COVID-19 Community Report

 

As of August 31

Number of Staff Members who were quarantined Number of Staff Members who tested positive for COVID-19 Number of Students who were quarantined Number of Students who tested positive for COVID-19
Options-Noblesville  0 0 2 1
Options-Carmel  0 0 0 0
Options Indiana  0 0 0 0
Options @ BACA  0 0 0 0
Options @ Growing Minds  0 0 0 0
Options @ HYCA  0 0 0 0

NOTE: Data from the week prior (August 31-Sept. 6)

 

As of August 24

Number of Staff Members who were quarantined Number of Staff Members who tested positive for COVID-19 Number of Students who were quarantined Number of Students who tested positive for COVID-19
Options-Noblesville  4 0 1 0
Options-Carmel  1 0 4 0
Options Indiana  0 0 0 0
Options @ BACA  0 0 0 0
Options @ Growing Minds  0 0 0 0
Options @ HYCA  0 0 0 0

NOTE: Data from the week prior (August 24-30)

 

Current Openings with Options Schools

Options Schools is currently hiring for four teaching positions, two with Options @ HYCA and two with Options @ Growing Minds. Interested applicants are welcome to apply immediately by contacting the respective program leader (information listed in each posting).

Open Positions:

  • Options @ HYCA English Teacher
  • Options @ HYCA Math Teacher
  • Options @ Growing Minds Teacher (Special Education preferred)
  • Options @ Growing Minds Teacher

Job Descriptions & Qualifications:

Options @ HYCA Teacher (1 English & 1 Math opening)

  • The English/Math Teacher is responsible for teaching and/or overseeing all English/Math courses required for graduation and remedial programs. In addition, all teachers at Options are responsible for a small group of students in an advisory role and other possible courses.
  • The Indiana Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy is part of the National Youth ChalleNGe Program which was established in 1993 by the National Guard and has graduated over 90,000 Cadets. Founded in 2007 and located in Knightstown, IN, the academy offers military-based training to unemployed/underemployed, crime-free and drug-free high-school dropouts 16-18 years of age. HYCA empowers youths to embrace responsibility, achievement and positive behavior, while also instilling confidence, fostering ambition and increasing employment opportunities. The free program is a 17.5-month commitment, including an in-depth screening process, a two-week acclimation phase, a five-month residential phase and a yearlong post-residential mentorship phase to help graduates with career and life goal achievements.
  • All teachers at Options Charter Schools must be highly qualified to teach their assigned subject areas, grades 6-12, as well as show field experience in working with at-risk students. Applicants must be able to execute developed lesson plans based on the Indiana Academic Standards utilizing project-based instruction and authentic assessment of learning. He/she must be willing to work collaboratively with the other team members in the organization and, most importantly, must have a good heart and be willing to develop strong relationships with his/her students.
  • Interested applicants can email their resume & cover letter to Adam Barr, Principal of Options @ HYCA.

 

Options @ Growing Minds Teacher (2 openings, Special Education preferred)

  • The Options @ Growing Minds Teacher will work out of the Growing Minds campuses located in Fort Wayne and Columbia City, IN. The position will work with grade 6-12 students in a much smaller school setting and will work in collaboration with the Growing Minds staff.
  • The Options @ Growing Minds program is a hybrid school model for students in grades 6-12 located in and around Ft. Wayne and Columbia City, IN (Allen County). Options @ Growing Minds offers students the relationship-based educational approach unique to the Options schools partnered with the wrap-around services Growing Minds offers its clients. Students attend school physically on-site at Growing Minds for a minimum of 3 hours each day. Students can also elect to enroll in an online program.
  • All teachers at Options Charter Schools must be highly qualified to teach their assigned subject areas, grades 6-12, as well as show field experience in working with at-risk students. Applicants must be able to execute developed lesson plans based on the Indiana Academic Standards utilizing project-based instruction and authentic assessment of learning. He/she must be willing to work collaboratively with the other team members in the organization and, most importantly, must have a good heart and be willing to develop strong relationships with his/her students.
  • Interested applicants can email their resume & cover letter to Beth Hodges, Principal of Options @ Growing Minds.

 

About Options Schools
Serving students in grades 6-12, Options Schools are free, public charter schools with brick and mortar campuses in Carmel and Noblesville & a new campus opening in Westfield in August 2021. Options also offers additional programs that serve students throughout the state of Indiana (serving over 90 school corporations). With a high-quality, individualized approach, Options was founded in 2002 and specializes in providing students with an inclusive environment and a student-to-teacher ratio of 15-to-1.

 

 

Job Posting: School Safety Specialist (Fort Wayne, IN)

Position posted on Monday, May 4, 2020

Job Title: School Safety Specialist

Reports To: Director of School Safety (works under building level administrator) 

Terms: Full-time contract 

  • 184 days per contract year

Work Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:00 am – 3:30 pm

Primary focus each day will be to provide school safety services to Options Charter Schools at Growing Minds Educational Services. Growing Minds Educational Services has locations  in Ft. Wayne and Columbia City.  These duties include but are not limited to building positive relationships with students and families, maintaining physical security, assisting the Director of School Safety with the development and implementation of emergency plans, assisting the school administration in creating and maintaining a safe and secure school climate, and to provide other related duties as assigned by the administration. Learn more about Growing Minds Educational Services: http://www.growingmindsllc.com/

Essential duties and responsibilities include the following:

  • Establish and maintain rapport with students. 
  • Influence positive student relations through strong relationship building with students and families. 
  • Serve as a positive role model for students. 
  • Support administrators, as requested, when student disciplinary issues arise.
  • Exercise Options Charter Schools’ emergency preparedness plans as appropriate. 
  • Work with building administrators as they interpret students’ Individualized Service Plans (ISP) and Individualized Educational Plans (IEP) as they relate to appropriate consequences for aberrant behavior. 
  • Operate installed Options Charter Schools’ software necessary to complete assigned responsibilities.  
  • Abide by Options Charter School Board policies and Options’ administrative policies, regulations and procedures. 

Qualifications:

To hold and perform this job successfully the candidate must be able to:

  • Secure and maintain all licenses, certifications and training
  • Perform each essential duty with satisfaction 
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • At least 21 years of age
  • Have earned a minimum of a high school diploma. A secondary degree and/or experience in the military or law enforcement is preferred. 
  • Complete psychological assessment during hiring process 
  • No prolonged, extreme physical demands are associated with normal duties or assignments, but the SSS may exert strenuous physical effort during emergency situations. The SSS must perform duties and take appropriate action in emergency situations, despite the stress associated with potential injury or loss of life to self or others.

The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

 

Options & Hamilton County Resources

As the latest news and information continues to be shared at OptionsSchools.org and Options’ Facebook Page, this page features answers to a couple of questions, along with resources for Options and Hamilton County families.

What is the current school schedule?

An update was provided on Monday, March 23, which included an updated schedule for Options students following Spring Break (March 30-April 10).

Social-Emotional, Mental Health & Other Support

Extended eLearning can be a stressful time for students, parents and staff members. Options Schools counselors, teachers, and other team members are committed to staying connected and will be available to provide social-emotional and basic needs support during this time. Email addresses for the entire Options team can be found here.

Cathy Cooley and Kristi Turner of Hamilton Professional Counseling are both available to provide students with the support they need. Cathy and Kristi can be contacted via email at cathycooley6@gmail.com & Kristi@HamiltonProfessionalCounseling.com.

Counselor Availability

Options Carmel – Melanie Terrell
Monday-Friday (9 AM-3 PM)
Office Cell: 317-660-5327
mterrell@optionsined.org

Options Noblesville – Toshie Kagosawa
Monday-Friday (9 AM-2 PM)
tkagosawa@optiosnined.org

Options Distance Education – Carrie Bennett
cbennett@optionsined.org

Options Distance Education – Adelina DeLagrange
adelagrange@optionsined.org

Options Distance Education-Angela Holmes
Monday-Friday (8 AM-4:30 PM)
aholmes@optionsined.org

Options Distance Education-Michael Rentfrow
Monday-Friday (12:30-3:30 PM)
mrentfrow@optionsined.org

 

Food Assistance

We appreciate the support from all of our incredible donors who have helped us provide food to local families during this time because without them this would not be possible.

Options will not be holding a drive-thru for food pick-up the week of April 6th. Food can still be picked up or delivered, but by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled by contacting Adam Barr via email at abarr@optionsined.org.

You can also go to the website pantrynet.org and type in your zip code to find your closest pantry.

Here are some resources for our Options and Hamilton County families while we are out of school:

White River Christian Church Food Pantry (Drive-thru)
1685 North 10th Street
Noblesville, IN 46060
Hours: Thursday, 1-6 PM

Grace Church Care Center (Drive-thru)
5504 146th Street
Noblesville, IN 46062
317-848-2722
Hours: Monday (6-7 PM), Tuesday (6-7 PM) and Wednesday (10 AM-11 PM)

St. Vincent De Paul (Drive-thru)
1391 Greenfield Ave.
Noblesville, IN 46060
317-773-7608
Hours: Wednesday (9 AM-1:45 PM and 6:30-8 PM) and Saturday (9-11:45 AM)

All you need is an ID showing you are a Hamilton County resident, such as a driver’s license.

 

 

 

 

Parent Email Regarding COVID-19 (March 13)

Options Parents,

The Hamilton County Health Department is now recommending the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 virus. Based on this guidance and in collaboration with all other Hamilton County school districts, we will begin eLearning for ALL PROGRAMS beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27, 2020 for a total of 10 days. Students will access the curriculum from home, virtually. Access to the building will still be allowed, but by appointment only. We will have support personnel in the buildings each day from 9 AM -2 PM to ensure families are able to receive any necessary support. Programs that are currently co-located with service providers, such as BACA, HYCA, and Growing Minds, will be allowed to continue to operate as long as the service provider remains open and at the discretion of the program leader.

Yesterday, the Governor offered the opportunity for schools to waive up to 20 days of school. The Options’ teaching teams have worked to be prepared for a physical closure such as this and so will not need to use one of the optional waiver days offered by the Governor.  We will reserve these days for future consideration if appropriate. 

As with other eLearning days, teachers will be available remotely to support assignments and will send guidance to students through Google Classroom, Edmentum, and school email for these meeting times. Teachers and students have been practicing virtual meetings and will continue to do so today.  Teachers may be available for in-person tutoring by appointment only.

Spring break will be March 30-April 10. We will evaluate a return to school following spring break.

Please take advantage of the following support and resources, if needed. Requests should be made to the specific building principal or program leader for your student.

  • 1:1 Tutoring Sessions On-Site, By Appointment Only
  • State Testing Completion, By Appointment Only
  • WiFi Access in the building
  • Food Support

We recognize that while this situation is not ideal for students, staff or parents, it is important for the health and safety of our overall community. We have used eLearning on multiple occasions and are confident that this experience will be as successful as possible, given the circumstances. Thank you for your continued support of Options Schools. 

Also, our sincere thanks to all the dedicated people at the Hamilton County Health Department, the City of Noblesville, and to our staff at Options Schools who have been working tirelessly to prepare and plan for our students and families. 

Point of Contact by Program:

 

Options Debuts Student Referral Program

NOBLESVILLE – With the addition of a new student referral program, both current and prospective students of Options Schools will have opportunities to be recognized for taking an active role in growing the impact of Options.

This program was created in order to acknowledge those students and families that continue to promote Options by spreading the word about how we serve students. Through this new program, students will be able to earn an assortment of items that include lunch account credit, Options gear and more.

The program will go into effect on May 1, 2019.

How it works:

1.) Who can participate?
Any student who is currently enrolled at Options Charter Schools can participate in this program.

2.) How do we take part in the program?
In order to receive rewards, you must spread the word about Options Schools to your neighbors, friends and co-workers. Tell them what you love about Options and encourage them to schedule a tour. For every student you refer to us that attends our school for three months, the referring student will receive a $10 lunch credit!

3.) How are the different recognition levels determined?
Each new student, along with the student who referred them, will also receive Options gear. Lunch credit will be capped at $50 for each student, even if having referred more than five students. The student with the most referrals on March 1 and October 1 will also receive an Options Prize Pack, which will include Options-branded gear and more. (Value of prize pack contents will be less than $50)

4.) When will lunch credit be applied to each student’s account?
At the beginning of each month, qualifying students will have credit added to their lunch account.

5.) How will Options know a student was referred?
The school has a question on our online application asking, “How did you hear about Options Charter Schools?” The applicant should note the first and last name of the student who referred them.

For additional information about the program, email Andrew Piper.

 

 

 

“Take Action” for the Charter and Innovation Network School Grant Program

As the budget bill makes its way through the General Assembly, we wanted to make all parents & students aware of an opportunity to have their voice heard.

Charter schools are public schools that do not receive any local property tax revenue. Traditional public schools receive roughly $3,200 per pupil in local property tax dollars to cover expenses for buildings, transportation, maintenance, insurance, etc. Charter schools must divert a portion of their state tuition support dollars to pay for these items, resulting in less funding for teachers and other classroom expenses that directly impact students.

While HB 1001 will not completely close the funding gap, it will raise the charter grant from $500 to $1,000 per pupil which is a positive step towards more equitable funding for charter school students.

Those interested in having their voice heard can submit an email here through a quick and easy process.

As always, feel free to personalize the text of the email. Sharing personalized stories that showcase the positive impact of school choice is a very powerful form of advocacy. Just click anywhere in the “Message” box to add comments.

Your support & participation is greatly appreciated!

NWEA Testing headlines latest announcements

Have you heard the great news?! We are pleased to announce that we will be purchasing land for our new school in Westfield, Indiana!  I will be sharing more detailed information soon.

Please note the important dates/announcements for January/February:

  • NWEA Testing, January 22-January 31 — All students will be NWEA testing daily.  Please make sure your student is present so that we can complete testing in a timely manner.
  • Opt-Out ISTEP+ Forms, Friday, February 1 — All junior and senior students who would like to pursue a CTE pathway or take the ASVAB in lieu taking the ISTEP+ will need to have their parents complete the “Opt-Out” form by Friday, February 1 at noon.  If we do not have an Opt-Out form for any junior or senior, they will have to take the ISTEP+ Test.
  • ISTEP+ Practice Testing, Tuesday February 5 — All sophomores and first time ISTEP+ students will be taking the practice test.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email our school counselor, Melanie Terrell, mterrell@optionsined.org.
  • President’s Day (NO SCHOOL), Monday, February 18
  • ISTEP+ 10th Grade Testing, February 25 – 28 — All sophomores and first time ISTEP+ students will be taking the ELA and the Algebra ISTEP+ test from 12:30-3:00pm daily.  It is absolutely essential for every sophomore to be present and ready to test.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email our school counselor, Melanie Terrell, mterrell@optionsined.org.

We will continue our half-day Friday dismissals at 11:45 a.m.

That’s all for now! Have a super warm January & February!

– Camille –

Board of Directors Approve Westfield Land Purchase

For Immediate Release

January 15, 2019

NOBLESVILLE – Last night, the Options Charter School Board of Directors took a historic step by a fulfilling a promise that was seven years in the making. By voting unanimously to purchase land in the Westfield area for a future campus location that will serve grades 6-12, Options is moving towards a more stable and secure future.

The opportunity to purchase land provides the organization with the ability to shift from leasing its facilities to owning, therefore cementing Options even further in the landscape of Hamilton County and the Indiana education system.

“I am so thankful to all of our board members for everything they do for Options on a daily basis and everyone in the Options family is excited about last night’s news,” said Options President Mike Gustin. “Since we were founded in 2002, there are many people that helped put us on the path to success that we are on now. This is another step in the right direction as we continue to work towards our goal of providing high-quality, alternative education to more students across Indiana.”

October 2018 Carmel Student of the Month

Hello! My name is Kandyce and I am a junior at Options Carmel. I transferred to Options Charter School because I felt like I was running out of options academically. Prior to transferring I struggled with learning in a large classroom and my grades were suffering. I really love the small classroom sizes here and the personalized help I receive from my teachers. My grades are better than they were at my previous school, too! In my free time I enjoy listening to music, drawing, photography and cooking.

November Student of the Month

Pilar McPherson is in the 11th grade at our Carmel campus. She was chosen as our October 2017 Student of the Month because she is a hard worker, active in classroom discussions, puts in the time necessary to be successful, sets a good example for the other students and is genuinely kind to all of those around her. Here’s a little insight on her journey to Options: Hi, my name is Pilar and I am a junior at Options Charter School in Carmel. I live with my grandma, aunt, mom, 3 dogs, 2 cats and a bearded dragon. In my spare time, I like to play softball, go shopping, and play/spend time with Thor (my bearded dragon). My grandma discovered Options in the middle of my sophomore year when I was really struggling at my old school. In most of my classes I had Ds or Fs and I felt as if the teachers had no interest in helping me. Options is the opposite of my old school. Every teacher at Options is there to help you understand and excel in your studies. The teachers also get involved in your every day life and take the time to ask how your day is going, how you are feeling and really care about each student. I am so glad I found Options and now make As and Bs in my classes and actually enjoy going to school.

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English rocks

I’m Gretchen Taylor and this is my 11th year teaching English at Options! I’m excited for another year of teaching and to tell you a little about what’s going on in my classes.

All of the core classes (English 9-1, 10-1, and 11-1) started out by writing a three paragraph story about a topic of the student’s choice. The students then spent a day revising their stories and then read the stories that other students in the building had written. The students did not know who had written which story and were asked to offer a compliment, a suggestion, and a rating to each writer. The classes are then moving on to reading our first novels for the year.

In addition to those classes, I’m teaching a short story class. We’ve started off the year by reading the short stories that several famous authors wrote in response to the children’s book The Adventures of Harris Burdick. Today, the students started reading “Another Place, Another Time,” which deals with time travel as the 4th dimension. Next week, the students will be responding to the story by writing their own stories involving time travel.

I’m also teaching a Themes in Literature class that is focused on fairy tales. We started off by examining some of the myths about fairy tales, such as the fact that while they are normally thought of as children’s stories, in reality they are often quite gruesome and unacceptable for small children. As we continue, we’ll be studying specific fairy tales including Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and – of course – Cinderella as well as several lesser known fairy tales.