Tuesday, June 09, 2009

CONGRATULATIONS ODYSSEY!!!


Odyssey is ranked #95

on Newsweek's list of the nations best schools

SCATS ~~ Greece has FINALLY made an academic accomplishment that is newsworthy! What a shame that everyone who wants to attend this school can't :(

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Every year I ask the same question: If it can be done at one school, why can't it be done at others, Mr. Superintendent? Why are you incapable of duplicating this success elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

5:54. The success is not his to duplicate. Why aren't you asking the teachers of the others schools this question? Teachers have more to do with a successful culture than the super.

Anonymous said...

Let us remember that parents need to "get their kids in" to this school. So let us also think about the type of child who goes there, and for the most part they are from a family that values education. That can not be said for every school.

Anonymous said...

The kids at OA are cherry picked that is why ot can not be duplicated. There is no special ed or troubled youth. That is the great mystery.

Anonymous said...

The teachers were handpicked too. That makes a huge difference.

Anonymous said...

There are teachers at Odyssey that are horrible (like any other building...) Look to why Pine brook and Odyseey are the most successful....that have "select" students who come from involved parents. These schools have the same resources as the other schools, they simply benefit from a district created opportunity to "skim the best" from the top.

Anonymous said...

Take the Odyssey or Pinebrook staff and move them to Longridge or Olympia...Do you honestly think they they will have the same results?

Anonymous said...

Aside from the handpicked student body and teaching staff, there are VAST differences between Odyssey and the district's other MS/HS buildings. Example- students don't eat in Odyssey's cafeteria. They eat lunch in classrooms with a teacher on hand. Odyssey teachers make concessions that other teachers get in the contract. This is but one and it makes a big impact on discipline in the building.

Anonymous said...

Could our Steve do that? http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/education/090609_armed_gunman_at_rockland_middle_school

Anonymous said...

Odyssey kids are the lottery kids. And like other posters here the teachers are hand picked. They don't deal with the "pass the trash" teachers the other schools deal with.

And a little off topic, but I was going by Apollo last night about 6:00PM and I saw our so called professional teachers out in front picketing with signs complaining they were not getting paid enough and all that other crap. When is the union going to wise up? The community cares about teachers who can actually teach but could give a rats ass about the union and their demands. Their contract is beyond lucrative. Give me a freakin break.

Anonymous said...

Everything said since 5:54pm addresses items OTHER than what 5:54pm asked. The question is valid: Why is the superintendent incapable of duplicating this success elsewhere?

Walts is proof positive that wholesale change is attainable with a commitment to achieve it.

"Handpicked teachers", "hand picked students", blah blah blah blah. Excuses.

There are several common threads evident, when examining the success of the "Newsweek 100" schools. First and foremost: Clear and results-focused leadership at the central administration, driving success at the building level (by several methods, none of which require Machiavellian tactics...unlike the Walts administration).

What personal skills are lacking that keep Greece's central administration from being able to duplicate Odyssey's success elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

to 8:24 - the answer is very simple. What keeps Odyssey's success from being duplicated elsewhere is (drumroll please!)

THE SCHOOLBOARD!!!

Charlie Hubbard said...

To 8:24 you ask a very good question and let me offer what I think is the biggest reason.
OPTION
The people running Odyssey can say to a kid (or a staff member) 'these' are the rules - this is what is expected of you PERIOD and if you don't like it you have the OPTION to go back to your 'other'.

Other schools don't have that OPTION therefore about 5% of the kids who cause 95% of the problems at our middle and high schools and who have a negitive impact on the rest of the kids must stay and be dealt with if possible.

Some of us wanted to have an 'alternitive' school for the 5% so that all schools had an OPTION which would have included no sports or extra-cirricular activities for the chosen 5%.

We failed but I can gareentee you we tried.

Anonymous said...

I think the kids at Odyssey are challenged more. They are pushed to take IB and AP. Even the non IB/AP kids are pushed hard.

And I think that extracurricular are important and do improve grades. The percentage of kids in sports and other activities at Odyssey is off the chart. Kids are encouraged to do at least one thing, and the fact that it is a small school trying to field full sports teams and music programs means that there are rarely cuts, so anyone that wants to can participate.

SCATS said...

To 12:56PM ~~ You've just made an excellent point, something I've said many times in the past. Students rise to the EXPECTATIONS that are placed upon them! If you believe that you can't accomplish something, you're probably right. It's called a self-fulfilled prophesy. Greece Central really succeeds in this department. Just look at our BOE. If it's tough to do, it just doesn't get done.

However, I'm also pretty sure that having selected teachers and students helps, too ;)

Anonymous said...

What is the percentage of parents from Pinebrook, West Ridge, and Odyssey who SUPPORT the budget?

They are simply voting to provide a "private level education at a public education price..." I know that Pinebrook/Odyssey skim the "best" throughout Greece. I see it EVERY year. Why else was there such an uproar from "select parents" hear of talk to eliminate "schools of choice?" Look at the term - "SCHOOLS OF CHOICE...." IE. "Choice kids!"

Charlie Hubbard said...

Aside from dividing the community, the purpose of schools of choice, signature schools, open enrollment is?
Would someone please describe the benefit.
Gas prices are going back up big time, what are we doing to prepare?
In these economic times it would seem to me that any and all spending beyond what is mandated would be under extra scrutiny.
With what is going on in Albany (out of money) and what would appear to be smaller increases in state-aid (if any)down the road what are we doing via planning?

I will say without any reservations that ANY tax increases will be met with STRONG oppossion and rightfully so.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy for Odyssey that they received this recognition, but don't feel my kids have missed out on anything academically by not going there. Students at the larger schools in Greece have the opportunity to take as many or as few AP courses offered by the district as they wish. My children at Arcadia filled their schedules with AP courses during junior and senior years and got into excellent colleges. Not being in an IB program was not detrimental to them in the least. With a set number of pre-IB and IB students in grades 6-12 at Odyssey, the number of students taking challenging courses (IB) will be pretty high, which is what the national rankings are based upon. There are smart students, great teachers, and involved parents at the other Greece schools as well, but the populations at those schools are larger and more transient. That being said, there is always room for improvement and I'm glad the national rankings may be helping to raise the bar at all of the schools.

Anonymous said...

To 9:32 what your child is "missing" out on is the quality and quantity of eduction provided. You child could possibly be not at his/her potential as classes there are so many distractions to the classrooms and number of kids that it is unlikely that all are at the level they could be.

So any child that does not have the opportunity to meet or exceed personal ability misses out.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting me know what my kids have missed out on by going to Arcadia instead of Odyssey. I’ll have to call Cornell and Skidmore and tell them they accepted the wrong students. Oh, I’ll also let my kids know the internships they have this summer can’t possibly have anything do with their qualifications since they certainly didn’t reach their full potential in high school with all of the distractions. NOT! Go Titans!

Anonymous said...

To 11:48, I think you mis-understood what I sid. I do think that kids that are driven will be successful no matter the setting. I do however think there are many kisd in this district that have the potential but don't get the same individualized attention that the OA studnets get. I too have a studnet at AHS and she will no doubt go to the college of her choice. I do have another very good student that given the type of classroom and studnet population at OA I think she would be much more successful in school. Class size and studnet dynamics also contribute to student achievment.

Anonymous said...

to 11:48

I was not putting down the other HS's and minimizing the success of many of the kids graduating from our schools.

And I did not say all kids are missing out.

Anonymous said...

It seems that in large, the kids missing out have darker skin than those at OA. Gotta love that lottery!

Anonymous said...

Agreed. By all accounts, I think Odyssey is a great school. However, no school is perfect. The "bubble" at Odyssey has its advantages and disadvantages.

Anonymous said...

1:28 -Please enlighten me about the disadvantages an Odyssey student faces. Aside from lacking their own football team, I've found none!

Anonymous said...

To 1:55:

A major disadvantage that Odyssey has is because of its small size, the types of subjects offered are limited. The other schools offer classes not available to Odyssey students, many in the technology and language areas. A recent example is the elimination of French. Spanish is the only foreign language now offered.

Anonymous said...

7:05- what you call a disadvantage might well be an advantage! By focusing resources on one language I'll bet more students perform better.

Anonymous said...

to 7:05

its obvious from the lengthy wait lists that what you call a disadvantage is not seen as one by the chosen masses!

Anonymous said...

7:05, if you don't already sell snake oil, you should.

Anonymous said...

TO 6/111/09 9:32- Well said!
It appears you are a very involved parent in your children's education. And yes the opportunities for students to challenge themselves is available in ALL the high schools. Also true is that there ARE high achieving students and great teachers and very involved parents in ALL the high schools. Raising the bar is a good thing !

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ with you 9:13. Something that isn't at all the schools is the opportunity to participate in music and sports just because you want to. At Odyssey, that chance is available to all. The other schools let half their teams bench warm the entire season. It's ridiculous.