Where big dreams start young.

Welcome to Breakthrough Schools -- we're a family of public elementary and middle schools in Cleveland, Ohio. Our nonprofit, tuition-free schools offer distinct culture & curriculum led by top educators and dedicated staff. 3,400 students and families already attend our schools, and we have expanded to make room for at least 300 more! We believe big dreams start young, and we would love to work with you to make them happen for your child, together.

Our Enrollment Process

Enrolling in our schools involves two steps: visiting a school & completing an application. You can complete these steps in any order. Many families choose to start their application first and then sign up for a visit.

Questions? Call us M-F (216) 367-5720, email usor fill out this brief form and we will contact you right away by phone, email, or text.

Visit a School

Visiting a school is one of the best ways to decide if it will be right for your and your child/ren. Click below to see upcoming events and/or setup a personal tour.

Complete Your Application

A completed application includes four components:

  • The Application (Complete Online)
  • Proof of Residency (w/in last 90 days)
  • Copy of Child's Birth Certificate
  • Child's shot records (due 1st day of school)

Ranked #1 in Ohio

We're proud of our students and teachers for earning the #1 ranking in Ohio.

Breakthrough Schools Ohio Department of Education Test Results for Cleveland and "Big 8" in Ohio

Ten Years Later #ClassOf2017

Creative Filmmaker followed four of our students for 10 years. Get to know each of them in this short video.

Latest Breakthrough News

Stay up to date with Breakthrough Schools in the news.


Photos from Breakthrough Schools's post

As we wrap up #CSE Computer Science Education Week this year, we have a *ton* of photos to share Scholars at all of our campuses participated..

79 likes, 1 comments2 days ago

Timeline Photos

We’re LIVE with @z1079 & @rodigga!! Thanks so much for visiting #CLA! #thisiscle #btcle #cla #wearecrew #pantherpride

10 likes, 0 comments4 days ago

Student Spotlight of the Month!! Meet Adrionna from #CLA. 4.0+, volleyball champ, aspiring businesswoman. Thanks to Z1079 Cleveland for partnering..

18 likes, 0 comments5 days ago

Photos from Breakthrough Schools's post

Just before the holiday, middle school scholars from Citizens Leadership Academy East spent the day leading classes and reading sessions with..

226 likes, 5 comments1 week ago

We're proud to be the #1 rated network of free K-8 public charter schools in Ohio by CREDO at Stanford University.

Explore Our K-8 Campuses


Our Citizens founding schools include our National Blue Ribbon Award-Winning elementary school Citizens Academy and our MOMENTUM Award-Winning middle school Citizens Leadership Academy. A very short drive between elementary and middle school, our founding schools provide a space for your child to thrive from pre-K through 8th grade.

Citizens Academy

Openings in K-5
10118 Hampden Ave. in Glenville
Near East Blvd. & Superior

Citizens Leadership Academy

Openings in 6-8
9711 Lamont Ave in University Circle
Near E 97 & Chester


We opened our Citizens East Campus due to strong community demand and support. Here, both our elementary school Citizens Academy East (CAE) and our middle school Citizens Leadership Academy East (CLAE) are located in the same building.

CA East

Openings in K-5
12523 Woodside Ave. in Glenville
Near E. 125th & Eddy

CLA East

Openings in 6-8
12523 Woodside Ave in Glenville
Near E. 125th & Eddy


Our Citizens Southeast Campus is our newest Citizens Campus, currently serving grades K-4. Our CA Southeast Campus is growing to serve student grades K-8, and will be featuring a Citizens Leadership Academy Southeast when we open for middle school.

CA Southeast

Openings in K-5
15700 Lotus Drive
Near Lee & Harvard

CLA Southeast

Will Serve Grades 6-8
Planned to open 2020, stay tuned for updates during our planning.


Our founding E Prep & Village Prep Cliffs campus opened in 2006, and serves students in grades K-8. Our "Preparatory" schools feature a highly structured, joyful environment with energizing routines and tremendous rigor. "Every second matters" is what we say about out Preparatory campuses.

Village Prep Cliffs

Openings in K-4
1417 E. 36th St in Asiatown
Between Superior & St Clair

E Prep Cliffs

Openings in 5-8
1417 E. 36th St in Asiatown
Between Superior & St Clair


Our founding E Prep & Village Prep Woodland Hills is our second Preparatory campus, serving students in grades K-8. Our "Preparatory" schools feature a highly structured, joyful environment with energizing routines and tremendous rigor. Woodland Hills is especially helpful in students make multiple years of academic progress in just one year.

Village Prep Woodland Hills

Openings in K-4
9201 Crane Avenue
E 93rd & Union

E Prep Woodland Hills

Openings in 5-8
9201 Crane Avenue
E 93rd & Union


Preps Willard is our newest E Prep & Village Prep campus, growing to serve students in grades K-8. Our first west side Preparatory Campus, Preps Willard is an exciting, diverse, multicultural learning environment featuring high structure, high energy, and academic rigor.

Village Prep Willard

Openings in K-3
9401 Willard Ave.
Cleveland 44102

E Prep Willard

Openings in 5-7
9401 Willard Ave.
Cleveland 44102


Our mission is to develop a growing network of distinctive school options that prepare Cleveland area students for success in life. Breakthrough has been recognized as the top-performing network performing schools in Cleveland, honored by local, state, and national organizations for excellence in teaching, leadership, and student achievement.



The five-year vision of Breakthrough Schools is to "further Greater Cleveland’s transformation by providing distinctive school options for no fewer than 6,000 children in 19 schools. Our work, in partnership with CMSD and others, will help the city reach a tipping point towards providing a high-quality education for all."

Breakthrough Values

We work hard every day to support quality education in Cleveland. As we strive for excellence...

We do what’s best for kids.

We help each other grow.

We embrace our diversity.

We tell the truth.

We stand together.

So, What’s Next?

Thanks for making it this far - take the next step!