Catherine Nwankwo lives in an excellent-rated Ohio school district, but giving her children an education steeped in faith is important to her and her husband, Evans. So rather than sending her three children — two 7-year-old boys and a 14-year-old girl — to public schools, Nwankwo sends them to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, a local independent school.

“We wanted to give our children the opportunity to pray in school,” says Nwankwo, of Mason. “And (CHCA) has a strong academic record as well as a good sports program.”

Nwankwo has plenty of company. While the Cincinnati region boasts many award-winning public schools, private and independent schools with rich history and impressive records abound. They range in size from 35 students to more than 1,000. Some have missions that include a religious component, some are single-gender schools, and some are geared toward specialties such as gifted education. (While independent and private schools share some similarities, independent schools are organized as not-for-profit corporations governed by an independent board of trustees. Private schools might be owned or run by a profit-making entity or a church, diocese, or synagogue.)

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