The Options Experience

  • 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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