Odyssey's founder and former CEO, C. Robert Mitchell, Ph.D. (Educational Leadership, University of Alabama, 1979), spent nearly thirty years in a variety of leadership positions with some of the very best school systems in states throughout the country, including Washington, Virginia and Alabama.
Prior to founding Odyssey, Dr. Mitchell was the first Superintendent of Schools for the Hoover City Schools. Dr. Mitchell has helped several other communities form their own school systems, has coordinated numerous public school leadership searches and has been a featured lecturer at school conferences nationwide. Dr. Mitchell also has been a teacher, a high school principal, an Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, a visiting professor at several colleges throughout the country, and for three years served as Co-Director of the National Conference for School Restructuring.
From Odyssey's inception, Dr. Mitchell believed that the curriculum, and its emphasis on age-appropriate learning, would set Odyssey apart from other childcare companies. Odyssey has assembled and maintained a strong leadership team and faculty at each school who share the same philosophy and commitment. Each child is treated as a unique individual whose desire and aptitude for learning must be nurtured and developed. This focus requires that we use only the best practices. Rather than adopting a single program and approach, the Odyssey curriculum draws from a wealth of proven concepts from early childhood professionals.
From a child's perspective, learning must be meaningful as well as something that is fun. Within this setting, Odyssey introduces each child to a comprehensive curriculum that includes language development, creativity (including arts and crafts and dramatic play), Spanish, math, science, music, computers and technology. Perhaps more than anything else, we take pride in seeing each child develop a genuine interest in and respect for learning. We truly look forward to the opportunities and joy of each new day.
The Odyssey curriculum is continually refined and enriched as we observe the way children interact and learn. Our curriculum leaders have developed a library of more than 75 different weekly themes with corresponding age-appropriate activities for each of our infant, toddler, preschool and school-age programs in each of the primary learning areas provided at Odyssey.
The result is much more time spent engaged in meaningful and fun activities throughout the day, leading to more successful learning opportunities. We call this our “silent structure,” and we believe that a good curriculum is one that provides a variety of experiences that keep children engaged, interacting and having fun. Professionals who visit our program marvel at the amount and scope of interactive learning that children experience at Odyssey.
Odyssey's children are accustomed to sharing their ideas in front of their classmates. Children at Odyssey develop the confidence necessary to interact within the school setting and the joy that comes from pursuing more challenging learning activities. This is why we like to say, “The Journey Begins at Odyssey.”
The proof is in our performance. Almost all of the many children served by Odyssey since 1995 have graduated from our pre-kindergarten program already possessing the basic reading and writing skills generally taught in kindergarten and first grade in most school systems. And they also possess the most important skills of all – they enjoy school, respect teachers and have a great attitude toward learning. Many of our “graduates” return to Odyssey for our after-school and summer enrichment programs, where they continue to have fun.
Our parents believe in Odyssey because, first of all, they know that the best investment they will ever make for their child is their selection of their child's pre-school. Parents also find out that, at Odyssey, we do exactly what we say we will do. We take this responsibility seriously and we ask you to consider Odyssey, a genuine “Early School” that truly respects and cares about children and learning.