ABOUT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Community Schools are innovative free public schools designed by educators, parents, or civic leaders that are open by choice and accountable to the State of Ohio for results. Charter schools (called Community Schools in Ohio) are independently run, innovative public schools that foster partnerships between parents, teachers and students. Today, nationally, over two million children in forty one states plus the District of Columbia are enrolled. In Ohio, 101,000 children are now enrolled in 354 charter schools. The National Association of Public Charter Schools has reported that for the past 20 years, the public charter school movement has been a leader in innovation and education reform. By unleashing an environment of creativity in states and communities, charter schools have demonstrated that children of all backgrounds are capable of achieving high standards and that college and career readiness is a goal attainable for all. Community schools have led efforts to narrow achievement gaps and are showing that success is possible in neighborhoods where schools have been failing for generations. For these reasons, public charter schools have been the fastest-growing sector of America's public education system. Beginning with a handful of charter schools in 1992 (1998 in Ohio), the number of charters has grown rapidly, especially in the past four years.
- A community school is an independent public school that by law must perform well or it can be closed.
- A community school must practice open admission policies, meet health and safety standards, and comply with civil rights laws as well as state laws.
- A community school's students must show satisfactory achievement equal to or better than the state average.
- A community school will often serve children whose needs, for one reason or another, are not met by traditional public schools.
- A community school provides freedom for educators and school founders to use curricula or programs to set up the school day in a way that meets all legal requirements and usually is a longer day and year. This freedom allows a school to address the special needs of its children directly.
- A community school chooses to focus on an area from arts to character education to athletics and others.