Parent and Student FAQs
How much does the Odyssey program cost?
Odyssey charges a nominal one-time $35.00 registration/acceptance fee for each student accepted into the program. The actual cost per student, including transportation and meals, is significant–nearly $3,000. These expenses are covered by the generous donations and contributions of local foundations, businesses, and individuals; the Atlantic Public Schools; and The Westminster Schools. In order to receive this massive scholarship applicants must fill out an anonymous demographics questionnaire while filling out their online application.
How long does the Odyssey program last?
Odyssey is a six-week program. Odyssey High runs for five weeks. Each week consists of five activity-filled days beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 4:45 p.m. (2:45 for Odyssey R7th-R12th students). Odyssey students and their families must make a commitment to attending Odyssey. Students cannot miss more than 3 days of the program, regardless of whether or not the absences are excused. This dedication helps students reach their full potential and gain the most from the Odyssey summer program. It also ensures students do not burden members of their project-based groups, who will have to pick up the slack. If you know that you cannot participate in the entire program, please do not submit an application. Students who do not complete the program, for any reason, cannot reapply.
How do the students get to and from The Westminster Schools?
Grades 1-6: Odyssey contracts yellow school buses solely for Odyssey scholars in grades 1-6. Buses will pick up the younger Odyssey students at designated elementary schools within the metro-Atlanta area. Odyssey promises to do our best to reach the broadest area within the Perimeter as possible. We cannot, however, guarantee any particular school will be a designated pick up location, and Odyssey will not establish these locations until spring before each program.
Grades 7-12: If they choose, non-driving middle and high school students will receive weekly MARTA cards to get to the Arts Center MARTA Station and then take a yellow school bus provided by Odyssey to The Westminster Schools. Odyssey has designated staff members every trip to meet students each morning at the ARTS MARTA station and dismiss them at the end of each day.
Other options: Parents may also drop off/pick up their students, and older students with a valid license are allowed to drive themselves. Odyssey does not authorize Uber/Lyft/taxi ride for students. Commissioning such a ride is not condoned by Odyssey or Westminster and will be carried out at the parent or guardian's own risk.
How do I sign up my child?
Odyssey actively recruits students that attend Atlanta Public Schools; however students from all over the Atlanta area may apply, so long as they understand the transportation arrangement (above). Transportation can only be provided within the metro-Atlanta area. If a scholar may experience a commute over 40 minutes each way, Odyssey asks that you tell us how you plan on maintaining your attendance in the "Notes" section of the application.
All students will need to complete an online application-- whether they are returning or new. Odyssey does not automatically re-enroll any student for any reason. Scholars must express interest year after year. New Students will also need to submit their most recent report card and student ID number, one New Student Recommendation Form, and a short essay (appropriate for each age group). Odyssey highly recommends having these additional documents prepared BEFORE the application process is started.
What if my child didn’t complete a year, but wants to re-apply?
A student that did not successfully complete a summer at Odyssey, is welcome to re-apply, but must re-apply as a NEW student. The student will need to be accepted on their own merit, in the same pool as other new applicants. For example, a student missed more than three days and therefore did not successfully complete Odyssey, may reapply in a subsequent year, but will need to re-apply as a NEW student using the New Student Application. Odyssey makes no guarantee that that scholar will be selected
Please keep in mind that a student who was dismissed for poor behavior or other behavioral or disciplinary charges may not re-apply. It is understood that Odyssey has relatively few rules and will not tolerate offenders. Offenses such as stealing, bullying, fighting, property damage, or sexual harassment are expulsionary offenses and a student who engages in said activities cannot return to Odyssey. Students who have been suspended at their own schools, must indicate such on their application. Odyssey does not discriminate against students who have been suspended. However, the selection committee will weigh the student's overall ability to express their mistake and their ability to learn from said mistake.
How are students chosen to participate in Odyssey’s program?
Admission is based on a variety of criteria. Please keep in mind the each applicant's ENTIRE application will be thoroughly reviewed, including anything left in the "Notes" section at the end of the application.
The Odyssey program is a focused program aimed to help the “middle third” students at Atlanta-area schools. These students make primarily B's and C's; with a few exceptions. Our goal is to give students the extra help in the summer months so they can excel in the coming school year and improve their chances for college acceptance. These students enjoy being challenged and are goal-oriented; they enjoy extracurricular activities and the ability to learn new skills.
Odyssey is committed to serving students from low-performing or failing schools, students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, and students who will become first-generation scholars. The selection committee looks closely at the student’s recommendations as well as at the student application, income level, "home" school, and report card--including teacher remarks. As Odyssey is a thematic-based project-based program, students must also work well in groups. Students need to be able to articulately express themselves in their application and short essay. New Students essays, or other creative medium, are age-appropriate for their grade level. Younger students (R1st-R3rd) may dictate their thoughts to an adult or guardian who is completing the online application.
I have a RETURNING student & a NEW student. What do I do?
Odyssey gives priority placement to returning students. As long as a student successfully completes the Return Student Application and returns it to Odyssey with payment by the posted deadline, they will be accepted back into the program.
New Students need to ensure they are diligently completing the application process and returning it with the necessary supporting documents by the deadline in order to be considered. Having a sibling that is already a confirmed participant of Odyssey, does not constitute special treatment or priority placement within the program. Each student must be admitted into Odyssey on their own merit. Many Odyssey families apply several years in a row before all members gain acceptance.