Gifted & Talented

The structure and programs at Odyssey Heights are ideal for both gifted students (academic and/or artistic), and gifted students with other IEP needs (anxiety, LD, ADHD,…). The multiage Learning Communities facilitate working at higher grade levels in one or more subjects. Team teaching and a maximum in class  student to teacher ratio of 10:1  means more individual attention for all students. Project based learning allows all students to pursue their unique interests in depth. Micro-economy student-run enterprises - which are a core part of Montessori education and the OE3 program - allow gifted students opportunities to make their creative ideas a reality. 

Flexible Attendance & Curriculum for Student Actors, Models, Dancers, and Other Gifted Students With Professional Careers

A custom flexible attendance program is available for girls gifted in the arts who have professional careers as actors, models, dancers (including pre-professional training), and other performing artists. We currently have the Hatchibabies actress, a model, and a pre-professional dancer in our community. While curriculum is more flexible for elementary grades, custom programs including part-time high school with some Ontario Secondary School credit courses is possible and is currently being done for girls of age to take grade 9-12 credit courses. One flexible option is to work towards the Ontario Secondary School Certificate, 6 AP exams, and a custom learning plan of guided independent research and work. This allows the most schedule flexibility, while still meeting university and college admission requirements. Students with excellent AP exam marks may be eligible for advanced standing in post-secondary programs.

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Anxiety & Depression

Daily exercise, sufficient sleep, and a healthy diet are key factors in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. The late start at 9:55am with daily physical activity, and healthy meals eaten together family style support these factors. 

Supports for students with anxiety and depression include: 

  • testing accommodations -

    • Additional time

    • Private room with a choice of seating

    • Breaks

    • “chunking” of larger tests/exams into sections

    • Scheduling accommodations

    • Use of technology

  • more frequent one-on-one contact with teachers,

  • a peaceful environment with quiet areas and a choice of seating (including couches with blankets to curl up with) ,

  • daily mindfulness moments for every Odyssey Heights student

  • access to a Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment lamp , and a private room/area for treatment during school hours (with doctor’s prescription),

  • private areas for quiet study and taking breaks.

  • Flexible deadlines for assignments,

All teachers have Mental Health First Aid Certification. In addition, several child and family psychologists are our neighbours -  making attending counselling sessions during afternoon work periods or immediately after school very convenient. 

As our director and founding principal Ms. Elizabeth has overcome PTSD and panic disorder, (and has not had a panic attack in over 12 years), there is great support and empathy for girls with mental health needs, as well as a strong role model and advocate.

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Dyslexia, Other Learning Disabilities, & ADHD

An IEP is developed and implemented before each student with learning disabilities and/or ADHD starts her first year at Odyssey Heights School. IEPs are  created with input from families, the student, past teachers, medical professionals and recent psychoeducational assessment. Ongoing and open dialog with families, the principal, medical and support professionals, and the student helps adjust to changing needs.

As we have a 1:1 iPad environment, all students have access to built-in text-to-speech and speech-to-text for all their school work. Audiobooks are available for almost all English and Language Arts novels and books. In addition, at least one audiobook novel or biography is included in the English and Language Arts curriculum every year- because developing listening skills is important. For students with dyslexia, reading materials can easily be converted to “Dyslexie” font - a special font created by and and for people with dyslexia that aids in reading text.

All students participate in the Learning Strategies POGO week at the beginning of the school year. This first full week in school (after the overnight OE3 trip to Long Point), focuses: on how to learn, study and organizational skills, and self-assessment of learning styles. Students receive their iPads during this week while learning how to use them for learning and organization. Montessori methods are especially effective for students with LDs and ADHD as the majority of lessons are presented one-on-one or in small groups.

Please contact Ms. Elizabeth directly for more details: mselizabeth@odysseyheights.ca