What IEP Needs Odyssey Heights
Supports & Accommodates
Supports & Accommodations
Who we support & accommodate
Odyssey Heights provides a supportive, welcoming, and enriched learning community. We specialize in supporting and inspiring, kind, well-behaved girls with giftedness - particularly those who benefit from individualized learning, lower student to teacher ratio, and love the outdoors and horses. We value the uniqueness of gifted girls who also need supports for dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety, mild/treated depression, and some learning disabilities (e.g. short-term memory, executive functioning).
As a small school and a community of learners who spend significant time living together on overnight and day long day trips, the ability to be a positive member of the community is imperative and a key consideration in admissions. Many girls who need supports and accommodations for their IEP needs have wonderfully creative ways of thinking* and are an excellent fit for our community. Parents should not be concerned that students with IEP needs who are accepted at OHS will cause disruptions to their daughter’s or other students learning, safety, or social development. Rather all girls that are accepted are a good fit for both the school and their peer group.
*e.g. One student with dyslexia asked: “So if someone is illegally downloading music and movies in Cuba, Jamaica, or Barbados are they a ‘Pirate of the Caribbean.” People with dyslexia tend to see the world in pictures and be able to make connections between seemingly disparate concepts/facts. They tend to be excel at seeing the big picture.
Odyssey Heights has IEP Supports and Accommodates For:
General anxiety/perfectionism/worries more than her peers
Mild/Moderate social anxiety (cares a lot about what others think, is likely emotionally gifted)
Depression (mild/not in crisis)
Learning Disabilities (eg short term memory, processing speed, visual-spatial, NVLD - poor coordination/gets lost easily,)
Mild Autism/Aspergers (Admission of students on the spectrum is on a case-by-case basis as there is a wide very range of educational, social, and emotional needs/accommodations for those with Aspergers/who are mildly “on the spectrum”.)
Please click here for information on the Transition Program for students with these IEP needs who are not working at their grade level due to a lack of supports and accommodations for their learning needs. The goal is to have students working as independently as their peers at grade level within their first year at Odyssey Heights.
Odyssey Heights Accommodates (within reason), But Doesn't Have Specific In-School Supports/Interventions For:
This means that students with the following needs will have appropriate accommodations (such as more flexible attendance, more support for text to speech/speech to text), but does not have staff who are responsible for medical supports or interventions (e.g. We don’t have medical staff who treat diabetes, or concussions.)
Some common medical conditions* (migraines, severe period pains, type 1 diabetes,…)
Due to potential safety issues in our active program, students with medical conditions must be able to manage their own medical needs (e.g. manage their blood sugar levels), and their condition must be stable to be full time students. Students who need daily parental help to mange their medical needs (i.e. blood sugar levels), may still apply, but may need to start as a part-time student or a full-time student without overnight trips.
All medications, except some critical emergency medication (e.g. emergency insulin/glucose, epi-pen,..), will be held by OHS staff, and students will take their medication in the presence of school staff.
Injuries (sprains, breaks, ...)
Concussions (acute/during the school year)
There is a strict return to school/activities policy on concussions. It currently going through the annual review.
Wisdom teeth/dental surgery recovery
temporary family issues: e.g. death in the family (including a pet), illness, moving,
physical illness: students who are contagious must stay home, and work remotely - including video conferencing.
Offsite/supportive homeschooling for enrolled students who experience an unforeseen trauma during the school year/summer.
E.g. If one of our full-time students witnesses a terrible accident/death/violent event and has PTSD from it, we will support her education remotely while she is recovering. (This may include video conferencing, at home/in hospital academic coaching.)
physical & Mental Health & Safety Policy
OHS is The only school that has medically based policies in place to ensure both a physically and a mentally safe learning environment for all students
Odyssey Heights School for Girls/École pour filles Odyssey Heights is the only school in the GTHA that requires all students to have regular access to mental health supports* - just like we require students to have a family doctor, dentist, and eye doctor, and provide yearly doctor completed physical health forms, proof of vaccinations. This ensures that girls in their sensitive teen years have someone to talk to and someone to catch any potential issues early - before they become a crisis* and/or a negative issue in the school community. Our students are physically and mentally healthy and safe.
For students without IEPs for anxiety or depression, or those with anxiety/depression who are successful graduates of therapy programs, it's as simple as a 10-20 minute "checking in and checking up" appointment once a month. This catches any potential mental health issues early, and will greatly help prevent an enrolled student developing a mental health crisis that impacts herself and her learning community. Regular mental health supports also help destigmatize mental health needs, and provide girls with life skills in managing their health (and also the ability to help/encourage friends access care). For girls who are very mentally healthy appointments can be used to further develop skills that will serve them well in stressful times though out their life.
Free, walk-in, no health card required, counselling/mental health check ups are available at Skylark clinics at Yonge and Eglinton (under Northern District Library) and 65 Wellsely Street East. Parents can also drop in to Skylark to talk about and learn about teen mental health.
*Did you know that Mental Health Supports can include equine therapy ! (The program must be done with a registered counsellor, nurse, or social worker)
Gifted students dealing with general/test/performance anxiety, and/or those with mild-moderate depression who have not developed successful habits will require more supports. A mental health supports plan will be worked out with families as part of the enrollment process.
Odyssey Heights is NOT a school for Troubled Teens!
When seeing that we support girls with anxiety and depression, several moms were concerned that their gifted, sensitive, horse loving daughters would be in a class with girls who are troubled, at risk, abuse drugs and/or alcohol, or have suicidal thoughts.
The answer is a definitive NO!
The safety of our community members is paramount. Girls who are socially disruptive, and/or are at risk of harming themselves or others cannot be accepted at Odyssey Heights. All students must be academically* and socially capable of being positive members of the learning community at Odyssey Heights. Aggressive, disruptive, or violent behaviours are not tolerated and will result in immediate suspension, most likely expulsion, and potentially legal consequences.
The 2019-2020 Registration Booklet - provided to all parents immediately after enrollment - outlines the Student Code of Conduct (aka the Honour Code), as well as progressive discipline, and includes the required physical and mental health supports forms. Odyssey Heights is the only school in the GTA that requires a mental health form filled out by a medical professional in addition to the physical health forms for both new students, and at the beginning of every school year for all students.
*With appropriate supports and accommodations.