Campus 2018-04-05T05:01:38+00:00


Dear Odyssey Families:

Thanks to all who came to the first annual TOPA Family Fun Run on Saturday, March 24. It was a great success. Over 150 people walked or ran the course, and raised money for Water is Life.

The winners of the Grand Prize Drawing were the Moore family, with 4 Odyssey scholars. Congratulations, and enjoy a year’s membership to the World Wildlife Zoo!

Thank you all for supporting the TOPA Community!

Lorrese Roer, Principal                       Dr. Hugh Thompson, Assistant Principal

2017-2018 Calendar for The Odyssey Preparatory Academy

We understand that there have been some supply issues with our Music program this fall. Please read the letter below for details and links.

Letter to Parents of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Music Scholars

For parents of students in grades K-3, the State’s Move On When Reading (MOWR) laws are important. The link below provides a letter in both English and Spanish regarding this law and how TOPA is complying.

Letter to Parents regarding MOWR in English and Spanish

Contact Information: 

Summer Hours:
June 5 – June 29; July 10 – July 27
Monday – Thursday, 9:00 – 3:00
Closed Fridays
Closed from June 30 through July 9
July 31 – August 17
Monday – Thursday8:00 – 4:00
Regular office hours resume on August 21 
Monday – Thursday7:00 – 5:00


Phone: (623) 444-9934

Fax:  (623) 444-9654

Attendance:  attendancesiennahills@topamail.com

Location: 2400 N Sienna Hills Pkwy, Buckeye AZ 85396

Near Verrado Way and McDowell Road, just north of the I-10. Take McDowell west to Sienna Hills Parkway, then turn right and go north about half a mile. We are not yet on some internet maps.

When dropping off or picking up your scholar(s) in the line, go to the end of Sienna Hills Parkway, make a U-turn, and join the queue. Please do not block the bus access or entrance to the parking lot.


  • Golf Tournament Image
  • Classroom
  • Zoo Field Trip
  • Sienna Hills Playground
  • Sienna Hills Music
  • Sienna Hills Groundbreaking

At the Odyssey Preparatory Family of Schools every child matters. Odyssey provides a safe and secure environment that facilitates creativity and fun. All scholars are given the opportunity to discover and use their talents to make a positive impact on their community and the world. Through the use of innovative curriculum and technology, students at Odyssey are empowered to become compassionate lifelong learners, respectful of intercultural communities and will be prepared to lead in the ever-changing global market place.

What started out in 2009 as a school in a strip mall, now has 5 campuses: 3 elementary campuses, a middle school and a high school campus. The schools you choose to attend mark the first steps you take in building your future’s foundation. Your elementary school education sets you up for a successful high school. Your high school education is your first milestone to enrolling into higher education or entering a competitive job market.

You have the right to a quality education, one that will prepare you for endless opportunities in your journey through life.

Pre-Enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year.

The Odyssey Family of Schools is excited you’re interested in enrolling at one of our schools. Enrollment slots are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the date that complete pre-registration information is submitted. Enrollment preferences for children of employees and governing board members and siblings of enrolled scholars are given as per ARS §15-184. Notification of enrollment or waitlist status will be made on Feb. 2, 2018. Following that date, enrollment is offered on a rolling basis as seats become available. Completed enrollment documentation must be submitted within ten days of the offer or the offer will expire and pre-enrollment must be completed anew.

Pre-Enrollment Registration

Principal’s Corner

Dear Odyssey Families:

We are excited to welcome you to our second year at TOPA Sienna Hills! Each year Odyssey implements a new theme district-wide. In past years, we have concentrated on building a Culture of Error and embracing a Culture of Responsibility. During the 2017-2018 School Year, we plan on creating a Culture of Community. Our school Core Values state, “At The Odyssey Preparatory Academy all team members are appreciated and valued for their hard work everyday. Teachers, staff, parents and the community are all team members.

As a school, we know that working as team: teachers, parents, scholars, and community, is the best way (and the only way!) to Create Character and Navigate Knowledge. We are all learners and leaders. When we commit to the responsibility of sharing what we know and leading in our area of strength, amazing things happen.

We have a vibrant school community already, but I cannot wait to see what we are able to accomplish together this year as we expand the circles of our community to influence not just our homes and schools, but our world as well!

Thank you for being part of our community!

Lorrese L. Roer
Principal, the TOPA Sienna Hills Campus

Roer Principal's Photo

Lorrese Roer


Current Odyssey Happenings

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  • WATERisLIFE Elementary


At-A-Glance Calendar
2017-18 Calendar
2018-19 Calendar


The Odyssey Preparatory Academy has been a Core Knowledge school since it’s inception. We feel confident that the Core Sequence with its variety of rich literature, focus on the arts, and emphasis placed upon historical context will provide a foundation of prior knowledge that will greatly benefit our scholars as they take on the challenges of high school and university.

Academic Overview:

  • TOPA is an academically rigorous charter school that strictly adheres to the Core Knowledge© curriculum.
  • TOPA uses an exclusive phonics program in reading, incorporates Core Knowledge novels and EngageNY Math to facilitate scholar achievement in Reading and Math.
  • Common Core
    Arizona’s college and career-readiness standards, are a set of high learning expectations in Math and English that are designed to better prepare K-12 students for success in college, work, and life. The standards offer a clear picture of what students should know and be able to do at every grade level.


The Odyssey Preparatory Academy aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring scholars who work to create a better and more peaceful community through intercultural awareness, understanding, and respect. Our scholars will grow as part of a challenging environment that facilitates creativity and fun. Our scholars will be empowered to use their unique talents to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, contribute to solution.
At the Odyssey Preparatory Academy each child matters. Odyssey provides a safe and secure environment where all children are given the opportunity to discover and use their talents to make a positive impact on their community and the world. Through the use of innovative curriculum and technology, students at Odyssey will be prepared to lead in the ever-changing global market place. The positive nature of the Odyssey environment will inspire all team members and will contribute to low teacher turnover and extensive parent volunteerism.
  • At The Odyssey Preparatory Academy every scholar matters and all scholars will be empowered to use their talents in order to grow emotionally and academically.
  • The Odyssey Preparatory Academy will promote an environment of excellence and professionalism.
  • Growth isn’t always measured by test scores.
  • Scholars will be challenged and will feel safe to explore and learn new things on a daily basis.
  • All scholars will be engaged in a learning environment of creativity and fun.
  • At The Odyssey Preparatory Academy all team members are appreciated and valued for their hard work everyday.
  • Teachers, staff, parents and the Buckeye/Goodyear Community are all team members.
  • All team members will engage each other through positive communication and display appropriate behavior.
Navigating KnowledgeCreating CharacterLaunching LeadersFocusing Globally

The Odyssey Preparatory Academy – Family of Schools grounds itself in principles recognized as the Four Pillars.  Odyssey differentiates itself in the educational community by implementing the programs within these pillars that will prepare scholars to succeed in University and beyond.

At The Odyssey Preparatory Academy we strive to create a culture that values risk-taking and responsibility. We continuously strive to model, teach, and prioritize the development of this culture. Our school motto declares: “Navigating Knowledge and Creating Character.” We give equal billing to the development of academic skills and moral compass. Empirical studies have now destroyed the arguments for the self-esteem movements begun in the 1970’s and so prevalent in the 80’s and 90’s . In fact, they have shown that the emphasis on self-esteem has actually done much to damage the self-concept and self-confidence of our children.

We use the Love and Logic program because, with proper implementation, it has been proven to produce or create: 1. Highly supportive and loving families and schools. 2. Parents who establish open communication with their children. 3. Positive parent-teacher relationships and parent involvement. 4. Positive school climate. 5. Appropriate standards for behavior at home and school (i.e., limits). 6. Positive school and parental discipline. 7. Positive relationships between children and adults other than parents. 8. High achievement motivation and aspirations.  9. Learning to use empathy with others. 10. Decision-making skills. 11. Self-esteem. 12. Hope, or a positive view, of the world and the future. As a school, it is our goal to nurture self-confident, empathetic, life-long learners who are prepared to lead their generation. We believe that our commitment to Love and Logic methodology is key to accomplishing this goal.

ACCRS Standards

As stated by the Arizona Department of Education, “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards are the culmination of an extended, broad-based effort to fulfill the charge issued by the states to create the next generation of K–12 standards in order to help ensure that all students are college and career ready in literacy and mathematics no later than the end of high school.”

As a public charter school, Odyssey is required to teach the ACCR standards and does so with fidelity. These standards are a not a prescribed curriculum but a set of rigorous skills that each child is expected to master at the end of each grade level. These standards are taught through the Odyssey’s chosen curricula.  For a complete set of Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards please visit: http://www.azed.gov/standards-practices

Standards-Based Grading:  What Parents Need to Know

How is my child really doing?  What are they good at? What can I help them with at home?
If you are like most parents, these are the main things you want to know about your child’s progress in school.  You are not alone!!  At TOPA, we have been working to create a more complete and concise way to communicate with parents their scholars’ strengths and areas where their child could use more support.  We are extremely excited to implement standards-based grading this year as a way to allow parents and teachers the ability to dial in on the specific skills each child needs to learn at their grade level to give parents a more complete picture of how their child is really doing in class.

What is Standards-Based Grading?
Standards-based grading, sometimes called proficiency grading, is a method for teachers to measure how students are doing in meeting the learning goals for their grade level as determined by their state’s standards. Learning goals, sometimes called learning targets, objectives, or standards, are the academic skills your child should know or be able to do for his grade level by the end of the school year.

Standards-based report cards give a grade for each learning goal, so students receive multiple grades in each subject area. In 5th grade math, for example, you’ll see the subject broken into several categories, such as operations/algebraic thinking and fractions. Under each category, you’ll see a list of math skills your child should be able to do, as well as a grade showing how your child is doing.

How a child performs on academic tasks such as assignments and assessments are not the only factor contributing to their success in school.  Work habits and behavior—what TOPA and the IB program call Approaches to Learning—are graded separately to take into account not only academics, but how each child navigates the skills they need to be successful in school.   Behaviors such as completing tasks on time, going to class prepared, working cooperatively with others and contributing positively to class discussions are as equally important to building a child’s success in school as is how they do on a math test.  This year, you will see how your child is progressing on these work habits, behaviors, or Approaches to Learning (ATLs) in addition to the typical subject specific grades.  This ability to look at how your child achieves on academic tasks as well as work habits will allow you and your child’s teacher to provide more targeted and specific support exactly to any areas with which a child may be struggling, ultimately allowing a child to get back on track more quickly.

How Standards-Based Grades Differ From Traditional Letter Grades
Providing grades for academic proficiency and work habits gives parents more information about the areas in which their child needs to improve than the traditional letter grading system. The traditional grading system combines many elements—test scores, quizzes, completed homework, classroom participation, coming to school on time, extra credit—and averages the semester’s work into a percentage that correlates with a letter grade.

Miguel Boriss, an 8th grade science teacher in Bellingham, Wash., explains letter grades this way: “One student might bring home a B because she did all the work, turned in all her homework, and participated in class but didn’t quite understand the concepts. Another student might bring home a B because he aced all the tests and quizzes but didn’t do any of the homework and didn’t participate in class,” he says. “Each student earns the same grade but for very different reasons, and the grade doesn’t tell parents very much about what the student knows.”

Because standards-based report cards separate the two, you can see if your child needs help with an academic concept or can’t remember to turn in homework. Both should be addressed. An overarching goal in education these days is to develop students who not only master academic content but also demonstrate attributes for successful learning beyond school.

How Progress Is Measured
This year, TOPA will begin to use a four-part scale to denote levels of achievement with descriptors such as:

  • Highly Proficient (4)
  • Proficient (3)
  • Partially Proficient (2)
  • Minimally Proficient (1)

Approaches to Learning (Behaviors) will be graded using the following scale:

  • Exceeds Grade Level Expectations (4)
  • Meets Grade Level Expectations (3)
  • Progressing Towards Grade Level Expectations (2)
  • Far Below Grade Level Expectations (1)

While there will be standards (or learning targets) that scholars work on all year long, they will be graded each quarter on what they are expected to know by the end of the quarter.  So, for example, if your scholar’s learning target is to learn her multiplication tables by the end of the year, her proficiency grade in the first quarter might be to have learned tables 1-3, in the second quarter to have mastered tables 1-6, and so on.

How Do You Know How Your Child Is Doing?
Keep in mind that a 3 or “proficient” isn’t the same as a B. It means your child has met state standards, and that’s good! (In fact, The new Common Core standards will be raising the academic bar.)

Also, even top students can earn a 2 or “approaching proficiency” grade, which can be a shock for some families. But it’s more important to know if your child is struggling with a concept than to see a slew of top grades because of stellar work habits. On the upside, early low scores aren’t averaged into the final grade—so once your child masters the concept, her final grade shows that. Along the way, TOPA recommends checking your school’s online reporting system and communicating with your child’s teachers before problems go too far. “The report card should never come as a surprise,” he says.

Level 4, or the top level, may be the trickiest to understand. If your child earned A’s on traditional report cards, she may have received them for meeting the teacher’s requirements, not necessarily for excelling at or going beyond grade level according to state standard. In the new system, 4’s may be harder to come by (and 3’s should be celebrated). However, earning 4’s should be achievable in the classroom, In each TOPA classroom, the teacher will offer opportunities for students to excel and reach level 4 when applicable. Communicating with your child’s teacher will be key to understanding their progress towards grade level standards.

The important thing is that your child is learning and making progress. Celebrate learning, and the grades will follow!

Click Here to view the Grading Parent Night presentation

Click here to watch a video on how to use Parent Vue with the Standards Based Grading.

What is Core Knowledge?

The Core Knowledge Sequence© is a detailed outline of specific content to be taught in language arts, history, geography, mathematics, science and the fine arts. It is a guide to coherent content from grade to grade, designed to encourage steady academic progress as children build their knowledge and skills from one year to the next. (from Core Knowledge Sequence©, The Core Knowledge Foundation, 1998).

Core Knowledge is:


Many people say that knowledge is changing so fast that what students learn today will soon be outdated. While current events and technology are constantly changing, there is nevertheless a body of lasting knowledge that should form the core of a Preschool-Grade 8 curriculum. Such solid knowledge includes, for example, the basic principles of constitutional government, important events of world history, essential elements of mathematics and of oral and written expression, widely acknowledged masterpieces of art and music, and stories and poems passed down from generation to generation.


Knowledge builds on knowledge. Children learn new knowledge by building on what they already know. Only a school system that clearly defines the knowledge and skills required to participate in each successive grade can be excellent and fair for all students. For this reason, the Core Knowledge Sequence provides a clear outline of content to be learned grade by grade. This sequential building of knowledge not only helps ensure that children enter each new grade ready to learn, but also helps prevent the many repetitions and gaps that characterize much current schooling (repeated units, for example, on pioneer days or the rain forest, but little or no attention to the Bill of Rights, or to adding fractions with unlike denominators).


A typical state or district curriculum says, “Students will demonstrate knowledge of people, events, ideas, and movements that contributed to the development of the United States.” But which people and events? What ideas and movements? In contrast, the Core Knowledge Sequence is distinguished by its specificity. By clearly specifying important knowledge in language arts, history and geography, math, science, and the fine arts, the Core Knowledge Sequence presents a practical answer to the question, “What do our children need to know?”


Literacy depends on shared knowledge. To be literate means, in part, to be familiar with a broad range of knowledge taken for granted by speakers and writers. For example, when sportscasters refer to an upset victory as “David knocking off Goliath,” or when reporters refer to a “threatened presidential veto,” they are assuming that their audience shares certain knowledge. One goal of the Core Knowledge Foundation is to provide all children, regardless of background, with the shared knowledge they need to be included in our national literate culture.

A balanced education that includes the arts, music, foreign language, and physical education is a hallmark of The Odysssey Preparatory Academy. At the elementary level, PE is held daily, Spanish and Music are held two times a week, with all specials classes being taught by educators whose practice is dedicated to their content area. In music, Kindergarten through 2nd grade scholars are provided with opportunities to pursue vocal music that aligns with the Core Knowledge curriculum. 3rd through 5th grade scholars begin exploring their talents in band and strings classes and build a foundation for performance in Odyssey’s middle school.  Spanish classes explicitly teach vocabulary in the younger grades and build to conversational Spanish in the upper grades. Scholars leave our elementary setting with the solid foundation necessary to seemlessly transfer into our IB World Programme. Expectations for student accomplishment in each of our specials areas and across grade levels are high and scholars emerge well prepared for their future endeavors
Each Odyssey morning begins with Morning Meeting. Morning Meeting is an engaging way to start each day, build a strong sense of community, and set children up for success socially and academically. Each morning, students and teachers gather together in a circle for twenty to thirty minutes and interact with one another during four purposeful components:


Students and teachers greet one other by name and practice offering hospitality.


Students share information about important events in their lives. Listeners often offer empathetic comments or ask clarifying questions.

Group Activity:

Everyone participates in a brief, lively activity that fosters group cohesion and helps students practice social and academic skills (for example, reciting a poem, dancing, singing, or playing a game that reinforces social or academic skills).

Morning Message:

Students read and interact with a short message written by their teacher. The message is crafted to help students focus on the work they’ll do in school that day.

For more on the key principles and practices behind Responsive Classroom, visit https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/