Get To Know Citizens Leadership Academy

School Leadership

Our school is led by Principal Sydney Gruhin.

Citizens Leadership Academy

Grades Served

CLA is a middle school serving students in grades 6-8. 

School History

Citizens Leadership Academy was founded in 2011 by Shelly Saltzman, bringing Expeditionary Learning to Northeast Ohio for the first time. Citizens Leadership Academy seeks to build on the successes of the K-5 Citizens Academy schools, as members of Breakthrough Schools. 

Board Information

We're so thankful to our all-volunteer Board of Directors. Please find our latest board member list & calendars here:

Special Meeting:

The Board of Directors of the Citizens Educational Model (Citizens Academy, Citizens Academy East, Citizens Academy Southeast, Citizens Leadership Academy and Citizens Leadership Academy East) will hold a special meeting on Monday, December 9th, at 4:30 PM. The meeting will be held at the Breakthrough Charter Schools office located at 3615 Superior Ave. Suite 4403A, Cleveland OH 44114. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss:
  • The appointment of public officials, and the employment or dismissal of public employees; and
  • The structure of the Citizens Educational model and how we can best deliver quality for students and families.

Application & Enrollment Policies

Enrollment in our school is open to all students in grades 6-8. Our unique small class size structure allows for 18 students per classroom. No matter your situation, we would love to welcome your family to our community! Please find below links to our application and enrollment policies, as well as our Enrollment Application.


School Materials and Supplies

We do not have any school supply fee, but do have a school supply list for families. If for any reason a parent or family is not able to provide these supplies, we have supports available to make sure this is not a barrier to attending our school.


Parent & Family Volunteering

We encourage parent and family volunteering in our school! This is not mandatory, but if you would like to learn more about our Parent & Family Volunteer opportunities please read see more detail in our Policies section. Thank you!

Parent Student and Foster Caregiver Involvement Policies


Mission & Vision

Our mission is to prepare our middle school students to lead in academics, service, and civic engagement during high school, college, and beyond.

Our vision is to add a highly effective middle school model to the mix of current school offerings available to Citizens Academy graduates and other regional students.

Innovative Academic Program

Core Skill Building and Learning Expeditions

The Citizens Leadership Academy curriculum is designed to prepare our students to succeed in rigorous college prep high schools, and then in college and in the 21st century job market. The curriculum is a synergistic approach based on two discrete learning models: Core Skill Building and Expeditionary Learning. Through this two-pronged educational model, CLA students will be well prepared for the Ohio state tests, and they will also be well grounded in the critical 21st century skills framework.

Academic Results

We are proud of our students' most recent accomplishments on the Ohio state tests. Our school earned an "A" for Student Growth in 2016! (Ohio Department of Education). You can find our full school report card on the ODE website here.


It is always our goal to reach the whole child, and we strive for a balance of athletic and non-athletic after school extracurriculars. For example, extracurriculars include: 

  • Boys/Girls Basketball
  • Math Hoops
  • Lego Robotics
  • Cheerleading
  • Drama Club
  • Service Club
  • Chess Club

After School

We have after school tutoring for students looking for extra support with reading and math, as well as Homework Club for those who need a quiet place to finish homework. Additionally, we have an after school partnership with the Boys & Girls Club on Broadway, and provide transportation there after school every day.

Dress Code & School Uniforms

6th-7th Grade
Purple CL polo (purchased directly from the school)

8th Grade
Black CL polo (purchased directly from the school)

  • Khaki pants or skirt
  • Solid belt
  • Any shoe

Citizens Leadership Academy