Citizens Leadership Academy
- Sydney Gruhin
- Hours of Operation
- School Type
- Operated By
- Breakthrough Schools
- Sponsored By
The mission of Citizens Leadership Academy (CLA) is to prepare our middle school students to lead in academics, service, and civic engagement during high school, college, and beyond. Our distinct educational model — EL Education — is perfect for middle school because it engages students in hands-on, active, project-based learning that culminates in a high-quality project for an authentic audience. CLA is also a Facing History and Ourselves school and uses the Facing History resources in social studies, English, and in the CLA advisory program, “crew.”
What Sets Us Apart
The Citizens Leadership Academy curriculum is designed to prepare our students to succeed at rigorous college-prep high schools, and then in college and in the 21st century job market. Each grade has an essential question that connects the teaching of core curriculum to societal issues and current events. CLA curriculum is divided into case studies tied to the essential questions, and each case study pushes students to think critically and apply foundational skills.
Typically, a case study lasts six to eight weeks, and during the first few days, experts may come to the school or the students may conduct fieldwork in the community to expose them to the topic. The bulk of the first few weeks of a case study is focused on foundation skills in English, math, science and social studies so that students can build background knowledge on the topic. Then, the students can apply that knowledge to work on genuine community issues and high-quality products for authentic audiences.
Citizens Leadership has been a one-on-one technology schools since its inception and most classes are conducted through Google Classroom. This year the school has been fortunate enough to be a Verizon Innovative Learning School (VILS) recipient so all CLA scholars have iPADs and data plans to use at school and at home. The focus on blended learning and technological competency prepares CLA scholars for high school, college, and the job market.
CLA’s way works — the school has been in the top five in Value Added (academic growth) for Greater Cleveland for three years and in the top ten schools in Value Added in the state for the same time period. CLA grads attend Laurel, Hawken, University School, St. Edward High School, St. Ignatius, John Hay School of Science and Medicine, John Hay Early College, St. Martin de Porres, and other high-performing, selective high schools, several earning 4-year scholarships.