Applying Step-by-Step K – 12th

Here are all the ways in which we can get to know each other! While the steps generally flow in order, in some cases we can collapse steps together or fast track. 

Step 1: Inquire

Submit an Inquiry and schedule a tour to let Odyssey admissions staff know of your interest. 

Step 2: Tour the School

Join our Admissions Director for a School Tour, Open House, or Information Session. The tour is roughly 40 minutes and several focused, grade-specific examples for our unique approach to education are provided. 

RSVPs for our group Open House and Meet the Teacher virtual gatherings will open in January 2024.

Step 3: Apply

If you like what you saw and heard on the tour or in a group format presentation, then by all means apply! If your child was waitlisted in the current year, please be sure to inform Kristin Harkey, Admissions Director that you specifically want your child’s application to be reviewed for next year’s seats. 

Step 4: Student Visits

Visits with classroom teachers and potential cohorts will be coordinated through the Admissions Director and with support from Odyssey’s main office. These visits are designed to be a comfortable and welcoming experience for your student, and are scheduled after applications are submitted. The length of the visits are different per the age of the student in the following ways: 

  • Visits for K – 2nd Students: Odyssey prefers a visit of (1) to (2) hours and in some cases a parent can join their child. 
  • Visits for 3rd – 8th Students: We prefer that your student stay with us all day. Drop-off is 9 AM for 3rd and 4th graders with adjournment at 3:00 PM, 8:45 AM for middle school students (5th – 8th) with adjournment at 3:30 PM (early release on Wednesdays at 2 PM). A day visit can be a requirement for admissions and while on campus, middle school students may be asked to complete a written supplement as part of the submitted application. 
  • Visits for High School Students: We prefer that your student stay with us all day, 8:45 AM to 3:45 PM (early release on Wednesdays at 2 PM).  A day visit can be a requirement for admissions and while on campus, a high school candidate may be asked to complete a written supplement. 

Step 5: Enrollment Decision 

Connect directly with the Admissions Director to discuss any final questions and mutual expectations. Although Odyssey’s admissions committee meets weekly, most new enrollment acceptances are made by late March for the following school year.

How Does Odyssey Decide Who to Admit?

We share the desire for our school and your student to be a match. Some of the things that we take into consideration are:

  • Alignment with Odyssey’s mission and core values
  • Number of openings at each grade level
  • Prioritization for siblings
  • Prioritization in meeting diversity, inclusion, and equity goals
  • Class composition and balance
  • Whether Odyssey can support a child’s learning difference or diagnosis

There are many factors that may have led to why a student is on our wait list. This section seeks to provide transparency about Odyssey’s admissions program:  

  • Climate and Timing: Asheville is seeing significant population growth (approx. 11% according to the most recent U.S. Census) and the area is attracting families with school age children. The demand for high quality, independent education spurs enrollment competition.
  • Retention: We do not have openings because across the elementary grades, our currently enrolled families have decided to stay with Odyssey. When classes lift together, there are far fewer seats available.
  • Prioritization: Among the new families that join us in a given school year, many siblings can be put on wait lists prioritized for openings. We have a longtime policy to keep brothers and sisters together whenever possible.
  • Balancing Odyssey classroom rosters: Odyssey tries, whenever possible, to balance classroom rosters to best reflect the greater Asheville community. We enroll students from diverse ethnic, racial, cultural, socio-economic, neurodivergent, gender identity, religious and/or non-traditional family backgrounds. We consider academic and social development, and group dynamics, in addition to many other nuanced factors. We have all kinds of learners and work alongside our families for an optimal educational journey. 

Important Admissions Links:


Odyssey School is an independent, non-profit school with a focus on whole child, emotionally intelligent, personalized curriculum for students in PreK-12. Our mission is to prepare students, families, and educators to lead lives of intention and purpose with an authentic sense of self.

More about us... Schedule A Tour

Sign Up for Our Newsletter