Columbus is home to a number of good public schools, including charter and magnet schools, as well as private schools, which are sometimes called ‘alternative schools’. There are no foreign-curriculum schools, though a few public schools teach the International Baccalaureate.
Public schools in Columbus
Government schooling in the US is free for residents. Attendance is determined according to zoning, whereby children are assigned a nearby public school based on which ‘zone’ their address falls into. As the quality of public schooling can vary greatly, it’s a good idea to do research prior to moving and consider school ratings when selecting possible neighbourhoods to move to.
Magnet and charter schools
Though government-funded, charter and magnet schools generally offer a higher quality of education than regular public schools. Charter schools are typically focused on academics and magnet schools are based around particular specialist subject areas such as science or the arts. Admission is not based on zoning but is rather determined by a lottery. Some magnet schools have limitations on who can apply for entry – for example, students wishing to attend a music school will need to show proficiency in this area.
Private schools in Columbus
There are numerous good private schools to choose from in Columbus. Most are religious schools, usually Roman Catholic or Christian, though there are also a few other religions represented such as Judaism and Islam. There are also a number of secular private schools in the city, and those that are dedicated to alternative teaching methodologies such as Montessori.
Entry requirements vary by school but the process often includes personal interviews and tests. Due to high demand, it can be difficult to secure entry to the best private schools. For this reason, parents should apply well in advance.
Special-needs education in Columbus
Columbus City Schools has a dedicated Office of Special Education to manage the needs of students with disabilities. The department aims to enable academic excellence and cultivate life skills in special-needs students.
While there are special-education schools in the city, many mainstream schools also offer support for children with special educational needs. There are specialised programmes available for various conditions, including hearing or visual impairment, traumatic brain injury, and autism, among others.
Tutors in Columbus
Tutors are readily available in Columbus and can be hired on a short- or long-term basis. Parents can contact either an individual tutor or one of the city's large tutoring companies, which will assign an individual tutor based on client needs. Popular tutoring companies in Columbus include Varsity Tutors and SuperProf.
Expat children can benefit from tutoring in a number of ways, such as refining English-language skills or helping them adjust to a new curriculum.