Get To Know Citizens Leadership Academy East

School Leadership

Our school is led by Principal Ricardo Franklin, Sr.

Grades Served

CLA East is an EL ("expeditionary learning") middle school serving middle school scholars grades 6-8. We are located at the Breakthrough Schools Citizens East Campus, where our lower school serves students in Grades K-5.

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.

School History

Citizens Leadership Academy East was founded in 2017, and is one of the newest Breakthrough Schools campuses in Cleveland. CLA East is our second middle school in Cleveland combining real world learning, community and engagement, and academic excellence. Our original middle school, Citizens Leadership Academy, was founded in 2011 by Shelly Saltzman, bringing Expeditionary Learning to Northeast Ohio for the first time. All our Citizens Leadership Academy middle schools seek to build on the successes of the K-5 Citizens Academy schools, and offer a new middle school option to students in our city.

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 founding middle school CLA has earned consistently high marks as one of the top middle schools in Cleveland. You can find our full school report card on the ODE website here.


We are currently planning our extracurriculars at CLAE. Examples of likely extracurriculars from our founding CLA Campus include:

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

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


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