Options Schools Carmel Moving to Westfield Location
Writer / Renee Larr
Options Schools in Carmel is moving to a new, larger location in Westfield to accommodate a growing student body. The campus is located at 17721 Gunther Boulevard and will open in June.
Options Schools is a free, public charter school that provides small, personalized learning for students in grades six through 12, in Hamilton County and across the state of Indiana.
“The types of students that come to us are students who aren’t doing well in a traditional school setting,” says Principal Michael Dunagan. “The larger schools in the area may be overwhelming to them. The class sizes may be too large. They may need more individualized attention, or they may be struggling socially within the school setting.”
The Carmel campus was founded in 2002 in a renovated building.
“Our team worked hard to make it work,” Dunagan says. “This new location is built to be a school. We’ll have a lot more room to spread out and do things. We will have a big multipurpose room that will serve as a gym and cafe during the day. It’s going to give us a space to hold whole-school gatherings.”
Besides more space inside, the new location will have more green space for students to get outside.
“We’ll have an entire back area with an outdoor patio,” Dunagan says. “It’s going to be so nice for us to take classes outside to work on nice days, or for the physical education classes to happen outside. We don’t have that in our current space.”
To fully utilize the space, the building was designed with customized specifications.
“We will have a room for our seniors to utilize as part of their senior institute projects,” Dunagan says. “Seniors participate in a capstone project where they partner with a nonprofit organization. This room will allow us more space to do presentations and will serve as a workspace for them.”
Options Schools is hosting various events throughout the summer to introduce the school to its new community.
“We wanted to make ourselves available to potential students and allow families to meet our staff,” Dunagan says. “It’s going to be a beautiful campus, and we’re excited to showcase it.”
Events include an open house, open gym, video game night, family trivia night and a summer celebration.
“We want people to know there is another option besides traditional schools,” Dunagan says. “We want the community to know Options Schools is a free, public school with individualized learning.”
Students can attend in person or virtually. Class sizes are small to help move students toward success.
“Our mission has always been to provide students with something beyond the traditional school environment,” Dunagan says. “We’ve expanded to offer a number of brick-and-mortar options, but also online learning for students throughout the state that may not be able to attend in person.”