Governor DeWine asks ODE to investigate Bishop Sycamore
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The governor of Ohio is now calling for an investigation into Bishop Sycamore, the Columbus-based high school that raised questions during Sunday’s ESPN televised national football game against IMG Academy of Florida.
What would you like to know
- Bishop Sycamore serves students in grades 9 to 12, according to documents submitted to the Ohio Department of Education
- It is an unlicensed and non-tax funded school
- The school is required to submit documentation indicating that it has met / will meet Ohio operating standards
Governor Mike DeWine issued the following statement:
“Like many Ohioans, I am concerned about recent reports and questions raised about Bishop Sycamore. While this weekend’s soccer game raised concerns about the health and safety of players, it also raised red flags regarding school operations. Schools like Bishop Sycamore are required under Ohio law to meet certain minimum standards. It is not clear that Bishop Sycamore meets these standards. I have asked the Ohio Department of Education to investigate Bishop Sycamore to ensure that Ohio law is upheld and to ensure that the school provides the educational opportunities that students of Ohio deserve.
According to documents received from the Ohio Department of Education, Bishop Sycamore is a chartered, non-tax-funded school. It is intended for students in grades 9 to 12.
The annual report submitted by school administrator Andre Peterson also noted that it was an “innovative academically accredited school” that partners with Advancing Sciences Worldwide (ASW) and Innovation Science and Education. .
ASW helps provide the educational experience by helping people access scientific knowledge and materials, while ISE provides “a way for disadvantaged students to excel in academics and athletics”.
Calls and emails to the school about their academics went unanswered until Tuesday evening. Their last report, submitted in 2020, noted that they would operate in a blended style using online and in-person learning.
As a non-accredited and non-tax-funded school:
- He does not receive money from the state
- It is not licensed by the State Board of Education due to religious beliefs
- He must inform parents that the school meets the Ohio operating standard
- He must submit an annual report to the ODE each year
- Teachers and administrators must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
- The school must teach English language arts, math, health, science and a host of other courses
- The school must follow regular procedures for grade level promotions
- School officials must comply with state and local health, fire and safety laws and report attendance, which is initially filed by parents
Although its annual report says the school had met all requirements and a fire inspector signed off on its location, it is still unclear where the school is located. The location indicated for the school via the documents submitted to the ODE was not correct as it was a sports complex. Other addresses found for the online school turned out to be the Franklin University Library and Youth Build Columbus, which is a dropout recovery vocational school.
In addition, the school’s website, which initially contained little information, no longer seemed operational.
The Ohio Department of Education said the Office of Non-Public Educational Options oversees unlicensed, non-tax schools; However, the degree of oversight it provides is not clear.
The ODE said Bishop Sycamore did not submit documents for the 2021-22 school year, which must be done by September 30. If the documents are not submitted by then, it will no longer be listed as a school under the ODE.
Coach Tyren Jackson said on Tuesday he is now the new Bishop Sycamore High School football head coach, replacing Roy Johnson. He said it was a move that was already in the works before the team played at the IMG Academy of Florida last Sunday on ESPN.