continued good health and happiness in the coming year.

Kindest regards,

Dr. Nick T. Manolakos
Odyssey Charter School


Lower School News

In kindergarten it’s been a relatively calm introduction to our new year. Everyone returned from the long winter break anxious to reunite with their friends.

We’ve been busy with our mid-year reading and math assessments. Summarizing and Synthesizing/Analyzing are the key focus with our reading unit. Jonathan London’s Froggy character has delighted us with stories throughout this unit.

Exploring plane shapes/two dimensional shapes and identifying symmetry has been the math focus. The countdown is on for the 100th day of school! Soon we will introduce push/pull in science as we wrap up our study of hibernation.
The Kindergarten Team

First Grade
In January, First Grade has been working so hard to synthesize and analyze different parts of a story or as we like to call them, Story Elements.
Specifically, we are studying characters, setting, plot, problem and solution. We read an adaptation to a childhood favorite titled “Looking for the Muffin Man” in Readers Theater. We cannot wait for Readers Theater, because it really lets each child shine and show off their reading skills. We also have started writing personal narratives and are linking the ideas from reading to real life situations so we can become Authors ourselves.

In Mathematics we have started exploring multiplication. We are using both the commutative property of addition, grouping, and other strategies to describe, clarify, and comprehend these difficult problems. Between the snow filled days, we have been working so hard every day and love it here at Odyssey Charter!

Second Grade
The second graders are off to an amazing start to 2015! They have been busy practicing the skills of making connections and inferences while reading text. We have just finished our Reader’s Theater week with a play about John Henry. They used the play to practice all of the fluency techniques that they have become familiar with this year. In writing, the students are beginning to write a research paper about owls. Each student has been given a specific type of owl to research. They are doing an excellent job identifying the important facts and taking notes on their owls. The second graders are looking forward to turning their notes into sentences, and then into paragraphs. Our second grade math classes have been focusing on place value. The students have been exploring how to make $1000 using $10, $5, and $1 bills. Our second grade engineers have been enjoying our science kit called To Get to the Other Side: Designing Bridges. They are becoming very familiar with the different types of bridges that exist in the world. Ask them to walk you through the engineer design process!

Third Grade
Third graders welcomed 2015 with a resolution to keep on learning! In reading, students have learned a variety of comprehension and metacognitive strategies to help them analyze all types of texts. We finished Unit 4 on identifying story elements, summarizing and synthesizing. In Unit 5, we will focus on making inferences and making connections. In writing, students have finished an informational piece where they “wondered” about a topic, researched it on the internet, and wrote about it! They will also type it in computer class! Our next writing piece will focus on writing a biography. Students will choose a person from history, read about his/her life and then create a biography booklet on that person! Having finished our fractions unit, we are focusing on the concept of “Time” not only identifying time to the minute, but also learning about elapsed time. Students love taking timed quizzes on their multiplication facts! They are practicing them every night as they pursue becoming “multiplication masters.” Our students finished the social studies unit on Westward Expansion. In science, we will become geologists (Greek word!) as we apply the scientific process to learn about rocks and minerals! Did you know that our students are reading up a storm? They are reading at their own level, taking quizzes and are in pursuit of “climbing Mt. Olympus,” as they pursue their Accelerated Reader goals for the second marking period.
Thank you for your continued support at home as you remind your child to read carefully, follow directions, practice their multiplication facts and do their best!

Fourth Grade
Fourth grade continues to be very busy. We are finishing up our fourth unit in Language Arts where the students are learning about summarizing while reading. We will be starting to learn about comparing and contrasting ideas and concepts in text in the coming weeks. We will also discuss Trickster Tales, which is a sub-genre of Fables. The students have also been channeling their supernatural and extraterrestrial sides as they begin writing their Science Fiction stories. In math, we are in the middle of our fractions lessons, and the kids are doing great. We will be working on fractions for a few more weeks, as it is a big piece of the fourth grade Common Core standards.

We had our in-house field trip the week of January 2th with the Delaware History Museum and it was a big success. The kids really enjoyed hearing about Delaware’s part in the Revolutionary War. We have been learning about the American Revolution in Social Studies and the students are eager to have debates about what the colonists should do about England and King George. At the end of January, we will be learning about magnetism and electricity in science class. We are now looking at fundraisers to help reduce the student expense for our big field trip to Philadelphia in May. Keep an eye out for more information.


Middle School

Social Studies

Fifth Grade
In 5th Grade Social Studies we just finished our Due Process Model Unit, so our students will know what rights they have if they are accused of a crime. We are moving on to our next unit, Dueling Documents, which deals with looking at historical accounts from different points of view. Students will also look closely at non-fiction texts and analyze in what points of view they are written, so as to judge how accurate they are. The following unit will deal with economics, which will also tie in with Junior Achievement. We are planning to go on a field trip on May 11th to Junior Achievement's Biz Town. Junior Achievement is asking for 18-20 parent volunteers. Mr. Morley will give a handout when we get closer to the date. If you have interest in being a chaperone, please email Mr. Morley. Thank you for your support in advance.
Mr. Morley

Sixth Grade
Once returning from break our 6th grade students got right to work studying the first set of written laws, Hammurabi’s Code. The students delved deep, examining and evaluating several laws from Hammurabi’s Code and determined whether or not they saw the laws as just, and what the laws could tell us about Babylonian culture. We also explored the purpose of laws in today’s society and compared them to the laws of the past. Currently the students are working to understand the purpose of our tax system and are examining the benefits of paying taxes.
Ms. Beeson

Seventh Grade
Seventh grade is finishing up their third unit of the year, Project Citizen. In this unit students developed the understanding that effective government requires responsible participation from the individuals who translate their ideas and beliefs into lawful action and policy. We are about to embark on the unit Historical Research. During this unit, students will learn the skills necessary to conduct a research project. They will become independent critical thinkers who are able to investigate the truth through a wide variety of sources. The theme for the unit is “Leadership and Legacy.” Students will conduct a research project on any individual throughout history who displayed leadership and established a legacy.
Mr. Altmeier


Fifth Grade
5th grade Math students just completed the last quiz of the quarter on long division of multi-digit whole numbers. Students were extremely successful and are ready to move on to decimal division. We enjoyed our trip on January 23rd to The Grand Opera House to see the Math Maniac Show. Ask us how we enjoyed the show and if we learned anything new!
Mrs. Reynolds

Sixth Grade
In 6th grade math, we have begun our “Covering and Surrounding” geometry unit. Students are exploring and gaining an in-depth understanding of the following concepts: perimeter, area, surface area, and volume. We will be looking at two- and three-dimensional shapes and making connections among them. Students will be creating nets and building two- and three-dimensional shapes while applying what we have learned in class and tying in their measurement skills. We have an exciting month ahead of us!
Ms. Rehrig

Seventh Grade
We have wrapped up our Comparing and Scaling unit in 7th grade math. Students learned the skills to compare data and make informed decisions about shopping deals by using ratios, rates, percents and proportions. They seemed to really enjoy finding the best price. We also began working on coordinate graphing skills, which takes us right to our next unit. Moving Straight Ahead will be the fifth unit we cover this year. It begins to enrich students’ understandings of linear relationships. They will learn about the characteristics of a linear relationship including equations, graphs, and tables. Students have also just finished their mid-year STAR assessments. We are very happy with the improvements many students have made! We hope to continue this momentum into the Spring!
Ms. Vinton


Fifth Grade
BrainPop.com. Have a snow day or free time and your child is bored? Sign-on to BrainPOP.com. Click on start a new account at the bottom of the screen, fill in your information and look for Mrs. Horgan’s Science Class Period 1, 3, 4, 5 or 9. The code will be: madscience_ - the underscore will be the period of the class. Example of code: madscience5 because Johnny has science during period 5. Any quiz that your child takes will go towards extra credit. It’s a good idea for them to work in a current concept area. We have reviewed Science Inquiry AND Practices, Ecosystems, and S.T.E.M. careers.

We started Mixtures & Solutions Kit! We have been introduced to the Table of Elements and atoms. One big idea concept is the structures of materials. The essential question of the unit is “How do the properties and structures of materials determine their uses?”. Observable physical properties can be used to classify materials, such as in the Periodic Table. These physical properties may include solubility, mass, magnetism, and electrical conductivity. Tools such as graduated cylinders, balances, rulers, magnifiers, simple circuits, and magnets are used to study the physical properties. Heating and cooling materials may produce changes in the state of solids, liquids and gases. Hands-on investigations begin next week!

Tricks of the Trade: We are trying to come up with a clever way to remember that a SOLVENT is a liquid and the SOLUTE is the material.
Mrs. Horgan

Sixth Grade
Greetings from the Sixth Grade Science Classroom!
During the month of January, our friends in sixth grade have been learning about speed and motion. In our first investigation, students developed strategies to determine the speeds of two different buggies using a guided inquiry approach. The students collected data, used tables to organize their data, and calculated average speeds of the buggies. In our second investigation, students made measurements using Dot-Cars, which enabled students to track the motion of the car as it moves. The average speed calculation learned in the previous activity was used to calculate the speed of the car at different points in its motion. Students then constructed bar graphs and line plots to illustrate the motion of the cars. The skills acquired in these first investigations will be used later in this unit when students are asked to make connections between the total force acting on an object and the way the motion of an object changes.
Ms. Manolakos

Seventh Grade
This month in seventh grade science, students wrapped up the "Diversity of Life" unit by creating their own brochure on the Kingdoms of Life. We are now studying our next exciting unit on "Genes". Students are understanding genetics, inherited traits and characteristics. Health Rocks also visited all seventh grade classes during drugs and alcohol awareness and prevention week. All students enjoyed the activities and had a lot of great questions and discussions. We wrapped up the end of the month by beginning our next topic on Punnett squares.
Ms. Adamek

English Language Arts

Fifth Grade
In fifth grade language arts, we completed our read aloud, Wonder, along with the second marking period. Many students clapped at the end because they enjoyed it so much! We have been using this book to teach many of the Literature elements in Common Core State Standards. We will use Wonder to understand various aspects of literature such as character development, making inferences, and plot development. Using examples of fiction and non-fiction texts, we reviewed and practiced our reading skill of summarizing. We also stepped into the New Year with STAR testing and the unit test for units 2 and 3. As we step into the next marking period, we wanted to thank you for all the support you have shown your child in helping them be successful this year!
Mrs. Yarram and Ms. Potochney

Sixth Grade
In ELA class, the 6th graders have been learning about persuasive/propaganda techniques. We began by discussing the use of propaganda during the Holocaust (in relation to our novel study of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) and while striking for better conditions during the Great Depression (in relation to our novel study of Esperanza Rising). We then completed an in-depth study of several persuasive/propaganda techniques, looking at examples from our textbook and discussing commercials and other advertisements that we have seen. We also created some of our own advertisements using persuasive/propaganda techniques. Now, we are beginning to dive into nonfiction text structures and features, beginning with the story “SuperCroc”.
Ms. Dawson and Mrs. Manley

Seventh Grade
We are working on wrapping up our Understanding Theme Unit, during which we concentrated on recurring theme, denotation and connotation, relative pronouns and symbolism. Students read a variety of texts, including short stories, drama and non-fiction. We are looking at texts with a global perspective and attempting to understand how our society influences our lives. Moving forward with our studies, we will be tackling how we, as individuals, can find a voice and change the stereotypical societal perception of the world around us in Unit 4. Students will also focus on the reading skills of mood, tone,
Ms. Todd and Ms. Stockl


Greek Classes

Dear Kindergarten families, This month has been a really exciting one for our students. In Greek language we learned the parts of the body by singing songs and playing fun games. In Greek math we are studying the plane and solid shapes. The children had the opportunity to learn geometrical terms in Greek while we are making our own pictures using plane shapes, and comparing everyday objects to solid shapes. Stay warm everybody!
The Greek Kindergarten Team

First Grade
The time has come to learn how to tell TIME! The first graders have been diligently working on learning how to tell time. They have been doing an excellent job so far! They are going to make their own clocks by the end of January and learn how to calculate elapsed time.
Fair well until next time!
Κυρία Ελπίδα, Εύη και Νίκη

Second Grade
Dear Parents,
The students have been learning the importance of working together as a team to keep their classrooms and their homes clean, neat, organized and functional. They have learned how to express in Greek that they help their families with several different chores. Many of the second grade students completed projects at home where their parents videotaped them performing and narrating chores of their choice. They loved watching one another on video which helped them learn the vocabulary very quickly. We are currently in the process of teaching them a song that incorporates a lot of the vocabulary we have been learning this year. Please look for it in the following newsletter.

In Math we began working on time and will wrap it up by the end of the month when we plan to begin teaching money. By the end of the unit, students should be able to recognize and express time in 5 minute increments. We have made clocks and used other games and manipulatives to make the unit more engaging and fun. When we begin to work with money, the students will be exposed to both dollars and euro.

Please see two examples of the chore project below:

Wishing everyone a wonderful month,
The Second Grade Team
Tina Iliadis, Sophia Vazou & William Dounavis

Third Grade
Greek language 3rd grade has started a new unit on Europe and its most famous countries, capitals, attractions and the Greek vocabulary for respective nationalities and languages. Maps, powerpoint presentations, online games and flash card games were incorporated in our teaching materials, and this is probably one of the most exciting units for students. Traveling to Europe is what will follow, with emphasis on learning relevant information and expressions, creating our own passports, tickets, and working on a small project on a European country.
In Greek math, 3rd Grade has been working on time telling, while next week we will be starting the elapsed time word problems. White boards, flashcards, factory and self-made clocks (like the one they brought home) and number lines are used to assist students in their learning.
Fragitsa Cambouri, Ourania Lalioti, Panagiotis Tsakalis

Fourth Grade
In fourth grade math we have started working with fractions. We are going back to our facts and keep on practicing to better understand how to simplify and find equivalent fractions. We have started on addition and subtraction of fractions with like and unlike denominator fractions, mixed numbers, denominators and mixed numbers. The children learned how to compare fractions in multiple ways. We will continue working with fractions and learn how to multiply and divide them.
Kyria Anna

Fifth Grade
In 5th Grade Greek Math, students learned how to divide multi-digit numbers by double digit numbers with remainders, as well as perform divisions of decimals numbers. Currently we are simplifying fractions by decomposing numbers into factors and understanding the equivalence between fractions and division. With this technique students comprehend how multiplications are used in the study of fractions.
Yiannis Kokkinomalis

Sixth Grade
Γειά σας και Καλή Χρονιά
(Hello and Happy New Year)
6th Grade Greek Math students have moved from an introduction to pre-algebra and algebra and the study of simple functions (linear and other simple operations) to plotting and visualizing functions on a coordinate plane. We will be using computers to aid our studies through experimenting with plotting tools and also to help us commence our long-term project based on students’ interests that will be due towards the end of the year.
Vassilios Guidoglou

Seventh Grade
7th graders are doing great with Greek Math. At this time we are working with exponent laws, which is very challenging for our students. They are doing well and we are very proud of their progress. Next month, we will work on equalities and inequalities.
Konstantia Dimas

Greek Culture
In Greek culture the students spent the first part of the month learning about Greek holiday traditions and drawing comparisons between what they were learning and what they've been exposed to in the past. More recently they've been introduced to the Greek hero Theseus who defeated the ferocious Minotaur living in the labyrinth on the island of Crete. Through the myth, the students became more familiar with Greek geography and modes of transportation and communication between various areas in Greece. They are currently in the process of describing the characters, setting, and plot of the story, as well as writing an alternate ending and developing their own titles. The younger children are reinforcing the same concepts through word puzzles, art and games.
Giannis Sporidis (K), Niki Tantalou (1st), Tina Iliadis (2nd)

Third Grade cut the vassilopita (kings bread with a coin) in Greek Culture class. The students were very excited to see who among them would be the lucky one this year. Small prizes were given to the lucky winners and next week their names will be announced during morning announcements. At that time they will also receive another present as a sign of their luck! Look for a bulletin board with their names and pictures next week. 3rd Grade completed the Daedalus & Icarus myth by creating a paper model of Icarus with his wings and has started studying Greek vases and their differences.
Panagiotis Tsakalis (3rd)




We are very excited about our 2nd annual Charter School Art Show that will be on January 30th from 6-8 PM. It will be co-hosted by Kuumba Academy and Academia Antonio Alonso Charter Schools at the Community Education Building- 1200 N. French St. Wilmington, DE 19801. Only 20 students are selected from each charter school! Come and join us for an event that will include artwork, performances by charter school students, and a bake sale to support the arts! We will have artwork from both the upper and lower school. We will also have two collaborative pieces made by groups of students (see pictures below). The handprint cave mural was made by 3rd grade students at the lower school and the bird painting project was created by a 5th grade class at the upper school.


Lower School
Forms went home recently in order to make a "clean sweep" of books that may not have been returned to the library. Please make every effort to search for these books if you received a form, and disregard if you are certain the books came back to school. A special thank- you goes out to our parent volunteers-your work helps the library hum along smoothly! Have your child re-read their AR books if time allows, for optimum understanding and big AR testing points! "A book is a present you can open again and again"!
Mrs. Graham

Upper School
In Library Research class, we are working on a mini-research project that will give students experience with online research. Using UDLibSearch as a jumping off point, 5th grade teams will research specific topics to create themed ABC books. 6th and 7th grade teams will research, write and present papers answering essential questions they formulated from articles read in class. Thank you to everyone who has donated books to our library collection! We welcome book donations for all grade levels (fiction and nonfiction) but are in particular need of new release middle grade fiction and picture books.
Sue Huelsenbeck and Naomi Hoffman

Physical Education

Lower School
All grades will continue their practice on the sport of soccer which will facilitate proprioceptive abilities and ball manipulation skills for a wide variety of sports and physical activities. The unit of soccer will be rounded out with a class team tournament where students will be encouraged to act as a team does, including good communication and sportsmanship skills. All groups will be asked to name their teams and will be given bonus points if they create team shirts or signs for the tournament. Kindergarten and First grade have and will continue to practice following all of the rules of soccer while doing their best to control the ball. 2nd-4th grades are working on more advanced ball manipulation skills and there indoor soccer games will parallel an actual soccer game with larger team sizes and specific positions for each individual on the field.

I am excited to finish up our study on nutrition by going to our main source of food preparation in our very own Lower School Kitchen. There, all classes will get a guided tour of the kitchen and will quiz our cafeteria staff about the food they eat on a daily basis and how it benefits them. At the end of this month be sure to ask your children about the school kitchen and what they learned about the food they eat in school.
Genuinely, Zachary Plerhoples

Upper School
The 5th, 6th, and 7th grade are getting ready to finish their bowling unit. During the unit the students learned about the history of bowling, how to roll a ball accurately, and keep track of their score. Next up for the middle school is flag football.
Mr. Laudeman


Lower School
Kindergarten has been learning lots of fun winter songs about snow and penguins. We're still working on keeping a steady beat and using a proper singing voice. 1st graders have been studying quarter notes and quarter rests. We played lots of fun games for practice! 2nd grade is also working on rhythm, especially our new note, the half note! In 3rd grade, we started a unit on the underground railroad and music from slavery. We read "Follow the Drinking Gourd," and learned about how songs could be used as a form of secret communication to help lead slaves to freedom. 4th grade also began a new unit; they are studying folk songs from different countries in Africa. So far we have listened to songs from the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and learned a stick passing game from Ghana.
Ms. Dries

Upper School
After school band rehearsals will be getting under way again at the beginning of February and the students are excited about working on new and challenging music for the Spring Concert!
In music we have also been working on some different projects and are about to get a few new ones under way. In 5th grade, students had previously been discussing how to identify the form of various pieces of music and were analyzing scenes from The Nutcracker to determine where and how these sections changed. Beginning this week we will be picking up where they left off in 4th grade and starting recorders. Recorders are a great way to discuss musical topics, learn to read music, perform as a group, and develop an autonomous voice in the classroom through an instrument.

In 6th grade we are working towards the end of our unit on critiquing music. By looking at music through the eyes of a critic, we have been able to more subjectively analyze songs we either do or don't like using good music terminology and focusing on more than just whether or not we think it has a good beat. Being a critical listener is an important skill both in the music classroom and out, and will encourage students to expand their range and to think more carefully about what they're engaged in listening to.

7th grade has continued to work on guitars and has more recently been discussing some of the theory behind chord diagrams and actually building a chord based on a scale. In the next few weeks we hope to move into a new project that will combine some of what they have been doing in music with techniques and terminology they have learned in art with Mrs. Ciriaco.
Derrick Kelley

Technology and Business Education Class

Internet/Research/Typing At the Lower School both the second and third graders have been using the internet to research their “Owl” (2nd) and “Wonder” (3rd) projects, assigned by their teachers. The third graders will also be typing their final draft in Technology class, beginning next week. The fourth graders are working hard on their typing skills – we now have keyboard “skins” that cover the keyboard – students are really understanding the importance of the Home Row keys now and are surprising even themselves with how well they can type without looking!

Spreadsheets, Presentations, & Career Research Upper School students are diving into several new areas: spreadsheets, presentation software, and career exploration. Fifth grade students will learn how to create a budget with OpenOffice Calc (spreadsheet software). Both sixth and seventh grade students will be creating presentations with OpenOffice Impress (presentation software): 6th – “Me” project; 7th – “Career” project.
Mrs. Stoume


Hello Families,
In January, our ACE students finished their Discovery Project presentations. They were VERY impressive. Thank you for supporting their efforts at home. Students in grades 4-7 will do another Discovery Project soon. They can begin their research at any time but the original due dates for this assignment will be pushed back.

All students are currently working hard to make their Service Learning projects a reality. They are excited about these upcoming community service opportunities. There will be more information about each of these as we get the dates, locations, and other details worked out.

The 3rd Grade ACE group will be hosting a Family Movie Night for their 3rd Grade friends. Due to limited space, THIS INVITATION IS EXTENDED ONLY TO FAMILIES THAT HAVE A THIRD GRADE STUDENT. The movie will take place in the Multipurpose Room at the Lower School on March 20th at 6:00. Students will be selling tickets and running concessions with all proceeds going to the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center. More details will follow.

Math Olympiad Families, the next Math Olympiad contest will be the 2nd week of February. Thank you for your flexibility with the recent schedule changes.
Mrs. Smith


School Nurse

It’s that time of the year: Cold and Flu season is upon us.

According to the CDC, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to get a flu vaccine. They recommend everyone 6 months and older should get an annual flu vaccine. It’s not too late to get vaccinated!

Symptoms of flu can include all or some of the following: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, tiredness, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

It is very important that you or your child plan to stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined after fever-reducing medicines are no longer needed.

If you suspect this is the flu; call your doctor within two days of symptoms starting to see if antiviral medicine may be appropriate treatment.

Here are a few steps you can take in your daily life to help protect you from getting the flu.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
Please remind your children that good hygiene, eating healthy foods, and getting plenty of sleep are important ways to prevent illness. They should wash their hands before and after eating, after blowing their nose or coughing into their hands. Also, remember to cover all coughs and sneezes.
Mrs. Tzinoudis & Mrs. Lowe


Counselors Corner

Lower School
NAEP Assessment - Odyssey has been selected to represent schools across the nation by having some of our 4th grade students participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) on February 24. The results are confidential and released as The Nations Report Card to educators, parents, policy makers, and the public. Letters went home to the parents of the students who have been randomly selected to participate.

Upper School
Each school district and charter school is required to have a Comprehensive Health Education Program addressing the areas of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs prevention. Health Rocks, a program through the U of D, has been providing their Curricula for Healthy Living to our 5th, 6th and 7th graders during January science classes. Facilitators have been sharing hands-on activities on the consequences of tobacco, alcohol and drug use.
Barbara Berrick & Kristin Nannas


Communication Reminders

Incelement Weather Early Dismissal
At the beginning of the year, we sent home a letter explaining that we use Blackboard Connect to notify you of school delays or cancellations due to inclement weather, as well as to remind you about various events, including report card distribution, open house, field trips, and more. In the event of an emergency at school, you can have peace of mind knowing that you will be informed immediately. It is your responsibility to make sure that we have your correct contact information. (Email, text and phone) Please go here for instructions about keeping your contact information up to date. This is separate from the school records. Any time there is as change, you should send any new contact information to school in writing AND update your Blackboard contact information.

Student data cards (completed in September) asked how you would like your child to go home in the event of an unplanned early dismissal. However, as our school has grown, it has become impossible for us to follow over 900 individual changes in dismissal for these situations. Therefore, as stated in our recent early dismissal Blackboard notifications, when unplanned early dismissals occur, students will go home according to their normal dismissal routines. Aftercare students should be picked up at school asap.


Greetings from the OCS PTO!

Below are some coming events and dates to remember:

  • Family Fun Events TBA for the remainder of this school year.

  • Paving the Way fundraising campaign will begin March 1st and close April 1st.

  • The Middle School Dodgeball Tournament, “Game of Throws”, to be held this Spring (Date TBA).

  • Nominations for the PTO Officer positions for the 2015-2016 school year are due in April, with elections held in May.

At the end of last year, $2,700 was spent on playground equipment for the Lower School to use this year. PTO has also purchased 2 basketball hoops for the Upper School playground.
Suggestions for the PTO can be sent in with your child in an envelope marked “PTO Suggestion Box”, or via email.

Minutes for the OCS Board of Directors’ meetings are located on the school’s website: Board of Directors Minutes

Minutes for the PTO Meetings are also located on the school’s website: PTO Minutes

Next Month

We hope to see you at the next PTO meeting!
Thank you,
Odyssey Charter School PTO