Weekly Meeting Notes

Faculty Meeting Notes, 4/19/17

I. Best Practices by Andrew Saldino – group development and teambuilding

II. UNCA and Parking – Cory informed staff that UNCA is entering into a 2-year construction project on campus that will impact parking here at Odyssey.  100 workers are expected to start parking in the UNCA owned lots starting this month from 7a-3p and grow to 300 workers by January 2018.
– Starting Fall 2017, parents will be asked to come up Zillicoa from Broadway.
– Starting now, staff should not park in front of the school (unless in the designated parking spots across the street).  Staff should park in the lower lot, behind the school.
– Samata asked Cory to inquire with UNCA about installing lights in the lower parking lot to increase safety.
III. Lock Down is scheduled for Thursday 4/20 at 11a – staff will be alerted by text, then they are to move children to a safe space in the room away from any windows and turn off the lights.  A second text will go out alerting that the drill is over.  If you are unsure of where to place the students in your room, contact Cory.
IV.  Independent Action Projects and Portfolio – please refer to the Portfolio Checklist on the staff portal for requirements.  All teaching staff should schedule a meeting with Megan to review the Independent Action Projects and Portfolio.  Please do not wait till the end of the year.
V. Learning Partners – in pairs, please discuss the following questions: 1) What were your goals for the spring and how are they going? and 2) What are your goals for the end of the year?
VI.  Staff Meeting Adjourned to focus on Independent Action Projects and Collaborative Planning.  Collaborative Planning should include the following: 1) summer reading assignments, 2) year-end honoring ceremonies and graduation, and 3) student surveys

Faculty Meeting Notes, 4/5/17

I. Best Practices presented by Shalene Hill on incorporating the six strands through music.

II. Lock-Down Drill – because of preschool regulations, Odyssey is mandated to conduct lock-down drills.  The first of the year will take place Thursday April 20th at 11am.  Teachers are asked to have all students go into their classrooms, have a pre-designated area where the students can hide out-of-sight from any windows and to instruct students to be silent and still during the drill.  Staff will receive a text alert from Cory when the trill is about to occur, then participate in the drill, and another text will go out to confirm that the lock-down is complete and you can resume back to normal.

III. May Day Meeting – on Monday April 6th, right after school ends, staff are invited to attend the May Day planning meeting.

IV. Buddy Lunch – The last Buddy Lunch of the year has been rescheduled. If there are any changes with buddies, please email Shirley.  Also, please have all big buddies bring a pencil to complete a buddy lunch activity.

V.  Talent Show – usually each May Day students participate in a talent show.  Planning and coordination of the talent show will occur after spring break.

VI.  Dismiss to Listening Conference Summaries, Action Projects and an opportunity to focus on Peer Observations.  The goal for Peer Observations was to have all staff observed and act as an observer prior to spring break.  If you have not yet completed these Peer Observations, please email Megan.

Faculty Meeting Notes, 3/29/17

I. Best Practices by Mary Virginia Bunker

II. Review of the 2017/18 Academic Calendar – staff made suggestions that Megan and Cory will review.

III. Picture Day Make-Up – Next Thursday April 6th

IV. Staff dismissed to team meetings and preparing for student led conferences.

Faculty Meeting Notes, 3/22/17

I. Best Practices Presentation by Craig Deutsch

II. Buddy Lunch – the last Buddy Lunch of the year will be next month, April 6th.  May Day will be the final buddy activity of the year, therefore separate no buddy lunch in May.

III. UNCA Chancellor’s Office visits Odyssey on Tuesday March 28th! – please ensure rooms are tidy, bulletin boards have displays, and there are learning artifacts in your rooms.  All student spaces (cubbies, hooks, etc) need to be super clean.  This is an opportunity to, as Cory stated, “act as Odyssey embassadors and connect with the UNCA community.”  Megan asked if there was a morning centering group that the group could participate in would be wonderful – email her if interested.

IV. Cafe – the cafe is not being kept as clean and neat as it needs to be.  Andrew Saldino is to provide a table lay-out map to Cory so that it may be laminated and posted for reference.

V. PreK Inspectors coming soon! – Odyssey is expecting state inspectors in our building the first two weeks of May.  Inspectors come unannounced, so be ready for them when they arreive.

VI.  Spirit Month – Spirit Month will kick off on Monday April 3rd with an Odyssey Spirit day where students and staff are encouraged to wear our school colors of green and gold, or Odyssey apparel.

VII. Big Money Raffle! Please remind students to bring in their raffle tickets this Friday.  Jen will be out front to collect.

VIII.  Adjournment to class meetings.

Faculty Meeting Notes, 3/8/17

I. Best Practices presentation by Kalyan – Lesson Planning at a Deeper Level

II. Raffle Announcements by Cory – raffle is officially launched.  Odyssey has raised $45K of its $80K annual goal and aims to raise a majority of the remaining $35K through the raffle.  Envelopes and tickets went out Monday 3/6.

Raffle Messaging to Parents: “Teachers do so much in our community, now it is time for parents to show their support by promoting the raffle and selling tickets”

Everyone needs to be involved by continuing to mention and participate throughout the month.  If you need ideas on how to incorporate the raffle into classroom lessons, email Megan!

Ideas for the raffle: provide link to teachers to promote to parents and on Facebook (CF), create a visual of sales to encourage participation (AS), classes can create their own unique prizes for students like letting the top seller pick a piece of clothing for a teacher to wear for a day (AS).

III. CPR Renewal Available for Staff on June 5th from 5-9pm and includes dinner.

If you are in need of CPR renewal, please email Megan and let her know so that she can register you for the upcoming summer training.

IV.  Yearbooks now on Sale – promote sales and submit photos to Mayven.

V. Ingles’ Student of the Month opportunity through WNC Parent Magazine – Odyssey was offered a full-page ad in the April addition of WNC Parent Magazine to feature a star students.  Please submit nominations to Mayven via email by Tuesday March 14th at noon.  The admin team will then meet and select the student.

VI.  Buddy Lunch – this past buddy lunch has been rescheduled to Thursday March 16th.  Please take note!

VII.  Teachers dismissed to team meetings – prepare for student led conferences and catch up on grading.

Faculty Meeting Notes, 2/15/17

I. No best practices presentation today, instead Megan led staff through an Appreciation Class Meeting.

The guidelines for an Appreciation Class Meeting are as follows:

1. Be specific
2. See beyond the surface (speak to the person’s actions and/or qualities instead of the material or aesthetic)
3. No complisults (compliments with an insult)
4. Focus your appreciation towards one person who has not yet been appreciated
5. No app-backs – appreciating the person who just appreciated you
6. Speak using the 2nd person and say “thank you” afterwards
7. List all participants names on a board and wipe off once the person has been appreciated so other participants know who is left to appreciate.

II. PreK staff dismissed

III. LEAF Residencies reviewed by Cory.
Last year’s participation received positive feedback from students and staff.  This year Cory is asking the 4/5 and Middle School classes to participate.  River will coordinate with the artists.  Cory will send out an email today with three options for artists – please respond within 24 hours with preference.

IV.  Meet the Teachers event is Feb. 22nd from 6-7:30p.  Teachers were asked to email the rising group of students’ parents and invite them to participate (1st graders, 3rd graders, 5th graders and 8th graders).  Email needs to be sent to parents this Friday February 17th

If staff is planning on eating dinner prior to the event, plan on arriving at Odyssey at 5:15p on Feb. 22nd and email Megan asap with the number of pizza slices and topping preferences you’d like. 

V. Meeting concluded with class teachers working on their Meet the Teacher presentations.

Faculty Meeting Notes, 2/8/17

I. Best Practices by Gabe Johnson – engaging activity where Gabe played music while the staff colored – focus is to provide opportunities for students to get out of their thinking minds and into their emotional minds.

II. Website Rework – Teachers please take the time to look at your individual class site on Odyssey’s webpage (colored circles at top) by selecting the appropriate grade level and then selecting “See the Curriculum.”  Megan has updated this section and would like feedback from each class.  Please email Megan with any additions/edits and better pictures if you have them.

III. UNCA’s Chancellor is coming to Odyssey – Odyssey will host UNCA’s Chancellor and invite a photographer to the campus that day to capture images of Odyssey.  The Co-directors will work with staff to determine the best date for the visit (either a Tuesday or Thursday).  Look out for a Doodle survey and remember to participate.

IV. Racial Justice in Education – four community workshops are planned for Tuesdays this spring (April 4, April 18, May 2, May 16).  Workshops will last from 6-8pm each session.  Volunteers are needed to lead facilitation portions of the workshop as well as volunteers to cover childcare for attending parents.  If you feel called to help, or know a friend that would, please email Megan with your interest in either facilitator and childcare provider.  Staff are also encouraged to participate in the workshops as attendees.

V.  Note regarding Emailing Class Lists – when emailing rosters, be sure to copy and paste the email addresses under BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) not the To: or CC: fields.  If you need help with this request, please follow up with Megan.

VI. Kaylan – Ask to increase awareness and knowledge of Islam – Middle school took a diversity field trip this week to the Muslim Center.  Prior to leaving, the class was delayed 45 minutes, so Kaylan used the time to understand what the students knew of Islam, which was nothing.  He asks that we consider increasing the knowledge and awareness our students have around this religion.  Megan encouraged staff to consider using literature as a tool.

VII. Lydia – Heartstrong needs transportation help on Thursdays after 3:40p – for the past while Lydia has offered Heartstrong a ride on Thursdays, but due to a schedule change, she will no longer be able to help him in this way.  She would like staff to consider stepping in and helping him.  Heartstrong’s email address is heartstrong2015@icloud.com.

VIII. Day of the Heart – upcoming on February 14th, but committee is meeting today during the staff development meeting.  We will wait to hear from the committee via email with a confirmed schedule and needs.

IX. All staff must schedule a meeting with Megan to discuss the upcoming 2017/18 academic year and contracts.  Please visit the faculty portal and click the “Request a Meeting”  button near the top right of the page to set your meeting before Leapfrog Day next Thursday February 16th.

X. Meeting adjourns with faculty dividing into class groups and discussing the posted questions in the Faculty Portal. At 4:45p staff are expected to reconvene and share ideas.

Faculty Meeting Notes, 2/1/17

I. Class Meetings Best Practices presentation by Samata DeCori

II. Leapfrog Day is being moved from Friday to Thursday February 16th

III. Odyssey’s Annual Pancake Breakfast is happening on Saturday February 11th – Each staff member is being asked to visit Odyssey’s Facebook page and mark that they are “interested” in attending (use link – https://www.facebook.com/OdysseyCommunity/events/) .  Staff receive a discounted rate of $4 per person for the event.

IV. Mountain Express Kids’ Issue is coming out soon and there is a call for entries from students.  Please refer to the all staff email from Megan regarding entry details.  All classes are asked to participate.

V. Parent offering dance lessons – there is a parent who is available to provide private dance lessons to adults.  Any interested staff should email Megan.

VI. Day of the Heart – February 14th – event activities will occur from 9:30a to 10:30a.  Classes will meet in gym and link up with their buddies.  Planned is a 15-minute partner yoga session.  Then students will break up into three groups with 15-minute rotations thru three stations: 1) photo booth, 2) Cafe popcorn and 3) making valentines cards.

VII.  Iron Girls opportunity for Odyssey students – please refer to email sent by Megan and reply to her if you are interested.

VIII.  Adjournment to class meetings.

Faculty Meeting Notes, 1/18/17

Adversity in the Community – Megan M.

Three members of our community need extra support and good vibes sent at this time: Mary Virginia is at home with a broken ankle, Ellen Boyle is attending to her very sick mother, and Rhianna Reckmeyer has a broken leg but is expected to return to school tomorrow in a wheel chair.
Board of Directors’ Staff Appreciation – Andrew S.
Each year the Board of Directors like to show their appreciation by offering a special something to staff.  This year staff voted to have a catered Indian lunch (1st choice – Minal’s friend, 2nd choice – Chai Pani) and a massage station.  Details to come.
Racial Justice Planning Meeting – Megan M.
Staff are encouraged to attend as well as invite interested parties to attend a planning meeting on January 25th to discuss hosting a community education event geared towards parents and educators on the subject.  Megan will send out an email with further details.
Megan M. – Student Led Conferences are coming up in March.  Please keep this on your radar and begin (if you haven’t already!) planning.
Shirly R. – Tomorrow (Thursday 1/29) is the first buddy lunch of the year.  Be in the gym by 11:55a.
Meeting was adjourned with the exception of asking those staff who did not attend Tuesday’s Community Meeting to stay behind and talk with Megan and Cory.  Items discussed were responsibility and ways of notification for staff to attend mandatory meetings and how to make up the missed time.

Staff Meeting Notes – January 11, 2017

Opening Centering activity led by Samata

Building Talk with Andy
Several staff have expressed concerns and had ideas about creating systems of cleanliness in the cafe.  Andy attended the meeting to address concerns and discuss ideas.  The following suggestions were made:
– Set-up a broom and dust pan section with supplies clearly marked CAFE.  Install a wall mount to the right of the fridge to store and organize this.
– Purchase more rags and then create a clean and dirty rag section with cleaning product.  Store supplies in clearly marked bins.
– Keep the cleaning supplies on a shelf at least 5 ft. high so that they are out of reach for smaller kids and readily available for staff and older students.
Cory will meet with Andy to finalize location and system and will send out a follow-up email confirming the cleaning station location.
Last Spring Odyssey began a community-wide discussion about re-configuring our classrooms and creating a separate Kindergarten.  The collected data is presented in powerpoint and can be found on the faculty portal (1/11/17 Staff Meeting Agenda).  Please review the information and contact Megan via email with any concerns or questions.  More time will be dedicated to this subject at the next staff meeting.
Buddy Lunches – next week Thursday 1/18
Next week is the first buddy lunch of the year.  If there have been changes in your roster please notify Shirley so that she may re-assign or assign buddies as necessary.
Best Practices Folder
A friendly reminder to those staff who presented a Best Practice in the Fall to upload your presentation to the Best Practices Folder.  The link is available from the Faculty Portal (see 1/11/17 Meeting Agenda).
Tourist Day in May
Ellen is interested in participating in the Tourists’ Community Day and taking a field trip in May.  If any other classrooms are interested, please let Ellen know.
Adjourn to Action Projects and Collaborative Planning
K – HS invited to use this time to discuss action projects and planning

All-Faculty Meeting Notes, 1/4/17

Best Practices – Aaron Dison led staff through a Tai Chi exercise.

 Cory’s Centering: Quote of the Year. Cory Adams invited staff to select a quote from a bowl and

reflect on its meaning for the New Year.

 Megan’s Reflection: One Minute Reflection. Megan asked staff to reflect on personal practices

and reflect on what you want to start doing, stop doing, and continue to do. She then invited

us to share a “golden nugget” in the form of a word, phrase, or short sentence.

 Announcements

o Now Hiring for Summer Camp Counselors and Special Class Instructors (teaching a topic

like ceramics or soccer for an hour a day during two weeks of camp). Interested staff

should talk to Megan this month.

o Thank you to all who participated in the administrative survey. As a result, some changes are

in effect including:

 Megan’s office is now upstairs in the former Admission’s Office. The Media

Center will remain open as usual, so please come in unless Megan is in a


 Committee assignments are now posted on the faculty portal. Please check

them out!

o Important Spring Dates to Remember:

 February 14 – Festival of the Heart

 February 17 – Leap Frog Day (students visit classrooms of upcoming grade level)

 February 22 – PreK Tea and Meet the Teachers Open House

 March 30-31 – Student Led Conferences

o Our Annual Campaign is in full swing! Odyssey has a goal of 100% staff/faculty

participation – so please consider contributing today!

 Middle School is missing cords to their projector, please let them know if you might know where they are!

 Staff Breakout Sessions

Faculty Meeting Notes, 12/14/16

Best Teaching Practices, presented by Andrew Rabin – Action Research Project: Creating a

Democratic Classroom.


 Samata’s Announcement: New Year’s Eve Kirtan Event at Odyssey. Flyers are up and Samata will

provide a staff discount on tickets if you are interested. This is the 12 th year for this family-

friendly, intention setting, dance party event!

 Megan sent out a staff email today – PLEASE READ & scroll down to see important notes in the agenda in the post below.

 Festival of Lights

  • Gym reservation system has been problematic and will be addressed to ensure smoother rehearsals in the future.
  • Dress Rehearsal is tomorrow, Thursday December 15 th , at 10am. Gym schedule for tomorrow sent via Group Me.
  • Cory asked all staff to email parents and inform them that students need to be at Odyssey and in their classrooms with costumes by 6pm tomorrow night. Festival starts promptly at 6:30p.
  • Staff then dismissed to Festival of Lights duties.

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.

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