ODA’s Department of Counseling and Academic Services is offering a new forum for Middle and Upper School parents to discuss a variety of parenting topics. Through the Coffee and Conversations program, parents come together to discuss how to approach challenging topics in a supportive group setting.
Five Russian delegates visited Sarasota last week through a United States government program aimed at helping expand opportunities for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). ODA was an integral and engaging stop on their tour.
First and second grade presented impressive artwork in the Kozel Amphitheater this morning during their Art Under the Banyan exhibition. Student artwork covered a wide variety of styles, artists, and materials. Dr. Vasilaki and her students played lovely music on their string instruments while parents admired their students’ masterpieces.
In recent years, fine arts educators have noticed a gradual shift in how visual arts are being taught. In order to keep students engaged, teachers must stay ahead of the curve to keep up with the rapidly evolving technology and teaching models being introduced into their field.
At Out-of-Door, faculty and staff strive every day to ensure that our students are graduating with the preparation needed to confidently navigate both their college experiences and their lives beyond college. As part of ODA’s commitment to health and wellness, faculty and staff at the Uihlein Campus have, for the past two years, participated in SafeTALK training courses through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). This important training provides support and guidance to faculty and staff who have an open line of communication with students through advisory, coaching and general student-teacher interactions.
The Out-of-Door Academy and Gocio Elementary School have enjoyed a strong partnership for more than 10 years, participating in regular service projects together. This year ODA students, parents, and faculty are providing Thanksgiving meals for 76 families at Gocio. Delivering Thanksgiving meals to families in need at Gocio has become an important tradition for every Out-of-Door student. Through this project, our students learn the rewarding nature of our core value of service as they offer compassion and empathy to others.
On Wednesday morning, the Petrik Thunderdome was filled with Upper School students and faculty as six senior student-athletes signed their commitment letters to a college or university. The Class of 2019 members were surrounded by proud parents, siblings, and coaches as they took the next step toward furthering their education. The seniors signed on to schools located along the east coast, ranging from right here in Florida to Boston, MA.
The Parent Association would like to extend a special thank you to all of our sponsors, volunteers, and attendees for participating in Thunder Fun Day this past Saturday. It was a great event for the entire ODA community.
Many Out-of-Door students and faculty members have come to know the School community as a second family. As our alumni base continues to grow, that description is more accurate than many of us ever imagined. It turns out that many former students who met at ODA are now married or preparing to get married. This alumni profile showcases a remarkable story of four former students who met on our Historic Siesta Key Campus.
As part of a cross-curricular study about the basic functions of the government, fifth grade students are learning about the role of each branch of government and the relationship between local, state, and national government as well as the judicial system. Students will also be reading John Grisham’s “Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer,” a book centered around a boy who aspires to be a judge.
The Upper School presentation of “Overcoming” opened last night to a delighted audience who responded with thoughtful silence and uproarious laughter to the six vignettes presented in this impressive showcase.
Twelve ODA Upper School students and faculty chaperone Mr. Marc Roberts spent five days on a North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) expedition to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina last week.
Saturday, October 27 found a group of alumni returning to the campus and watching their own children participate in activities that they never imagined doing when they were students themselves on Siesta Key.
ODA eighth graders have begun a year-long program with kindergarten buddies at Blanche H. Daughtrey Elementary School in Bradenton. The program, now in its second year, teaches our students empathy, communication, and understanding as they mentor children at the Title 1 school.
The second grade has embarked on an amazing cross-disciplinary journey to construct and maintain an aeroponic tower garden. The project aligns with ODA’s focus on design thinking and offers a multitude of learning opportunities.
The 2018 Thunder Athletic Club Golf Tournament at Esplanade Golf and Country Club brought together local business partners, parents, alumni, friends, faculty, and student-athletes for a fun event to benefit ODA Athletics.
Mr. Steven Brelsford’s eighth grade Honors Geometry class has been immersed in a challenging unit on Logic. To help his students have a thorough understanding of biconditional statements, Mr. Brelsford asked the class to create alphabet books. He explained that these books were a good vehicle for learning how biconditional statements differ from conditional statements. This week his students traveled to Siesta Key to share their books and what they have learned with our kindergarten students.
Members of the fifth grade Student Admissions Team (SAT), recently spent time on the Uihlein Campus in Lakewood Ranch working on a special design thinking project focused on customizing Out-of-Door prospective students’ shadow visits on both of our campuses.
Networking is always important as young people move from the academic world to the workforce, and who better to network with than our own alumni? Thanks to the initiative of Jenny Lytle ‘00 and Gianni Valenti ’01, a series of networking evenings have been held to bring young professionals together to share their talents and services.
The Out-of-Door Academy is pleased to announce it has received a $7,250 STEM grant from the Toshiba America Foundation (TAF). These funds will support the ODA Aquaculture Project, in which students are designing sustainable oyster reefs to improve water quality in the Gulf of Mexico.
On Wednesday, September 12, the Class of 2022 and their advisors traveled to Nathan Benderson Park for a morning of team-building and community service. The freshmen were divided into groups, and then proceeded to different sections of the park with their advisors for collaborative activities culminating in a group service project.
Dr. Larry Thompson, President of the Ringling College of Art & Design, visited the Upper School this week to speak to students about the importance of creativity and “right-brained thinking” in careers of the future.
Each year at Out-of-Door, there is a central theme adopted by each division that is incorporated into curriculum and advisory throughout the school year. This year, our Core Values take center stage as all grade levels incorporate Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence, and Responsibility (RISER).
The Upper School Thunder Cup challenge began in 2006. The competition runs throughout the school year as grade level teams compete in a wide variety of activities to earn points towards the coveted Thunder Cup Championship.
We are pleased to introduce eight new employees who have joined the ODA faculty and staff for the start of the 2018-19 academic year. Coming from a variety of educational settings, they all bring the ability to inspire students to reach their full potential and a passion for educating the whole child. At Out-of-Door we are committed to recruiting and developing the best possible talent. "The "Class of 2018" will make an immediate, positive impact on both our programs and our school community.” - Head of School, David Mahler
Author John Spencer led workshops relating to his books "Launch" and "Empower” during faculty meetings last week. Faculty and staff learned how to use design thinking to develop engaging, student-centered activities to enrich the educational experience of our students.
Featured in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, ODA's senior placekicker from the Czech Republic can boom kicks from 60 yards out and play wide receiver. This well-rounded student is also an all-state soccer player who often stars in musical productions and performances.
Many of you probably already know Mrs. Laura Murphy. As part of a small group of faculty members who have attended every Upper School Commencement since 1999, Mrs. Murphy knows most of the alums who have been on the Siesta Key and Lakewood Ranch campuses. This year, she is taking on an additional role overseeing ODA's Alumni Relations.
Students shared impressive vocal and instrumental abilities during the 12th Annual Thunderpalooza talent showcase, presented by Tri-M Music Society. Tremendous talent was exhibited from students in grades 6 - 12 and all for a good cause. The $5 entry fee to the show and sales of all concessions went to support Manasota Buds, an organization dedicated to promoting understanding and acceptance of Down Syndrome.
ODA Latin students traveled to Orlando to participate with more than 1,000 Florida students in the 2018 State Latin Forum. ODA Middle School and Upper School students performed extremely well in the competition and were wonderful representatives of The Out-of-Door Academy.
Saraiah Walkes '21 finished fourth in the preliminary race (57.69 seconds), good enough to advance to Saturday's finals. Walkes also qualified first in the 100-meter dash (12.28) and in the 200-meter dash (24.95).
The Out-of-Door Academy and the Emmons family are excited to announce Dani Taraska ’22 as the eighth recipient of the Taylor Emmons Scholarship. A driven and gifted student, a three-sport athlete, and a dedicated volunteer, Dani truly excels in everything shedoes. The scholarship selection committee was extremely impressed with Dani’s strength of character, pursuit of academic excellence, and commitment to making the world a better place. Her eighth grade teachers identified Dani as a positive leader, a motivatedstudent, a talented athlete, and a responsible role model for other students. When not in the classroom, participating in athletics, or assisting with community service projects, Dani can be found spending time with her four siblings—two sets of twins—and her parents. We are pleased to recognize Dani as this year’s scholarship recipient, and to welcome Dani, and the entire Taraska family, to the ODA community.
The Out-of-Door Academy is wrapping up its pilot year as part of an innovative educational community, The Hybrid Learning Consortium (HLC), and this week ODA hosted the annual HLC symposium at the Uihlein Campus.
Filip Svoboda '19 earns 2nd Ray Guy Prokicker.com Top Prospect Award. His outstanding past performance at the Ray Guy Kicking Camp – along with his national ranking – has again earned him the opportunity to compete at the National Top Prospect Camp.
While many students volunteer their time, and some fundraise, another way ODA students choose to give back is to donate their hair! Initiated by Ashley DeBartolo ’18, ODA hosted its fourth annual hair donation event for Children with Hair Loss.
Four ambitious upperclassmen planned the 2018 Upper School Relay for Life at the Uihlein Campus on April 14, and raised an impressive amount of money for the American Cancer Society. Juniors Mutaz Faqqouseh, John Floersheimer, Kat Gaukhman, and Andrea Schiro planned the entire fundraising event, including games, a food truck, live music, and more. Director of Facilities Mr. Dan Dennehy was instrumental in the event’s success, offering logistical and setup help.
Glitz and glamour filled The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, as more than 300 attendees enjoyed a night in Vintage Vegas for The Out-of-Door Academy’s annual Banyan Ball. Guests were greeted by showgirls, Banyan Ball Chairs and an elegant champagne tower while enjoying the vocal stylings of Vegas favorites Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, and Frank Sinatra.
Leigh Dalton '99 entered Pre-Kindergarten at Out-of-Door in 1985. She was part of ODA's first freshman class when the Uihlein Campus opened in 1996, and the first graduating class of seniors in 1999. Leigh looks back and shares her memories of being ODA's first "Lifer."
Margaret Buck ‘21 started knitting in 5th grade and Abigail Eakle ‘20 took up knitting this year. The pair teamed up to turn their hobby into something meaningful. Margaret and Abigail are daughters of oncologists who work at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) in Lakewood Ranch, and have grown up hearing how difficult it is for people going through cancer treatment.
The Out-of-Door Academy Lower School on Siesta Key unveiled the new Dart STEM Lab earlier this week. This is the latest in a series of significant capital investments in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs at Out-of-Door.
In 2015, ODA initiated the Declamations program to strengthen the public speaking skills of students in grades 9-12. Now in its fourth year, this program has considerably improved the students’ oration skills.
On Friday, February 7th students, faculty, staff, and families assembled on the basketball court for the Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser on the Siesta Key Campus. The annual ODA event is held in conjunction with February’s National Heart Health Month.
Disney’s High School Musical 1 Act Edition tackles age-appropriate themes that resonate with Middle and High School aged students. It’s about what it means to be part of a team and what it takes to follow your instincts.
Sixth grade students in Mrs. Walters’ class have been challenged in a cross-collaborative project in their English and Science classes. While reading the novel Tesla’s Attic in English, students have been developing inventions of their own in Science class. After learning about famous inventors and the invention process, and participating in a video chat session with a patent attorney, sixth graders were challenged to identify a “problem” from their everyday lives which could be solved with a new invention.
In this week's edition of "Feel Good Friday," SNN's Grant Boxleitner spent time at The Out-Of-Door Academy, where the advanced string orchestra, rock band and chorus are getting ready for a tribute concert of Led Zeppelin.
What do human trafficking, national healthcare, gun control, and assisted suicide have in common? They were all topics Upper School students selected to research and discuss in a recent AP Language and Composition assignment, titled "Moment of Voice."
A recent cross-curricular project in fourth grade allowed students to experience every aspect of STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, while applying recently learned Earth Science concepts in meaningful format.
A panel of twelve alumni visited campus this week to share insights about their college experience with seniors. Seniors asked questions about adjusting socially at a larger school, how difficult the coursework is, and the ins and outs of dorm life. The panelists shared stories about roommates, classes and balancing social life with school work, but they spent most of their time offering advice.