We’ve made it to Thanksgiving! On behalf of the entire Options team, we want to express our appreciation for your patience, flexibility, and support during this challenging school year. We have made a lot of changes to support the academic, emotional, and mental health of both our students and our instructional teams this year like reducing course loads by moving to a 9-week quarter system, segmenting off the buildings to allow for smaller pods to reduce exposure, and increased sanitation and cleaning procedures. Additionally, we have allowed students and families to flow in and out of in-building and we have provided synchronous learning options as needs have changed. We are encouraged by the initial data from the first quarter as more of your students earned passing grades in nearly all of the courses as well as other performance indicators such as progress on Individualized Service Plan goals and positive trends in student attendance to school.
As the numbers of positive cases rise in our community, many more of our families are choosing to attend school through the synchronous learning option for a period of time. In order to allow for better flexibility for students and reduce stress on our instructional teams currently having to plan for two different delivery platforms, we are going to make a shift in our operational plan beginning Monday, November 30, 2020, for our Noblesville and Carmel campuses. We will remain in Stage 4, with our buildings open and students encouraged to attend daily when they are not ill or need to quarantine. The shift will be in the instructional delivery. All classes will be taught virtually, through Zoom, through synchronous learning. This means that all students will continue to have the same class schedule to follow virtually. Students will just log into their classes using their Chromebook instead of physically being in the same room as the teacher. Students that attend in-person will have assigned learning rooms and will continue to have in-person support and supervision by our teams.
We will continue to monitor the ever-changing data in relation to COVID-19 and hope to return to in-person instructional delivery as soon as our in-person attendance shifts back to nearly 80%. Please continue to practice the safety measures encouraged by the Indiana State Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control as you celebrate the upcoming holidays. Students too ill to learn synchronously should still be called in as absent. Asynchronous learning options may also be available upon advanced request to the building principal, specific teacher, and or the student’s advisor.
Dr. Mike Gustin
President/CEO, Options Schools