Ohio Department of Education offers scholarship options for private schools

| February 7, 2019

Alexis Udischas paused from her third grade work for a quick photo. Sacred Heart Catholic School, located at 39 Burt. Ave., is now enrolling new students. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – If you’ve ever considered sending your child to a private school, now is the time to start looking into it.

The Ohio Department of Education offers scholarship programs that can help qualifying students and families afford tuition at these schools. The first round of applications for these scholarships will be taken Feb. 1 – April 30.

According to education.ohio.gov, the Educational Choice Scholarship (EdChoice) Program provides students from underperforming public schools the opportunity to attend participating private schools. The program also provides low income elementary students the same opportunity. Both Coshocton City and Ridgewood Local school districts are on the state’s list of underperforming public schools found on the same website. Schools were placed on the list because of unsatisfactory data collected from the 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2017-2018 Ohio School Report Cards.

“We will help them (families) with the application process and submit it,” said Mary Kobel, principal at Sacred Heart Catholic School.

Sacred Heart Catholic School, located at 39 Burt. Ave., is now enrolling new students. You do not have to be Catholic to attend.

Coshocton Christian School students put together a special program this fall to celebrate Grandparents Day. Enrollment begins April 1 at the Coshocton Christian School, at 23891 Airport Road. File | Beacon

“All faiths are welcome,” Kobel said. “We encourage students to grow in their own faiths and will support that growth anyway we possibly can. Our religion course is a Catholic curriculum, but we are also about teaching them to be good citizens, respecting our parents and how we can improve our daily life and character.”

Students and their families are welcome to schedule a tour of Sacred Heart. They can pick up enrollment forms in the office or download them from the school’s website, www.sacredheartcoshocton.org/school. You also can call the school office at 740-622-3728.

On education.ohio.gov it explains that, “The EdChoice Scholarship amount is currently $4,650 for kindergarten through eighth grade and $6,000 for grades nine through 12. EdChoice will pay either the scholarship amount or the private school’s actual tuition amount, whichever is less.”

“For us it will cover 100 percent of the tuition,” Kobel said.

She feels her school’s small class sizes make it special.

“You get individualized attention and are able to build relationships,” she said. “That helps not only with academics, but behaviors. The kids know we care.”

Kobel enjoys greeting the students and those who drop them off at the door every day.

“I high five them and welcome them,” she said. “I know who is dropping them off and who is picking them up. It’s nice too because I can pull mom or dad aside and talk to them and let them know if it’s been a rough week.”

Another private school option in the county is the Coshocton Christian School. It participates in the EdChoice Scholarship income-based program at the elementary level.

“The state only has so much funding though so the scholarships are handed out on a first come first serve basis,” said Lori Monroy, school secretary.

Like Sacred Heart, the Christian School charges less than what the state will pay per student, but you only get up to your school’s tuition cost. However, if your income changes the following year, you might not receive assistance.

Enrollment begins April 1 at the Coshocton Christian School.

“We have an excellent staff,” said Gary Bennett, principal. “I work with some special people. They really have a heart for God and a passion for education. They aren’t just about getting the job done. They are about getting it done right. They could be in public schools making more money, but they want to be here.”

He also can’t say enough about the students.

“Our students are excellent,” Bennett said. “The junior high and high school students are very respectful.”

The Coshocton Christian School is located at 23891 Airport Road. For more on enrolling a student at the school and financial aid options, call 740-622-5052 or visit www.coshoctonchristianschool.org.

“It’s a personal goal of mine for us to become the best private school in the state of Ohio and this region,” Bennett said. “Our education is already right up there with others.”

A variety of information on the EdChoice Scholarship program can be found at http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Other-Resources/Scholarships/EdChoice-Scholarship-Program.


Category: Education

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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