Applying Step-by-Step in the Pre-k

  • Holistic School PreK Students Playing with Wooden Chimes



Applying Step-by-Step in Odyssey’s Pre-k

We strive at Odyssey to make your child’s first impression of school an optimal and wonderfully positive experience! Eligibility for Odyssey’s Pre-kindergarten program include(s):

  • Students aged 3.5 (or 42 months) to kindergarten age. Parents are welcome and encouraged to apply in anticipation of a start at 3.5, but we do not accept children younger than 3.5. 
  • Students able to attend (5) days, M-F from 9 AM to 2 PM. Odyssey does not have openings for (2) or (3) day enrollment. 
  • Potty-trained students. The rare accident happens, however in general our facilities and teacher ratios require fully potty trained students.
  • Full tuition paying families. Odyssey does not provide school-sponsored financial aid in the Pre-k.
  • Spot availability. Waitlists are frequent in the Pre-k. It’s a good idea to apply well ahead of spring deadlines for the year you seek.
  • Odyssey does not accept state vouchers for pre-k.  

Step 1: Inquire

Submit an inquiry and schedule a tour to let Odyssey admissions staff know of your interest. We will respond and offer opportunities to connect for a tour, introductory call, or Zoom meeting. Please be aware that Odyssey’s pre-k routinely has a waiting pool of interested applicants. It is in your interest to apply well ahead of stated dates and to canvas for backup plans should we be unable to accept your child due to program and space limitations.  

Step 2: Tour the School

Join our Admissions Director for a school tour and/or open house as part of our admission program. Both in-person and virtual opportunities are available. RSVPs for our group Open House and Meet the Teacher virtual gatherings will open in early January. 

Step 3: Apply

If you like what you saw and heard on the tour or in a 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. 

*Please note: Odyssey does not offer school-sponsored financial aid in pre-k.

Step 4: Required Student Visit in the Pre-k Prior to Acceptance Decision

Pre-k is such a special time in your little one’s development and we want to support your family in finding the best fit. After you tour and apply, you will be contacted to schedule a full day visit (9 AM to 2 PM) in our classroom.

The visit is beneficial for both your family and our program. During the visit, we get to know one another, learning if our program is the right fit for your family and educational goals.  Our teachers also begin to attune to your child, supporting her or him in having a soft landing into the classroom. We hope that you gain reflections from your child, and they feel welcomed and comfortable. After your child finishes the visit day, and together, we agree that we are a great fit for your family, you will then sign a contract that firmly includes your child on the roster.

Step 5: Final Conversation

Throughout the visit, you, the Admissions Director, and our teachers are in close communication about mutual expectations, and by this step, it is the rare case that a student is not admitted. By the end of the visit, you will be made aware of formal acceptance. 


Pre-k FAQs

  • What are the hours of the formal school day? The school day starts at 9 AM and ends at 2 PM. 
  • Does Odyssey offer care earlier than 9 AM? The earliest a child can be dropped off at Odyssey is 8:30 AM, and there will be a modest fee added to your invoices for before-care. 
  • Does Odyssey offer aftercare? Yes! For parents who need to collect a child later in the day, interactive aftercare is provided by enthusiastic caregivers on site until 5:00 pm. Pre-k children are treated to extra time with caring adults and their friends, exploring the playground, playing group games, creating artwork, reading stories together, and having meaningful fun. The pre-k aftercare group may be combined with kindergarten aged children, but these cohorts are separate from the older grades. Before and after school care is available year-round, even during the summer camp season. Please review the tuition schedule for rates. 
  • How large is Odyssey’s Pre-k class? We are licensed to have a total of 21 students with (3) early childhood care professionals (a ratio of 7:1), however in an effort to better provide social distancing, we’ve capped the classroom at 16 (a ratio of 5:1). 
  • Do the Pre-k students nap? We maintain a 40 minute ‘rest’ or ‘quiet’ time after lunch. The children have their own cots and relax in a spacious room. For children who no longer nap, there are books and stuffies, but we do try to maintain a regularly scheduled restful time.  

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