Breakthrough Schools - Network of high-performing, free, public charter schools in Cleveland, Ohio

Three models, one mission: Breakthrough's unique approach to education

Students thrive in different settings; teachers thrive in different settings; families feel confident and supported in different settings. There is no one answer to delivering an outstanding education. At Breakthrough, we recognize that. Our three unique educational models reflect our three unique approaches to delivering an outstanding college preparatory education. We want to ensure every student, family, teacher can be in a school that will help them achieve their absolute best.

Our Citizens School Model

Students at Citizens Academy playing at recess

Our Citizens Model is built on a virtues-centered, high-expectations school culture with an integrated citizenship curriculum. Citizens schools help students achieve academic excellence and develop into responsible citizens, through college and beyond. Our Citizens Academies include:

Citizens Academy, K-5
Ohio Dept Ed Rating: Excellent
Citizens Leadership Academy, 6-8
Ohio Dept Ed Rating: New

Watch this video about how our Citizens academies build strong school cultures where students can thrive: 

History of the Citizens Model: The original Citizens Academy was founded in 1999 by Perry White, intending to prove that inner-city students can excel. Since then, it has developed a national reputation for excellence. Its success stems from a deep commitment to continuous improvement, which helped Citizens Academy become one of only two schools in Ohio to go from Academic Emergency to consecutive ratings of Excellent. In addition to the high expectations school culture, extended student learning, and data-driven approach CA, features: a virtue-centered culture with an integrated citizenship curriculum, a parent engagement program, featuring teacher home visits for every student at the beginning of each year, and a history of building community partnerships to help meet our students’ needs. In 2011, we will be opening our first middle school -- Citizens Leadership Academy -- which will boast a hands-on innovative approach to learning, partnership with Expeditionary Learning Schools and Facing History and Ourselves.

Our E Prep School Model

Students at E Prep exploring slide details in science lab

Our E Prep schools combine the highly disciplined school culture made famous by many of the nationally leading urban charter schools with a unique and innovative entrepreneurial focus encouraged to motivate our students to think creatively about building the future. Our E Prep schools include:

Entrepreneurship Prep, 6-8
Ohio Dept Ed Rating: Effective
Village Prep, K-2
Ohio Dept Ed Rating: New

Watch this video about how E Prep graduates use their experience to perform at the highest levels after E Prep:

History of the E Prep Model: Our founding E Prep School -- Entrepreneurship Preparatory School -- opened in 2006 in response to the pressing need for more educational options for Cleveland’s families and children. Founded by proven local entrepreneurs, the school model features a highly disciplined school culture and academic curriculum which embraces the values hallmark to an entrepreneurial spirit, including: perseverance, responsibility, self-discipline, courage, respect, and choosing to see obstacles as opportunities. While E Prep is unique in Cleveland, it is not an experiment. It is modeled after many very successful high performing urban charter schools in cities such as Boston, New York, Newark, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.  The features that make E Prep unique are actually the best-practices used at those high-performing schools. E Prep has already opened its second school -- Village Preparatory School -- in 2008, currently serving K-1 students, growing to K-5.

Our Intergenerational Schools

Students at the Intergenerational School work on self-portraits in art class

Structure, creativity, and self-guided learning are all hallmarks of our Intergenerational school model, nationally recognized for its innovation and effectiveness. Students are not in traditional "grades" and every day work with older students, younger students, and older adults. Our Intergenerational schools include:

The Intergenerational School, K-8
Ohio Dept Ed Rating: Excellent
Near West Intergenerational, K-2
Ohio Dept Ed Rating: New

Watch this video about the Intergenerational culture of learning, and how relationships are so critical to helping students excel:

History of the Intergenerational Model: Our founding school -- The Intergenerational School -- was recognized by the US Department of Education for using true educational innovation to close the achievement gap, and is the only K-8 charter school in Ohio with 6 years of Excellent ratings. The school’s philosophy is based on two mainstay ideas: learning occurs through relationships, and learning is a lifelong process. The innovative model incorporates a developmental curriculum and multi-age classrooms, in addition to a variety of regular learning activities with other community members, many of whom are senior citizens. TIS has been approached nationally and internationally by schools and organizations compelled by their unique, innovative model, and has received international grants to explore continued development of the intergenerational program. Our Near West Intergenerational School will be a new school on the near west side of Cleveland, based on the same principles as our founding school.