Odyssey Charter Schools opened their second charter school, OCS-South, in Pasadena, California, last year. Their community presently includes transitional kindergarten through to 4th grade, with the goal of adding an additional grade each year until they include grade 8.
The original Odyssey Charter School and OCS-South share a deep-rooted commitment to ensuring their programs, facilities, and practices are grounded in sustainability and ecological literacy, beginning with their “classroom without walls” learning philosophy.
This practice develops student’s academic skills learnt alongside real life exploration, investigation, reflection, and collaboration with other students, teachers, parents and the wider community. Odysseys’ three interdependent student-focused learning domains— academic excellence, social emotional wellbeing, and social responsibility – work in unison to establish inclusive learning environments for all students. It is through their unique school system with a strong focus on social responsibility that students develop the accomplished sustainability and ecological literacy skills that they have.
Odyssey demonstrates their commitment to their environmental and sustainability education through a number of initiatives, including the gardening program. This provides students with a nature-based experience that helps them engage in ecological hands-on learning, critical thinking, and development of their collaboration skills; skills needed by all students to thrive in this century and the next.
Within the classroom OCS continues environmental education by committing to choosing sustainable learning furniture wherever possible and using it to encourage students to ask questions about their environment and their responsibility to it, including, where do the products come from? What they are made of? What else they can be? and how the choices they make impact their community and the planet?
Here OCS-South shares photos of their learning environments with their new Natural Pod furniture and manipulatives. Thank you, Odyssey!