Carmel High School is a four-year comprehensive high school with approximately 4,800 students in grades nine through twelve. It is fully accredited by the Indiana Department of Education and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. The high school is part of the Carmel Clay Schools district and--along with three middle schools and eleven elementary schools--serves the city of Carmel and the township of Clay in southwestern Hamilton County, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis.
In addition to fourteen counselors, two media specialists, three nurses, and eleven administrators, the professional staff at Carmel High School includes over 300 classroom teachers. Over half the teachers have ten or more years professional experience, and more than one in five have twenty or more years experience. Another 200 employees in a range of clerical, custodial, food service, technical, and other support positions brings the total high school staff up to over 500.
A typical day of classes at Carmel High School begins at 7:50 a.m. and ends at 3:05 p.m. Classes are arranged on a block eight schedule of four 90-minute periods per regular school day. School days comprising periods one through four are designated "blue" days and alternate with days comprising periods five through eight which are designated "gold" days. One period of student resource time (SRT) is built into each eight block rotation. Four 27-minute lunch sessions are offered during third block each day. Ten minutes is allowed for passing periods between classes.
Portions of the existing Carmel High School facility were first opened in 1958. Significant expansions and renovations were completed in 1961, 1969, 1977, 1999, and 2005. The most recent construction included the addition of another 182,000 square feet of enclosed space comprising the three-story Freshman Center. The CHS complex sits on 55 acres of land and has 22 acres under roof.
Carmel High School has a long history of service to its community and a respected tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, performing arts, and other competitive events. CHS students consistently score higher than state or national norms on standardized tests. The school culture supports that tradition in the mature attitudes of its students and their pride in their school. Over 86% of the students in recent graduating classes have gone on to enroll in some post-secondary college or university.
The stated mission of Carmel High School is to "create a positive environment in which all are challenged and inspired to achieve their potentials." Underlying that mission are six belief statements that were written and adopted by all major stakeholders in the education of CHS students. The CHS administration promotes a process of continuous school improvement which makes validating the mission statement a function of what is done every day in every classroom. The school's overall philosophy recognizes that all students deserve the opportunity to develop their potential in an atmosphere of self-disciplined behavior and encourages and inspires students to think logically, creatively, and effectively for the benefit of themselves and of society.