Cocurricular Programs

Odyssey's Cocurricular programs are an integral part of our students' education. Regularly scheduled Art, Gardening, Technology, and Physical Education classes provide students with a rich educational experience which recognizes the diverse strengths, interests, and learning styles of all our students.


Art Education

Art classes at Odyssey invite children to explore a wide variety of art mediums and approaches with the goal of developing artistic behaviors that children can bring with them into everything they do. Classes usually begin with a brief discussion about a particular artist, art historical movement, technique, or theme. Collaborations with classroom teachers enrich the themes we study and help students make connections to other subject areas. The bulk of class time is spent actively engaged in artmaking; students develop skills and vocabulary in Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Collage, Sculpture, Fiber Arts, and Clay, building on what they learned the previous year. There are several opportunities each trimester to work on self-directed projects, which allow children to choose subject matter, medium, and process for themselves. At the end of each year, each child selects a few pieces of their best work to display in a school wide Art Exhibition.

You can view all our happenings on the Odyssey Art Blog at https://ocsartblog.wordpress.com/

Ms. Nicole Capps is Odyssey Charter School's Art Teacher for grades K-8. She received her MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine, has worked with children for over twelve years, and has taught art to a wide range of age groups from preschool to college. Many years of teaching in developmental, play-based preschools has influenced the way she teaches art, by focusing on process and exploration of ideas and materials. Nicole loves inspiring students to invent and  discover, and believes that art can help us reflect on ourselves, our history, and the world around us to create positive change.


Gardening & Odyssey Orchards

The goal of gardening class, also known as Odyssey Orchards, is to provide all students at Odyssey Charter School with a dynamic edible schoolyard and nature-based learning experience. Odyssey Orchards is a 1 acre school garden and fruit orchard, where students learn how to care for the earth, grow healthy food, develop hands-on skills, and integrate their learning in a whole-systems context. Our garden program integrates the following curricular approaches into fully engaged learning experiences:

ECOLOGICAL: Learn through, with and from nature
HANDS-ON: Learn by doing and engaging the senses.
INTERDISCIPLINARY: Learn within and across disciplines.
EXPLORATORY: Learn by playing and exploring.

You can view all our happenings on the Odyssey Orchards at http://odysseyorchards.org/

Mr. Daryl Bilandzija is the garden teacher at Odyssey Charter School and has 16 years of experience in teaching English, history, theatre, science and gardening to students in grades K-12. Daryl received his Bachelor of Arts in English, a Master of Arts in Urban Sustainability, a CA teaching credential in English, and is certified in Permaculture Design. As the founder and director of Odyssey Orchards, Daryl is a firm believer in the importance and power of nature-based learning and interdisciplinary, outdoor education. When he’s not wrangling chickens and students in the garden, he enjoys woodworking, playing tennis, and having adventures with his wife and three children.

 


Physical Education

Students in grades kindergarten through eighth enjoy physical education class twice per week. During PE, students will experience a variety of movement techniques throughout the school year. With the added benefit of all students seeing both PE teachers on campus, they will be exposed to a wealth of kinetic movement and challenges. In classes, students will be introduced to dance, including but not limited to, ballet, jazz, swing and contemporary. Additionally, Pilates, yoga and strength training will be a regular part of their PE experience enabling students to increase flexibility and core strength.

Ms. Jessica Bilandzija and Ms. Kamiko Johnson serve as the PE Teachers at Odyssey Charter School. 

Ms. Jessica Bilandzija began her teaching career at the age of 18 as a physical education TA for grades 1st - 6th grades in San Diego, CA. She earned her BA in English from Sonoma State University and her Single Subject Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University. Jessica worked with Americorps through their Project Scholars reading program and earned the APLE grant for her work in public schools. Her first year of teaching English was at Mission High School in the Mission District of San Francisco where her classes included World Literature, Reading Recovery for 9th graders, and CAHSEE for high school seniors. After the birth of her first daughter, Jessica temporarily left the classroom, relocated to Los Angeles, and earned her Personal Training Certification. With a background in dance and tennis, she began teaching fitness classes to adults and children, combining her love of fitness and teaching. In 2008, Jessica joined Odyssey as a 6th grade Language Arts teacher. Currently she serves as both a PE teacher for k-8th grades and as a Reading Recovery teacher for 4th - 6th grades. She is excited to bring dance, pilates, yoga and strength training to the students at Odyssey Charter School, enabling kids to recognize their physical strengths beyond sports and games. Jessica enjoys road trips, camping, broadway musicals, and downtime at home with her husband and three children, as well as creating epic staff rockfest routines with her workout and dance partner in crime Boon.

Ms. Kamiko Johnson began working at Odyssey Charter School in 2010. She received her BA from California State University, Northridge. Kamiko started working at OCS as a Teacher’s Aide for first/second grade. She was promoted in 2014 and is now currently one of the K-8 PE teachers. She has been teaching sports and exercise for children for the past 16 years, and encourages continuous physical development. She has been playing sports for over 25 years as well as collegiately and has extensive knowledge in a multitude of sports and exercises. Kamiko has been coaching club and high school soccer for eight years and believes physical activity helps students develop confidence. While not teaching at OCS Kamiko enjoys horseback riding, travelling and watching sports. She also plays competitive soccer and has played in three countries overseas.


Technology Education

Technology is an integral and constantly evolving tool used by students and teachers in the teaching and learning process. As a Google Apps for Education campus, our students and teachers use a multitude of apps to enhance and improve their daily experince within and outside the classroom.

Mr. Nathaniel Hanna serves as the Instructional Technology Coach at Odyssey Charter School. Mr. Hanna is responsible for creating technology-based curriculum used in all grades, maintaining on campus technology, teaching Multimedia Elective and is a "Technology Co-Teacher", which consists of helping teachers and students use technology in the classroom during learning time.