Greater Dayton


Chaminade Julienne High School Chaminade Julienne High School

The Greater Dayton Miami Valley area is home to myriad educational opportunities, public and private, from preschool to post-secondary doctorate and beyond. You’ll find more schools here than most regions two to three times the size. And the quality of the education is rated among the best in the nation.

– Terry Troy

Dayton Public Schools

Serving approximately 12,000 students from preschool to high school, the Dayton Public School (DPS) district has 16 elementary schools, four middle schools and eight high schools.

“The Dayton Public School district sets up students for an academic career and lifelong success,” says Dr. Elizabeth Lolli, superintendent of the district. “With three 5-star preschools, an innovative double teaching model, a school-based health center and many other services, our students can thrive and reach their full potential.”

All of the preschools rated 5-stars by the Ohio Department of Education are free. The double teaching model in the first through third grade provides more one-on-one attention, which helps close learning gaps—which is essential to addressing any problem of education loss caused by the recent COVID pandemic.

A school-based health center provides medical, dental, vision and mental health services for students and their families. Family resource coordinators at many schools connect families to any services they may need, such as food, clothing and job training. Student resiliency coordinators and student behavior therapists support student mental health and counseling needs, which again helps alleviate problems caused by the stress incurred during the pandemic.

Middle school students can take Project Lead the Way courses, which provide hands-on STEM education and instill valuable life skills, such as collaboration, teamwork and problem-solving.

All high school students have the opportunity to earn college credit for free through College Credit Plus. Dedicated students can earn an associate degree at the same time as their high school diploma. DPS is home to one of the world’s 41 Challenger Learning Centers, where students get hands-on experience with science, math, engineering and design, and learn about space travel and exploration.

“Students who take College Credit Plus courses can begin college with many courses already completed, which saves them time and money,” says Lolli. “These credits can be transferred to any Ohio public college or university.”

Seniors earn approximately $20 million in scholarships to colleges and universities across the country each year. Students and alumni have been recognized at local, state and national levels for their talents in the arts, academics, business, civic leadership and athletics.

While post-secondary education is always encouraged, the district also has career-technical education programs for high school students.

“The district is also constantly working to set students up for success by holding hiring events with local employers, connecting students to internship opportunities, bringing college representatives to schools and assisting students with completing the FAFSA and college applications,” adds Lolli.

Private Schools

With its close proximity to premier post-secondary colleges and universities like the University of Dayton, Miami University and Wright State University, it should come as no surprise that private educational opportunities abound for students in preschool through grade 12.

Rated with an overall grade of A+ from, Miami Valley School is an independent, non-sectarian college prep school serving students PreK through 12. Using an immersion method of learning, the school challenges students through engagement and discovery. The school’s results speak for themselves: 100% of MVS graduates attend top colleges, with 66% of the Class of 2020 matriculating to institutions marked “highly competitive” on the Barron’s Selectivity Index.

There are also plenty of parochial school opportunities for high school students. Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School is owned and operated by two religious orders: the Society of Mary and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. It’s located in the heart of downtown Dayton.

Also offering a faith-based learning environment, Archbishop Alter School is a co-educational comprehensive Catholic school. It has won 67 individual and team state championships and is the only Catholic school with a Conservatory of the Arts program and building.

Spring Valley Academy in Washington Township south of town offers Seventh-day Adventist education PreK through 12. Founded in 1968, the school is dedicated to delivering educational excellence in a faith-based environment. Many of this school’s alumni have gone on to make very positive impacts on the community, region and beyond.

Colleges And Universities

In addition to the major post-secondary institutions like University of Dayton, Miami University and Wright State University mentioned earlier, there are plenty of smaller colleges and universities, including Antioch College in Yellow Springs and Wilberforce University.

University of Dayton University of Dayton

There are also post-secondary schools offering faith-based matriculation. Kettering College offers an intimate setting serving more than 800 students. Like Spring Valley Academy, the school is chartered by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Wilmington College provides a high-quality undergraduate environment shaped by the tradition of liberal arts and the distinctive practices of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Another faith-based college is Cedarville University, offering 150 areas of study for its 4,715 undergrad, graduate and online students. Cedarville is nationally recognized as a Baptist college with religious centered academics that result in strong graduation and retention rates.

If you’re looking to save a little money on tuition while still working toward a four-year degree, or if you need to get an associate degree to further your career or achieve a career-based certification, Butler Tech and Sinclair Community College offer specialized training and technical areas of study.

Top Area High Schools

The Top Three High Schools for 2021 in the Greater Dayton Miami Valley area, as rated by U.S. News and World Report, include:

Oakwood High School

The only high school in Oakwood City, Oakwood High School is also ranked as No.9 in the entire state. Students here have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement coursework and exams. With a total enrollment of 697 in grades 9 through 12, Oakwood boasts a student-teacher ratio of 20:1.

Stivers School for the Arts

Like Oakwood High School, students at Stivers School for the Arts can take Advanced Placement coursework and exams, with a participation rate of 68%. With total minority enrollment at 67%, Stivers School for the Arts comes in at No. 43 in the state. Offering an impressive student-teacher ratio of 17:1, total enrollment at grades 7 through 12 is 587.

Centerville High School

Ranked 68th in the state, Centerville students can take Advanced Placement coursework and exams. Participation rate stands at 40%. Total minority enrollment is 24%, Centerville is the only high school in Centerville. Student-teacher ratio is 18:1 with a total enrollment in grades 9 through 12 at 2,803.

U.S. News and World Report also ranks Bellbrook High School, Bethel High School and Brookville High School as among the best in the region.