Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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How is Alternative Education defined?
Alternative Education is designed to meet the needs of students who are not succeeding in the traditional setting and at-risk of not graduating high school. Additional information can be found here through the Indiana Department of Education.

What are the sizes of each class?
Options understands that students often work best when they have more personal attention. Our average class size is 15 students to one teacher. We cap our enrollment at each campus to allow for a more intimate environment.

Do Options graduates receive an accredited high school diploma like at a traditional high school?
Yes, all Options graduates receive a high school diploma that is accredited by the Indiana Department of Education. Students have the opportunity to choose from the following diploma designations: General, Core 40, Core 40 with Academic Honors (AHD) or Core 40 with Technical Honors (THD).

How do you determine what my student will need to succeed?
Every student at Options will work with their dedicated counselor to develop their own personalized learning or service plan. This plan encompasses not only the academic progress that the student needs to address but also social and behavioral patterns that prevented the student from achieving success in their previous school.

What is a charter school?
In order to showcase some of the key points regarding charter schools, we have compiled a web page that features a collection of information, including data, accountability & more.

I know Options is a public, charter school, but what does that mean?
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low-income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English, than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

I heard that Options is a school for students with discipline issues. Is that true?
No it is not, but that is a common misconception about Options. Prior to transforming into Options Charter School in 2002, we served as an additional program for Carmel High School students from 1999 until the Indiana Charter School Law was passed in 2001. Options includes a number of different types of students, including those that were previously homeschooled, those with anxiety issues, those with schedule constraints, along with many additional types of students in search of something different from traditional public school.

When is the best time to apply to Options?
We have open enrollment throughout the academic year, therefore applications are always welcome and students are able to enroll in school as long as there are openings in their grade level. In the spring prior to the start of a new academic year, a lottery will take place that gives all applicants an equal opportunity to secure a seat at Options. All applications submitted prior to April 1 will be included in the lottery, while applications for the upcoming school year that are submitted on or after April 1 will be placed on the waiting list.

Does every student have the same class schedule?
Options allows students greater flexibility in when students attend classes. Students are required to be in the building anywhere from 3 to 6 hours a day depending upon the structure and requirements of their personalized learning plan.  Additionally, Options also offers evening classes at both campuses for students who need more assistance in end of course assessment (ECA) or in certain subjects.  This flexible scheduling allows students who are unable to regularly attend classes the chance to customize an educational schedule that works for them.

Is there a lunch program?
Options does not participate in the Federal School Lunch Program nor do they prepare lunch for students. Students who manage their time responsibly may leave school grounds for lunch. Students may bring their lunch to school. A refrigerator for student use is available in the student lounge/dining areas. Microwaves and toaster ovens are also available for student use. Parents who want their students to remain on school grounds and/or in the school building during the lunch hour must put the request in writing to an administrator.

Is transportation provided?
There is no bus transportation; parents are expected to provide transportation for their student(s) to and from school. Options will make every effort to assist students and their families to set up carpools.

Can students take foreign language courses?
Yes. While students will not receive instruction from an Options teacher, they will receive instruction from a teacher through the Edmentum Online Learning platform. Edmentum is the platform used by the Options Distance Education Program. Several foreign language courses are available through Edmentum.

Can Options students take courses to receive college credit?
Students in good standing will have the opportunity to enroll in courses at Ivy Tech & J Everett Light Career Center, while still working towards their high school diploma at Options. Select Ivy Tech courses are even taught on-location at an Options campus.