We are so pleased with not only the level of education that our daughter is receiving, but also the level of caring. Our daughter is in kindergarten and we have seen such positive changes in her in only four weeks. Her teachers are accessible and truly love to teach and love the children. The level of parental involvement is impressive. We are thrilled with the opportunities available to all the children at Odyssey and look forward to her future (and her little brother’s) there as well.
-Walli Ann Wisniewski and Karsten Shein, September 2012
I was interviewing for a position in Asheville when I drove past the Odyssey School. When I returned home, I got online and was pleased to learn of an upcoming open house. My daughter, her father and I came and toured the facility. We were impressed with the friendliness of the staff, and there was one spot open in the Pre-K classroom.
My daughter started in April, and I cannot say enough wonderful things about the school. The May Day Celebration was really magical. I love the size of the school and the way that the classes have the opportunity to interact with one another. The convenient location of the school and the flexibility of the before and after-school hours is another added bonus, especially for working parents.
Odyssey has such a sense of community, and they really open their doors and encourage family participation within the school. We are looking forward to the Fall Festival and the upcoming Chili Cook-Off and Rummage Sale. Something is always going on at Odyssey! My daughter is really flourishing. The opportunity to learn hands-on in the classrooms, music studio, and gardens are all reasons that we chose Odyssey for our daughter.
We are extremely pleased, and we feel our daughter is in a safe and loving environment that nurtures learning and education. Odyssey is my daughter’s home away from home, and we feel very blessed and thankful to be a part of a school with so much culture and diversity. If you are looking for peace of mind then look no further. Odyssey is an excellent choice.
-Kelly Kerr, August 2012
Our son has flourished at Odyssey Community School because of its incredible staff, environment, resources, and commitment to educating the whole child. The teachers are focused on each student as an individual, and they constantly encourage creativity and dynamic interaction in their lessons, curricula, and daily activities. They also provide useful, concrete, hands-on learning, even in the pre-school classroom. Our four-year-old son knows more about gardening, cooking, the ocean, and the solar system than we do. In the gardening unit, for example students planted seeds in a greenhouse and watered them daily, and then they transplanted them outdoors to the raised beds. They watched sprouts grow and eventually harvested the produce for a garden sale and their own snacks and lunches. They also received cooking classes and took a field trip to a local organic farm, where they milked a goat, dug potatoes, tasted honey straight from the hive, and picked fresh berries. Teachers read stories about gardening and led discussions about food, introducing our stubborn son to a variety of new fruits and vegetables.
Odyssey fosters a true sense of community with frequent picnics, family gatherings, festivals, and performances. It’s large enough for students to learn from each other and interact with a diverse group of ages and backgrounds, but it’s still small enough for students to receive individual attention and to know and recognize most everyone in the halls and on the playgrounds. The facilities are amazing: they have a giant auditorium for sports and performances, massive playgrounds and an incredibly beautiful campus that includes a creek, forest, three play areas, a swimming pool, tennis court, a brick-oven pizza oven, and two gardens, and classrooms packed with a wide array of learning materials. The pre-school classroom has fish tanks, musical instruments, gardening tools, and a massive arts and crafts area; our son brings home handcrafted necklaces and paintings almost every day.
Best of all are the teachers themselves. They genuinely enjoy their work and deeply care for their students. They work well beyond the regular school hours to create innovative lessons and provide unique learning opportunities for their students. The three teachers in the preschool classroom often attend their students’ birthday parties on weekends and their other extracurricular activities. They plan pool parties and family gatherings so that parents feel included in their students’ educational experience. They provide daily updates of classroom activities and highlights. We could not be more thrilled with the quality and dedication of the staff at Odyssey.
The teachers, campus, and community of the Odyssey School are ideal for creating thoughtful, caring, compassionate, engaged, and energized students who love to learn. We have been deeply touched by the commitment of the school to the needs and interests of each child. We could not imagine a better learning environment for our child.
-Will Harlan, October 2012
We have just entered our second year at Odyssey and couldn’t be happier with the education our children are receiving, both on an academic level and in regards to social development. The teachers are so in tune with the children on an individual level and exhibit a sincere passion for teaching.
-Missy Miller, August 2012
We came to Asheville for the first time as a family in May of 2012. Our goal was to find a home to rent that fit our needs and find a school for our 5 year old daughter that kept with our philosophy regarding education but also somewhere we knew she would love. Before our visit I researched schools in Asheville online and through family and friends that lived in the area. The Odyssey Community School was one that kept popping up. Reading their vision/mission for the students on the website and seeing all the pictures of these creative kids gave me the feeling we were on the right track. I took that as a sign and booked an appointment to tour the school and maybe peak in on the Kindergarten-First grade classroom.
As we drove up we had no idea the school would be located in such a magical setting. Our daughter immediately noticed the pool, the garden and the HUGE playground. My husband and I noticed the beautiful stone building tucked into mature trees in a picturesque historic neighborhood. Let’s just say the school has curb appeal. We were greeted warmly and openly by everyone we met. We came during school hours and were taken into the K-1 classroom where we met the teachers and students. We were shown the state of the art music room that seemed to have every instrument imaginable, the media room, the green house and aquaponics set up, and the outdoor pizza oven the high school students built as a project! It all just seemed too good to be true! A school that is focused on the whole child and not just educating on subjects like math, science, language arts but teaching her how to know herself, giving her the tools to explore who she is and what she loves. This school embodied our dream for our daughter’s education!
Sign us up! In August 2012 we moved to Asheville and started school at Odyssey all in a two-week period. It was a whirlwind. But our daughter has enjoyed every second of her time at school. She doesn’t want to leave in the afternoon. She is full of life, joy, creativity, and curiosity. All these traits are being nurtured and grown at the school. There is a sense of wonder and mystery and magic that always fills the air there. We are so proud to have our daughter attending the Odyssey Community School!
-Mary Margaret Musser, October 2012
There was a recent op-ed piece in the NY Times by Thomas Friedman about “untouchables”- the people in the work force now whose skills and creative thinking are keeping them ahead of the lay offs and productive in the competitive world of ideas, technology, etc. I felt that article addressed one of the many reasons we send our children to Odyssey- we want them to be critical and creative thinkers and not be shoved volumes of information and then tested on it. Another reason is the moral development that accompanies the academic development. We want our children to have a seamless experience of learning how to be a human being who cares and is compassionate about others and the world, as well as be prepared to contribute to that world.
Just an anecdote: I had to pick up my son who wasn’t feeling well one Friday afternoon. I told my older daughter that I’d prefer to take her too, since we live in Weaverville and I work Friday evenings and it gets hectic. She refused to leave- picture an 8 year old on a couch with books open around her saying, “I don’t want to go home early!” That was priceless.
-Batsheva Meiri, November 11, 2009
Odyssey Community School gave my daughter the foundation that she needed to excel. Her problem-solving, artistic and high learning capabilities are all products of her time at Odyssey. I really appreciated the teachers’ passion and dedication to my child’s future. A terrific staff and warm community made for an exceptional experience.
-Reggie Tidwell, November 8, 2009
A list of kudos for Odyssey has been growing within me of late, and my experience in the middle school today with the Independent Project presentations was catalyst enough to finally sit down and write a note of acknowledgement and appreciation. Foremost, I would like to offer that the community of Odyssey seems to be settling into itself after such a short period of less than two years. The children seem to be supported by a wonderful balance of structure and creative liberty. That is to say that the structure is more solid and organized than I have ever seen, and serves to support the children in such a way that their creative spirits and minds are allowed to soar. I am impressed that I receive e-mails from every teacher every week regarding themes and assignments. And, I know that the teachers are holding the kids accountable to these assignments. I have never seen my son so interested and engaged in his learning process, and so self-assured and confident. It is a wonderful experience as a mother to witness your child’s desire to learn, and to see him held in an environment that encourages him to reach as far as he wants.
Finally, the Independent Projects presentations that I watched today were so well prepared by the students, so very thorough, informative and well researched. The middle school teachers have established a bar of standard that is exceptional.
Please accept my gratitude.
-Renee Eli, December 8, 2008