The Golden Key Admissions Process

The Golden Key enrollment consideration process is a step-by-step approach that prevents families from being overwhelmed. The Golden Key understands that all students may or may not thrive in our program so a comprehensive approach to reviewing potential students occurs. We believe all children deserve the very best education and intervention, our school may not be right for every child, even if they meet the minimum requirements for scholarship eligibility category and age.

To apply for consideration a student must have an active three-year Evaluation Team Report (ETR) and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) from their school district of residence before you can apply for consideration. If you do not have these documents please contact your school district. 

Step 1: Application Review

The ETR Eligibility – located in section 4. Every child that attends the Key’s Preschool Intervention Program or School must have an eligibility that meets the requirements for the State of Ohio Autism or Jon Peterson Scholarships (categories 2-6 accepted only). The eligibility is only found on the ETR it is not on the student’s IEP.

The ETR Eligibility is obtained by the school district of residence of the student. This eligibility is put into place by the team defined at the meetings. Teams include parents, Intervention Specialist, General Education Teacher and District Representative.

Following the ETR a student then receives an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that outlines the goals and objectives of the students to meet the student.

When both of these documents are obtained from the school district both then are sent to the Enrollment Team to determine the fit for the student and family within the existing program.

Step 2: Tour

Every family is brought through the Center to see the program in action, while students are in session, to provide an understanding of what the Center does. This also provides a comfort to families to see the importance of communicating as a team. During this tour, families are able to meet with the Executive Director and/or the Principal.

During the tour it is required that the student being considered is brought with the guardian. While the guardian is touring and meeting with the administration the student will be observed along with peers by an intervention specialist. This allows our team to get a full picture of a student within our program and our existing students.

  • Following this step, it is determined if the student will be accepted into the program or if further information is needed. If the determination is accepted families will be provided documents to complete steps 3 & 4.

Interested in enrolling your child?

Complete the following form and allow up to 5-7 business days for an email response for the next step in our Enrollment Consideration Process if your child has had an Evaluation Team Report (ETR).

Does your child have an ETR and IEP?
If YES, please upload your documents, fax to 330-493-4416, or drop off Monday -Friday 9am-2pm.
Upload Document(s)
Press and hold control on PC or command on mac to select multiple files
If NO, please contact your school district for an evaluation.
Step 3: Scholarship application process

If a family and the administration finds that a placement for the student at the Golden Key would work, the guardians are provided the State of Ohio’s scholarship applications (which application that meets the ETR eligibility). The application is completed by the guardian and returned to The Golden Key. Along with the application for the scholarship a proof of residence and the birth certificate must be submitted at this time.

Step 4. Enrollment packet and start date

After the scholarship application is awarded by the state a Golden Key the Enrollment Packet is then provided to the families. Once all enrollment papers are returned to the school a start date is provided. A student cannot start until all documents are returned and the scholarship has been awarded by the state.

Please contact The Golden Key at 330-493-4400 to learn more about this admissions process. We will be happy to walk you through it and answer your questions.

The Golden Key offers three programs:

Pre-Intervention Services

This is a year round program for students 3-5 years of age who have received an eligibility of autism from their school district of residence. Students receiving this will be able to apply for the State Funded Autism Scholarship. For details on how to receive an eligibility please contact us and we will be happy to guide you through the process.

Non-Public Specialized Charter School

This is a school based program that offers education for students kindergarten age through grade 8. This program is an individualized educational program that encourages student success by offering one-on-one tutoring as well as all therapies outlined in the IEP. Ratio for our school-aged classes are at most 12 students to 2 teachers and a support staff. Additionally, every student is assigned to an Intervention Specialist.

Typical Peer Program

The Golden Key Preschool is a specialized program for early intervention for students on the autism spectrum. The program utilizes Ohio Department of Job & Family Services standards and the Ohio Department of Education elements. The Typical Peer Program is a limited placement availability that brings together neuro-typical students with those on the autism spectrum. The program is a slower pace and is geared to prepare your student for kindergarten and will allow for our intervention students to interact with typical peers. This interaction will provide modeling aspects and integration into age-appropriate programming for our special-needs students. Students entering this program will be exposed to students exceptionalities and communicative meltdowns. The Typical Peer Program follows our school calendar.

Guide to Parent Rights

Download this helpful guide from the Ohio Department of Education
Ohio Autism Scholarship

Ages 3 to 5 and all school age children

Jon Peterson Scholarship

Kindergarten-8th grade

All Program Fees

Please contact us at 330-493-4400 or

Google Classroom

Google Classroom

The Golden Key utilizes the Google Classroom as its technology platform.

This HIPPA compliant and secure program allows for our students to have access to the appropriate education if a remote school is put in place. Each classroom is designated its own link to allow for teachers, therapist and intervention specialist to connect with families.

Please see your student’s teacher to receive the appropriate Google Classroom Link and your student’s Golden Key Email.

Note: A Golden Key Email address is required for each student at The Golden Key.

Private Tuition Payments

The Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children Inc., provides various programs that are not covered by the Ohio Choice Scholarships. Payments for these services are made via Tuition Express®. Please follow the link to set up your personal Tuition Express payment account.