Welcome to Citizens Academy, our founding campus. Citizens Academy opened in 1999 and is currently one of the highest-rated elementary schools in the state of Ohio. Named a Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education in 2011, Citizens Academy is a proud leader in high-quality public school education.

Academic Excellence, Responsible Citizenship

Together, our Citizens schools have developed a national reputation for their commitment to academic excellence and responsible citizenship. Our remarkable faculty and staff, board, parents, families, community members, and students work hard every day to make Citizens Academy  among the best places in Cleveland to learn and grow as young students and citizens. If you have any questions or would like to come in for a visit, let us know!

Our Mission

The mission of Citizens Academy is to produce learners who exemplify academic excellence and responsible citizenship.

Our Values

Our seven virtues are responsibility, respect, perseverance, honesty, generosity, courage, and loyalty.

Our Approach

Virtues like responsibility and perseverance are key to our students’ success. They achieve academic excellence while learning to become responsible citizens.

Exceptional Student Education

Everyone learns here! We celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion of all types of learners and we work hard to make sure that our schools are brave spaces where exceptional learners are supported and have all the resources needed to reach their full potential. Learn more about Exceptional Student Education at Breakthrough here

Engaging, Interactive Remote Learning

We know that remote learning takes a major commitment from families and scholars, and we’re here to make it as easy as possible while continuing to provide an excellent education.

We provide all of the technology, wifi accessibility, and tech-support needed to facilitate remote learning and we also offer grab-and-go meal kits each week to all scholars.

Ready to learn more?


Citizens Academy Schools offer a variety of programs to students in our higher math and literacy blocks to extend their creative and critical thinking skills.  Such programs have included:

  • C.S.I. – Students solve a mystery by conducting a series of forensic tests.  Students learn about genetics, the judicial system, and a variety of math and science skills.

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.

Parent Committee

Thanks to all the parents and family members that make up our PAC. All families welcome.

Citizens Academy | Breakthrough Public Schools

The Basics

Grades: K-5
Phone: (216) 791-4195
Fax: (216) 791-3013

10118 Hampden Road
Cleveland OH 44108

Leah Martello

Stay connected!

Leah Martello | Breakthrough Public Schools


About Leah Martello

Leah Martello, a long-time Breakthrough educator, has accepted the position of Principal at Citizens Academy. Leah joined Breakthrough back in 2009 as a founding team member at Village Prep Cliffs. Prior to her pioneering work at Village Prep, Leah attended Cleveland State University, graduating with a degree in Early Childhood education.

During the last decade, Leah has worked tirelessly on behalf of scholars in Cleveland, first as a Kindergarten classroom teacher, and next as Dean of Scholars, to establish our Cliffs Campus as a bedrock of educational excellence. As a Cleveland native, Leah has been uniquely invested in pursuing educational equity in our community for her entire professional life. 

Meet a Citizens Academy scholar!

Unique Programs

Ability-based academic blocks with smaller class sizes, home visits, extended school day, kindergarten readiness summer program, enrichment programming.

After-School Activities

A variety of activities generally changing every 6 weeks; activities have included martial arts, a variety of dance, and cheerleading.

See Citizens Academy in Action!