Students of the Month – Sept. 2020

Congrats to our September Students of the Month for the 2020-21 school year! Scroll down to read our Q&A with each program’s Student of the Month selection.

September 2020 Options Students of the Month


Sept. 2020 Students of the Month:

  • James G. (Options-Carmel)
  • Alex F. (Options @ Growing Minds)
  • Brayleigh B. (Options-Noblesville)
  • Quentin K. (Options @ BACA)
  • Ty Z. (Options @ HYCA)
  • Terez S. (Options Indiana)

James G.
Options-Carmel

Grade: 6th 

How has the first month of the school year been for you?
It’s been pretty good; I like it here. I like my classmates, teachers & classes.

Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
I play video games and spend time with my family. I like playing Call of Duty and Warzone the most, but a bunch of games overall.

What have you enjoyed most about the Options experience?
The people just seem to be nicer & the school is just better overall. It’s nice to have a small class. My two sisters used to go here too, so that’s how my family knew about Options.

What is your favorite subject in school?
I enjoy Math most

Have you improved in any areas since starting at Options?
I think I’ve definitely got better at Math.

Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
I think it would be cool to be a professional gamer.


Alex F.
Options @ Growing Minds

Grade: 10th 

Do you attend Growing Minds in Columbia City or Fort Wayne?
I attend in Fort Wayne and I started during the second semester of the 2019-20 school year.

Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
I really like playing basketball and baseball. My favorite spot to play each is center in basketball & outfield in baseball.

What is your favorite thing about Options @ Growing Minds?
I think it’s the fact that it’s like a family atmosphere each day and not like a regular school where a lot of people might feel like strangers. It’s easy to be honest and open with the teachers because they want the best for you.

What is your favorite subject in school? Why?
I enjoy Career Skills because it covers a little bit of everything and its stuff we need to know.

Have you improved in any areas since starting at Growing Minds?
At my other school, I didn’t get any work done because I would just want to sleep. After talking with some of the teachers, I am more motivated with my future. I’ve been working really hard every day and that didn’t use to be me.

Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
I think I want to attend trade school & become a welder. I like making things and I know I can make some good money doing it.


Brayleigh B.
Options-Noblesville

Grade: 6th

Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
I enjoy practicing origami and making things. I learned through videos & books. I usually like making origami balloons. I like playing outside. 

What have you enjoyed most about the Options experience?
It’s been good, I’ve liked basically everything about it. The teachers in the middle school are awesome. It’s a really fun school with really good teachers and I’m glad to be here.

What is your favorite subject in school?
I like Advising most because I enjoy Kimberly as a teacher so it’s nice having additional time to talk about things.

Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
I have a lot of things I want to do, maybe become a baker.


Quentin K.
Options @ BACA

Grade: 10th

How long have you been enrolled at BACA and/or Options @ BACA?
August 2020

Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
I like jumping on the trampoline, watching television & hanging out with my friends.

What is your favorite thing about attending Options @ BACA?
I enjoy my classmates and the teachers

What is your favorite subject in school? Why?
Science

Have you improved in any areas since enrolling in Options @ BACA?
I’m getting better at reading and socializing.

Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
Unknown


Ty Z.
Options @ HYCA

Grade:  11th 

What is your hometown?
I’m from Chandler, IN, but since it’s a small town I just say Evansville because people know it more that way.

What has your HYCA experience been like?
It’s been pretty good. The first two weeks were rough, but eventually you get used to the routine and what’s going on. The start is like bootcamp because you are learning how things need to be done. After a week or so, you start to make friends and things just get simpler.

Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
I played soccer for many years growing up and into high school. We have a couple hours of free time here after the school day ends, so I read a lot. I’ve already ready eight or nine books in the nine weeks that I’ve been at HYCA. I really enjoy dystopian literature.

What have you enjoyed most about the HYCA experience?
I got here not knowing what I was going to learn, but now being nine weeks in, I realize I need to do something with my life after I graduate, whether it’s school or a career so I can make something of myself.

Have you improved in any areas since starting Options @ HYCA?
With Options, I can work at my own pace & I realize I know a lot more than I think. Having help from teachers is nice too. If you put your mind to it and you want to be successful, it’s amazing what you can accomplish in classes and earning credits. I also have realized I didn’t have a great mindset before coming here and now I’m on track.

Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to do just yet, but I know I’m going to make sure I get my high school diploma first. After that, I will see what will be next, maybe going into the military.


Terez S.
Options Indiana

Grade: 12

What is your hometown?
I live in Highland, IN, which is considered “the region”

How have the first few weeks of the school year been for you?
I actually love this school and have had a great start to my year.  I’m looking forward to my graduation in December.

Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
I am a busy mom of a three-year-old and a newborn. Most of my free time, when I’m not working to finish my classes, is spent raising and taking care of them.

What do you enjoy most about being an Options Indiana student?

I love the teachers and I love communicating with them. They are so easy to talk to and always get right back with me when I need something.

Do you have a favorite subject in school?
I really like science.

Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
I have improved in all of my subject areas but mostly I have found and improved on my motivation to finish school. 

Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
After I graduate in December, I would like to go to school and work on my Cosmetology License.


 

 

Dunagan debuts first Principal blog in Year 2

For Principal Dunagan’s first Principal Blog of the 2020-21 school year, we discussed a trio of topics in video form!

 


  • How has the first month of the school year gone with things being different due to the COVID-19 pandemic? How have the students & teachers adapted to new circumstances?

 

  • With the small size of Options, students are able to attend schools five days a week. How has that been beneficial over having students only on campus for two days each week?

 

  • You first joined the Options team in July 2019 as Principal of Options-Carmel. How has your first year been & what are some of your thoughts as you enter your second school year?

 

Notable Upcoming Dates:

  • Oct. 9: End of Quarter 1 / Grades Final
  • Oct. 12-16: Fall Break!
  • Oct. 20: Picture Retakes
  • Oct. 29: PSAT Testing

 


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.

 

 

Q&A with Melanie, Principal of Options-Noblesville

With the 2020-21 school year underway, we caught up with Melanie Martin-Terrell to see how things have been in her new role as Principal of Options-Noblesville. Martin-Terrell has served in numerous roles during her tenure with Options Schools, most recently as Counselor at Options-Carmel.


How have your first few weeks been serving as Principal of Options-Noblesville?
My first few weeks as Principal of Options-Noblesville have been quite enlightening. I have been well received and met some wonderful families and gotten to know staff members and reconnect with former colleagues. I am learning how to navigate the enrollment process and investigate all the changes to the building. My days are full and productive.

What are your thoughts as you begin a new school year in this role?
Wow! What a time to take on new responsibilities. I welcome all challenges placed before me. I hope to focus on the school motto of Belong, Believe, Achieve. Our students need to feel accepted, safe, supported, encouraged and educated, and in that sequence. Relationships matter. Students are the number one priority of any school environment and we must see from their viewpoint. While some may disagree with this concept, this is what has been effective at Options.

You’ve been with Options for over a decade. What’s it been like to see the growth and evolution of Options Schools?
I am one out of a handful of staff members that have had the pleasure of working at both school campuses, in Carmel and Noblesville. Structurally, the buildings are completely different, but relationally, everything is the same. There are fantastic staff members at both campuses and we all have great rapport within our buildings and now amongst one another, as we are enhancing curriculum standards and providing synchronous instruction. I really believe I have come full circle and that is what makes my journey particularly interesting. I definitely hope to stay connected with all of the students I have worked with. I believe in their ability to succeed and our staff is equipped to assist them along the way.

What is it about Options Schools that has appealed to you for over a decade?
Options has a unique school environment that gives a place for students who need something different. Students can be who they are while developing the skills necessary to become productive citizens. To be able to build positive relationships with students is a major part of our motto. If you don’t feel like you belong, how are you able to be successful and feel at home? Once they belong, they can believe that they are capable and able to then achieve and accomplish goals as they move forward in life.

As you take on this role as Principal, is there anyone you want to acknowledge or thank?
My parents have definitely laid the foundational work as prime examples of excellent educators. They each had 40 plus years in the field of education. With that, I have ingrained and embraced working with youth. I thank the Options executive team for extending their confidence in me to lead the Noblesville campus. My family has supported me throughout all of my academic endeavors and I greatly appreciate their sacrifices and encouragement

Is there anything else you want to share or say?
Let us F.L.O.A.T. through this year and be Flexible, Level-headed, Outstanding, Adaptable, & Triumphant!

 

 

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.

 

 

New Principals & Exciting News for Options @ BACA

NOBLESVILLE – With the 2019-20 school year complete, Options Schools has announced the appointment of three experienced team members to the role of Principal for Options Schools programs, in addition to the growth of another program.

Melanie Martin-Terrell will serve as Principal of Options-Noblesville, Adam Barr will serve as Principal of Options @ HYCA and Beth Hodges will serve as Principal of Options @ Growing Minds.

Martin-Terrell first joined the Options team in September 2007 and has most recently served as Counselor at Options-Carmel since 2018, having dedicated over a decade as a member of the Options team. Barr will transition from Options-Noblesville Principal, to that of Options @ HYCA, and has been on the Options team since 2016. After having held the teacher role with Options @ Growing Minds since early in the 2019-20 school year, Hodges previously served as Director Education for Growing Minds.

After a successful first year as a pilot program that served 11 students in 2019-20, Options @ BACA had its’ ‘pilot’ tag removed and will provide up to 24 seats for students in 2020-21. With over a decade of experience in alternative education and a member of the Options team since Feb. 2019, Lisa Chandler will continue to lead Options @ BACA as the Program Director.

 

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.

Options @ HYCA is a partnership between Options Schools and the Indiana National Guard Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy in order to provide students with an opportunity to continue progressing towards their high school diploma. Options @ HYCA students are able to continue to earn credits towards their high school diploma while attending HYCA in Knightstown, IN.

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.

 

Options Schools Postpones Events For COVID-19 Precautions

NOBLESVILLE – In order to remain committed to the health and safety of students and faculty, Options Schools has postponed upcoming events with large attendance, through the end of March with the current threat of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The list of postponed events currently includes: Options-Noblesville Senior Institute Gallery Walk (March 17), Options-Westfield Groundbreaking Ceremony (March 18), Options-Carmel Open House (March 18), Options-Carmel Senior Institute Gallery Walk (March 20) and Options-Noblesville Open House (March 25).

As originally scheduled, Wednesday, March 18 will remain an E-Learning Day for all Options students.

“After consulting with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and local officials, we feel that it is in the best interest of our students and staff to temporarily postpone Options Schools events,” said Dr. Mike Gustin, Options Schools President. “At this time, we do not feel school closure is necessary. However, we are encouraging all students and staff members to practice good sanitation habits and to remain home if they are feeling ill.”

Students concerned about their own welfare or potential exposure to family members may elect to participate in the Options’ Alternative Classroom Experience and learn from home. Parents should contact their building principal for more information on this option.

Currently, there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any Options Schools campuses. If a case were to occur, Options would notify staff, students and parents from the involved school(s) and follow the recommendations of local, state and federal authorities. In the event schools would need to be closed for an extended period of time, Options would utilize E-Learning Days and postpone in-person meetings for Distance Education students.

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on Wednesday. The ISDH and Centers of Disease Control (CDC) have shared guidance based on what is known about the transmission and severity of COVID-19. Per their recommendation, Options administration will continue to collaborate, share information, and review plans with local health officials.

‘Tis The Season! (Dunagan’s Blog)


Hello families,

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving break. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration prior to the start of the break, and I wanted to personally thank all of the students & families that participated and helped make it a really nice event.

We are now in the final stretch of the first semester, with finals and final projects are quickly approaching. Winter Break isn’t too far away either!

With the holiday season upon us, we are taking part in a campus-wide community service project with Foster Fairies Inc. to benefit local children. The project involves Options-Carmel advising groups serving as sponsors for a child who will receive gifts that the child has listed on their “wish list.” We believe once our students see the needs and wants on their peers’ wish lists they will be humbled and want to continue to help those in need in the future. For more information about the program, or to get involved, email Jenny.

I also wanted to share a reminder about the bridge program that we will be starting at Options-Carmel in January, as we will be expanding to serve students in grades 8-12 for the spring 2020 semester. As we look to the future and the opening of the Options-Westfield location in August 2021, we are excited to welcome new families into the Options Family!

Please see the list of important dates below:
December 2-12: Foster Fairies, Inc. donation collection
December 13: Delivering gifts to Foster Fairies, Inc.
December 18: Full E-Learning Day

December 23-January 6: Winter Break (Students return on Tuesday, January 7)

I am so excited to finish our first semester together here at Options!

Happy Holidays!

— Dunagan