The Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West (ESCLEW) has been sponsoring community (charter) schools in Ohio since 1998 and was one of the original pilot program sponsors. Today, ESCLEW provides responsible oversight, monitoring, and technical assistance to 58 community schools statewide. The staff in our Community Schools Center helps to provide a focus on academic, operational, and fiscal integrity. The Community Schools Center is now accepting applications for new and additional schools throughout Ohio for the 2016-17 school year. 

Community schools attract students because of the uniqueness of their particular educational approach and program offerings. Community schools prioritize developmentally appropriate instruction, educational effectiveness, and academic achievement. Schools sponsored by the ESC of Lake Erie West include a gifted school, 27 special needs schools, 2 autism schools, 2 e-schools, and 1 drop-out recovery school. We also sponsor schools that focus on STEM education, college preparatory classes, career and technical education, and character development.

The promise community schools hold for educational reform lies in a thoughtful combination of freedom and accountability. Underwritten with public funds but run independently, community schools are held accountable by their sponsors for academic and fiscal performance and must meet the same rigorous standards as traditional school districts.