Spring Break is near!

It’s been another busy week at Options-Noblesville!

On Tuesday, Options-Noblesville held its first Open House of 2019 and there are more dates in April & June when both the Noblesville and Carmel campuses will be holding Open Houses.

On Thursday, we had our Senior Institute students take part in a learning gallery on their service-based projects & they are working with a number of great organizations that will really benefit from their volunteer hours.

With ISTEP & WIDA testing now complete, Part 1 of ISTEP+ Grade 10 testing will run until March 22. The testing window for Part 2 of ISTEP+ Grade 10 will begin on March 25.On Wednesday, March 27 our high school juniors and seniors will take the ASVAB as part of their graduation qualifier.

Don’t forget, Spring Break is not far away (April 1-12)!

It may seem far away now, but on Friday, May 3 we will have our annual senior picnic from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Holland Park in Fishers, which will include games, fun, food & more! Senior Prom will take place the night of May 3.

– Adam

Warm weather is on the horizon!

Thank you for allowing your students to participate in our ISP goal field trip to the Newport Aquarium.  I am excited to announce that 84% of our students are progressing towards meeting 2 or more of their ISP goals. The teachers and I appreciate your partnership in ensuring each student has the opportunity to succeed academically, behaviorally and social-emotionally.

We are now working towards a new goal…every student passing every class by Friday, March 29th! Please make sure you check your email as teachers will be communicating with you about student grades, after school tutoring opportunities and other resources to help your student pass their classes.

Last night, we held our first Open House of 2019 and had a chance to introduce Options to a few Hamilton County families. We’ve still got five Open Houses between now and June!

Here are a few important announcements for the last few weeks before Spring Break:

  • March 11th – 22nd—ISTEP+ testing for all sophomores
  • March 25th—ASVAB testing
    • All juniors and seniors who have opted out of taking the ISTEP+ need to be at the school no later than 8:00 AM to begin testing promptly at 8:30 AM.
  • March 25th – March 29th—”Options’ Got Game!” Spirit Week!
    • Monday: Candy Land – Sweet Dreams Pajama Day
    • Tuesday: Scrabble – Dress up as something that starts with the same letter as your name or wear your first letter of your name and make words with your friends!
    • Wednesday: The Game of Life- Dress as your future career
    • Thursday: Guess Who – Dress as a TV show / movie / book character and see if we can guess who you are!
    • Friday: Battleship – Battle of the classes! Freshmen and sophomores wear blue. Juniors and seniors wear gray/silver.
  • April 1st – 12th—Spring Break!

That’s all for now!

~ Camille

 

Millennials Are More Likely to Support School Choice

via The47Million.org // by Kate Stringer

Millennials may loathe diamonds and scorn grocery shopping, but there’s at least one thing they seem to like: school choice.

According to recent polls, adults who were born between 1981 and 1996 tend to think favorably about charter schools, vouchers, and other types of education options for parents and students. That could be because millennials were raised in an era saturated with choices, from ride-sharing apps to online shopping retailers to music streaming services.

That was the theory posed by a panel discussion Wednesday at South by Southwest Education called “Millennials Matter: Ed Reformers Need to Hear Us.” The panel was presented by the nonprofit advocacy group EdChoice and moderated by The 74 Senior Editor Emmeline Zhao, and it included panelists Mendell Grinter of the Campaign for School Equity, Lalla Morris of Families Empowered, and Evy Valencia Jackson of EVJ Consulting.

According to a 2017 GenForward survey, nearly three-quarters of millennials across ethnicities support school vouchers — public money that pays for students to attend private school — for low-income children, and about two-thirds support this option for all students. African Americans are the most likely group to support charter schools — which are independently run and publicly funded — with 65 percent in favor. Whites were the least likely, with 55 percent supporting charters. Another poll, from the American Federation for Children, found that 75 percent of millennials support choice, compared with 64 percent of baby boomers. But not everyone is a fan of school choice: Support often depends on how a question is phrased. For example, when a 2016 Education Next poll tried to test support for vouchers, it found that 45 percent of respondents were in favor when the question was framed around giving people choice, but only 29 percent were in favor when it was framed around using public money to fund the program.

While the internet is full of memes that love to hate on how millennials are changing the world (avocado toast > mortgages), the conversation becomes more serious when looking at the effect of this demographic on the labor market and government. Zhao noted that these young adults represent the largest segment of the U.S. labor force, with 56 million workers. While millennials made up only 1 percent of the members of the House of Representatives in 2017, that number jumped to 6 percent this year.

The panelists argued that without widely available school options, choice is afforded only to those with resources to select which neighborhood they want to live in or the private school they want to send their children to.

“If you are financially constrained, there are lots of choices people make every day that you never have the opportunity to make,” Morris said.

She recalled how her family sent her to several different schools in Texas before she ended up at a middle school where she had access to rigorous academic courses — something not available to many other students of color in her neighborhood. This set her up to attend a prestigious magnet high school in Houston, where she was also one of the few students of color on the Advanced Placement track. This made Morris realize how the choices her parents were able to make set her up for success in ways that many of her black peers without these resources were not.

The U.S. has nearly 7,000 charter schools, enrolling 3.2 million students in 43 states and Washington, D.C. About 500,000 students take advantage of private school choice options such as vouchers or tax-credit scholarships, which exist in 26 states. These numbers are still small compared with the total number of K-12 students in public and private schools: 56 million.

The freedom afforded to charter schools gives opportunities for innovation and allows students to focus on topics outside the scope of traditional schools. Panelists praised the creativity of school leaders who they’ve seen start schools framed around everything from farming to fine arts to financial literacy.

“The purpose of education is to create an informed and engaged citizenry that can live independently, live a dignified life, and also be engaged in our community,” Morris said.

Although nationwide, charter schools have produced mixed results for students, Grinter said parents consider many factors in addition to academics and graduation rates when selecting a school. “What defines a good school for a lot of parents is its safety,” he said.

Some members on the panel pointed out that while charters and vouchers remain controversial, some government-funded programs — such as Pell Grants — that provide students money and choice in education do not receive that kind of criticism.

An audience member pointed out that many millennials also support teacher unions, which often butt heads with school choice advocates. A GenForward survey from 2018 found that three-quarters of millennials say strengthening teacher unions would improve education.

Grinter said that more work could be done to reach out to teachers and have conversations about where their views intersected or differed.

“It’s just talking to them, like, ‘Hey, you have a kid, you want to exercise choice, why is that not OK?’” he said.

But Valencia Jackson disagreed.

“Some of these folks are just not interested in a conversation and haven’t been interested in a while, and that’s OK,” she said. “I think we have to be willing to move on and build new supporters elsewhere that want to be focused on kids.”

Though many leaders in the education reform world are older than millennials, Valencia Jackson encouraged the audience to collaborate across generations so that her peers could also have a voice in the conversations around school choice. “Call me, beep me!” Valencia Jackson said. “Anyone?”

A few people in the room got the joke. You would have too, if you were a millennial.

 

Carmel Students of the Month – February

For the month of February, Zoe Daniels and Seth Anderson were selected as the Students of the Month for the Carmel campus of Options.

Zoe Daniels, an 11th grade student, has been enrolled at Options since August 2017. In her free time, Zoe enjoys food, spending time with her cat, shopping, traveling and watching movies.

Her favorite things about Options are the people and the teachers, because they help create a very welcoming atmosphere. Her favorite subject is Integrated Chemistry and Physics because it is a balanced mix of challenging, but fun. The case studies are one of her favorite aspects of the course material.

Since enrolling at Options, Zoe has seen herself improve in how she interacts with friends, classmates and teachers. She has also become more comfortable in being an advocate for herself.

When it comes to describing what Options teachers provide, Zoe appreciates the level of respect that teachers have for all Options students. They don’t just teach the classes, but also put time towards building relationships with each student.

After high school, Zoe plans on attending college and aspires to be an advertising executive and own a Starbucks franchise. She is currently thinking about attending college in Las Vegas.

A 10th grader, Seth Anderson has been an Options student since August 2018. With a passion for music, Seth enjoys playing guitar and drums in his spare time.

His favorite part of Options is the administration and teachers because of how much they care about the students. Current Events is his favorite school subject because of how it involves healthy debating about real-world issues.

For Seth, the area that has seen the most improvement since he enrolled at Options are his grades.

The difference that Seth sees in Options teachers is that they are willing to assist students instead of immediately giving them a poor grade on an assignment.

He is currently still deciding on plans after high school.

 

 

We are Family!

We are super excited to announce that we have eight new students who have joined our Options Family over the past four weeks!  

One of our new students, Johnathan Cranfill and I had a chance to chat for a few minutes. I asked him specifically about his first three weeks at Options:

“I really felt welcomed and at home.  I have made new friends and I enjoy all of my teachers.  This school is really like a family and I am glad I chose to come here.”

We are still accepting new enrollments and would love to set up a tour for any student interested in knowing more about Options Carmel.  We sincerely strive to make sure that all students “Belong, Believe, and Achieve!”

Looking forward to meeting new families and spending quality time with our current Options staff and students!

Also, we recently announced our 2019 Open House schedule, so I welcome all of our current Options families to spread the word to families that you feel could benefit from all of the great things that we have to offer.

Camille

2019 Open House dates announced

In order to continue our efforts of serving as many students as possible within the state of Indiana, Options Charter Schools will be hosting six Open Houses during this spring and early summer.

Each Open House will run from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. and attendees will be able to tour the respective campus and speak with Options Principals, teachers and other team members.

Full Schedule:
Tuesday, March 12 (Carmel)
Tuesday, March 19 (Noblesville)
Tuesday, April 16 (Carmel)
Tuesday, April 23 (Noblesville)
Tuesday, June 4 (Carmel)
Thursday, June 6 (Noblesville)

The addresses for each campus can be found here.

Unable to attend an Open House? Visit OptionsSchools.org to schedule a private campus tour and you’ll also have a chance to have any questions answered by an Options team member.

Applications are now being accepted for both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

Working Towards Reaching Goals…Everyday

At Options, we are committed to ensuring your student feels as if they “belong” to our Options family, they “believe” in themselves in order to “achieve” their personal goals.  

This is accomplished daily, through our Individualized Service Plans (ISPs). Every student on our campus created an academic goal, a behavioral goal, and a social emotional goal.  Your student’s advisor has been working diligently to support them in choosing SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time specific) goals. Please feel free to ask your student about their ISP goals and how they plan to reach them.

All students who are making adequate progress on meeting their goals will receive a free pizza lunch on Thursday, February 14.  

All students who are continuing to make adequate progress by the end of the quarter will be invited to travel to Bloomington for full day of skiing and snowboarding on Monday, March 4!

Looking forward to an amazing third quarter!

Camille

Carmel Student of the Month – January

Hello, my name is Daniel and I am a freshman at Options Charter School in Carmel. I enjoy playing video games and am very knowledgeable with computers.

My favorite thing about Options is the smaller class sizes. In my previous school, the classes were much larger making it harder for the teachers to give each student the individual attention they need.

At Options, the teachers understand and acknowledge that not all students learn the same way and they are able to take the time to explain the work to each of us to ensure we understand it.

 

For more information about Options, click here. Applications are now being accepted for both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

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 –