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Private School for Gifted Students in San Mateo CA

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Odyssey Middle School:
Odyssey School is a private, independent co-educational middle school for gifted and talented students in west San Mateo in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA. Odyssey provides gifted students a creative, integrated, experiential curriculum that nurtures intellectual curiosity and emotional risk-taking in an intimate, challenging, yet safe community, resulting in personal accountability, ethical decision-making and an intrinsic passion for learning. The most salient characteristic of the Odyssey course of study is an integrated curriculum. We want students making connections among disciplines, between what is occurring in the real world and their classes, as well as a connection to the real issues in their lives and their course of study.

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Middle School Program for Gifted & Talented Students:
Photo of Private School for Gifted Students in San Mateo CA
Odyssey School Curriculum:

The most salient characteristic of the Odyssey course of study is an integrated curriculum. We want students making connections among disciplines, between what is occurring in the real world and their classes as well as a connection to the real issues in their lives and their course of study. The pedagogy for the curriculum from sixth through eighth grade centers on critical thinking skills, problem solving, co-operative learning groups and a concern with divergent styles of learning and multiple intelligences.

We subscribe to four organizational structures of the curriculum which vary in intensity for each grade level:

1. Movement:  Dance, running, team sports, Tai Chi, stage combat, aerobics and swimming.

2. Creative Arts:  Music history, choir, studio art, art history, photography, film/video, make up design, set design, costume design.

3. Core:  Japanese, math, science, writing, humanities.

4. Affective Education:  Self-Science, advisory, student council, daily gathering, service learning and seminar.

Movement:
The movement classes emphasize aerobic activity, motor and technical skill development, body awareness and building of self-esteem through empowerment of the physical self.

Creative Arts:
The creative arts classes focus on acquisition of the language of the discipline, becoming critical art/media consumers, skill development and personal projects.

Core:

- Japanese:  Beginning in sixth grade, this course is primarily designed for students to acquire verbal communication skills. In addition, students will achieve various levels of proficiency in the three written languages. One of more years of high school Japanese can be earned.

- Math:  Odyssey generally offers IntroductionImage of Private School for Gifted Students in San Mateo CA to Pre-Algebra to 6th grade, Pre-Algebra to 7th grade and Algebra to 8th grade. The courses stress group problem solving, basic skills, word problems and critical functions of mathematics.

- Science
:  The science courses concentrate on the understanding and application of the scientific method. Students design, conduct and analyze various experiments in a variety of scientific disciplines.

- Humanities:  Humanities is the integrated study of geography, history, philosophy, literature and arts related to a period of history or political region. 

* Sixth grade humanities is an overview of world cultures, the building of historical/political and social science literacy and development of basic social science skills. Utilizing the seminal components of literary criticism, students are introduced to the study of classical literature that has had an impact on world civilization. Where possible, this literature is integrated into the humanities study.

* The seventh grade focuses their humanities study on three cities at three golden periods. This study is also integrated into math, science and creative arts.

* “The Great Ideas: A Search of Truth” provides the integrative framework for the eighth grade humanities . Students apply their new skills and knowledge to the study of the great questions, the great thinkers, and the great ideas.

- Writing:  Sixth grade writing centers on students learning a love for the language and increasing their work output, as well as learning basic grammar. The course develops both fiction and essay writing skills. Seventh grade writing focuses on the individual and collective skills of the expository essay process. Eighth grade writing develops a number of long-range essays and research projects based upon the skills acquired in seventh grade.

Affective Education:
It is critical for students with high academic skills to also develop sound social skills based upon the principles of inclusion, community and service. A school must establish mechanisms specifically to teach those skills as opposed to merely expecting they will be learned. Increasing students' emotional intelligence through skill building, honest communication, problem solving and service learning are all aspects of the affective education curriculum at Odyssey.

Advisory, big brother / big sister program, student council, school meeting, service learning and seminar all play a part in supporting the skills and curriculum of the emotional intelligence class: Self-Science. This program is designed to build and strengthen the ability to effectively function in the various communities of which each student is a member both in and out of school.

Additionally:  Odyssey's 3 year program culminates in a 3 week trip to Japan.

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Address: 201 Polhemus Road,94402, San Mateo, California , USA
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