Mahatma Gandhi Campus

Welcome to Citizens Academy Mahatma Gandhi Campus, our founding Breakthrough elementary school. Opened in 1999, Citizens Academy was named a Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education in 2011, and is a proud local and national leader in high-quality public school education.

Family Resources

Check out our Family Resource Center to view important information including your school calendar, transportation, uniform info, and more!

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 scholars work hard every day to make Citizens Academy among the best places in Cleveland to learn and grow as young scholars and citizens. If you have any questions or would like to come in for a visit, let us know!


Tree planting at our Citizens Academy Mahatma Gandhi Campus in 2017

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 scholars’ success. They achieve academic excellence while learning to become responsible citizens.

Innovative Academics & School Culture

Citizens Academy has developed a transformative school culture that is the foundation of our success. The Citizens Academy Way (The CA Way) is a set of high academic and behavioral expectations that promote a sense of ambition, personal responsibility, and a ‘no excuses’ attitude in all of our scholars. Students are expected to come to school on time, in uniform, and prepared to learn, and to treat themselves and others with respect at all times. We teach students that their behavior is their choice and that all choices have consequences. Positive choices earn positive consequences and negative choices earn negative consequences.
We give consequences in a nurturing manner to teach each student that we want them to succeed and are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that they succeed. Monthly citizenship assemblies culminate in the Citizen of the Month awards ceremony, where students who have exemplified good citizenship are recognized. The CA Way lays a strong foundation for our students to succeed in high school, college, and beyond.

Our Results

We are proud of our scholars' most recent accomplishments on the Ohio Department of Education exams. You can find our full school report card on the ODE Website.

Programs & Support

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.

Family Resources

Important Links

Dress Code & School Uniforms

For more information, visit our Uniform page.

Policies + Notices

Please find a list of our school’s policies below. If you have any questions, just let us know!

View All Other School Policies Here

General Notice of Non-Discrimination

The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or age in its programs and activities.

View All Other School Policies Here

Board List & Calendar

Board List & Calendar

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


Mahatma Gandhi Campus

Stay connected!

Our Location

Our Citizens location on Hampden Ave serves scholars in grades K-8, with our Citizens Academy elementary school and Citizens Leadership Academy middle school. Please find all information about our location below!

Citizens Hampden
10118 Hampden Ave
Cleveland, OH 44108
Phone: (216) 791-4195
Fax: (216) 791-3013

CA Elementary School
Grades: K-4
Principal: Leah Martello

CLA Middle School
Grades: 5-8
Principal: Sydney Gruhin


About Leah Martello

Leah Martello, a long-time Breakthrough educator, is 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!

Up Next:
Discover Citizens Leadership Academy

After graduating from Citizens Academy, Citizens Leadership Academy is our 5th-8th grade middle school, co-located in the same building.