Gaitway High School

Since 2006, Gaitway High School is a place where students learn to succeed. They come from school districts across Northeast Ohio where they may have struggled in a traditional high school setting. Gaitway is a partnership between Fieldstone Farm and Geauga Educational Service Center.

Gaining valuable social and emotional skills, students engage with each other and Gaitway faculty as they follow a highly customized course of study that aligns with the Ohio Learning Standards. Gaitway is the first high school in the country located at a therapeutic riding center and students benefit daily from the therapeutic power of Fieldstone’s horses.

Being a part of the Gaitway family is transformative. Our students experience:

  • Improved daily attendance
  • 100% graduation rate – 73 graduates to date
  • High success rate in career technical programs
  • College prep offerings – 86% of students attend college
  • Successful transition back to home school for many

Gaitway Faculty

Gaitway has its own full-time principal, specially-trained and certified teachers, job coaches and a licensed social worker. A low student-to-teacher ratio helps students be successful and receive the personalized education that they need.

Who Is Appropriate for Gaitway?

Students who are successful at Gaitway have a history of:

  • Depression or other mood disorders
  • Difficulty with peer relationships
  • Anxiety due to the size of their home school
  • Difficulty forming or sustaining positive relationships
  • Learning disabilities

What We Offer Our Students

  • Low student-to-teacher ratio
  • Experiential learning
  • Social skills training
  • Project-based learning
  • Vocational job training
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • A meaningful connection with horses that supports personal and educational growth

Eligibility and Enrollment

Gaitway’s enrollment is capped at 24 full-time equivalent students.  Placement is determined by each student’s IEP team, referred by the student’s home school district and approved by the Geauga ESC Program Administrator.

For enrollment information, district placement officials should contact Anthony Forfia, Gaitway High School principal, at (440) 708-0013 x152 or

Student Achievements

For many students, enrolling in Gaitway is a life-changing event.

Alex had attendance issues and suffered from serious depression, anxiety and school phobia.  She joined Gaitway as a junior and in a short time consistently made it to school, found a part-time job and graduated on time. Alex is now about to graduate from Cleveland State University and is engaged to be married.

Troubled by physical and emotional challenges, Danny ended 8th grade early. He was scared of what the future would hold for him, as young adult life seemed overwhelming and uncertain.  The accepting and nurturing environment at Gaitway gave him the confidence and educational skills he needed to graduate high school in four years. Danny is now employed at the Cleveland Clinic.

Tiffany spent 2 and a half years at Gaitway learning to come to school on time, working through her anger issues and gaining the skills to help her focus on her studies.  By her senior year, Tiffany ran her own IEP meeting and graduated successfully. Since graduation, she is employed full time and rents her own home.

Click on the student photos below for more stories about Gaitway’s very special students.