Ensuring each child is challenged, prepared and empowered for his or her future starts with providing opportunities to meet the needs of each child across the state. Ohio’s 1.7 million schoolchildren represent our future and require educational environments that support the development of their diverse identities and interests, while also serving their unique learning needs. Ohio recognizes that learners come in all shapes and sizes and provides information to help families make informed choices for educating their children.

Browse the eight types of schools, six school option programs and adult education options available in Ohio below. Use the "Find a School" button above to research details and report card information for schools in your area.

Contact Info

Office of School Options
Colleen D. Grady
Executive Director

Olivia Schmidt
Policy and Improvement Coordinator


Office of Community Schools
Karl Koenig, Director

Office of School Sponsorship
Sheila Vitale, Director

Office of Nonpublic Educational Options
Sue Cosmo, Director

Types of Schools in Ohio

Public Schools

Ohio public schools are funded by public tax dollars. All children of school age in Ohio are entitled to attend the public schools of the district of their school residence without a charge.

Career Technical Schools

Career-tech programs are available to middle and high school students in Ohio’s Career-Technical Planning Districts. Career-technical education programs help prepare students for college and careers, offering many industry credentials and an opportunity for students to earn their high school diploma, while also earning college credits.

Community (Charter) Schools

Enrollment in community schools is the decision of the family and does not require permission from the home school district. These schools are Ohio public schools and are free to Ohio residents. Community schools can be physical school buildings OR online e-schools.

Chartered NonPublic 
(Private) Schools

A chartered nonpublic school is a private school that holds a valid charter issued by the State Board of Education and maintains compliance with the Operating Standards for Ohio's Schools. These schools are not supported by local or state tax dollars and require the family to pay tuition. 

Non-Chartered, Non-Tax (Parochial/Religious) Schools

Non-chartered, non-tax supported schools (NCNT) are schools that, because of truly held religious beliefs, choose not to be chartered by the State Board of Education. 

STEM and STEAM Schools

These schools focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with the infusion of high-level mathematics, technology and science in the curriculum. STEAM infuses the arts and design with STEM. The goal of STEM and STEAM schools is to foster intellectual, entrepreneurial and technical talent and design thinking. 

Department-Sponsored Schools

The Office of School Sponsorship is the office within the Ohio Department of Education that serves as a direct sponsor of community schools. 

Home Schooling

Parents interested in educating their children at home may do so by notifying their local school district superintendents and meeting the requirements of Ohio law to home school. If requirements are met, the district superintendent releases the student from required compulsory school attendance. 

School Options Programs

Open Enrollment

Students can attend schools in districts where their parents are not residents. Every school district in Ohio decides whether to allow open enrollment. If it is allowed, the district creates a process, such as lottery or first-come, first-served, so that all students who apply have a fair chance for the spaces available in a grade level.


Ohio provides vouchers to private schools for students attending low-performing public schools.  There also are scholarships available for families who are considered low income and  students with learning disabilities to schools or programs to meet  students' needs.

College Credit Plus

College Credit Plus allows a student to attend a college course and earn college credits while in high school. This potentially saves time and money for families in college. Contact your school counselor about this option.

Integrated Coursework

State law allows districts, schools, community schools and chartered nonpublic schools to integrate content standards from multiple subject areas into a single course for which students can earn simultaneous credit. 

Credit Flexibility

Credit flexibility allows students to earn high school credit outside of the traditional classroom. A plan is developed by the student, the school and the student's family. Start by speaking with the school counselor to discuss how your student may earn this credit.

Industry-Recognized Credentials

Industry-recognized credentials  allow students to experience education through work. Students learn more deeply by practicing and applying their knowledge through work and employment experiences – learning through work.

​Adult Education Options

Ohio High School Equivalence (HSE)

The Ohio High School Equivalence (HSE) provides learners 18 years of age and older the opportunity to gain the academic skills and credentials needed for postsecondary education and workforce development. Test-takers who are 16 and 17 years of age  also may apply with approved documentation. 

Adult Diploma

The Adult Diploma Program provides job training and a new pathway for adults, ages 22 or older, to earn a high school diploma AND industry credentials aligned to one of Ohio’s in-demand jobs.

Adult 22+ High School Diploma Program

The 22+ Adult HSD Program helps adults earn a high school diploma. The program is free to adults who are over 22 years old, living in Ohio and do not have a diploma or High School Equivalence (HSE).

Adult Learners

The Ohio Department of Higher Education offers programs to Ohio residents who want to advance their skills, pursue a new career, attend college or finish a workforce certificate or college degree.

Last Modified: 11/2/2018 2:55:19 PM