via The Current in Westfield // by Anna Skinner
By fall of 2021, Options Charter School plans to serve more students by moving its current Carmel campus, 530 West Carmel Dr., to the northwest quadrant of Ind. 32 and Gunther Boulevard in Westfield.
Options is an alternative school for students who don’t perform as well in a traditional school setting. Many of Options’ students require a smaller setting due to high anxiety or a social-emotional issue.
Options recently joined the Hamilton Boone Madison Special Services Cooperative and began developing partnerships with traditional public schools in the area.
“We started having conversations with Noblesville, Sheridan, Hamilton Heights and, a little later, Westfield, on how we can better partner with them because they’re losing students who aren’t thriving in their environments,” Options President and CEO Mike Gustin said. “So, how can we help identify those students and, for some of those students, we would be a good fit.”
Public school districts will transfer students who would be better suited for Options, and several districts actually provide transportation for those students to either the Noblesville or Carmel Options campuses.
“They bus students who would have attended Sheridan schools to Options Noblesville,” Options COO Michelle Walden said. “They realize it’s a benefit to the family to make sure they get to school.”
“For that reason, our board decided because of the strong partnership with Sheridan and Westfield, our board decided to move (the Carmel campus) a little further north (to Westfield),” Gustin said.
The move will not only provide a campus closer to those students residing in Sheridan and Westfield, but it also will help accomplish the goal of switching leases to mortgages.
The land and construction of Options Westfield will cost approximately $3 to $3.5 million. The square footage be approximately 15,000 square feet versus 13,000 square feet at Options Carmel. Another benefit is the new Westfield campus will be a one-story building.
Options Westfield plans to offer grades sixth, seventh and eighth at the Westfield campus.
“Currently, our middle school has a waiting list at Noblesville, and we prefer not to have a waiting list because we feel students on a waiting list means students not being served,” Walden said.
The move could happen as early as fall 2020.