Education and Schools in Cincinnati

The Greater Cincinnati area consists of many public school districts, which include a number of high schools, as well as a seof Catholic high schools (most of which are single-sex) and other private schools. Cincinnati has a number private and public schools

The district also includes many Montessori schools (Cincinnati is home to the first public Montessori high school in the United States) and a handful of schools for the gifted and others for children with disabilities. 

As with the rest of the USA, the schooling system in Cincinnati is divided into three levels:
  • Elementary school – kindergarten to grade five
  • Middle school – grade six to grade eight
  • High school – grade nine to grade 12

Public schools in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Public Schools (often abbreviated CPS) is the state of Ohio's third-largest public school district by enrolment. It is governed by the Cincinnati Board of Education. The board operates about 55 schools, including 12 high schools and 39 elementary schools.

Expat children are allowed to attend a public school in their local area or suburb as placement at a public school is determined by geographical location. In other words, students are to attend the school in the zone in which they reside, and parents must sign an affidavit and provide proof of residence when enrolling their child in a public school. Expats with children will therefore want to ensure that they move to a good schooling district.

While public education is generally free, there are some costs involved, including the purchase of books, equipment and uniforms. These fees vary depending on the school.

In order to enrol a child at a public school the following is needed:
  • Proof of residency
  • Child's birth certificate
  • Child's health record
  • Final report card
  • Verification of kindergarten attendance, if entering first grade.

Private schools in Cincinnati

Cincinnati is home to a number of private schools, many of which are affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Most of these schools are co-educational. 

Each school has its own admission requirements, which may involve tests and personal interviews. Competition for a place at the best private and international schools can be fierce and expats should apply well in advance as places may be limited.

While there are no international schools in Cincinnati, the closest international school (approximately two hours away) is the International School of Indiana located in Indianapolis.

Homeschooling in Cincinnati

Homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular in the USA. Parents who choose homeschooling for their children often do so because of the flexibility it offers.

When it comes to home schooling, state regulations vary. In Ohio, parents must notify the superintendent of their school district prior to beginning the process of homeschooling.

The following information must be given to the superintendent of the school district:
  • Parents’ details (including high school diploma or equivalent)
  • School year
  • Child’s birth date
  • Outline of the curriculum
  • List of subjects (that comply with the Ohio Administrative Board)

Expats who plan to homeschool their child or children should consult the relevant website to see that they comply with all the requirements.

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