Private School vs Independent School

Many families have asked: Is Odyssey School a private school? The answer is yes, but it’s also complex. We were founded to create a learning community that honored the wholeness of our beings. Odyssey is a space where spirituality and emotionality are acknowledged without being indoctrinated. We are not a public school nor a charter, yet we are committed to serving our community!

It is important to acknowledge, especially as a school located in the southern United States that was founded by white families and educators, that there is a fraught history of private education being utilized as a segregationist tool. You can read more about that in this article from We have a commitment to equity, which means that we are committed to knowing this history, evaluating ourselves, and working actively against structures of racism. 

We recognize the common terminology to describe Odyssey School is “private school,” as we are an organization that relies on tuition and does not accept state funding or adhere to state curriculum (because we look to deepen and expand it). Nevertheless, we prefer the term “independent school.” We are independent of the state system and we think independently.

We are in no way committed to private access for any group. We are committed to accessibility, to learning from history, and to offering financial aid whenever possible. We are a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and choose to remain financially independent, which means we rely on tuition and our Annual Campaign to operate. If you are interested in supporting our work, please visit the Partner & Give section of our website for opportunities to donate, create partnership, volunteer, buy raffle tickets for our annual spring raffle, or rent space on our campus.

If you have any questions about how Odyssey School can be accessible to you, please contact us

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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