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March 2015

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March 2015

Dr. Nick’s Message

Members of the Odyssey Charter School Community,

I am extremely happy and excited to inform all of you that on Thursday, February 18th, Odyssey Charter School cleared the final hurdles in the purchase of the Barley Mill Plaza property. The long sought goal of a unified K-12 campus for our school was made possible through the issuance of almost $35 million in bonds working through the Delaware Department of Economic Development and institutional investment organizations.

The details of the purchase and a good overview of the process was presented in an article on Saturday, February 21st, in the News Journal papers. View Article

As you all know well, this is an extremely exciting time for everyone associated with the school. We are thrilled to learn that the settlement process has been completed.

On behalf of the school’s administration, staff, students and everyone associated with Odyssey Charter School, I want to thank all of our Board members for their tireless work the past nine years to achieve this goal for the school. Many of our Board members have served since the founding of the school. This is a tremendous accomplishment on their part and the original visionaries who help created Odyssey.

We are now the proud owners of approximately 36 conveniently located acres and 8 buildings on the Barley Mill site that will become the new campus. In addition, this has also been a tribute to our families, students and staff who remained dedicated and committed to the school’s original vision through some very challenging times and supported the Board in getting to the finish line with this purchase. While many people played important roles in this process, the Facilities Committee of the Board, chaired by Mr. Dimitri Dandolos deserve a special recognition for their tireless efforts, along with all of the Board members, in successfully securing the property.

Additionally, Odyssey parents architect Mr. Tim Skibicki, and engineer Mr. Colm DeAscanis were instrumental in all the design work required for the regulatory processes. You have also read about our attorney, Mr. Larry Tarabicos and other attorneys with his firm who also continuously worked to assist with this process. There are many others, both within and outside of our community that helped bring this sale to a successful conclusion. I will be explaining more about all of them and the roles they played as we proceed from here. Please know they all worked incredibly hard to help make this process become a reality.

Again, you will be hearing more from us in the near future about our plans for the site and how it will impact you and your children in the coming years. This is truly cause for celebration within the Odyssey community.

Thank you all once again for your continuous support and encouragement with this project. We are all looking forward to an exciting future working together to build our new home.

Kindest regards,

 

Dr. Nick T. Manolakos
Headmaster
Odyssey Charter School

 

Lower School News

Kindergarten
March has been an exciting place in Kindergarten! We ushered in the month with a much anticipated fieldtrip to the Hagley Museum. Along with informative guides, Kindergarten students enjoyed Social Studies with hands-on learning and made wonderful connections with items and information from long ago. They sat at desks inside the schoolhouse, they visited The Gibbons House, and they enjoyed a lengthy walk along the Brandywine. They also dressed in authentic clothing, used a quill and ink for writing, washed and ironed laundry, and even carried water from a well. They found out first-hand how laborious life used to be for children!
St. Patrick’s Day sure kept the momentum going for our kinders! Our classrooms celebrated the day with Irish folk music, stories from the Emerald Isle, mischievous leprechauns leaving tiny footprints, clues to their hiding spots, and a bit o’ gold for all of their new friends.
In Language Arts, Eric Carle and his many wonderful books have filled the hearts and minds of our students. His work inspired creative art projects, writing prompts, and a myriad of cross-curricular academic opportunities. In Math, measurement, time, and decomposing numbers were our focus. Force and Motion continued to pique our interest and curiosity in Science. Using diagrams, the students created swing sets, ramps, and spinning tops. Experimenting, hypothesizing, measuring, and recording quickly became second nature to our future scientists! The students truly enjoyed their fun filled days in March!
The Kindergarten Team

First Grade
March sure came in like a lion! Is it going to get warm anytime soon? ? We have all been working so hard in 1st grade and cannot believe this is the last trimester. March started off with our legendary Dr. Seuss week and everyone loved eating Green Eggs and Ham, and making Oobleck. Dr. Seuss has an amazing imagination, and we love reading his books! In Math we have finished up with measurement and are learning about fractions with ease. Fractions seem hard, but we are big first graders now and, after the first lesson, they are easy to understand. We have been writing narratives every week and practicing in our hand writing in our Hand Writing Without Tears book. Our writing is completely different since the first day of school. We are ending the month in Reading with our favorite week in the Benchmark Literacy curriculum, the Readers Theater. We will be reading an adaptation of Hickory Dickory Dock. Thanks for reading.
First Grade Team

Second Grade
Second grade did a lot of exciting things so far in March. We are finally wrapping up our Owl unit. The students all did a great job with their research and writing projects. They are officially “owl experts”! In science we also learned about bridges. Each class had the opportunity to collaborate with their peers and design and build a bridge from classroom resources. In Social Studies we learned about community helpers. To follow up this unit, second grade was lucky enough to have two State Policemen come in and do a presentation. In addition they were able to view the inside of the police car and see “Ash” a member of the K-9 unit. This month second grade also had the opportunity to go to the Delaware Symphony to see Peter and the Wolf. We are continuing to work hard in Language arts and make predictions and inferences with classroom text as well as in real life scenarios. Finally, in Math the students have been working very hard with addition and subtraction up to 1,000.

Third Grade
Third graders have patiently waited for spring to arrive so that we can enjoy the great outdoors! After all, “a sound mind IN a sound body” is the translation of a famous quotation by the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Thales (Miletus, 624 – 546 BC). March was a very busy month for third grade. In reading, we are well into our seventh unit, concentrating on comparing/contrasting and determining text importance. We are reading about “Tall Tales” traditional literature which are usually very funny and exaggerated! The main character is often a hero/heroine and is typically based on a real person. This hero/heroine becomes larger than life, bigger, stronger and more courageous than an ordinary person. We are also learning how to write persuasive essays...watch out, parents! In math, we are finishing up a lengthy unit on area, perimeter and volume. Our next unit will be on quadrilaterals. Continue practicing multiplication facts every night with your child. In science, after finishing earth materials and 3 types of rocks, we will begin the study of water – the only element on Earth which has three states of matter! Also, March 25th 1821 is known as Greek Independence Day! “Xronia Polla”

Fourth Grade
Fourth Graders have been working hard! We have finished our Fractions unit and are moving into Geometry. We will be studying angles, polygons, and all of their attributes! In Language Arts, we just began our Making Judgments unit. We will be studying Fables and determining their features before Spring Break. We had a blast finishing up our Magnetism and Electricity science kits. We created different circuits and made our motors and light bulbs run! In Social Studies, we are continuing with our study of the American Revolution in preparation for our field trip to historic Philadelphia in May. Look out for a permission slip coming home soon!

 

Middle School

Social Studies

Fifth Grade
In 5th grade Social Studies, we are finishing the Dueling Documents Unit. We are looking forward to our finished "flip books." The next unit will deal with economics, which will also tie in with Junior Achievement. Our field trip to Junior Achievement's Biz Town has been CHANGED. It is now MAY 22nd. Junior Achievement is asking for 18-20 parent volunteers. I will give a handout when we get closer to the date. If you are interested in being a chaperone, please email Mr. Morley. I have a few parents so far, but we NEED more parent support!!! Thank you for your support in advance.
Mr. Morley

Sixth Grade
Currently the sixth grade students are exploring economics! The students have participated in simulations that deepen their understanding of the three main economic systems: market, command and traditional. The students have continued to develop hypotheses on how these systems solve the main economic problem of scarcity, and have completed cost/benefit analysis on the different methods of distribution. Before break we will complete our unit with a performance task that asks the students to chart how the production and distribution of goods has changed over time.
Ms. Beeson

Seventh Grade
Seventh Grade just finished up their Historical Research Project in Social Studies. We had to choose a person and write a project, design an exhibit, or create a website that displays how that person showed leadership and established a legacy. The students learned how to judge for credible sources, the skill of writing an annotated bibliography, and the steps of conducting a research project. It was a long and sometimes stressful experience, but in the end the project turned out great! All of 7th grade should be proud of all their hard work!
Mr. Altmeier

Math

Fifth Grade
March has come and gone quickly in 5th grade Math! Students were able to continue their learning of adding and subtracting fractions. After the Smarter Balanced Interim assessment, students will be wrapping up Module 3. Students will then be on the fast track to the end of the year, learning about multiplying fractions, volume and coordinate graphs. These students have accomplished a lot in the first three marking periods!
Mrs. Reynolds

Sixth Grade
Sixth graders have been very busy! In math class, we have been working on decimals. We have observed that decimals are everywhere in the real world. Whether we go to the gas station, figure out averages in sports, go shopping at the store, or do anything with money, we need to know how to compute with decimals. We are also exploring percents by calculating tips, discounts, and taxes. On March 14, 2015, we celebrated a very special Pi Day. Our sixth graders did research about pi and learned a lot about its importance to math. There were amazing projects created! It’s been an exciting month, and we are looking forward to finishing up the year on a high note!
Ms. Rehrig

Seventh Grade
In 7th grade Math, we are just finishing up our first try with the new Smarter Balanced testing. Students were taking an interim assessment to get their feet wet for the summative SBAC in the Spring. This new test encourages many different skills that previous tests did not require. Students were pleased to see that the topics on the test were covered in depth in class. We look forward to seeing the results of this new testing! After we wrap up SBAC interim testing, we will be finishing up our Moving Straight Ahead unit about linear relationships. Once we finishing Moving Straight Ahead, we will begin our unit called, “What Do You Expect?” This unit will cover all things from probability and expected values to ensure students can make well thought out decisions. We are looking forward to this unit and hoping that the probability of warmer weather is likely!
Ms. Vinton

Science

Fifth Grade
We will now start Earth In Space Studies!
It is essential for all 5th grade students to know:
The apparent path of the Sun, as seen from Earth, is from east to west. Over the course of a day, half of the Earth is always illuminated by the Sun causing day, and the half not illuminated by the Sun experiences nighttime.
The cycle from day to night is caused by the Earth’s rotation. Earth undergoes one complete rotation about every 24 hours.
The Moon orbits the Earth. The appearance of the Moon changes as it moves through its orbit. These changes are called phases.
It is important for 5th grade students to know that the Sun is much larger than the Moon. Although the Moon is closer to Earth than the Sun, the two appear to be the same size when viewed from Earth. This is because objects appear smaller as the distance from the viewer increases.
Earth is one of the planets in our Solar System that orbits the Sun. The Sun we see during the day is our nearest star. Stars we see at night lie outside our Solar System.
Earth’s Dynamic Systems: It is important for 5th graders to know that water exists in three states (solid, liquid, and gas( that are dependent upon the surrounding temperature.
Rocks and minerals are broken down over time to clay and sand sized particles. These particles combine with plant remains to form soil.
The ability of water to pass through soil depends on the relative amounts of clay and sand in the soil.
Earth is a dynamic system resulting from interactions among the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere.
It is essential for 5th graders to know that water reshapes Earth’s land surface by eroding rock and soil in some areas and depositing them in other areas.
The flow of water can be affected by human activities, ground cover and the slope of the land affected.
Water in rivers and streams transports materials. As a general rule, when a stream enters a large body of water, less massive materials in suspension will travel further than more mass materials before settling.
The surface of Earth changes constantly. Some of these changes happen slowly and are difficult to detect on a deaily basis. Other changes happen quickly and result from events (ie major storms and volcanoes).
You might notice that language arts homework will have more science concepts. All students will read a passage and answer questions. The questions will be a combination of science concepts and comprehension questions. Please check your child’s homework packet to make sure that they find evidence in the text to support their answer. If they put the question number next to what they say is the underlined answer, you as the parent can easily check to see if it is correct.
All written responses should be restated and in complete sentence form, including capital letters, commas, and proper grammar. This is to prepare them for the upcoming Science DCAS.
Thank you for your devotion and support in keeping OCS a top rated school! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Mrs. Horgan

Sixth Grade
This month in science, students were learning about electrical energy. In the first investigation, students reviewed circuit activities performed in 4th grade. Students learned that only complete circuits work and concluded through observations that the performance of light bulbs depends on how they are added to a circuit. In the second investigation, students were introduced to electric charge, electric forces and electrical energy. Students learn how to use a model (schematic) to understand the behavior of different electric circuits. In the third activity, the students applied their understanding of the flow of electric charges and electrical energy to analyze a variety of circuits. Students were asked to predict the performance of light bulbs and motors in a variety of circuits. Students applied the model of electric circuits to make these predictions and then built the circuits and observed the performance of the bulbs and motors.
Ms. Manolakos

Seventh Grade
Students in seventh grade science were very busy this month wrapping up the unit on genetics. Each student had to create their very own family pedigree on a specific trait, which was the first part of their final unit project. The second part of the project, was to write a research paper on a genetic trait or disorder that was assigned to them. Students worked in pairs or groups of three, to complete their research paper. This paper helped each student critique their writing skills through peer editing, as well as preparing them for the Smarter Balance testing. The next unit will focus on "Properties of Matter". This unit will have exciting experiments and collaborative assignments.
Ms. Adamek

English Language Arts

Fifth Grade
Beware of your opinionated 5th grader during the month of March. This month, the students spent a lot of time learning to write a strong opinion piece where they learned to articulate a clear position and support their opinion with reasons and evidence from the text. They read and evaluated opinion texts and analyzed related writing prompts. Here are some questions you could ask your child to engage them in conversation:

  • What is your opinion about ____. Why do you feel that way? What reasons are you giving to support your opinion?
  • What part of opinion writing do you enjoy the most?
  • What part do you find most difficult?
  • Are there other texts that you’d like to write an opinion piece about?
Thanks for all your support as they juggled through this month with the changing schedules and the interim assessments!
Mrs. Yarram and Ms. Potochney

Sixth Grade
During the month of March, the 6th graders have been studying poetry. We have discussed the meanings of various poetry terms (such as rhythm, meter, rhyme scheme, etc.) and the use of figurative language (simile, onomatopoeia, metaphor, etc.) within poetry. We have spent a lot of time analyzing poems for these techniques and digging deep into poems for their meanings. After writing their own poetry during the next few weeks, the 6th graders will be participating in a “Coffee House” when we return from Spring Break. During that time, they will be sharing some of their own poetic creations. We will tell you all about our Coffee House in next month’s newsletter!
Ms. Dawson and Mrs. Manley

Seventh Grade
“I ask them to take a poem/and hold it up to the light/like a color slide…”
Billy Collins Introduction to Poetry

Hello! In 7th grade we began our unit on Poetry. Our unit focuses on appreciating poetry and its writers. Students are working toward understanding the feelings, motivation, and main ideas of the selected poetry. Music and songs have helped students see a connection between their world and the world of poetry. The team has been looking for figurative language and imagery to practice the poetic form. At the conclusion of the unit, we will have worked our way through modern, realistic, romantic and historical poetry, all with the intention of developing a thorough appreciation of the art.
Ms. Todd and Ms. Stockl

 

Greek Classes

Kindergarten
This month we have been preparing for the Greek Independence Day celebration! We learned about Ancient Greece and the similarities and differences between the toys that Ancient Greek children had and the toys we have today! We sorted the toys, we graphed and drew our favorite toys, and we even made and painted an ancient toy out of clay. Next we dug like archaeologists in the sand and excavated ancient toys! We hoped that you enjoyed admiring the children's artifacts that we presented at the Greek Cultural Museum as much as we enjoyed creating them.
The Greek Kindergarten Team

First Grade
Due to its geopolitical position, Greece has always attracted many conquerors. In medieval times, Greece was conquered by the Venetians and Florentines. Hence especially in southern Greece and the Greek islands, one can find many medieval castles. These castles were used as forts during the Greek War of Independence in 1821.

The First Grade students have already been studying geometry in Greek Math and therefore, in order to combine our current study with Greek Independence, we decided to create geometrical castles.

To complete the project, the children first learned about and viewed pictures of Greek castles. Then, they cut a variety of geometric forms in different colors and then combined them to synthesize a castle in the futuristic, surrealistic and expressionistic style of the famous painter Paul Klee.
Niki Tantalou, Evi Sourlou

Second Grade
On behalf of the second grade team, we would like to thank everyone who took the time to attend our museum night and witness firsthand the incredible work that the students have been doing over the past month. For the cultural unit we decided to teach them about the most famous islands in Greece: The Cycladic Islands. Millions of tourists visit the Cycladic Islands each year and we wanted our students to know what to expect if they ever decided to visit. We discussed the landscape, the weather, the architecture, and the arts. Upon completion of our unit we began working on our culminating project which we presented during Museum Night.
Some of the students built windmills to represent the island of Mykonos. The windmills are the most prominent feature of the island and can be seen from anywhere in the main city as they are all located atop a hill in the center of town.
Other students re-created Cycladic Art for which the area is famous. This ancient artwork is the earliest and only known Greek art from the 3rd Century that depicts mostly women. With their arms folded across their abdomens and their legs bent at the knees, one assumes that these figures are to be understood as lying on their backs.
Some of the other second graders built small blue and white houses out of clay to represent the volcanic island of Santorini. When the houses were first built they painted them white to keep the houses cool during the hot summer months. Today they continue to paint them blue and white to represent the colors of the Greek flag. Below you will find some pictures of the work that students have created.
The Second Grade Team
Tina Iliadis, Sophia Vazou & William Dounavis

Third Grade
Dear parents/guardians, March was a very busy month for our third graders. We learned many things both in Language and Math. More specifically, in Language we took advantage of the celebration of Greek Independence day and connected it with our new Unit “Our past”. In this unit we are learning about historic events, which occurred in the past, therefore we are learning how to say and write, already known verbs in past tense. During this month, we showed our students videos about Greek Independence day, the parade and explained to them the meaning of the traditional Greek costumes etc. We also, made crafts such as the Greek traditional shoe “tsarouhi”, that were displayed for the Greek museum event and we also, made traditional hats “fesi”, which were sent home as an invitation of the Greek museum event.

Students enjoyed all festivities by taking a tour around the Greek museum. They were explained about all the projects that were displayed from each grade.

In Math we are learning fractions in Greek. Based on our achieved knowledge of fractions we are now learning the terminologies in Greek and we are using our new knowledge to solve activities and problems.
Fragitsa Cambouri, Ourania Lalioti, Panagiotis Tsakalis

Fourth Grade
In fourth grade we finished our unit with decimals. The children learned how to change a fraction into a decimal and vice versa. They learned to compare decimal numbers and place them on the number line. We also did a number of word problems using world facts and events.

The children were also very much involved in our “city of Thessaloniki” theme for the Greek Independence Day celebration. We made the white tower of Thessaloniki, watched a video and power point, made the “komboloi”, learned about the money used those years and finally made our very own “koulouria” from Thessaloniki. Last but not least the children were given a recipe book with all traditional foods with cooking instructions, ingredients and time for preparation.
Anna Stoupaki, Tsourka Thaleia, Alexandra Pantelidis

Fifth Grade
We, the 5th Grade decided to depict the Greek revolutionaries who going down the path that once was led by Leonidas, Achilles and Alexander the Great, fought like heroes to defend Greece and to keep the country free in an ever ending struggle for independence.

Thanks for your beautiful Project Ms Eva Jannelli.
Yiannis Kokkinomalis

Sixth Grade
The students of the sixth grade commemorated Greek independence this year with a project that focused on the birth and early days of the revolution, and in particular, the “Thourios” poem, which played such a profound role in awakening the Greek spirit and stirring the revolution. This was installed at OCS as part of the school-wide celebration with the theme “Odyssey’s Greek Cultural Museum.”

Our project utilized orange and red colors, to represent that flame. We also chose to use the mourning colors of grey and black color to symbolize the 400 years of enslavement suffered by the Greek people under Ottoman rule. Each 6th grade student chose one word from this inspirational poem and offered their interpretation and artistic rendition of its meaning. We then visually assembled all of these words, creating a contemporary "graffiti" collage.

The students did a terrific job, and their works were greeted with great enthusiasm. Many thanks go to our own Eva Jannelli for her invaluable contribution to the formation and implementation of this project.
Kyriakoula Micha & Vassillios Guidoglou

Seventh Grade
The 7th grade Greek Language Class diligently worked on distinguishing sounds that differ from those of their native language, by applying literary strategies to their reading and comprehension. Alongside the various reading texts, we studies the history of “Greek Independence Day”. The students enjoyed making our classroom board. They were very creative on contemplating different adjectives to describe Greece. It was a fantastic team effort that made their teachers very proud!
Alexandra Pantelidis

Greek Culture
Over the last few weeks, students have been busy learning about Greece’s struggle for independence and completing projects for the 25th of March Celebration at our school. The event, Greek Cultural Museum Night, took place on Tuesday March 24th. The Kindergarten students worked on ancient toys, the First graders on ancient castles and revolutionary heroes, the Second graders on projects related to the Cycladic Islands, and the Third graders on the competition between Ancient Athens and Sparta as a representation of the eternal fight between Brains vs Brawn! Before each grade began to work on their individual projects, we discussed significant facts and events about the Greek Struggle for Independence. Then we compared them to the American war of Independence to find similarities and differences.
Giannis Sporidis (Kindergarten), Dimitris Vafeiadis (1st Grade), Tina Iliadis (2nd Grade), Panagiotis Tsakalis (3rd Grade)

 

Specials

Art

Lower School
Kindergarten and fourth grades are working on Greek art for Greek Independence Day. 4th grade is studying Greek columns and architecture while KG is making Greek Pots!
First grade continues their study of impressionism with making Monet inspired water lilies. Second grade is continuing their Pop Art study by starting a unit on Andy Warhol. Third grade continues their study of Ancient Egypt by making cartouches in heiroglyphics.
Mrs. Roosma

Upper School
5th grade students are finishing up their Georgia O’Keeffe flowers in pastel. 6th grade students will be finished with their weaving loom projects very soon as well. 7th graders are glazing their clay pieces and will get one more firing in the kiln. Students will bring home all completed projects at the end of this quarter. All 5-7 grade students are taking a short break on projects and working on shading from light to dark, shading 3-D forms, and shading actual objects. Next quarters projects are: 5th grade-clay creatures, 6th grade-African masks, and 7th grade-weaving on a paper plate.
Mrs. Ciriaco

Library

Lower School
In our lower school library, our student suggestion box yielded fantastic ideas for books we would love to have in our library! Students are reaching their AR goals and increasing the level of books that are available to them – very exciting! First grade is beginning the AR (Accelerated Reading) program and they are now checking out books that are just right for them. Our fourth graders are becoming “junior librarians” as they help me re-shelve books. This reinforces alphabetization skills and numerical skills. ALL students are being responsible library patrons, as they continue to remember to bring their books back to the library each week!
Mrs. Graham

Upper School
In Library Research class, we are beginning our Visual Literacy unit this month.
5th grade will continue to research content and create illustrations for their ABC picture books group project. We are looking forward to seeing the final results!
6th and 7th grade will be exploring various aspects of visual literacy including using photographs as primary sources, interpreting maps and diagrams, looking at the concept of truth in advertising, and analyzing the influence of photoshopping in media.
We continue to build our library and want to thank all the families who donated books at the dodgeball tournament. This is truly a community built library collection!
Sue Huelsenbeck and Naomi Hoffman

Physical Education

Lower School
Lower school gym classes will be springing (ba-dum-bum) into the completion of our team scoop ball (2nd, 3rd and 4th grades), and team handball (K and 1st grades) tournaments, The next physical education lesson for all grades will be a unit on miniature golf. Our health unit on communication skills has been pushed into April. During these sessions, third and fourth grade students will learn about listening and empathizing, while all grades will practice “I think/feel” statements, along with proper body language and speech, to maximize good communication. The completion of scoop/handball will mark the end of all students’ formal units of study on team sports in gym class. Practicing and playing the game of miniature golf will help reinforce the idea that physical activities do not have to be physically taxing work. They will highlight the importance of technique and some utilization of math skills on recently studied concepts from regular math classes. Second to fourth grade students will also be able to address Core Competency Physical Education Standard 6 with each student creating their own individual golf hole in class.
Genuinely, Zachary Plerhoples

Upper School
The upper school will be starting off in the spring playing flag football. Over the course of the unit the students will learn various skills such as throwing and catching a football, route running, and flag pulling. At the end of the unit the students will have a chance to show off their skills in a tournament against their classmates.
Mr. Laudeman

Music

Lower School
March is Music in Our Schools Month and April is Jazz Appreciation Month. In preparation, all grades have been studying a famous jazz musician. Kindergarten is learning about Louis Armstrong. We listened to "What a Wonderful World," and talked about how Louis Armstrong made jazz accessible to everyone. 1st grade is loving the be bop style of Charlie Parker. We've been working on our own improvisations. 2nd graders are getting ready study Ella Fitzgerald. Additionally, 2nd grade had an awesome field trip on March 18th to the Delaware Symphony Orchestra where they saw a performance of Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf." 3rd grade has been studying common jazz instruments, as well as listening to the music of Miles Davis. In 4th grade, we learned about the blues and how they influenced jazz music and even rock and roll. 4th graders even wrote their own blues songs about topics that get them down. Favorite topics were homework, little brothers/sisters, and chores! All classes are still working with our wonderful student teacher, Ms. Boyle, who will be with us until spring break.
Ms. Dries

Upper School
Our bands have been working hard knowing that we're a short two months away from our spring concert. The 5th grade and 6/7th grade bands are both preparing two pieces each to play at our spring concert, displaying everything from some band theatrics to Greek mythology. 4th grade has been hard at work learning the ins and outs of reading music and will be showcasing their new reading skills through a few smaller pieces of music.

We are fortunate enough to be able to host our concert again at Dickinson High School on May 27th at 7 p.m. We hope to see plenty of Odyssey families and friends out supporting our fantastic musicians!
Derrick Kelley

Technology and Business Education Class

Assessing Skills & Online Safety Lower School students in all grades have taken assessments: 2nd – Internet Research Basics; 3rd - Word Processing Basics; and 4th -Internet Basics. We have begun to learn about online safety in all grades as well, and will continue practicing our keyboarding skills.

Spreadsheets, Presentations, & Career Research: Upper School students have continued to learn about spreadsheet and presentation software. 5th grade students have begun to enter formulas that automatically calculate their total weekly, monthly, and yearly “incomes” – we then can see what happens to their yearly income when they get a “raise” in their weekly allowance! 6th grade students are being assessed on their knowledge of the presentation software. Finally, 7th grade students have researched the career in which they are most interested. Once we get back into the labs (after testing), all students will continue to work on their saved projects.
Mrs. Stoume
www.TechEdTeacher.com

ACE

ACE has been very busy this month!

Our third graders have been making commercials, public service announcements, and movie trailers for their Dinner and a Movie fundraiser. Students packed and sold over 100 dinners. They also earned over $400 for a local cancer hospital! Thanks to all who participated.

Grades 4-7 have practiced thinking on their feet with Odyssey of the Mind inspired hands-on/verbal spontaneous problems. They have continued to read and discuss literature from our Great Books series. Everyone is preparing for upcoming Service Learning projects.

Congratulations to Evi Kontomaris. She was the winner of our Scripp’s Spelling Bee and went on to represent Odyssey at the Delaware State Spelling Bee on March 7th!

Several of our 5th, 6th and 7th graders competed in the AJTJSF Spelling Bee last month and came home with 1st , 2nd, and 3rd place! Fifth Grader, Joshua Gonzales, earned first place. Benjamin Carroll took second place and Suveer Ganta was awarded third. Congratulations to all of our competitors. They represented us well with great manners and good sportsmanship. Impressively, eight of the last ten students standing were from our school! Odyssey was awarded a first place trophy. It is on display at the Upper School.

Math Olympiad competition teams will be participating in regional contests over the next few weeks. Wish them luck. I know they’re going to make us proud.
Mrs. Smith

 

Clubs

Art Club

During these past few weeks, the Art Club students have been working on a project titled "Peace and Freedom go hand in hand". The students picked a country, they researched the traditional costumes of this country, and then they sketched and created their models. At the end we assembled them all around the globe.

The Art Club participated with this project in the celebration of the 25th of March (Greek Independence Day), at the lower school.
Eva M. Jannelli

 

School Nurse

Spring Health Tips for Smart Parents
Spring has FINALLY arrived and as the sun warms each day, you are spending more time outdoors with your children. It's a wonderful idea to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air and outdoor playtime, but it's also important to keep spring safety topics in mind so your family is protected.

*Sun safety The warm sun can feel wonderful after being cooped up during cooler months. But if your kids don't take the proper precautions, they may get a nasty burn that could put them at risk for skin cancer.

Most kids rack up between 50 and 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, according to kidshealth.org, so it's important that parents teach their children sun safety skills.

Some basic safety tips to follow include always making your kids wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Apply it 15 to 30 minutes before going outside and reapply often. Cover up with hats and light shirts to provide a barrier between the sun and their skin, especially during peak sun times.

*Keep an eye out while driving Because it's nice outside, your children - and all the neighborhood children - will probably be outside and running everywhere. Take extra precautions while driving through your neighborhood and other neighborhoods, and keep an eye out for balls rolling toward the road, or pets that aren't properly leashed that could dash in front of your car. Often these objects will have a young child following closely behind.

It's also important to look behind you, especially when backing up out of a garage or while parked on a street between other vehicles. Two children may be playing tag and running in circles around the house - not paying attention to what you are doing with your car. Accessorizing your car with back up cameras can provide you with better vision of the potential for kids playing behind your vehicle.

*Spring allergies One of the most common spring health issues is allergies. Children can have allergies just as severely as an adult and can develop them at any time. Up to 40 percent of children in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies, according to Parents.com.

Look out for common symptoms which include repetitive sneezing, heavy breathing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, ears and throat. Fever is not associated with allergies, so if your child is running a high temperature, she is likely sick versus experiencing a seasonal allergy.

*Insect bites People aren't the only ones who love the outdoors when the weather warms; insects flourish as a natural part of the ecosystem. Unfortunately some insects can bite and sting, causing spring safety problems for children.

Bites that parents should be more concerned about include spider bites, tick bites and bee stings. If your child is stung by an insect of concern, keep a close eye on his health. If he experiences difficulty breathing, swelling, faintness or vomiting, get medical help right away.
Mrs. Tzinoudis & Mrs. Lowe

 

Counselors Corner

March guidance lessons in Kindergarten and 1st grades are learning about internet safety. 2nd and 3rd grade lessons will begin focusing on bully prevention.

4th, 5th and 6th grades have been concentrating on skills for studying and test-taking. The 7th graders are continuing with their Project Respect Program focusing this month on “Texting Etiquette”.
Barbara Berrick & Kristin Nannas

 

Code of Conduct Reminders

Academic Dishonesty

1. Plagiarism - (Grades 4 and above) Claiming or using someone else's work without correctly acknowledging the source of that information.

2. Cheating

  1. Using or copying another student's test answers or class/homework assignments or providing, without coercion, another student test answers or class/homework assignments.
  2. Using unauthorized electronic device to calculate or create test answers or complete class/homework assignments.
  3. Using unauthorized material to answer test questions or complete class/homework assignments.
A student in violation of this policy will be required to complete an additional, alternate or redo of the assignment. In addition, the student may receive a zero for that exam, test, or assignment and a demerit. The teacher will inform the parent or guardian of such misconduct. Subsequent incidents of academic dishonesty in any class will result in a referral to an administrator where more serious disciplinary action may be taken.

 

Greetings from the OCS PTO!

With only a few short months left in this school year, there are still many important dates and events coming up. Want to get involved? Volunteers will be needed for the Scholastic Book Fair and Staff Appreciation week. Keep an eye out for Sign Up Genius links to be sent out – thank you!!

In addition to the upcoming special events, volunteers are needed to fill all PTO Officer positions for the 2015 -2016 school year. Nominations to fill the officer positions begin April 1st, with voting held at the May 6th PTO Meeting. Click here for More Information.

The PTO’s Paving the Way fundraising campaign begins this month! Information is being mailed out to our families for this campaign with instructions on how to make your donation and what the PTO is targeting to purchase for the school this year.

Come join other OCS families at the Greek Heritage Night at the Philadelphia 76ers’ game on April 13th – no transportation will be provided, but we’d love to see you there!

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

Coming Up