Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does the school provide a high school education and teach State and common core standards?                      
A: TGS teachers work together to create a curriculum that connects our academic disciplines (math, science, language arts, social studies, technology and art).  Learning expeditions are hands-on investigations of compelling topics, based on the Common Core and state standards. Students conduct research, gain critical thinking skills, engage in purposeful fieldwork & projects with experts, and create high quality products that exemplify content knowledge and development.  Teamwork and individual character development help students develop skills that are valuable throughout life.
Q: What is your philosophy regarding school culture, student behavior & discipline?  
A: All disciplinary matters begin with personal character development and school culture. Expectations are presented at the beginning of the school year and revisited throughout the year during daily Crew time, as well as during other school-wide and classroom discussions. Further, we work through difficult situations with students and institute restorative practices to help them take responsibility for their actions and work toward restoring the community.
Q: Is there tuition? 
A: No! TGS is a free public charter school (also called community school) open to all students residing in Ohio.
Q:What is the average size of a classroom?  
A: TGS enrolls approximately 250 students, grades 9-12. Most classes have about 20 students.
Q:What is the dress code?  
A: Students do not wear uniforms, nor is there a specific dress code. Appropriate attire is expected and addressed when necessary. More information can be found in our student & family handbook. 
Q: How are students evaluated?  
A: We look for mastery of content as well as meeting learning targets and state standards set forth by teachers. Our grading scale does not evaluate students using the traditional A,B,C D, F scale. TGS evaluations are very personalized and do much more than sort and rank students. Students lead their own Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) with parents & teachers, which empower them to take further ownership of their learning. Student evaluations translate to numeric GPAs and are universally transferable to colleges and universities.  For a specific description of our grading scale click here.
Q: Do students take achievement tests?  
A: TGS administers all state-mandated exams including the Ohio State Tests.  Further, we utilize Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and other assessments to help gauge student progress and achievement. The PSAT and SAT help students prepare for college and career. At TGS we utilize all testing requirements as support tools to ensure that our students are growing academically and are prepared to enter the post- high school world.
Q: What is CREW? 
A: Small groups of students and their Crew teacher meet daily in “crews,” which are similar but more intentional than home rooms. This abbreviated class includes school announcements, academic check-ins, discussion about world, state, local and school-related events and projects incorporating our five Habits of Learning. At Graham, we are crew, not passengers.
Q: What is Walkabout and is it mandatory? 
A: Walkabout is the ultimate opportunity for our seniors to encounter the world and engage the mind. During the first semester of their senior year, students are guided through the process of researching a possible career, passionate interest, college exploration, or service.  It is of their choosing with the goal to find a 16 week internship within their chosen area for the second semester work. (The internship is dependent upon the senior's completion of all required credits needed to graduate.)  Beginning in January through the end of April, seniors will be involved in their internship.  Walkabout is not just a requirement for graduation, but also the capstone experience of our students' high school years.  We have discovered that  students' experiences in the real world provide them with a strong, lasting impression that benefits them for years after they graduate.
Q: Can my student take College Credit-Plus classes?  If so, do we have to pay for the classes? 
A: Yes! The Graham School partners with Columbus State Community College (CSCC) to offer college level courses to students who are credit-ready. CSCC credits earned will apply to both the student’s high school and college academic records. As long as the student passes the class, there is no cost to the parent or guardian. Our Guidance Counselor can provide additional information.
Q: Does TGS have a connection to The Graham Elementary & Middle School (GEMS)  or The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University (TCS?)                      
A: The Graham School (TGS) was founded in 2000 by Greg Brown and Dr. Eileen Meers, who are still leading the school. We opened The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University in 2007, a 5-year Early College High School offering free college to students while in high school. In 2010 we opened Graham Elementary and Middle School (GEMS), which serves students in grades K-8.  All three schools are affiliated with EL Education, a national organization focused on three dimensions of student achievement: Mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high quality student work.
Q: If my student currently attends GEMS, will they automatically be enrolled at TGS or TCS?  
A: No! GEMS students advancing from 8th grade to high school must complete either an online or hard copy application just as students from other local middle schools must do.  We encourage GEMS students to apply early to make sure a space in 9th grade is confirmed for them. Following application submission, our enrollment coordinator will contact you to answer any questions you might have and discuss the details of enrollment.  

Q: Does TGS provide services for students who have Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) or 504-Plans?                   A: TGS is open to any student who resides in Ohio and has successfully completed the 8th grade.  Students with Individualized Education Plans, 504 plans and those for whom English is a second language receive support in typical classroom settings.
Q: Who are the teachers and what are their credentials?                                                  
A: All of our teachers hold Bachelor’s Degrees in their subject area and many hold Master’s Degrees.  All of our teachers meet the standards for being highly qualified and licensed in the state of Ohio. Teachers meet to create curriculum, participate in professional development and engage in weekly grade level  meetings throughout the year. Professional development includes an appointed school designer from EL schools, visits to other EL schools and planning & learning retreats.
Q: What does TGS do to prepare students for careers after graduation?
A: TGS begins freshman year with career exploration and planning.  Each year career planning increases in scope and focus.  Students explore careers in classes, crew, expeditions and through our CTE (career technical education) Information Technology program.  We believe strongly in preparing our students with life long skills that will enhance their abilities to have successful and meaningful careers and lives post graduation.

Q: Does TGS have an ODE approved CTE (career technical education) program?
A: Yes, in Information Technology.  Courses are taught at TGS and through a partnership with Columbus State Community College.  Students will have the opportunity to earn industry recognized certifications, OhioMeansJobs work readiness seal for diplomas, and work related internships in technology sectors and others.

Q: Will transportation be provided?  
A: Columbus City Schools (CCS) Transportation Services provides busing to students who reside in the CCS district.  (CCS Transportation Services application.) Students residing outside the CCS district must provide their own transportation.
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