Options combines an old fashioned focus on the fundamentals of education with the contemporary demands of non-comformist kids in a 21st century world. Small class sizes, a zero-tolerance policy for student:student abuse of any sort, and palpable mutual respect between students and teachers creates an environment of enthusiasm for learning. From one's first interaction, it's clear that the folks at Options are on a mission to launch successful adults, vs. completing a curriculum or surviving the day. Options teachers systematically kick open all the doors previous educators may have slammed shut on a kid and show each student exactly how he or she can succeed by whatever defnition of sucess he or she chooses.
Almost one year ago, my child arrived at Options with a negative attitude regarding education. My teenager's grades were abysmal due to the experiences at the previous school, one where bullying was the norm rather than the exception. Options was the last opportunity for a successful high school education for my teenager. The results have been remarkably outstanding for my child. Today my student has an enthusiasm for learning which seems contagious. Make no mistake, Options does have lower scores when compared to the other Bellingham schools. This school wouldn't be my first choice for a student who otherwise fits the norm. However, I can attest that Options has helped turn around many students who might otherwise have been failed by a system which didn't fit the child's circumstance. Should your daughter or son have difficulties with a regular school system this may be a school which won't fail them.
I have taught at Options for the past 4 years and am so impressed with our school the the staff's commitment to continued learning and implementation of successful and new teaching strategies. We are a small school which allows us to know our kids and engage in positive relationships with them. The whole staff is committed to providing an education that ensures all students are prepared to attend a four year college if they so choose. On the outside we may not look like anything special but what goes on beyond the walls is incredible teaching and learning.
I am a graduate of Option's High School. In the two years that I spent there I learned more than I had ever learned throughout my entire schooling experience. The teachers there are amazing! Even though I graduated in 2004 the teachers there are still making me think. That there is the true job of a teacher, to make you think in their absence.