Presented here are answers to frequently asked questions about community schools, which are options that eligible families can consider for their children.
What is a community school?
Community schools, often called charter schools in other states, are public nonprofit, nonsectarian schools that operate independently of any school district but under a contract with an authorized sponsoring entity that is established by statute or approved by the State Board of Education. Community schools are public schools of choice and are state and federally funded.
Who is eligible to attend a community school?
Any student eligible to attend public school in the state of Ohio is eligible to attend a community school.
How are community schools held accountable?
Through the state’s accountability system, community schools receive Local Report Cards with one of five performance rankings (ranging from Academic Emergency through Excellent). The No Child Left Behind act requires community schools to be assessed annually. Failure to make adequate yearly progress has the same consequences for community schools as for traditional public schools.
Additionally, the contracts that community schools have with their sponsors include academic performance requirements. Schools that fail to meet these contractual requirements, have deficiencies in their financial management or governance, or have physically unsafe conditions for children are subject to suspension and termination. Also, community schools are audited routinely, and audit reports are published on the Auditor of State’s website.
Beginning in 2008, community schools that fail to show academic progress, based upon Local Report Card ratings and value-added indicators, will close.
How do I find out more information about community schools in my area?
Parents can contact Community School Sponsors or the respective community school in their area for more information. The Community Schools Directory can be found here.
How do I enroll in a community school?
Each community school has its own procedures for enrollment. Parents should contact the specific community school regarding enrollment information.
Where can I find more information about community schools?
More details about the administration of community schools are presented at this section of the Ohio Department of Education's website.