The Options Experience

  • Student Spotlight: Aiden Kirby

    Aiden Kirby, a high school junior at Options-Carmel

    What grade are you in?
    11th. I am going to be a senior next year!

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    Boating, gaming, hanging out with friends, skateboarding

    What is your favorite thing about Options so far?
    The teachers are great, the work is understandable

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    History

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options? Not only with academics, but overall.
    All of my grades went up, dramatically.  School is a whole lot less stressful.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They are super friendly, they like me as a person, understand my learning challenges and work with me. They are super chill, easy to approach and cool to talk to.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate? If so, please explain.
    I’m doing my dream now. I got a summer job in welding and construction and want to continue that after I graduate. I want to start my own welding company.

    How have your classes been since transitioning to eLearning?
    Good, the teachers are great.

    How have you been maintaining a good schedule while eLearning?
    Yes, up in the morning, do my work so I can go to work or hang out.

    Do you have any tips or tricks for staying productive while eLearning?
    Just get the work done and play hard after.

    Have you & your family been doing anything creative at home to stay active?
    I work out every day. Going forward I will be working every day.

     

    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.

     

  • Take a virtual campus tour!

    Options-Carmel

    (Serving Grades 6 – 12)
    Click here to contact Principal Michael Dunagan

    Options-Noblesville

    (Serving Grades 6 – 12)
    Click here to contact Principal Adam Barr

     

    *** Now enrolling students for the 2020-21 school year ***

     

    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 Schools Announces Graduation Plans

    As regulations around the state will prohibit Options Schools from holding a traditional Graduation ceremony at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, this year’s Graduation is going online for an event that will be streamed on Facebook Live at this link: Facebook.com/optionscharterschools/.

    The ceremony can be viewed on Facebook Live on Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. EST. Following the conclusion of the 6:30 PM live event, the full ceremony will be available on-demand via Options Schools’ Facebook page.

    Each campus Principal has already reached out to the Class of 2020 to provide information on how students can obtain their cap & gown, along with how they will be able to participate in the ceremony virtually.

     

    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.

     

     

  • Student Spotlight – April 29

    Tori [far left] spends some time at the park with her siblings
    (more…)

  • Science with Stacie, “A ‘Meme-orable’ Pandemic”

    Options-Noblesville science teacher Stacie O’Flaherty tasked her Earth Space class with a project called “A ‘Meme-orable’ Pandemic.” The results have included some great Google Slide presentations from students.

    “I’ve seen several really excellent submissions from my Earth Space students with some really mature and well thought out remarks,” said O’Flaherty when discussing the work of students. “The perspective of this age group going through the present times is very enlightening.”

     

    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.

     

  • April 14 Update For Student & Parents

    Parents and Students,

    We hope this letter finds you and your families well as we all continue to Hunker-Down in Indiana and do our part to fight off the pandemic of COVID-19.  On April 2nd, Dr. McCormick, the Indiana State Superintendent of Education, announced that schools will not be allowed to return back to the physical buildings for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Prior to spring break, we shared our plan for instructional days following spring break and that plan has not changed with this announcement.  An explanation of the plan is also included in this letter as well as some additional details for graduating seniors.  

    We returned to eLearning, Monday, April 13, 2020 with all courses now set up in such a way that students may complete at their own pace with the goal of completing all currently assigned courses by May 1.  Students enrolled in the Options-Distance Education, Options @ HYCA and Options @ BACA programs will continue to complete courses according to their individual pacing plans. We are hopeful this will excite students and encourage focused work with the reward of an early summer break!  Teachers will continue to provide direct instruction through videos, virtual office hours, Google Hangout and Zoom meetings, and by appointment for individual virtual help.  

    Dr. McCormick also announced on April 2nd that all graduating seniors will receive acknowledgment in all spring courses in which they are already enrolled to ensure they are able to meet graduation requirements.  Please note, “acknowledgment” is not the same as credit. In order for seniors to earn the transcripted credit in the courses, they must still complete the content and earn a passing grade. We are encouraging all seniors, along with all students, to push forward with their courses and work to complete all coursework on May 1, 2020. 

    Beginning May 4, 2020, through May 27, 2020, Options will run a 4-week credit recovery session for all students that need extended time past the May 1st deadline or that are credit deficient and would like to enroll in an additional course or two.  Advisors and counselors will help students choose appropriate courses and will direct students to fill out this sign-up form.  Sign up forms are not necessary for Options-Distance Education and Options @ BACA students.  In addition, we will still offer summer school, online-only, June 1, 2020, through June 26, 2020.  Students will need to fill out the form for each 4-week term with the courses they wish to take. 

    Dr. McCormick’s announcement does require us to also change how we celebrate together through our spring events such as the spring picnic, prom, and graduation.  Our leadership teams will continue to work together to develop alternative plans and will share more information as we have it ready to share. We are very proud of our students and their continued resiliency!   

    Thank you, again, to each of you for being part of the Options’ family and trusting us to provide your children a sense of belonging in our schools, a belief in themselves, and encouragement to achieve their highest potential. We do not take that gift lightly. Also, our sincere thanks to all the dedicated people at all of the County and State Health Departments, the local and state officials, 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:

     

    Quick Guide Calendar

    March 30 – April 10 — Spring Break – No School

    April 13 – May 1 — eLearning (Courses now At-Your-Own Pace)

    May 1 — End of Semester 2

    May 4 – May 27 — Credit Recovery Session 1 (Maymester)
    Sign-up Form

    June 1 – June 26 — Credit Recovery Session 2 (Summer School)
    Sign-up Form

    August 5 — First Day for Students, Fall 2020

     

    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.

     

  • Carmel Student of the Month – March
    Pictured: Mercedes with her two younger sisters

    In celebration of our March Students of the Month, get to know the Mercedes Schneider from Options-Carmel!

    Mercedes Schneider
    (Options-Carmel)

    Grade: 10th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    January 2020

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I enjoy my free time by listening to music or hanging out with my family. Usually, I’ll play games with my little sister or cards with my parents. 

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I really like the positive environment, most of the people are positive and very nice. All the teachers are also kind and helpful whenever you need their help.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    My favorite subject is history. It’s an interesting class where you can always learn something new every day. 

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    Yes, I’ve improved with my social skills and putting myself out there to meet new people. Also, with my academics, I feel as if I’m learning more at Options then my last school.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    Options teachers make sure students are more productive and ask the students if they need help. They also give more one on one time with students who are struggling in classes.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    Yes, I currently plan to graduate a year early, then go to college for neuropsychology, or something like that. Although I still don’t know where I will attend college though.

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

  • Steve’s eLearning Update (March 27)

    With Options Schools closed until May 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our educational structure has transitioned to eLearning. With all Options students, teachers and administrators working from home, we wanted to share some blog posts on how the change has been going for different members of the Options family.

    Next up is Steve Bowers, social studies teacher at Options-Carmel since 2017! Yesterday, Stacie O’Flaherty (Options-Noblesville science teacher) provided an update.

    How has the transition to full eLearning been for your students?
    Steve: The students have been resilient, if somewhat hesitant. We are charting new waters for a lot of them, and they just need to get comfortable with the new format. The students are still involved, producing high-quality work, being engaged, asking questions, just like in their school classrooms.

    How has the transition to full eLearning been for you & the rest of the Options-Carmel team?
    Steve: I believe we have all done very well making the transition, having the built-in eLearning Days already for our half-day/full-day Professional Development’s has helped us be ahead of the curve, unlike some of the bigger school corporations. Personally, I have taught virtually before so it was a pretty easy transition for me (and from conversing with my colleagues, for them as well). We have been sharing different ideas, apps, websites, resources to make the transition that much easier for the entire staff.

    What has been the most successful part of eLearning thus far?
    Steve: For me, seeing the students be able to embrace it. Some students have a natural fear of the unknown (we all do), but this was something that they were able to take in stride and still be successful students. The continual conversations that I and the other teachers have with our students via the different social media apps, emails, texts, phone calls, etc, it’s just like we see them in hallways and have a nice little conversation with them. Its “business” as usual, just in a different location.

    How are you staying connected with your students during eLearning?
    Steve: I text, use google hangouts, email, and make some phone calls.  I will leave comments on the assignments I grade, just simple things, like “nice job,” “keep up the good work,” “hope you and your family are doing okay,” “let me know if you need anything.” Things like that. It sounds cliche, but we are family and our students really, really buy into that here. We need to make sure that we continue that in this particular time of uncertainty.

    What have you been doing to keep to a routine while teaching through eLearning?
    Steve: Well, to be honest, I don’t get up as early as I did, as my kids are home as well and I don’t have to take my oldest to band practice. But what I do, I make sure I get dressed like I’m going into work. It’s fine to sit in your shorts and t-shirt, but that can be distracting. I put on clothes that I would wear to work. I don’t sit near my desktop, as my games and other distractions would be calling me, I set up class hangouts to correspond to the time I would actually have class. I connect with my teacher friends, like I would at school, eat lunch at the same time. Just to make myself realize that I am still at work.

    Have you & your family been doing anything creative at home to stay active?
    Steve: Well, my kids go for walks/play outside. My youngest (7th grader) has to do ‘Just Dance’ for his Gym class. My oldest (10th grader) is constantly practicing his bassoon or saxophone. We have family dinner, play board games, etc. Sometimes we do separate because being cooped up for an extended time period can be grating on your nerves, especially if your father is a history teacher and you are a teenager.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?
    Steve: Just that as bad as it is, and while it’s bad and may get worse, if the scientists are correct, we will get through it.  We have a unique school that takes care of each other. We have the ability to do the right thing for our students and staff, and we are doing so to help our students because we believe in them. They know they belong to a school that cares for them and together we know they will achieve because we believe in them.

     

    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.

     

  • Stacie’s eLearning Update (March 26)

    With Options Schools closed until May 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our educational structure has transitioned to eLearning. With all Options students, teachers and administrators working from home, we wanted to share some blog posts on how the change has been going for different members of the Options family.

    First up is Stacie O’Flaherty, science teacher at Options-Noblesville since 2014!

    How has the transition to full eLearning been for your students?
    Stacie: It’s been easier for some than others. Our students are so close and really great at helping each other. Being isolated is difficult, but I know many of them are reaching out to each other during this time. Many are working hard on assignments and we teachers are on our computers all day, and many of us into the evening hours as well. So, we are able to clarify and explain assignments as needed.

    How has the transition to full eLearning been for you & the rest of the Options-Noblesville team?
    Stacie: We have such a strong group of teachers and counselors. It’s been very challenging for me because I do so much hands-on work in my science classroom and the transition to online is difficult for me. The students are real troopers though. I respect and admire the teachers and all the effort that everyone is putting into reaching out to students and parents to try to keep our students on track for credit attainment. Also, I want to shout out to Elizabeth Essig, our Instructional Assistant and volunteer in the pantry, who has been absolutely heroic in staying in touch with our students who are going through difficult financial times with the quarantine. She is doing so much to get needed food and toiletries for these students and their families.

    What has been the most successful part of eLearning thus far?
    Stacie: The most successful part is definitely how we are all growing and learning to do more online. It’s definitely a learning experience for me, and I know we try to get creative with online assignments. 

    How are you staying connected with your students during eLearning?
    Stacie: We are emailing, Google Meeting, Google Hangout including Hangout audio and video, Google Classroom comments and texting. We have a high school google hangout chat and a middle school hangout chat. We are doing any and all methods to reach as many as often as possible. 

    What have you been doing to keep to a routine while teaching through eLearning?
    Stacie: Definitely have to go to bed and get up on a regular schedule. I know we all have been putting in a good bit of extra time on getting as creative as possible with online assignments and keeping up with attendance and grading. Some of the teachers have young children at home. They really are my heroes.

    Have you & your family been doing anything creative at home to stay active?
    Stacie: You’re going to make me confess that I’m finally getting some use out of the treadmill I bought last spring. I have college students and a working husband. We are working a lot. But, we are also exploring and expanding our cooking skills while we are stuck at home.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?
    Stacie: We teachers and counselors at Options are really all about the students. Our mission is to help these precious young people ‘Belong, Believe and Achieve’ in their academic career and to graduate on time. This quarantine doesn’t change that and there is a lot of love and care still occurring while we are apart just the same as when we are together.

     

    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.

     

  • Student Schedule Following Spring Break (As of March 23)

    Parents and Students,

    The last couple of weeks have challenged each of us in some similar and unique ways. We have been so fortunate, as a school family, to have a group of students and parents that have been patient and incredibly flexible with the changes in learning platforms. We have heard so many positive stories already of how you are all continuing to build community in alignment with our Relationships-First mission yet keeping the appropriate social distancing requirements. 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. Our students and teachers continue to show us how resilient they really are!

    We hope you will use the upcoming spring break as an opportunity to rest and heal, both physically and mentally. We know many of you have had to cancel family plans and normal busy schedules have slowed during this time at home. We encourage you to continue to schedule time each day to take care of yourselves and your family as a whole unit. If we are not careful and intentional, we can begin to feel isolated. Your Options family is here to walk with you and ready to help in any way we can. Please let us know if you or your family have any needs with which we may assist.

    Options Charter Schools are on spring break beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, through Friday, April 10, 2020.  We will return to eLearning, Monday, April 13, 2020. At that time, all courses will have been set up in such a way that students may complete at their own pace with the goal of completing all currently assigned courses by May 1. We are hopeful this will excite students and encourage focused work with the reward of an early summer break!

    Beginning May 4, 2020, through May 27, 2020, Options will run a 4-week credit recovery session for all students that need extended time past the May 1st deadline or that are credit deficient and would like to enroll in an additional course or two. If we are able to return to the buildings at that time, this session will run from 8:00 am-12:00 pm each day. If not, we will continue through the eLearning platform.

    At this time, we are holding off on making any decisions about spring events such as the spring picnic, prom, or graduation. We are hopeful we are able to be together again before the end of the year but will follow the lead of our health agencies and government officials.  Summer school will continue as planned, beginning June 1, 2020, through June 26, 2020. If we are able to be in the buildings, this will be held at the Noblesville campus and will run from 8:00 am-12:00 pm. Students are able to enroll in up to two courses for summer school. More information and sign up sheets will be sent out in April.

    Thank you, again, to each of you for being part of the Options’ family and trusting us to provide your children a sense of belonging in our schools, a belief in themselves, and encouragement to achieve their highest potential. We do not take that gift lightly. Also, our sincere thanks to all the dedicated people at all of the County and State Health Departments, the local and state officials, and to our staff at Options Schools who have been working tirelessly to prepare and plan for our students and families.

     

    Quick Guide Calendar

    March 30 – April 10 Spring Break – No School
    April 13 – May 1 eLearning, Courses set to At-Your-Own Pace
    May 1 End of Semester 2
    May 4 – May 27 Credit Recovery Session 1
    June 1 – June 26 Credit Recovery Session 2 (Summer School)
    August 5 First Student Day, Fall 2020

     

    Point of Contact by Program:

     

    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 Pantry makes immediate impact amidst school closures

    With more than 200 Indiana school districts having closed in response to COVID-19, students throughout Indiana are experiencing a change in their daily schedule. One of those changes is the access to lunch and other meals that are available to students when at school.

    In an effort to ensure no students would go hungry during the extended break, Options Schools looked to its recently-renovated food pantry.

    With the Options-Noblesville Pantry already in place, the foundation was set to make an immediate impact when staff learned Friday that Options Schools campuses would transition to E-Learning, beginning Monday, March 16. With help from students Symone and Jocelyn, Options-Noblesville Instructional Assistant Elizabeth Essig was able to prepare 100 bags of non-perishable foods. 50 of the bags were transported to Options-Carmel.

    Some of the supplies were provided by the Hamilton County Harvest Food Bank, while others were purchased by Options. In addition to the 100 bags of food, White River Christian Church supplied Options with perishable and non-perishable items for 10 more families.

    With additional supplies remaining, Options teachers and administration will distribute remaining supplies in the following days & weeks.

     

    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.

     

     

  • Dunagan’s Principal Blog (March 2020)

    I know it is hard to believe, but we are already into the month of March. As we near the end of the 3rd quarter we have a lot of important dates coming up in the next few weeks!

    We had a great end to the month of February by spending a crisp Friday in southern Indiana at Paoli Peaks. While it allowed students to spend a day away from campus, the deeper meaning of the day is to reward students based on their achievement of certain benchmarks and by demonstrating the aforementioned academic skills. You can view a full photo gallery from the day, here. We also named 10th grader Daelyn Presswood as our February Student of the Month.

    To signify a major milestone in the history of Options Schools, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 18 to mark the beginning of the construction project that will result in a Westfield campus of Options Schools! We welcome anyone to attend the event, which will last from 1:30-2:30 PM. The groundbreaking ceremony will commence at 2 PM. The Options-Westfield site can be found off of State Road 32 and Gunther Blvd., behind Huntington Bank (3560 Westfield Rd, Westfield, IN 46074). The location is adjacent to the intersection of State Road 32 & Grassy Branch Rd.

    Important Dates:

    • March 10th-11th ISTEP+ English testing
    • March 16th Army Recruiters will be on-site during afternoon advising to speak to any interested students
    • March 17th Practice Gallery walk for SI
    • March 18th Full E-Learning day for students
    • March 18th Groundbreaking ceremony for our Westfield campus at 1:30 PM
    • March 18th Open House from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    • March 20th Gallery Walk for SI at 10:30 AM
    • March 24th-25th Cognia Review visit
    • March 30th-April 10th Spring Break

    The full 2020 Open House schedule began this week and will last until May. The full schedule of dates can be found here.

    Did you know that April 1, 2020 is Census Day? Responding to the 2020 Census is our civic duty and affects the amount of funding for our community’s public resources. To learn more, visit http://www.census.indiana.edu. Counting your child in the 2020 census could mean $10,000 of additional funding for K12 schools over the next ten years.

  • Students of the Month – February 2020

    In celebration of our February Students of the Month, get to know the four students that were selected! Each student was selected by their program’s Principal and teachers.

     

    Daelyn Presswood
    (Options-Carmel)

    Grade: 10th 

    When did you enroll at Options?
    Over a year ago in October 2018

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I like to play basketball, play video games & read comic books. I mainly play sports video games like NBA 2K and UFC. My cousin showed me the TV show “The Flash” and that got me hooked on comic books.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    Definitely the teachers. They make sure to help you succeed and they don’t let you fail. I also like being able to play basketball with friends at school during lunch.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    I really like Social Studies with Steve and English with Gretchen. The way they teach and how they approach things is really helpful. I really enjoy reading and working on writing prompts. I also have learned a lot about history.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I have learned a lot more since I have been here compared to at my old school. Personally, I used to be super serious about everything, but small classes helped me learn how to be a little more laid back.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They pay attention to each student and take interest in you as an individual because they don’t want to see me fail. Everyone is helpful, even down to our security guard. They try to help in the best way they can.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I’m not sure yet, but I want to do something where I can help other people.

     

    Ethan Howard
    (Options-Distance Education)

    Grade: 12th
    Hometown: Indianapolis

    When did you enroll at Options?
    December 2018

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    My passion is playing video games, making videos and listening to music. I also enjoy learning about airplanes and collecting airplanes. 

    What is your favorite thing about the Options Distance Education program?
    My favorite thing is how I can work any time to fit my schedule. This has made school better because I feel less rushed and can focus on one class at a time.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    My favorite subject is business because it’s interesting and I’m getting good grades in the class. This class is preparing me for my future as an entrepreneur.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I’ve improved my work ethic and my constructive writing skills. Overall, I am better at planning and managing my time.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    The teachers offer more 1-on-1 help to students to make sure they fully understand. They also help you set goals for yourself.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    After graduation, I would like to make my own company and become a pilot. If I were to make a company, it would produce movies. One day I would like to fly myself to Japan.

     

    Basim Kahn
    (Options-Noblesville Middle School)

    Grade: 8th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    At the start of this school year in August

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I enjoy playing video games, mostly Nintendo games.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I actually like going to school. You can voice your opinions; your voice Is heard, and the teachers are funny.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    I would say math. I am good at it and it’s kind of easy for me.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I go to school a lot more now. I didn’t use to go as much.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They have time to help you and answer questions that anyone has. The classrooms aren’t big, so nobody is embarrassed to ask questions and the work is attainable. 

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    Probably something with building or technology. I like working with my hands and playing video games, so something that has those things would be fun.

     

    Tori Symons
    (Options-Noblesville High School)

    Grade: 10th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    In the middle of this past November

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I love photography and have been doing it for the past two years. I also know sign language and started learning that in 6th grade.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I like the extra help from all my teachers. They make time to further help me and make sure we get the best grades we can.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    English is my favorite subject. I love writing, especially poetry.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I have definitely become more outgoing and I’m better at speaking my own voice. I used to be shyer and I have also improved in math & have a better understanding of it now. The smaller school helps me be more comfortable with speaking up and being in my own skin because you can ask questions without judgment.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    Here they take extra time to help with whatever is needed, even if they have to go over a thing in class again. Having resource teachers help me too because there is more support than I used to have.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I want to be a Sign Language Interpreter and I am planning on going to IUPUI because they have a good program for that.

     

     

     

  • Options Students Take to the Ski Slopes in Celebration of the Literal Ups and Downs of Life
    Options-Carmel student Dominick Andrews takes a turn while snowboarding for the first time (photo credit: Meredith Stasik)


    Story written by Meredith Stasik

    View Photo Gallery

    Options Schools are a place where students go to succeed and to learn an appreciation for hard work, grit, and determination. This has never been truer than when a group of students from the Options campus in Carmel, IN and their teachers took to the ski slopes at Paoli Peaks in Southern Indiana on crisp Friday morning in February. The students were selected based on their achievement of certain benchmarks and by demonstrating the aforementioned academic skills.

    Since this was the first time skiing for many students, and teachers, this field trip was a metaphor for the challenges of learning new skills and obtaining goals.

    Sarah Cash, teacher, lamented this idea when she said, “We love to see our students succeed but we know that the path to success isn’t a straight one. Sometimes you fall and have to pick yourself up, tend to your bruises, and keep going. That’s exactly what you do while skiing. This trip is a perfect example and real-life application of grit and determination. It was a great lesson for all of us today.”

    Not every student was quick to hit the slopes. After a lesson from the Paoli Peaks’ ski instructors, some students opted to hang back and watch the action for a while.

    Samantha Floyd was one of those students. “It was a bit scary and intimidating at first. It was cold and wet. At first, a lot of people were falling down. It just seemed hard. But then people were skiing and snowboarding longer and faster and you could tell they were having fun. It made me want to get out there and try as hard as they were!” And it was not long before Floyd did just that. She was able to snowboard down the slope on her own in no time.

    The Options Schools motto is “Believe. Belong. Achieve.” Teacher Phil Bertch exemplified this when he remarked, “Our school is huge on embracing the notion of ‘second chances’ and recognizing setbacks not as failures but an opportunity to improve. It is why many of our students end up enrolling with Options. We truly believe all of our students are capable of success. It’s about working with them and personalizing the support given to them to get them there.”

    Some students found success quicker than others. For example, student Dominick Andrews. “He took to snowboarding right away. He served as a role model and a bit of inspiration for other students,” one of his former teachers Meredith Stasik commented. “That’s one of the powerful things about the Options smaller community. We have the ability to recognize the successes of our students and allow them to serve as motivation for the rest of us.”

    Andrews added, “At first I didn’t think I was doing so well. It’s hard to tell when you are still figuring things out but then you have your teachers congratulating you and cheering you on. It gets you more excited and wanting to do more.”

    Other students like Titus Barber and Daelyn Presswood could be heard giving words of encouragement to their teachers and peers from the ski lift or coming to the aid of a fallen teacher.

    At the end of the day, each student made an attempt at least once down the hill. Everyone had their fair share of falls and bumps. Most importantly, everyone got up, mustered up their grit, and tried again. It was truly a fun-filled day that made a lasting impression on everyone in attendance and even leaving some students asking to come back again next year!

    To explore Options, visit OptionsSchools.org. With enrollment now open for the 2020-21 school year, prospective families can attend an upcoming Open House or schedule a campus tour & Principal meeting.

     

    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.

     

  • Pantry grows to provide additional benefits to those in need

    In an effort to provide students with assistance beyond the scope of education, one Counselor at Options Schools began a pantry program that has grown immensely over a short period of time.

    Started by Options-Noblesville Counselor Devin Hines, the Options Pantry began at the start of the 2018-19 school year, roughly 18 months ago.

    With initial support from Grace Church, the pantry consisted of non-perishable items that were available to students and their families. When Hines left her role with Options in December 2018, the future of the pantry was up in the air before Instructional Assistant Elizabeth Essig volunteered to carry on the cause.

    “It was such a positive thing for all of our students to have access to food and other items, if they ever needed them,” said Essig. “I didn’t want it to end and with my role, I have some time to assist, and I didn’t mind helping since the benefit was evident.”

    Following overseeing the pantry through the end of the 2018-19 school year, Essig not only wanted to see the pantry continue, but grow.

    After learning that the pantry would no longer receive assistance from Grace Church, Essig received a recommendation to reach out to the Hamilton County Harvest Food Bank. With help from Anita Hagen, Executive Director of Hamilton County Harvest Food Bank, the Options Pantry had secured the support it needed to increase its reach.

    “I went with (Options-Noblesville Principal) Adam Barr to meet with Anita (Hagen) and discuss some possibilities,” said Essig. “Anita was really excited to talk about the pantry because of the uniqueness surrounding a school having its own pantry. She came in to look at the space we had, and things took off from there.”

    By moving the pantry’s location to a room in the heart of campus, any interested students could easily access items they needed before or after the school day. Essig also saw an opportunity to increase the benefits of the pantry by expanding selection choices.

    Having started with non-perishable foods, the pantry has since added perishable foods, hygiene products, gently used clothes, a book exchange and educational flyers on vaping, second-hand smoke and other important topics.

    “There have been a number of supporters in addition to Anita and the rest of the Hamilton Country Harvest Food Bank team,” said Essig. “We receive a weekly donation of fresh produce and other perishable items from the White River Food Pantry through Options parent Sarah Reiff. I also was able to obtain monetary donations from a relative and through employee contributions to the Options In Education Foundation. We even have some students bringing in donations.”

    If you are interested in making a contribution to the pantry, donations can include non-perishable foods, hygiene products, books, gently used clothes and monetary contributions to be used to purchase additional items. To learn more how to get involved, email Elizabeth Essig to help make an impact.

     

    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.

     

     

  • Amazon John shares passion and expertise with Options-Carmel students

    On Tuesday, students at the Carmel campus of Options Schools were able to learn a great deal from a rather entertaining and extremely knowledgeable source, Amazon John of Silly Safaris. With Silly Safaris serving as the leading provider of live animal conservation education, Amazon John spoke to all Options-Carmel students on a number of topics.

    Topics covered during the day included small business ownership in Senior Institute, dietary-related themes in Health and Wellness, and animal communication patterns in Interpersonal Communications. Having started Silly Safaris in 1997 after having previously worked at the Indianapolis Zoo, Amazon John shared his story and also brought along some of his animals. Regardless of the topic, Amazon John made sure to share some valuable advice with students, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep. Whatever you do in life, just do something that makes you happy.”

    A photo gallery from the day can be viewed at the Options Schools Facebook Page.

    We made sure to catch up with Amazon John & one of his guests, “Twinkie,” to hear more about the day.

     

    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.

     

  • Students of the Month – Jan. 2020

    In celebration of our January Students of the Month, get to know the four students that were selected! Each student was selected by their program’s Principal and teachers.

     

    Doug Raub
    (Options-Carmel)

    Grade: 12th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    During my Sophomore year (August 2017)

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I like going to car meets and looking at different types of cars. I also am into live-streaming gaming on Fortnite.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I like how you have 1-on-1 relationships with every teacher instead of no teachers knowing you. All of the teachers know something about you and can talk to you because they know you.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    I don’t really have a favorite, but I have always liked science.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They are respectful of students and show trust in people as long as students are honest.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I am looking at enrolling at Lincoln College of Technology to study something automotive-related. I also could work for my dad’s company.

     

    Nicolas Jones
    (Options-Distance Education)

    Grade: 11th
    Hometown: Indianapolis

    When did you enroll at Options?
    September 2019

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I like playing my PlayStation and working on cars and dirt bikes.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    They are willing to work with you and address your concerns.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    I don’t have any favorites. I am just doing my best to succeed.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    Most definitely! I’m more focused & getting more organized

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They actually care.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I’m waiting to enroll in trade school for mechanics or HVAC.

     

    Jillian Gale
    (Options-Noblesville Middle School)

    Grade: 7th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    At the start of this school year

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I really like art and drawing pretty much anything free-hand.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    Probably just the friends I have made, the teachers and the other students.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    I like math.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They understand you and take time to hear about your situation and they try to help you through it.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I want to be a teacher. I have wanted to do that for a while because I like helping others and I like kids.

     

    Joey Kitko
    (Options-Noblesville High School)

    Grade: 11th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    I started in September 2019

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I like to learn about business, and I enjoy wrestling. I make business plans in my free time for all types of companies, but mainly in energy and producing products. I have been wrestling competitively since I was four and it is my favorite sport.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    The respect you get from teachers and the teachers have the willingness to understand situations.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    I like math and any business classes.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    The structure is just different and there is some more individual work that lets you work at your own pace.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I am working to save up money to start a business in energy. I want to work with my older brother and he’s also been saving up money.

     

    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.

     

  • 2020 #SchoolChoiceWeek Recap

    Held every January, National #SchoolChoiceWeek shines a spotlight on effective education options for children

    NSCW recognizes all K-12 options, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling.

    Started in 2011, NSCW is now the world’s largest annual celebration of opportunity in education. Over the past nine years, more than 131,000 NSCW events have been planned across the country and around the world.

    NSCW is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical, independent public awareness effort. Therefore we are not associated with any legislative lobbying or advocacy. More information can be found at SchoolChoiceWeek.com.

     

    Monday, Jan. 27

    Tuesday, Jan. 28

    Wednesday, Jan. 29

    Thursday, Jan. 30

    Friday, Jan. 31

     

     

    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 a Distance Education program that serves students throughout Indiana. Providing students with an inclusive environment and a student-to-teacher ratio of 15-to-1. With a high-quality, individualized approach, Options was founded in 2002.

    About Public Charter Schools
    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.

     

  • Aaron Likens visits Options-Noblesville to spread autism awareness

    An author, speaker, and Mental Health Champion, Aaron Likens spoke to a group of 50 students, teachers and guests at Options Schools’ Noblesville campus on Monday in an effort to raise the awareness and understanding of the autism spectrum.

    The event came together with the assistance of Likens’ sister, Options-Noblesville English and middle school teacher Kimberly Massoud.

    After being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was 20 years old, Likens wrote Finding Kansas: Living and Decoding Asperger’s Syndrome. He was named a 2012 Mental Health Champion of Missouri and dedicates his time to raising autism awareness.

    15 months after his diagnosis, Likens began to write about not only the what of Asperger Syndrome but the why. One thing led to another and eventually he had a book written, Finding Kansas, and is now the Autism Ambassador for TouchPoint Autism Services. His mission in life is to raise the awareness AND understanding of the autism spectrum because there is hope only if parents, teachers, and society understands.

    Following the event, Likens spoke about the day, his motivation & provided some great insight. Watch the full video here.

     

    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 a Distance Education program that serves students throughout Indiana. Providing students with an inclusive environment and a student-to-teacher ratio of 15-to-1. With a high-quality, individualized approach, Options was founded in 2002.

     

  • Kickboxing World Champion speaks to Options students

    NOBLESVILLE – Actor, stuntman and former world kickboxing champion Jerry Trimble spoke to Options-Noblesville, Options-Carmel and Options-Distance Education students on Tuesday morning at Ivy Tech Community College in Noblesville.

    An inspiration to many, Trimble shared his story of how he was able to overcome bullying and go after his dreams of becoming a World Champion Actor and Stuntman. Using his own life as a blueprint for creating change, Trimble inspires youth to get out of their comfort zone discover their gifts and use those gifts to go after their dreams.

    With students in attendance from both Options campuses and Options Distance Education students having streamed the event, all Options students were able to hear Trimble’s story of overcoming adversity to turn his dreams into reality. Students in attendance also participated in some activities to encourage them to embrace change. Options students & parents interested in re-watching the presentation can email their respective Principal to obtain the website link.

    Following the event, Trimble recapped the event and shared some words of wisdom.

    “My intention coming in here is that I plant seeds of hope, inspiration and empowerment into each of their minds, bodies and spirit,” Trimble said. ” So when they walk out of here, they’ll know they have something special and they can tap into whatever they have. You know, it’s a process and hopefully I share my process with them so they can get something out of it to the point where they’re going, ‘Wow, I can actually, I can do that. I can do what he did. If it’s not becoming a world champion, it’s something else.'”

    The event was also covered by WISH-TV and was featured in Tuesday’s evening news broadcast.

     

    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 a Distance Education program that serves students throughout Indiana. Providing students with an inclusive environment and a student-to-teacher ratio of 15-to-1. With a high-quality, individualized approach, Options was founded in 2002.

     

  • Paving the way with Senior Institute

    Since Options Schools was founded in 2002, the Senior Institute program has been a strong fixture upon which the foundation of Options has been built.

    Within that program, each graduating senior is required to complete a community service-based learning project that spans the entirety of their senior year and requires at least 30 hours of volunteer service. While the details of each student’s service project may differ, the impact of Senior Institute is a positive one for all students.

    One great example of that impact can be found with Options-Noblesville senior Lainey Welch and how a volunteer opportunity has helped pave a career path. For many students, the biggest obstacle of the Senior Institute project comes with selecting an organization to pair with for their service.

    “When I was thinking about my organization, I decided I wanted to work with Riverwalk Village (Senior Community) because my Aunt worked there for 17 years and I used to volunteer there when I was younger,” said Lainey. “I didn’t know much, but I did know that I wanted to volunteer there.”

    Once Riverwalk was selected by Lainey and approved by her Senior institute teacher Angie Smith, Lainey’s project was officially underway as she began volunteering in mid-September. Lainey’s 30 community service hours were obtained through working with the Riverwalk Activities Director, where she assisted with activities that the residents participated in.

    “After I started volunteering, I just fell in love with the people and wanted to keep doing it even after Senior Institute,” said Lainey. “I formed a strong, natural connection with residents and that just helped me grow in the position.”

    Through hard work and dedication, Lainey was able to extend her stay at Riverwalk Village as she accepted a paid position as an Activities Assistant in mid-November. The stars seemed to align, with the Activities Assistant role having been vacant and Lainey having proven the ability to handle such a position. As an Activities Assistant, she takes part in activities with residents, distributes mail, socializes with residents and assists with other tasks as needed. Lainey has hit the ground running in her new position, but Lainey wouldn’t have it any other way.

    “I really enjoy it,” said Lainey. “I just love seeing the residents happy and I enjoy doing what I can to make them genuinely happy. I work six days a week and I’m not full-time, but I definitely have a busy schedule.”

    While the Senior Institute project has already benefitted Lainey greatly, it isn’t exactly the result she had expected when the school year began in August.

    “I never thought about a career like this before,” said Lainey. “I wanted to be a Biology teacher, but now I definitely think I want to be in Social Services, maybe even something with Psychology or getting by CNA license so I can work as a Certified Nursing Assistant.”

    What other benefits does Lainey see from the Senior Institute project as she now works towards the presentation portion?

    “It just has opened me up to so many different people in different cultures and just having a different sense of what other people might think,” said Lainey. “I feel that I am so much kinder because I have gained a new point of view on things and the residents give me a sense of hope that I can be my most genuine happy self.”

    With Lainey set to graduate from Options in May 2020, she is now shaping her future plans around her role at Riverwalk as an Activities Assistant as she plans to continue in her position after graduation while attending Ivy Tech, before eventually transferring to Ball State University.

     

    In order to continue our efforts of serving students in search of a different approach to education, Options will be hosting a pair of Open Houses in January. The Carmel campus will host an Open House on Tuesday, January 14 and the Noblesville event will be held on Wednesday, January 15. Each Open House will begin at 5 p.m. and conclude at 7 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the respective campus and speak in detail with Options Principals, teachers and other team members in order to learn more about the Options experience.

    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 & another campus coming to Westfield. Options also offers a Distance Education program that serves students throughout Indiana. Providing students with an inclusive environment and a student-to-teacher ratio of 15-to-1. With a high-quality, individualized approach, Options was founded in 2002.

     

  • Making the Holidays merry for others

    Since Options Schools was founded in 2002, service-based learning has been a major part of the foundation upon which Options was built.

    In order to graduate from Options and receive a diploma, every senior is required to complete a service-based learning project known as Senior Institute. Through the project, students are expected to leverage the skills that they learned through their practical application experience to complete a project with minimal supervision. The Senior Institute Project provides students with an opportunity to explore an area that interests them, benefit a community, demonstrate prior learning and learn something new.

    At Options, that selfless mindset tends to stretch beyond Senior Institute students and an example of that can be found in a project that is currently in its final stages. With the Holiday season in full swing, multiple groups within Options Schools participated in community service projects to benefit local children and their families. The Options-Carmel and Options-Noblesville campuses have spent the last couple of weeks working with organizations that help make the Holidays special for local families.

    Options-Carmel paired with Foster Fairies, Inc., an organization founded in 2013 to positively impact the lives of local children in the foster care system, primarily by means of fulfilling children’s needs and wishes as well as creating opportunities for individual growth and development. Each Carmel advising group had a child to sponsor for the holiday season.

    Outside of the gift collection for Foster Fairies, another member of the Carmel team helped make an impact with help from a friend in the state of Ohio. Joe Hopper (Options-Carmel Safety Specialist) obtained several boxes full of toys that were donated by a friend who owns Dollar Tree and Dollar General stores in Ohio. The items will be donated to Toys for Tots so they can benefit a number of local children.

    Options-Noblesville paired with the Good Samaritan Network and took part in their annual Holiday iSponsorship program, which directly coordinates a large Holiday Assistance Distribution program in Hamilton County. The program provides basic holiday provisions (Holiday food, clothing, toys, meals, etc.) for countless individuals and families.

    On behalf of Foster Fairies and the Good Samaritan Network, we would like to thank all of the Options families that showed generosity by providing countless items that will help spread Holiday Cheer even further this year.

  • Winter Is Here & 2020 Is Coming! (Adam’s Blog)

    Hello Options Families!

    This first semester has gone by really fast. I am very proud of our students and staff for each showing numerous displays of hard work and dedication throughout this first semester.

    As has become customary at Options, staff have worked to meet students needs and help them meet their goals: academic, social/emotional and behavioral. Students come to campus each day knowing that the teachers and the rest of the staff members truly care about each of them. I can feel the family atmosphere we have created every time you walk through our Noblesville campus.

    A great example of that family atmosphere is really evident within the community service project that is taking place at Options-Noblesville during the holiday season. We have sponsored a local family in order to help them have an enjoyable holiday season.

    Important Upcoming Dates:

    • Full E-Learning Day — Dec. 18
    • Last Day of School Before Break — Dec. 20
    • Winter Break — Dec. 23-Jan. 6
    • Teacher Work Day — Jan. 6
    • Students Return To Class — Jan. 7

    Within our family atmosphere, it always seems that word of mouth is how people discover Options Schools. If you know of someone who is interested in obtaining more information about Options or taking a campus tour, I am always available via email.  I also wanted to make everyone aware of our Student Ambassador Program, which allows students to reap rewards for helping others explore Options. More information can be found here (hyperlink).

    — Adam —

  • Students of the Month – Nov. 2019

    In celebration of our November Students of the Month, get to know the four students that were selected! Each student was selected by their program’s Principal and teachers.

     

    Kyleigh Brownell
    (Options-Carmel)

    Grade: 9th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    I started in the beginning of September 2019

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I really enjoy playing video games, mainly Overwatch, and I also like drawing objects and putting my own twist on art. I also play the piano, rugby and soccer.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    The flexibility really helps because you can work at your own pace and you don’t feel like you’re buried under homework and super stressed.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    History & Language Arts

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    The teachers are more laid back, but they also care more. They are invested in how I am doing outside of school as well.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I have wanted to be a Paramedic since I was in the Civil Air Patrol and learned more about the medical side of things. I like the freedom of being outside of the hospital. I also enjoy the technical stuff, so I might go into computer science.

     

    Zachary Kramer
    (Options-Distance Education)

    Grade: 12
    Hometown: Yorktown

    When did you enroll at Options?
    September 2019

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I love to play video games, especially Fortnite. I also am passionate about trains.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I like that I was able to catch up on all of the credits I was behind on and that I was able to learn at my pace.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    My favorite subject is science. I love being able to learn about space the most.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    Not only with academics, but overall. I have improved in math more than anything, but I also have improved my self-esteem some.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    Options teachers don’t make me feel like they have to help me, they make me feel like they want to help me.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I would like to go to a trade school for mechanics, but ultimately, I would like to work in the railroad industry.

     

    Dalton Hart
    (Options-Noblesville Middle School)

    Grade: 6th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    October 2019

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I enjoy playing Xbox and football, I like playing Madden the most. My favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys, so I always play with them on Madden. When I play football, I like to either play with my friends or even just play catch.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I like that the teachers aren’t always pushing us about things, and they work with us. I like that everyone is connected, and conversations are open.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    Last year I realized I was good at Math, so that would be my favorite.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I’m better in History and English. I used to just get a stack of papers to complete, but now I’m learning the material and I’m not loaded with work all the time.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    The teachers are really nice, and you just feel like they are also your friend, in addition to being your teacher.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I want to play football as a running back.

     

    Chris Mullins
    (Options-Noblesville High School)

    Grade: 11 

    When did you enroll at Options?
    I started a couple of years ago when I was a Freshman.

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I just like to play soccer or be at home. I went to Switzerland a few years ago and lived there for a year, so I have been hooked on soccer ever since. I like to play any position except for goalkeeper, and I play travel soccer for Indy Premier.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I like that it is small. The teachers will offer to help any time of the day, no matter what. I also like that it just feels like a family and everyone is treated the same.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    I like Science because of how it is hands-on.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I’ve become more mature, especially with going to class and making sure I do my work. Matt Petersen has always been there to help me out and make sure I’m taking care of what I need to.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    The level of teaching is different because they make sure everyone understands it and they don’t just move on to a new topic. They make sure everyone in the class is on the same page.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I want to do a number of things right now, so I might either go into IT, business, accounting or play soccer professionally.

     

  • Coming Full-Circle

    When receiving any form of assistance, it isn’t out of the ordinary for someone to want to give back to the source of that assistance.

    In that respect, Holyn Hallman is no different. The 2015 Options graduate is now in a place to give back to Options Schools through its students as a Pre-Employment Transition Services Coordinator at The Arc of Greater Boone County.

    Also known as a Career Coach, Hallman works with students on preparing for the world outside of school, whether it be workplace readiness, job exploration, postsecondary self advocacy and more.

    “I’ve been seeing students genuinely more excited for their future,” said Hallman. “Some students are just so overwhelmed by the future and I like seeing them bounce ideas off of me and just talk. Then they are able to see if this is something that actually want to do, look into it and if they are passionate about it, we’ll look more into it.”

    The stars aligned to make a dream job, a reality. When looking at job openings after graduating from Ball State University in July, Hallman came across an open position that would allow her to work with a number of schools. When learning that one of those schools would be Options, the position was one Hallman couldn’t resist.

    “I naturally gravitated towards a field that consisted of helping people and I just fell in love with social work,” Hallman said. “I wanted to come back and work with Options because it’s always kind of felt like a home for me. You’ll often see former students coming back to visit because everyone at Options is kind of like family, we all love each other and we all want to help each other. That support system remains after graduation.”

    Having enrolled at Options as a freshman, Hallman reflected on how things were different than where she previously attended.

    “At Options, they really just valued independence in students and as students, we knew that the teachers really cared about us as individuals,” said Hallman. “The staff just sees the good in students and I don’t think I would have graduated high school if it weren’t for coming to Options..”

    Now married to her then-high school sweetheart, everything has come full circle for Hallman in the best way imaginable. She worked hard for the opportunity to give back and takes pride in that opportunity every day.

     

  • Pen Pal Across The Pond

    For Kimberly Massoud, a life-changing friendship began at age 12 with a book of addresses and optimism.

    Interested in finding a pen pal, Massoud wrote a letter to every national embassy located in New York City to inquire about a pen pal program through which she could connect with someone in a different part of the world. The only response came from the Japanese Embassy and the result was a collection of letters.

    “I started getting letters from all these people in Japan and that just wasn’t what I was looking for,” said Massoud. “I was just disappointed and then I found a book that was my dad’s and it was just full of street addresses all over the world. I just knew that if I wrote enough letters, I was going to receive a response.”

    One of Massoud’s letters was delivered to a Lutheran church in the United Kingdom, about 30 miles outside of London in Essex. With not many young people in the churches’ congregation, the letter was given to 11-year-old Stephen Hamp.

    “I remember one Sunday, the pastor came to me and gave me this envelope and folded up piece of paper,” said Hamp. “I was the only youngster in the church, so I’m not even sure if there was anyone else to give it to. I was fascinated, intrigued and excited, and all those things you would be. So, I replied and thought about it for a week or two and then a week or two later a letter arrived. It just went from there.”

    While means of communication have changed in the 35 years since the first letter, Hamp spoke to everything that comes with a hand-written letter from a friend.

    “It’s really hard to explain and we have never really been able to explain it, but there is just something about having an envelope come through the mail slot of your door and land on your doormat,” said Hamp. “Because we had to wait for the letter to be mailed and everything, it just made it unique because there wasn’t that instant gratification, but it was still exciting.”

    While the hand-written & mailed letter may be a way of the past, Hamp spoke to what it did for his growth.

    It really impacted the way I write and the way I communicate,” Hamp said. “Not many school kids have the opportunity to write at the depth and level that we were writing at. It has had such a positive impact on my life in so many ways and I even notice now that the way I speak was impacted by writing letters.”

    Since first connecting over 30 years ago, Massoud and Hamp have each visited the other about every eight years, with the most recent visit being Hamp coming to central Indiana.

    Massoud saw the visit as a great opportunity for her students to expand their world view.

    On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Hamp spent the school day at the Noblesville campus of Options Schools and was able to help Options students learn more about life in the United Kingdom.

    “Stephen read Shakespeare to our eighth and ninth grade students,” said Massoud. “He works near Buckingham Palace so we did a digital tour of the area to show the students what that part of London is like. We also talked about some different terms in America and the United Kingdom, like ‘trash can’ and ‘rubbish bin.'”

    “The students were asking me about my every day life and they were just really engaged in unique aspects of how things are different for us in the UK.,” Hamp said.

    But what would a true cultural experience without tea?

    During Massoud’s advising period, students were treated to tea and traditional foods like Marmite and egg salad sandwiches.

    “It has been a really cool experience,” said one of Massoud’s students. “We already want him to come back.”

    A life-long friendship and a cultural experience, all from the determination of Massoud to find a pen pal.

    During Tea Time, students enjoyed tea, Marmite, egg salad sandwiches & more
  • Students of the Month – Oct. 2019

    In celebration of our October Students of the Month, get to know the four students that were selected! Each student was selected by their program’s Principal and teachers.

     

    Riley Tynan
    (Options-Carmel)

    Grade: 11th 

    When did you enroll at Options?
    In August of 2018. I actually found out about it by accident and liked that it wasn’t a big & stressful environment.

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I am really interested in reptiles and have recently become more interested in cosmetology, with makeup and acrylic nails. I also taught myself how to play the ukulele, guitar and piano. I currently have two reptiles, one ball python and one leopard gecko.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    There are a lot of things that I like. The environment is small and personable, which has encouraged me to do more work. The structure creates trust and mutual respect between the student and the teacher. It is always consistent that every teacher is nice.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    Last year it was biology, but this year would be history. Having Steve as a teacher makes the subject great because he knows when it is time to be serious and when we can enjoy it.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I’m definitely better at math and I’ve become more social. I’m trying harder in school now and I’m a lot more comfortable with talking to people. At this school, students are open about their flaws and are easy to talk to and be around.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    The teachers are very understanding, and they will work with us if something happens. They’re always willing to help if I need it and they’re just supportive in every way.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I’m still deciding, but I know I want to graduate from college and become the first person in my family to do that because it will prove it is possible. I am interested in things like herpetology, ornithology, biology and cosmetology.

     

    Chloe Keeling
    (Options-Distance Education)

    Grade: 10th
    Hometown: North Salem, Indiana 

    When did you enroll at Options?
    January 2019

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I love to workout at the gym with my brothers or do anything that involves physical activity. I also find myself very intrigued in the fashion world.

    What is your favorite thing about the Options Distance Education Program?
    My favorite thing about the Options Distance Education Program is the flexibility it gives you. You can work on lessons anytime of the day or night, as well as work at your own pace, which I think is amazing.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    My favorite subject would have to be Math. I have always understood math very well, and I think it is cool how the whole world uses it in the same ways. 

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    Academically, I have improved. I have been able to not only get my work done, but I actually understand it and can apply it to the real-world. Outside of school, I have improved my relationships with my family, and have been able to experience more real-world situations with the flexibility of my schedule.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    The teachers at Options are great! Whenever I need help in a certain subject, all I have to do is message the teacher and I will get a quick response. We discuss why I’m having a hard time over video chat or email. The teachers really take their time in making sure the problem is resolved and I fully understand all of my work.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    Nothing is set in stone regarding my plans after a graduate. However, I’d like to attend college and explore different majors, and I’d also like to travel as much as possible in the future.

     

    Bella Ott
    (Options-Noblesville Middle School)

    Grade: 8th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    At the start of September of this year.

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I have played the clarinet for three years and I like Henna art, but it is the only thing I am good at drawing. I also like to play basketball.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I like it a lot. I have become connected to other students and have developed some real friendships. I like that the teachers are genuine, they put in effort and truly care about us and our education.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    Right now, it is Family & Consumer Science and Health. I like having Mike as a teacher and the class is just interesting because a lot of it is new to me.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I am just a lot happier and not as stressed about things because I am better about handling things, so I don’t have to always worry about school.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    I feel like I have such a closer connection with my teachers. Calling them by their first name was weird at first, but it really makes a difference in making them more approachable.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I want to graduate from high school during my junior year. I want to attend Purdue and get a degree in Zoology. I want to become an animal rehabilitator for plains animals and I want to make an impact. I don’t want my life to be wasted and I really just want to do something meaningful with it. I am really passionate about saving animals.

     

    Leah Beach
    (Options-Noblesville High School)

    Grade: 12th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    The first day of the January 2019 semester.

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I like to listen to different types of podcasts, but mainly mystery, true crime and paranormal. I also know how to knit, but I don’t really do it. Right now, I’m also busy volunteering at a senior citizen living community as part of my service project for graduation.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I’ve gone to five different schools and this is my favorite. I like that it is small and you can get to know people better. You can also create more personal relationships with the teachers. I also like that it is all built around each student and everyone is supportive.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    History because of how much passion and gusto Josh has for the material. I was never really a big fan of history, but I’ve liked exploring world history over time.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    Being here has been better for my spirit. My anxiety isn’t as bad, and I don’t get worried about unnecessary things anymore.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They care and have more understanding, plus they really just want to be helpful. You get to know the teachers because the classes are small. They will make accommodations for students that need it and they are willing to work with you.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I have so many interests and I am working on narrowing it down. Right now, there are five different things I am interested in.

     

    Want to learn more about Options Schools? Visit “The Options Experience” Blog to see more news about Options students & staff!

  • Josh Curry Named 2019 Dewey Award Winner
    Connor Reiff (left) and Joshua Curry (right)

    In 2017, and in honor of Richard Dewey, Charter School Capital created the Dewey Awards to celebrate those teachers who were able to see in student what they perhaps couldn’t see, who saw the promise and potential of students and helped them believe that they could do anything they set our minds to.

    For the 3rd annual Richard Dewey Awards, Charter School Capital received a number of amazing, touching, inspirational submissions. Close to 75 stories about how teachers have made a difference were shared with Charter School Capital, with the caliber of submissions having made selecting the three winners a very challenging task for the panel of judges. While each selected winner was a student, the impact of victory can reach much further as the prize includes a $1,000 grant.

    One of those 75 submissions and three winners was a familiar face in Options-Noblesville sophomore Connor Reiff.  In his submission for the Dewey Award, Connor was tasked with answering the question, “How has Joshua Curry impacted my life?”

    Reiff’s answer to that question speaks volumes to the impact Joshua Curry has had on more than just Reiff’s education.

    Prologue:

    “To answer this question, allow me to review the two previous years of my life. I had been told that I had ADHD, but in 6th grade, I had actually become seriously ill with Narcolepsy with Cataplexy. I was put on homebound restrictions through my previous school for almost two years. Having to do online work was not fun and sometimes I fell asleep halfway through my work! Sometimes I fell asleep for weeks at a time! I was put into a clinical trial for a medication where I had to frequently fly to California. Then I had to be seen by the top research doctor at Stanford University because I was still sleeping so much. It was there that I was also diagnosed with Klein-Levin Syndrome, a very rare sleep disorder. I have no idea how, but I somehow survived through those painful two years on an online school and traveling. After successful medical interventions, my homebound instructor suggested Options Charter School in Noblesville, Indiana. Today I am a successful student at Noblesville Options Charter School. Let me tell you about one of my teachers, who has made it his mission to ensure my success in school.”

    Actual Story:

    “The school I am at now, Options Charter School, has put me on a brighter path by inspiring the student in me to wake up (no pun intended) and to be free. Regardless of my disorders, I am able to function at school and complete my work every day, sometimes with no homework at all!

    The one teacher who helped me through a lot of this was my social studies teacher, Joshua Curry. He had some secondhand experience with Narcolepsy and it came from a surprising source! My family and I attended the Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville, Kentucky. There I met other children who have narcolepsy including one of Josh’s school friends named Nick who had a daughter with the same type of narcolepsy as me! Nick tutored Josh on every possible important thing for a narcoleptic like me. He taught him the wants, needs, and level of care needed to help. Josh then suggested extended time for assignments, minimal homework, and that the goal was to help me succeed with whatever it took. Over a short period of time, Josh became not just a teacher, but my best friend and someone who cared for me. He came to my awards ceremony for the community project I had done. He even spoke at the ceremony despite his nervousness toward the thought of public speaking! He even drove me back to school afterward and bought me a giant-sized Dr. Pepper when we stopped at Speedway! We laughed all the way back! It was the best day of my life!

    Josh has always had my back and he gives me somewhat ridiculous deadlines for school assignments. When I bring this up, he would say, “Just take the two weeks, Connor. Besides, it’s only just in case you fall asleep.” We would both laugh for a while after that and then I would go on to my next class. Every day at school I wish one thing for myself, “I wish to be in Josh’s classroom all day, every day!”

    The reason that I like his classroom so much is because when I was undergoing treatment, I read a lot of historical articles, books, and movies. In the classroom, he makes history relevant and interactive. He uses constant hilarious dark humor that keeps my mind engaged. He engages the students by demonstrating that he is an authority about each topic. It makes me ask questions about the sequence of history.“History is not wrong unless you record it wrong” is one of his favorite quotes. He has many books in his classroom for different perspectives and time periods. This allows me to gain historical knowledge and draw my own conclusions.
    There isn’t a teacher more deserving of being recognized than Josh Curry. Often times, charter school teachers are not recognized for helping individual students and for the good that they do in the world. Thank you for the opportunity to nominate Josh Curry. He is most deserving of this national honor!”

    In response to learning that he was the recipient of a $1,000 grant, Curry was both humble and grateful.

    “I was happy to be recognized it such a way. What it demonstrates to me is that people are paying attention to Options and the good things happening in the classrooms, whether it be parents, stakeholders and others in the community. It was very gratifying and encouraging to find out that I was selected. School teachers are always looking for more sources of funding to deepen lessons and improve our classrooms. It was a pleasure to be selected and it was a deep surprise. The gratification will go a long way.”

    A Social Studies teacher, Curry already has an idea how the grant funds will be used within his classroom. Curry plans on adding to the selection of reading materials, documentaries & videos for visual learners and interactive classroom decorations in order to help enhance the learning experience of all students.

    The full Charter School Capital announcement for the 2019 Dewey Award can be found here.

     

    About Charter School Capital
    Since the company’s inception in 2006, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $2 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country.

    About Options Schools
    Founded in 2002 as one of the first five charter schools in the state of Indiana, Options Charter Schools provide a free alternative to the traditional education program through small class sizes and an individualized approach. Utilizing innovative approaches, Options Schools focus on personal academic achievement as well as the health and wellness of each student. Along with campuses in Carmel & Noblesville, Options also offers a web-based Distance Education program that serves students throughout Indiana.

     

  • Learn About Charter Schools

    Courtesy of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, we have constructed this page to provide general information on public charter schools. This page contains answers the question “What Is A Charter School?” and also provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions about charter schools.

    Reimagining Education: One school, one classroom, one student at a time

    Charter schools are independently-operated public schools that have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs. All charter schools operate under a contract with a charter school authorizer – usually a nonprofit organization, government agency, or university – that holds them accountable to the high standards outlined in their “charter.” It is common to see charter schools led by former teachers who wanted to take the lessons they learned in the classroom and apply those lessons to an entire school.

    Each of the more than 7,000 charter schools is unique – both inside and out. Some focus on college prep, some follow a STEM curriculum, and others integrate the arts into each subject. Most charter schools are located in cities, but there are charter schools in suburban and rural areas as well. Some charter schools require uniforms, others have longer school days, and some teach their entire curriculum in two languages. The possibilities are endless, but charter schools aim to provide a range of options so that parents can choose the public school that best fits their child.

    The reasons that parents choose charter schools for their children are just as unique as the students themselves. They choose charter schools because of the strong, dedicated teachers, because the school’s focus matches their child’s needs, or simply because their child was struggling in their assigned public school and needed to try something new. Charter schools provide families with options in public education, allowing parents to take a more active role in their child’s education.

    How do charter schools work?

    Charter schools are public schools operating under an independent contract or “charter” with an authorizing agency—typically a non-profit organization, government agency or university.  The charter provides the school with operational autonomy to pursue specific educational objectives regarding curriculum, staff, and budget. It also holds them accountable to the same (often higher) standards of their district public school peers.

    Are charter schools public schools?

    Yes, charter schools are independently-operated, public schools. Charter schools provide a high-quality education option to public school students, upholding high standards that meet and often exceed the district and state metrics.

    How do I enroll my child in a charter school?

    Most charter schools have an enrollment period when parents can submit applications for the school. If there are more applications submitted than seats available, they will hold a randomized blind lottery. To learn more about applying to a charter school in your state, visit your state’s charter support organization website.

    Do charter schools have attendance boundaries?

    Charter schools do not have traditional school boundaries like district schools, which allows many charter schools to attract a diverse student body. Charter schools are restricted by state limits and some have city limits as well. Visit your state’s charter support organization website for more information about charter schools in your area.

    Are charter schools nonprofit?

    Yes, the overwhelming majority of charter schools are nonprofit organizations. Some states allow for-profit organizations to manage charter schools, but that accounts for less than 15% of charter schools across the country. Regardless, all charter schools are free to attend.

    How can I start a charter school?

    Charter schools can be started by any interested party, including parents, community members, and teachers.  It is common to see charter schools led by former teachers who wanted to take the lessons they learned in the classroom and scale to an entire school community. It is helpful to first identify a unique need in the community that the charter school would serve and connect with a local charter school authorizer. You can learn more about the charter school authorizers in your state on the National Association of Charter School Authorizers website.

    How can I teach at a charter school?

    A great place to start your search is on our Charter School Job Board! You can also learn more by from your state’s charter organization.

    Do charter schools have admission requirements?

    No, charter schools do not have admission requirements or entrance exams. Though many charter schools are in high demand and when that demand exceeds the spaces available in the school, a charter school may hold a randomized, blind lottery to determine which students are admitted or may preference students by need or location.

    What are some questions to ask when I’m choosing a charter school?

    As a parent, make sure you are familiar with the individual objectives and rules affiliated with the specific charter school that you are considering before you enroll your child. The reasons that parents choose charter schools for their children are just as unique as the students themselves. They choose their child’s school for a variety of reasons including strong, dedicated teachers, the school’s focus matches their child’s needs, or simply because their child was struggling in their zoned-public school and needed to try something new. Charter schools provide families with options in public education, allowing parents to take a more active role in their child’s education.

    What is a charter school authorizer?

    Authorizers are the institutions that decide who can start a new charter school, set expectations and oversee school performance, and decide which schools should continue to serve students or not. Depending on state law, authorizers can be school districts, education agencies, independent boards, universities, mayors and municipalities, and not-for-profits.

    Do charter schools charge tuition?

    No, charter schools are tuition-free, public schools.

    What makes charter schools different than other schools?

    Each of the more than 7,000 charter schools is unique – both inside and out. Some may focus on college prep, some follow a Montessori curriculum, and others integrate the arts into each subject. Most charter schools are located in urban areas, but there are charter schools in suburban and rural areas as well. Some charter schools require uniforms, others have longer school days, and some teach their entire curriculum in two languages. The possibilities are endless, but charter schools aim to provide a range of options so that parents can choose the school that best fits their child.

    Who supports charter schools?

    Charter schools enjoy widespread support from parents, teachers, community leaders, and both Republican and Democrat elected officials across the country. Learn more about some of our strongest supporters here.

     

     

    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 & another campus coming to Westfield. Options also offers a Distance Education program that serves students throughout Indiana. Providing students with an inclusive environment and a student-to-teacher ratio of 15-to-1. With a high-quality, individualized approach, Options was founded in 2002.

     

  • Students of the Month – Sept. 2019

    In celebration of our September Students of the Month, get to know the students that were selected! Each student was selected by their program’s Principal and teachers.

     

    Marshall

    Marshall Millard
    (Options-Carmel)
    Grade: 10th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    I started here at the beginning of this school year.

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I used to be a competitive wrestler, so I enjoy wrestling and also watching wrestling. I also like to play all types of video games and spend time with my friends.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    With less students in my classes, the teachers can help more with each student if we need help with something. I also like that you can work at your speed. I want to graduate early, and I can do that here.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    Definitely history. It just comes easy to me and that makes it really enjoyable.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    My grades are better. I am getting better at handling what I have to do while I’m at school so that I don’t have to worry about a bunch of work when I get home every day. 

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    The teachers are kind of similar to my old teachers, but Options teachers have more time to work with students. I used to have a class with 45 students in one room and the teachers didn’t really know students’ names, but all the teachers know my name here.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I am thinking about going into the Marines. I have wanted to do that for a while, and I would also be able to go to college & have it paid for.

     

    Emily Edwards
    (Options-Noblesville Middle School)
    Grade: 8th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    I enrolled over the summer and started in August 2019.

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I’m a dancer and really enjoy every type of dancing. I’ve done it for a long time. I also dance competitively on a hip-hop dance team and we make songs into stories. I also like being outside with my friends.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I like a lot of things so far, but probably having more 1-on-1 time with my teachers because it helps me more. I also like that when you meet other students, they are nice and easy to start conversations with.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    I would say math. My family says I have a math brain because I have always been interested in math and it has always come easy to me.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    My social skills are getting better. I used to be really bad at talking to people I have never met before, but I have already improved a lot.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They don’t go as fast when they teach harder subjects, like math.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I have wanted to be an EMT for a long time. A lot of my friends’ parents are in the medical field, so I have learned a lot about it and I really like it.

    Savannah

    Savannah Montgomery
    (Options-Noblesville High School)
    Grade: 12th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    In August 2018.

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I just got a job, so I don’t really have much free time anymore because I’ve been working a lot. I work at Big Apple Bagels and they have me do a bunch of different things, but I like it a lot.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    It isn’t really close to a regular school. In other schools you can just feel along being one person in a giant school.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    English because I’m good at it. Mainly with things like grammar and language. I really enjoy reading and I like (our English teacher) Michelle (Kemper), so I enjoy being in that class a lot.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    My people skills are much better now. With a smaller environment and less students, I was able to become more outgoing and comfortable than I was previously.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    I could literally ask for help in Science from my English teacher and they would still try their hardest to help me. They are always happy to help and appreciate when students try hard.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I want to go into some type of youth education or special education, on the teaching side. I enjoy interacting with younger children and like that they can be helped in major ways at a young age without even knowing it.

     

  • Friday Feature – Lisa

    The following is a blog post from Lisa Chandler, Program Director for ‘Options @ BACA.’ Having launched on Tuesday, Sept, 3, the program provides a unique opportunity for ABA therapy & a high-quality education in one location. More information about the program can be found at OptionsSchools.org/BACA.

    It was an exciting first week in the ‘Options @ BACA’ Program as we all learned more about each other.  The low ratio (3:1 student-to-teacher) definitely made it easier to focus on relationships and trust from Day 1. This is crucial before we dive too far into academics. This week we spent time focusing on learning what it means to be part of a classroom community by doing activities such as scavenger hunts, playing Twister, and having freeze dance parties. 

    The transition into the classroom at BACA has been essentially seamless! I’m so impressed with how students have managed their new classroom and routine this week! It was definitely beneficial that students had the opportunity to preview the classroom the week before school started. Students have already been getting the routine of the classroom down. By Day 3 they were coming in and unpacking their backpacks and checking their daily schedule. We spend a lot of time early on learning the classroom structure. This eases student uncertainty and makes the classroom expectations clear. By building this solid foundation early on, we can spend more time on the fun stuff!

    I’ve been thrilled to hear from several families already this week sharing positive highlights about their child’s school experience so far.  

    The BACA staff has been a tremendous resource. Not only are they a wealth of knowledge, but their ongoing support prior to start-up helped ensure that everyone was prepared for the first day. I think this has also contributed to the ease of students transitioning to a half-day of school so well. Since a lot of students were already comfortable being at BACA, that was one less challenge of entering an entirely new school environment. 

    So many of our ‘Options @ BACA’ students are joining the class, coming from experiences where things just weren’t the right fit. Where they were labeled as bullies or targeted by bullies.  It’s been exciting to see their smiles and watch them come out of their shells in just a couple of days. Learning can be fun and that’s our goal here! We have already been gearing up to start our first hands-on project, which will consist of creating animal dioramas to learn about different animal habitats. I love how engaged the students have been!

    I am excited to announce that with enrollment having exceeded our expectations, we will be adding an additional teacher to the ‘Options @ BACA’ Program by the end of September. We still have seats remaining and I welcome anyone that is interested to contact me directly with questions about the program.

    ~~ Lisa ~~

     

  • Connor & Maddie Reiff featured in Noblesville Magazine

    A pair of Options-Noblesville students, Connor (10th grade) and Maddie Reiff (7th grade) were featured in the “Student Spotlight” piece for the November issue of Noblesville Magazine. The brother/sister duo has collaborated on a number of community service projects, one of which was recognized with national honors.

    The full article can be read at the link below:

    A limited number of seats remain available at Options-Noblesville, Options-Carmel & in the Options-Distance Education program.

     

  • Students of the Month – August 2019

    In celebration of our August Students of the Month, get to know the four students that were selected! Each student was selected by their program’s Principal and teachers.

     

    Ryker Huffman (Options-Carmel)
    Grade: 12th 

    When did you enroll at Options?
    During the second semester of my sophomore year, so I have been at Options for about one and a half years.

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I really enjoy nature, so I like to go hiking and bird watching. I also watch tv and play video games.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I came here because I was struggling with some subjects in school and with all of the homework on top of it, it was hard to handle the workload. At Options, the teachers are easier to talk to because they are just more approachable, so it is easy to ask them for help.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    I would probably say anatomy or biology. I’ve always been interested in animals, nature and the sciences behind things.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I used to have bad social skills, so I have really grown socially. I used to keep to myself a lot but got better at opening up more. Other students helped me with that because there was no judgment from anyone.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    Since we call teachers by their first name, they are just more approachable, and they are always willing to help if someone needs something. The teachers are just comfortable to be around, which isn’t really common.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I’m not sure what I want to do exactly, but it could be something nature-related like working at a park or studying ecosystems. I also have thought about law enforcement as another possibility.

     

    Grey Grumme (Options-Distance Education)
    Grade: 12th
    Hometown: Syracuse, Indiana

    When did you enroll at Options?
    September 2018

     Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    Playing games online and listening to music.

    What is your favorite thing about the Options Distance Education Program?
    It’s easy to understand.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    Science, just because there are a lot of interesting things that have to do with science like the stuff that I like to watch or play.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    Not only with academics, but overall. Yes, I have. At Options I am actually accomplishing and doing things whereas my freshman year at high school, I got pulled out because I just refused to do anything at all.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They are more about actually helping the students succeed than most other teachers I’ve met. 

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I don’t have anything set in stone as of yet, but I know for sure that I want to do something in the musical field. No matter what it is, I want it to be music related because I love music and creating things.

     

    Nevaeh Woods (Options-Noblesville Middle School)
    Grade: 7th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    I started at Options at the start of this school year.

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I enjoy crafting. Most of the time I make braided bracelets.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I like a lot of things about it. The teachers, students and that I don’t have to wear a school uniform anymore.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    I enjoy anything that includes reading. My favorite books are Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I made new friends really fast, which is different. The other students are nice and easy to talk to.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They don’t go as fast when they teach harder subjects, like math.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I might be a Paramedic.

     

    Taylor McKinney (Options-Noblesville High School)
    Grade: 9th

    When did you enroll at Options?
    This is my first year at Options.

    Do you have any hobbies, passions or ways you enjoy spending your free time?
    I really enjoy different kinds of art, but mainly painting and drawing. I am also big into music. I listen to all types of music and used to play the cello, French horn and percussion from 5th grade up until 8th grade.

    What is your favorite thing about going to Options?
    I like that it is smaller and easy to get to know everybody. The teachers are really helpful and go above & beyond to help in class and with whatever else students need.

    What is your favorite subject in school?
    Science

    Have you improved in any areas since enrolling at Options?
    I’ve improved with talking to people because with not as many people in classes or on campus, it is easy to be comfortable around everyone.

    What makes Options teachers different than teachers you had previously in school?
    They are very understanding of things going on in people’s lives and if you’re having a bad day, they don’t mind giving you space to be yourself and feel comfortable.

    Do you have any current plans or aspirations for after you graduate?
    I am really into forensic sciences, so I might do something with that.

     

  • Friday Feature – Ryan

    My name is Ryan Morphew, and this is my 5th year teaching math at Options-Noblesville. I have been in education for 10 years now, and I’m proud to have spent half of my teaching career here! I enjoy being a part of this team and I am very proud of the work we do for our students.

    The first few weeks have been a blur, but have been a great start to the school year. In my advising class, students have been reconnecting and building new relationships. It’s been great to have conversations about what we did last summer, what’s new in our lives, music, football, and whatever might be on our minds that current afternoon. We’ve also recently begun to start thinking about what our goals will be for the school year. I’m looking forward to discussing goals with each student over the next couple of weeks!

    In each of my math classes, we having been diving into the first units for each respective class. We’ve discussed and explored the building blocks of Geometry, identified and reviewed concepts to be successful in Algebra 1, and tackled different types of complex numerical expressions in Algebra 2. I’m proud of how well the students have gotten started and how hard they’ve been working! It’s been wonderful to see the collaboration between students and how willing they are to help each other out and work through some of the more difficult concepts. I’m excited for the rest of the semester!

     

     

  • A Parent’s Perspective

    — The following is a letter written by the parent of two Options Schools students —

    When we were first introduced to Options, we thought, “Throwaway school, delinquents, marginalized children, poorly performing and there is no way we would send our children there.” — However, nothing could be further from the truth. Historically, this has been the public’s perception. But the insider view shows nothing less than miracles happening every single day.

    The emphasis academically is not just testing, but rather on completion and mastery. The students build relationships with peers and adults which is the cornerstone of being able to function in society. You can attend the best schools in the world, perform well on standardized tests, and still not be able to get along with people and ultimately maintain employment. The social-emotional piece is just as, if not more important than the academic prowess.

    Options has become a school of choice.

    Our children have found their place.

    They laugh every day.

    They talk with and have friends.

    They want to go to school.

    They believe their teachers care about them.

    They are being taught at their academic levels.

    They like the small classes.

    They are succeeding.

    Both of our children started with Options during their middle school years. Our son was critically ill, which required multiple flights across the country for a clinical trial and treatments. His homebound instructor mentioned the newly started middle school at Options and their flexibility after our son had missed almost 18 months of formal schooling.

    We had a good kid — did we really want him to be around “those kids”?

    The staff helped him to catch up academically, helped him to re-integrate back into a school routine and provided compassion, humor, and understanding of his illness.  His favorite memory is of his social studies teacher buying him a Dr. Pepper. That one gesture of human kindness caused our son to be understood, recognized and ultimately connected.

    Our daughter struggled after the Noblesville school shooting and refused to attend school. Her homebound instructor suggested the newly opened sixth grade at the Options middle school.

    We had a good kid — did we really want her around “those kids”?

    The goal was to physically get her back into a school one step at a time. If she could not feel safe in her environment, she could not learn. She started attending Options Middle School for one hour a day. Soon that one hour became three hours. Now she attends full days. The staff did whatever it took to ensure her well-being, addressed her learning challenges, and collaborated with us strengthening the development of her as a whole child.

    Every child needs a place where someone believes in them, accepts their uniqueness, and enjoy their gifts.  Every child deserves to be respected and to feel safe. Every child wants a place where they can achieve.

    “Those children” are miracles. “Those children” are the most incredible, talented, funny, Avant Guard and outside-of-the-box thinkers. “Those children” learn differently with just as much intelligence, capability, and capacity as traditional school learners. “Those children” are cherished and valued by teachers and staff whose goal is to ensure their success.

    Our son is no longer marginalized but included.

    Our daughter no longer is crushed in spirit but being restored.

    Our children are rediscovering the love of learning.

    Our children are thriving.

    Our children are proud to be one of “those children”.

     

    Sincerely,
    Sarah Reiff (Proud parent of two Options students)

     

  • Friday Feature – Betsy

  • Friday Feature – Gretchen

    My name is Gretchen Taylor, and I’m starting my 14th year as the English teacher at Options-Carmel. The benefit of teaching here for so many years is having developed relationships with a ton of students over the years. Since we started school this year, we’ve had visits from several former students. On back to school night, two graduates from 2015 stopped by because they were driving by the school, saw cars in the parking lot, and assumed that the teachers would be getting ready for a new school year. Another student who was in my class during my first year of teaching at Options stopped by during the school day because he was in the area and wanted to catch up. These are the kinds of relationships that Options inspires!

    Those relationships begin on the first day of the school year. In my advising class, I have a mix of returning students and students who are new to Options, but you would never know it if you walked into my room. The students have spent the first few days talking, getting to know each other, and learning to play Scrabble, which is pretty much every English teacher’s dream! While they don’t play by all of the rules – they tell me they’ll work up to it by the end of the year – they are forming relationships.

    In the English classes this week, we wrote and shared their opinions with each other. The topics included why they want to earn their high school diplomas; what makes a helpful classmate or an effective teacher; their areas of strength and weakness in English classes; what they need in order to produce their best writing or to understand a challenging story; and, most importantly, what they plan to achieve by the end of the year. Each student was heard by their classmates in the first week of school, which seems like the start of some great relationships.

    Quote Of The Week: “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” -David Augsburger

     

  • Team Tales – Melanie Martin-Terrell

    If you ask Melanie Martin-Terrell how she feels about a career in education, today’s response would evoke a much more positive result than 20 years ago.

    The daughter of two educators, Melanie set her sights on a career in social work and social services. With limited job opportunities in her desired field and pressure from her parents to gain employment after graduating from college, Melanie decided to try her hand at education.

    “As much as I tried to resist a career in education, it just happened. I was often told that I would be a great teacher and educator and I just never thought that was my thing, but that is how things turned out.”

    After having spent time as an Instructional Assistant and doing social work for a non-profit, the year was 2002 and the Charter School Movement had begun. With two children, one of which was headed to first grade, Melanie and her husband were faced with multiple opportunities for their daughter’s education.

    “We looked at the different school choices for our daughter and tried to consider everything,” said Martin-Terrell. “Charter schools sounded great with how they cater to education in a way that helps each child learn and thrive. I wanted my child to have a setting that allowed for enhanced learning opportunities.”

    While making an employment transition, Melanie stayed busy by being an involved and engaged parent at her daughter’s school. The staff took notice of Melanie’s initiative and offered her a job to start working immediately at 21st Century Charter School. From 2002 until 2007, Melanie served as a member of the teaching team, but after her family relocated to Noblesville she began searching for a position closer to home.

    “Our kids began attending school in Hamilton County and I was just growing tired of the commute into Indianapolis,” said Martin-Terrell. “I was ready for a change and I remembered having heard about Options Charter School.”

    In 2007, she interviewed for an Instructional Assistant position with Options Co-Founder Kevin Davis and was later hired to join the team at Options-Noblesville.

    While the IA position was gratifying for Melanie, it wasn’t where she wanted to end up. Having aspired to obtain her master’s degree in social work, Melanie saw an opportunity to bring her passion into education as a School Counselor.

    “I’m so thankful to Kevin Davis and Mike Gustin for having supported me to attend graduate school for school counseling,” said Martin-Terrell. “In 2008, I was able to earn my master’s degree while still working as an IA at Options.”

    From 2007 up until 2017, Melanie not only served as an IA at Options, but also as a teaching instructor, school counselor, and Ivy Tech adjunct faculty, while building relationships with the students at Options-Noblesville.

    In 2017, Melanie accepted a new role as the Counselor for an online school, but eventually realized that she missed having opportunities for the personal connections that she had while at Options.

    In search of a new position, the stars aligned for Melanie as Options-Carmel was searching for a full-time School Counselor. While at a different campus, Melanie was still able to fill what is an invaluable role to so many students.

    When looking back on her winding journey, Melanie sees how often she was able to help students beyond their coursework.

    “Coming here allowed me to pull from social work background and help provide assistance to students so they can thrive,” said Martin-Terrell. “Students spend a good amount of time in a school setting, so it is important to help them in any way that is needed.”

    There is plenty of evidence that the approach of Melanie and the rest of the Options team has helped hundreds of students live out the Options motto of “Belong. Believe. Achieve.”

    “The alternative setting is fantastic because we give a place for students who need something different,” said Martin-Terrell. “I have always made a point that everyone feels comfortable and welcome. That isn’t commonplace. To be able to build relationships with students and connect with them 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.”

     

    Options is now accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year, but space is limited so interested applicants should apply ASAP in order to secure a seat.

    About Options Schools

    As free, public charter schools, Options Schools are designed to support the academic and social needs of students that haven’t found success in the traditional public school environment. At Options, students are encouraged to explore and embrace their individuality in a caring, supportive, and inclusive environment.

    Through small class sizes and an individualized academic approach, the outstanding and highly trained instructors and staff of Options propel students to achieving academic success both in high school and their future endeavors.

     

     

  • Valedictorian Spotlight: Joshua Swisher

    On Wednesday, May 29, another group will receive their high school diplomas and join the #OptionsGrad Family!

    Options Campus: Noblesville
    Enrollment Date: August 2017

    How did you hear about Options?
    I found it online when I was searching for some other schools. My mom works with exchange students, so she also knows of a lot of local schools.

    What were you thinking when you first stepped on campus?
    Initially, I wasn’t sure about it working. I was shy just like for starting at any new school.

    How do you enjoy spending your time outside of school?
    I have a passion for shuffling playing cards. This summer, I’m traveling to Portland to attend a conference for creatively shuffling playing cards. I also enjoy solving rubix cube puzzles and playing board games. I also know how to play the drums and have been playing for almost seven years. I am totally self-taught and used to play at my church.

    What did you enjoy most about Options?
    The best part was just the opportunity to have a flexible schedule and learn at my own pace. That helped by giving me a big advantage going into college since I already have 12 hours of college credits.

    Did you have a favorite subject or teacher?
    I always enjoyed math because it comes naturally to me since I am detail-oriented and meticulous. It is easy for me to wrap my mind around things because I am systematic and enjoy working with patterns.

    In what areas has Options helped you improve?
    I have certainly improved my self-esteem and my outlook on things. I approach everything with a more positive mindset and have been more social.

    How are Options teachers different than teachers you’ve had at other schools?
    Because there are less students, they can get to know students better and they try to be more personal. They make sure to cater to what the students need to succeed.

    What are your plans and aspirations moving forward?
    I am going to attend Anderson University and study finance as a student in the honors program.

    How does it feel to be one of the top students in your graduating class?
    I found out when Adam called me to let me know and I was surprised, but excited. Right now, I’m mostly nervous for the speech.

    How would you explain “The Options Experience” to a non-student?
    It is a flexible, non-traditional environment with teachers that truly care about their students.

    How has Options helped you prepare for life after high school?
    I took a College Readiness & Careers course earlier this year that had us read a book that was really informative. It was even helpful in preparing me for the college courses I took this year and was a good foundation for me moving forward.

     

  • Valedictorian Spotlight: Elizabeth Ty

    On Wednesday, May 29, another group will receive their high school diplomas and join the #OptionsGrad Family!

    Options Campus: Carmel
    Enrollment Date: October 2016

    How did you hear about Options?
    Through a friend.

    How do you enjoy spending your time outside of school?
    I really enjoy cosmetology and hanging out with my friends.

    What did you enjoy most about Options?
    The teachers are just great. They’re really invested and really care, which is different than usual. It was a new experience to have teachers come to you with interest in helping make sure you can be successful.

    Did you have a favorite subject or teacher?
    Science

    In what areas has Options helped you improve?
    I am definitely more outgoing and have become more confident and comfortable when it comes to talking to people. I felt comfortable here, so that allowed me to grow.

    What are your plans and aspirations moving forward?
    I want to go into a career in either fashion design or something with young children. I have always had an interest in fashion and being around kids. I will be enrolling at Ivy Tech in Bloomington and plan to transfer to Indiana University. I am excited to move to Bloomington because my sister goes to IU.

    How does it feel to be one of the top students in your graduating class?
    I knew I was going to be close to being named Valedictorian, but I was really excited when I found out because I never expected that I could have accomplished that a couple years ago.

    How are you doing with writing your graduation speech?
    I actually already have it all written and just need to revise it. Lauren (Bangs) and Gretchen (Taylor) helped me with it and it took me about a week total.

    How would you explain “The Options Experience” to a non-student?
    You definitely get a lot more help from teachers. Everyone knows everyone at this school, and it is just one big family. It sounds kind of corny, but it is true.

    How has Options helped you prepare for life after high school?
    I am more self-confident, and I never really wanted to go to college before I came to Options, but I started to think more about it and became more interested. I even thought about taking a year off of school, but now I’m going straight to college. My family is all very happy about my success and so am I.

     

  • Salutatorian Spotlight: Emily Campbell

    On Wednesday, May 29, another group will receive their high school diplomas and join the #OptionsGrad Family!

    Options Campus: Carmel
    Enrollment Date: August 2017

    How did you hear about Options?
    My step sister was actually a student at Options, so I heard about it from her. Having here at Options with me just makes things even better because we have a close group, which is nice.

    What were you thinking when you first stepped on campus?
    At first it was an experiment because I was used to the public-school system where it isn’t easy to build a relationship with your teachers. I soon realized there was always someone to talk to at Options and it was different. I felt very accepted and understood and the teachers showed interest in each individual student. I knew that I wouldn’t be going back to my previous school and this would be the best for me.

    How do you enjoy spending your time outside of school?
    I enjoy drawing. A little bit of everything, mostly with markers and pencils because I’m not much of a painter. I also enjoy reading and writing a lot. I enjoy poetry and really love motivational books because they have had a positive impact on me in tough times. I also enjoy making album art as a side hustle.

    What have you enjoyed most about Options?
    The flexibility has been amazing. I love how teachers want to know us as people so they can tach to our strengths and individualize whatever the lesson is. They are happy to take extra time to make sure we understand.

    Did you have a favorite subject or teacher?
    I just love literature, so I enjoy all of the language arts and English classes. I like when I can write about the things I enjoy, and it is easy to express your thoughts at Options. When I was younger, being pressured to read made me hate it, but once I have it another try, I just really enjoyed reading and writing.

    In what areas has Options helped you improve?
    I’ve learned a lot about the best ways to have open communication and I’ve improved my my social skills, even little things. I am just more comfortable and having been around people that genuinely care has made me want to be that way to others.

    What are your plans and aspirations moving forward?
    I want to have a project-based career where I can be my own boss. I have a passion for overseeing photoshoots, doing makeup, photography and special effects, but I want to be a part of fashion and self-expression. I am going to travel to the west coast in June so I can utilize my current connections and network with people in those careers.

    How does it feel to be one of the top students in your graduating class?
    I have the most supportive parents in the entire world, and they were so excited and I was really excited too. I feel proud because I was able to come through some things and stay strong in school. It wasn’t easy, but that was my goal. I knew I wanted to raise my GPA, so I worked really hard and it all just worked out for me.

    How would you explain “The Options Experience” to a non-student?
    I loved the small class sizes because it made me feel important and I didn’t just feel like a number here. It is nice that we can talk to teachers and they are interested because they want to know you for you. They know how to help us succeed because they know us as people. You also get to know every student.

     

  • Salutatorian Spotlight: Kerria Lytle

    On Wednesday, May 29, another group will receive their high school diplomas and join the #OptionsGrad Family!

    Options Campus: Noblesville
    Enrollment Date: August 2017

    How did you hear about Options?
    A friend at my church was a student at Options, so she was the person to tell me all about it. We both were used to small towns and didn’t like being at a big school.

    What were you thinking when you first stepped on campus?
    I remember being really excited when I was driving to campus for the first visit and I was surprised with how the environment was as small as they said. After meeting Jake (Brandau) and Adam (Barr), I just loved everything they said and knew I was going to enroll there.

    How do you enjoy spending your time outside of school?
    I really love art and music. I enjoy making cartoon-type drawing and I just love classic rock, it just puts me in the best mood. I also used to sing at church.

    What did you enjoy most about Options?
    The atmosphere was just so unique and enjoyable. By calling teachers by their first name, things were so much more personal and teachers are able to get to know students for more than just a number in their class.

    Did you have a favorite subject or teacher?
    I really enjoyed taking math classes with Ryan because I have always been good with numbers.

    In what areas has Options helped you improve?
    I was able to grow up a lot and become a better decision maker.

    What makes Options teachers different than previous teachers you had?
    They are all just so invested in the students and they just feel more personal because there is always a mutual respect. The teachers are all great at getting to know the students so they can learn how to relate to them and get the most out of them.

    What are your plans and aspirations moving forward?
    I am starting at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture on May 21. I have always been into makeup and special effects, including hair and beauty makeup, so I want to eventually move to Covington, Georgia where they film a lot of shows and movies. I want to work on special effects on the sets.

    How does it feel to be one of the top students in your graduating class?
    I worked hard so I know I earned it. It is cool to think about and I am definitely happy that it happened.

    How would you explain “The Options Experience” to a non-student?
    Everyone is really, really close because it is a small community and because of that, everyone is just cool with each other.

     

  • Options-Carmel picks Kristian as April Student of the Month

    A senior at Options, Kristian Bear has been selected as the April Student of the Month for the Options-Carmel campus.

    Kristian enrolled at Options during his sophomore year of high school in January 2017.

    His hobbies include playing sports like basketball and football, fishing for bass and catfish and weightlifting. Kristian has also been able to travel to Cuba and Mexico, and considers himself fortunate for being able to experience different cultures.

    If you ask Kristian to identify his favorite thing about Options, he’ll immediately say “it’s a small community.” That small community allows for one-on-one help from teachers when students need it and it also allows for everyone to know each other.

    U.S. History is Kristian’s favorite subject in school, mainly because of how the course material allows him to adventure into the past.

    Since enrolling at Options, Kristian has not only seen an improvement in his grades, but also in his self-confidence. Thanks to the teachers at Options, Kristian has regained his passion in the classroom through their approach of making sure each student fully understands what is being discussed in class.

    After he graduates high school, Kristian is planning on attending Vincennes University in Lebanon, Indiana. He plans on specializing in Vincennes’ carpentry program with aspirations of one day building and renovating homes.

     

  • Ethan selected as Distance Education Student of the Month

    A junior in the Options-Distance Education program, Ethan Howard has been selected as the program’s Student of the Month for April.

    Dedicated to going the extra mile, Ethan first enrolled at Options in December 2018.

    For Ethan, the ability to create his own schedule and work on his time is something he really enjoys about the Distance Education program. The subject he is most interested in currently is Careers because of how it has helped him get a better idea of different career pathways that are available to him.

    Since having enrolled at Options, Ethan has shown major improvements in his communication skills and note-taking abilities. With help from an interactive approach by teachers, Ethan has been able to reach new heights in the classroom.

    Ethan is currently undecided on what path he will take after he graduates from high school. He is considering college and starting a career.

     

  • Tamara named Noblesville Student of the Month for April

    Tamara Morrison, a high school freshman at Options, has been selected as the Student of the Month for April at the Noblesville campus.

    Having enrolled at Options during the fall of 2018, Tamara really enjoys the smaller environment of Options and how it has allowed her to get to know every student and teacher on campus. Tamara has noticed self-improvement in a couple of areas since enrolling at Options, including her grades and her willingness to help classmates whenever they need it.

    Science is easily Tamara’s favorite subject in school because of how the experiments allow for hands-on learning and the opportunity to put things to the test. Plus, having a warm-hearted and veteran teacher like Stacie O’Flaherty as a science teacher only makes the experience better.

    Whether it be the welcoming environment or the individualized academic approach, there is plenty that Tamara enjoys about being a student at Options. Not long after enrolling, she realized that the close-knit community was going to help her improve just as it has.

    Outside of school, Tamara is an avid lacrosse player who began playing the sport about two years ago.  With a few years remaining until she graduates high school, Tamara is currently considering cosmetology school.

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  • Aimee Gonzalez featured in March issue of Westfield Magazine

    A freshman at Options-Carmel, Aimee Gonzalez was featured in the “Student Spotlight” piece for the May issue of Westfield Magazine. She was the Options-Carmel Student of the Month for March.

    The full article can be read at the link below:

    Options is hosting a pair of Open Houses in June and will also host a Summer School program that is also open to non-Options students.

    Applications are also being accepted for those looking to enroll for the 2019-20 school year.

     

  • Noblesville Student of the Month – March

    A freshman at Options-Noblesville, Jackson McGrayel was selected to be the Student of the Month for March. Jackson enrolled at Options towards the end of the 2017-18 academic year.

    Jackson enjoys working out in his free time, as he has run four miles on the treadmill every day for the last year. Why the dedication? He just enjoys running.

    His favorite thing about Options is the teachers. Mainly because of how they take the time to speak with students 1-on-1 and create a more personal relationship with the students. Jackson appreciates how all of the teachers truly are invested in ensuring that all of their students retain what is taught in class.

    Math is Jackson’s favorite subject mainly because there is consistency in how to solve problems, which he finds relaxing since the sequence for solving certain problems doesn’t change. For him, math comes easy.

    After graduating high school, Jackson plans to attend MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). He intends to study Mechanical Engineering, as it will let him put all his math knowledge and skills to work.

  • Distance Education Student of the Month – March

    A senior in the Options-Distance Education program, Jacob Hunter has been selected as the program’s Student of the Month for March.

    Jacob first enrolled at Options in April 2017.

    When he’s not working on school work, Jacob enjoys spending his time exercising, playing video games and taking part in adventure sports.

    For Jacob, the ability to progress through his courses at his own pace is what he really enjoys about being enrolled in the Distance Education program. His favorite school subject is math because of the brain exercises that it helps provide.

    By being able to work at his own speed and not having to worry about a classroom full of students, Jacob has been able to focus on what he needs to get done and therefore be more productive.

    Once he graduates from Options, Jacob wants to have the ability to move around the country and work wherever he pleases. In order to have that ability, he plans on becoming an apprentice electrician, with future aspirations to become a master electrician.

     

  • Carmel Student of the Month – March

    A freshman, Aimee Gonzalez has been selected as the Student of the Month for the month of March at Options-Carmel.

    Having enrolled in December 2018, Aimee’s attitude and work ethic have captured the attention of Options teachers during her first few months.

    In her spare time, Aimee enjoys being around animals, creating art through painting and drawing, listening to music, playing guitar, singing and playing basketball & lacrosse.

    The small, personalized learning environment is Aimee’s favorite thing about Options, because the teachers are able to provide individualized instruction and become truly invested in the progress and success of all students.

    Since enrolling at Options, Aimee has been able to improve her grades with help from those very teachers that help ensure everything that is being taught, is also being retained.

    What makes Options different? For Aimee, it is definitely the teachers. The level of dedication and care that the teachers provide trickles down to the students, which results in students becoming more invested in themselves.

    Her favorite classroom subject is science, and her love of animals could very well lead her into a future career. Aimee hopes to attend Purdue University and study veterinary medicine, while holding the long-term goal of opening her own animal sanctuary/rescue for all types of animals.

    Currently, Aimee spends time volunteering at a local animal clinic where she is able to get an up-close look at what her career path will involve.

  • Jocelynn Wagy featured in March issue of Noblesville Magazine

    A sophomore at Options-Noblesville, Jocelynn Wagy was featured in the “Student Spotlight” piece for the March issue of Noblesville Magazine.

    The full article can be read at the link below:

    Options has announced the 2019 Open House schedule, which includes six different dates from March until June.

    Applications are also being accepted for those looking to enroll for the 2018-19 & 2019-20 school years.

  • Noblesville Student of the Month – January

    Hello, my name is Miles and I am a sophomore at Options Charter School in Noblesville. I enjoy playing video games and sleeping in my free time.

    One of the best things about Options is the level of freedom students have because it allows us to work at our own pace so we can understand everything being taught in classes.

    The freedom has really helped me grow and mature in a lot of ways because it has made me improve my time management. It feels like a college environment because I have had to learn how to be more responsible.

    I am more productive in school now than I was before I came to Options because it is a very productive environment and I feel like I am constantly improving. Math is now my favorite subject because I am understanding everything better than I ever have before due to how supportive everyone is.

    At Options, the teachers take their time to make sure everyone understands what is being taught and they are more supportive than any teachers I had in the past. The teachers are also extremely supportive as they make sure they first get to know who students are as individuals, so they learn how to get the most out of everyone.

     

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

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Student of the Month

    Hi my name is Irmoni Bean, I’m seventeen years old and a senior at Options Charter School in Carmel. I enjoy expressing my creativity and being kind to others. My favorite subject in school would most definitely be science because I like to do experiments. After graduation, I plan to attend an art school in Chicago. I came to Options last school year after attending a local traditional school because the drama from other students began to affect my schoolwork. Once I transferred to Options everything changed. I met new friends, the teachers are all very nice and my grades have improved significantly.

     

     

  • December Student of the Month

    Good day,

    My name is Andrey Rapp. I am a senior at Options Charter School in Carmel. I’ve been at this school my entire high school life. I came to this school because I didn’t live near any other school, except Carmel High School. But my father and I agreed that I should not attend CHS because we were concerned about the large number of students that attend and that I would not get the help I need from the teachers, which is why I came to Options. I struggle with work and won’t ask for help when I need it. I tend to lose my focus and get distracted and won’t be able to get back on task in large classes. When I first came to Options, I didn’t know anyone. I was that one shy kid in the back of the class. But when one of the teachers, who is no longer teaching at Options, came up to me, introduced himself, and got me to crawl out of my shell, I felt like I was right at home. The small class sizes give the teachers a chance to get one-on-one time with each student, helping you when require it and making you feel like you’re a part of the family. That’s basically what this school is, one giant family. I feel safe at school to talk with teachers and students about anything that may be bothering me, whether it’s my personal life or just things that have been on my mind. I’m glad I made the right choice in coming to Options, and I’m glad I spent all four years here.

     

    Andrey Rapp
  • October Student of the Month

    Hi, my name is Mario Nava and I’m a junior at options. I’m 16 years old and I have three siblings. I have one younger brother who also goes to Options and a little sister in elementary school. My older brother has graduated from high school and is going to college soon. We are all first generation Mexican-American born. My family is very close because my parents work a lot and many of their responsibilities have fallen on my older brother and me. We take care of our younger siblings and try to focus on school as much as we can. Options is the perfect place for our situation because they work with us on certain aspects that would hold me back from doing well in school before I came here. They are way more personal and the teachers and students actually know each other and are comfortable when they talk. Since I started coming here I don’t dread coming to school and I actually look forward to it. My grades are better than they have ever been and I can also keep a closer eye on my little brother who struggles more than I do. I also know that when I can’t help, the teachers here care and will help him. Although it’s not the same as a traditional high school I think that for me personally it can be better. Coming to Options was the best decision I could have made for my education because for once I feel like I am actually being set up for success and not stress and sadness.

    Mario Nava
  • Student of the Month

    Anna Ferren is a Senior at our Options Carmel School. Despite being new to the Options family, she has made a huge impact in our school by setting a good example for all of those around her. She is very polite, kind, stays on task, and does not let others’ distract her from her studies. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, playing with her cats (Sherlock and Penny), playing the piano, listening to music, singing and being in nature. She enjoys painting and drawing and plans to make her career as an artist.

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