The Middle School Program
The middle school program includes a commitment to three sessions held in the summers after the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades.
In the summers, Aspire runs Monday through Friday from 8:45 am to 3:15 pm. Each session is 5 weeks long, beginning in mid-June, ending in July.Academic Classes at Aspire
Academic classes at Aspire consist of only ten to twelve students. Throughout the summer, the girls study reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. Classes develop essential skills while engaging students with dynamic teaching styles and classroom materials. Girls regularly are given assignments that encourage independent learning. The teachers expect excellence from the students and encourage them to identify strategies that help them learn the material effectively. Each class is taught by a college student.
In addition to their regular academic classes, the students of Aspire also attend daily workshops. The workshops are designed to offer the girls a chance to explore interests not often presented in middle schools. Girls can choose to study topics in the areas of performing or visual arts, journalism, public speaking, technology, and athletics. Example workshops include Indian Dance, Computer Programming, Drama, Basketball, and Art.
The goal of Aspire's Leadership Seminar is to make lessons about leadership transparent and accessible. During this seminar, girls work in groups to participate in role plays and simulations that call for smart decision making and problem solving. Additionally, students gain insights from current college students about the admissions process and college life. Prominent women from several different fields participate in a career panel that gives Aspire girls the opportunity to learn what it is like to be a modern working professional.
Every day, the Junior Teachers divide the Aspire students into small groups for mini-classes in a wide variety of subjects. These options change often and include art projects, sports, music, adventure learning, drama, or community building events.
Meetings and Special Events
The meetings and events at Aspire are designed to encourage partnerships among and between students, teachers and families. Stories, quotations and news events inside and outside of our community are shared in morning meetings. Orientation, Parent Night, Open House, Closing Ceremony and Year-Round gatherings bring the greater-Aspire community together. A strong emphasis is placed on public speaking, and Aspire students speak regularly at meetings and events.
In order to give our students the opportunity to explore new topics and make decisions, we have implemented a daily choice period. Each day students select from a number of mini-classes that are designed and run by either students and/or teachers. Sample offerings include yoga, soccer, strategy games, jump roping, nature walks, and book discussions.
Field trips for the entire Aspire community are scheduled regularly. They are designed to increase the girls’ exposure and to help them feel more connected to the greater-Cleveland area. Past field trips have included visits to the Botanical Gardens and the Plain Dealer press. In their third year, students travel on an overnight trip to Michigan.
The Year Round Program offers enrichment workshops and special events over the course of the school year. Examples include a tour of ethnic markets on Lolley the Trolley, ice skating, and shows at Playhouse Square.
Transportation to and from Aspire is available. We have bus routes that stop at local schools: an East Cleveland route, Cleveland Heights route, Harvard/Lee area route, and we also stop at Denison, Ben Franklin and William Cullen Bryant schools on the near-west side. Students who cannot go to any of the stops on these 3 routes will need to provide their own transportation.