Covid-19 Update 6/9/2022

Odyssey’s five and half acre campus is currently a “mask-optional” environment, meaning that we encourage the use of facial coverings but do not currently require them (as of June 2022).

In the summer of 2022, here’s what we are doing to mitigate risk of Covid-19 transmission:

  • Optional Masking in School
  • Eating Outdoors
  • Sending Symptomatic Kids Home
  • Open Windows / HVAC Filters
  • Maintain Strong Community Communication

We are continuing to utilize a layered approach to COVID safety to mitigate risk on Odyssey’s campus. Below is a summary of definitions that more fully detail our responsibilities and we ask that you review this page or call our main office for up to date guidelines:

  • Optional masking in building: individuals may make a choice to be unmasked or masked.
  • Required masking in the building: regardless of vaccination status, all students and staff on site at school are required to be masked at all times while inside the building. 
  • Eating outdoors whenever possible and spacing out in a larger physical space, such as the gym, when weather conditions are too dangerous outside.
  • Physical distancing indoors: masked students are to be distanced by 3’ whenever possible while indoors in accordance with NC Safe Schools and CDC guidelines
  • Sending symptomatic children home: children showing any symptoms of illness will be quickly isolated and caregivers called to bring them home and pursue testing or quarantine. 
  • Contact tracing and required testing: in conjunction with the Buncombe County Health Department and the NC Strong Schools public health program, any students or staff with positive COVID test results are to quarantine in line with current recommendations. As a school, we reserve the right to screen and require testing to monitor for the presence of COVID.
  • Keeping windows open in classrooms to allow for greater fresh air exchange in compliance with guidelines to reduce the concentration of any potential viral particles in the classroom.
  • Installing appropriate filters on the air handling equipment in accordance with recommendations. 
  • Policy adjustments as needed: Odyssey reserves the ability to make adjustments to classroom spaces, student groupings, building use, or any other measures to lower risk or improve instruction, and to clearly communicate these changes to the Odyssey community as we adapt to new information, research, and changing conditions.  

With sincere gratitude and appreciation for your partnership, consideration, and compassion,

 The COVID Committee of the Board of Trustees of Odyssey School

General Covid Update 9/10/2021

Dear Odyssey families,
 
We have another student who has tested positive for Covid in the 5-6 classroom of IS. To our knowledge, the two positive cases are not related, i.e. they were not close contacts. And we have a third student home sick today in this classroom. 
 
Siblings of these students are being kept home and quarantined (because they are not vaccinated or able to be vaccinated) in order to keep other classrooms safe. 
 
When our community transmission rates rise into the high level, (today we are still at 9.5% positivity rate in Buncombe County and the counties around us are even higher) we begin to see exposure and positive cases more consistently. So please, if you are able to be vaccinated or if your student is able to be vaccinated, please vaccinate. And please partner with the school in following our protocols as best as you are able. 
 
I hope everyone is able to rest and take good care this weekend. As always, reach out with further concerns or questions.
 
with gratitude,
Cory

Elijah Allred

Seventh and Eighth Grade English Language Arts teacher

he/him

Elijah Allred grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina where he regularly attended summer camp in the mountains. After four years of film school and one gap year of hitchhiking in Alaska, he received a B.S. in radio, television & film from University of Texas, graduating in 2015. During that time he developed unprofitable interests in cooperative living, social justice, and sad poetry.  After several years of living in co-ops and working in food service, Elijah moved out to west Texas to write sad poems and work behind a motel desk. Elijah returned to Austin in 2016 to sign an NDA and work for a very large social media company with a blue logo doing content moderation and account memorialization.  During that time he published several very sad poems, developed an interest in continuing his education, and quitting his job as quickly as possible. 

In 2018, he began working part time as a substitute teacher in a special education classroom. By 2019, he received his teaching certification from Austin Community College and worked for two years at Austin Discovery School, a small public charter specializing in eco-wellness and project-based learning. Elijah moved to Asheville in the summer of 2021 to work for Odyssey, be closer to his family, and, eventually, send his newborn son to summer camp. 

Outside of school, Elijah spends his free time reading about western esotericism, writing less-sad poetry, changing diapers, and collecting antique typewriters.

Lydia Hearne

PreK Lead teacher

she/her

Lydia Hearne has worked in early childhood education for years, many of which have been here at Odyssey. She especially values the connections made with the children and loves to foster that personal bond, building trust and friendship. With the kids, Lydia loves to read good stories, explore nature, navigate emotional landscapes, and try new forms of artistic expression.  Lydia also has a background in art and enjoys teaching pottery to people of all ages.

Meredith Rucker

PreK Afterschool Teacher

she/her

Meredith Rucker is grateful to be a part of the Odyssey community. She experiences joy and meaning in her life by nurturing children’s individuality, imagination, and development through intentional engagement. Meredith is currently a student at AB-Tech studying Early Childhood Education. She also studies herbalism during her free time and enjoys learning about gentle plant remedies for everyday use. Nature and creativity are vital components of her daily life. 

Barbi Brittain

3rd and 4th Grade Homeroom Teacher

she/they

Barbi grew up in Houston, TX and moved to Western North Carolina with her husband and twins. Barbi holds a Bachelors of Arts in English from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Curriculum from the University of Houston Clear Lake. She brings more than 15 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools in Houston and in North Carolina. Barbi’s passion is inspiring learning through problem based learning explorations, as well as through music, singing, and dancing. 

Barbi joined Odyssey Odyssey School in January 2021 and is thrilled to continue her teaching journey in the 3rd and 4th grade classroom. When she’s not planning lessons or playing along with her students, she and her family love to explore the mountains and waterfalls of the beautiful Western North Carolina region.

Christa Flores

5-8 Science & 7-8 Homeroom Teacher

she/her

Christa Flores is a scientist, writer, and educator. She brings twenty years of teaching experience in science education, as well as interdisciplinary units called problem-based science. Call it STEM, STEAM, or just authentic learning, Christa is passionate about how to create learning environments that inspire inquiry and invention. She earned her Masters in Science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and has written and spoken extensively on the subject of Constructivism, the pedagogical merger of STEM education with the creation of artifacts to expose deep learning. She is excited to work with the Odyssey 7th and 8th graders this fall, building mindsets and skills for making the world a better place.

Outside of the classroom, Christa is a freelance curriculum designer, writer, and volunteer at several organizations around Asheville. Most of the time, she is running the trails of the national forests that surround us or gratefully paddle boarding the mountain waterways.

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 the 21st century with an authentic sense of self.

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Read our 2021-22 Annual Report. Odyssey to host an Open House, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022 at 6:30 PM. Rsvp with Kristin Harkey, kharkey@odysseycommunity.org. Be sure to include the grade you seek to learn about. Odyssey Welcomes New Head of School, Dr. Eric Howard. Read More.

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Covid-19 Policies and Procedures

Odyssey School has had a strong start the year! As of late October, we've made an update to our Covid policies and procedures.

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