Community (Charter) Schools Included in CPS’ Portfolio of School Choices
Cincinnati Public Schools serves as a sponsor, or authorizer, of community schools, also known as charter schools.
As a sponsor, CPS contracts with these independently-governed and independently-managed community schools to provide public education and is responsible for oversight of the schools. CPS’ mission for the sponsoring of community schools is embodied in the Board of Education’s Policy No. 7560.01, titled Creation of High Quality Schools, which states that CPS will use a data-informed approach to support and expand successful existing programs, and to create new schools, to increase the variety of choices available within Cincinnati Public Schools.
Ohio Association of Charter School Authorizers - Explanation of responsibilities of community schools, sponsors, the Ohio Department of Education and community school operators/management companies.
CPS-Sponsored Community Schools
Cincinnati Public Schools currently sponsors two community schools:
Lighthouse Community School serves students ages 12-22 who are experiencing behavioral and academic difficulties at traditional schools. The school provides intensive academic and behavioral-health diagnostic assessments and interventions, as well as remediation for high school students who are at least one grade level behind. The current CPS contract for Lighthouse Community School runs August 19, 2014, to August 18, 2017.
Carpe Diem Innovative School, formally known as Carpe Diem Schools - Aiken Campus, serves grades 7 through 12 with a personalized blended-learning model that offers self-directed learning with a digital curriculum, flexible schedule and high-quality instruction. The school is governed by Cincinnati Learning Schools and operated by Carpe Diem Learning Systems LLC. The current CPS contract for Carpe Diem Innovative School runs July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2018.
Applications for CPS Sponsorship of Community Schools
Under Policy No. 7560.01, the Board may offer community school sponsorships “to programs with a proven track record of success based on available data” or “to programs demonstrating a new approach to learning that addresses specific needs of the District, provided such approach is supported by effective practices that are research-based.”
Policy No. 7560.01 also states that, “The Board shall not offer sponsorships to schools or programs with a substandard academic track record based on comparative school data.”
CPS considers community school applications by invitation only. CPS currently is not seeking applications for community schools; however, the application kit with information on the application process is available for review.
CPS' Community Schools Application Kit (78-page PDF)
Key deadlines for CPS-Sponsored Community Schools
Cincinnati Public Schools as sponsor and its sponsored community schools have numerous annual reporting and other compliance deadlines during each school year.
Key reporting and compliance deadlines, per Ohio Department of Education:
Professional Development Opportunities
Staff from CPS-sponsored community schools may take advantage of professional development opportunities offered to Cincinnati Public Schools’ employees.
Information on upcoming professional development opportunities - Mayerson Academy (CPS’ professional development partner)
Cincinnati Public Schools issues annual reports for the parents, guardians and stakeholders of the community schools it sponsors.
Carpe Diem Community School
Annual Report (PDF - 8 pages)
Lighthouse Community School
Annual Report (PDF) - 7 pages)