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Aspire for Students 

While in fifth grade, students are invited to submit an application that is followed by a one-on-one interview. The careful screening process contributes to Aspire’s exceptional attendance and retention rates.

Over the course of a multi-year commitment in middle school, students attend three consecutive summer sessions (prior to entering sixth, seventh, and eighth grades) and also gather for events throughout the school year. Aspire girls participate in a variety of leadership-building activities in academic classes and exploratory workshops.

The core program offers:

Mentorship—Aspire creates a close-knit community where girls get to know each other and their teachers in a supportive environment.

Exposure—Aspire’s curriculum introduces new people, places, and ideas in a format that emphasizes reading, writing, public speaking, problem solving, and group work.

Choice—Program elements lead students to be self-reflective, to develop a stronger sense of convictions, and to focus on what’s right for them.


Academic Classes

In classes of approximately 12 students, 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; students are expected to complete homework and other projects outside of school. 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 regular academic classes, the Aspire girls also attend daily workshops. The workshops offer 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. 

Leadership Seminar

Aspire's makes lessons about leadership transparent and accessible. During the Leadership Seminar, girls work in groups to participate in role plays and simulations that require smart decision making and problem solving. Additionally, students gain insights from current high school and college students about the college admission process and life after middle school. 

Activity and Choice Periods

In order to give our students the opportunity to explore new topics and make decisions, Aspire offers a daily activity and choice periods. Daily students select from a number of mini-classes. Offerings include:

  • visual and performing arts
  • character education
  • athletics 
  • music
  • diversity exercises
  • adventure learning
  • community-building activities
  • yoga
  • strategy games
  • book discussions


Meetings and Special Events

The meetings and events at Aspire encourage partnerships between students, teachers, and families. Stories, quotations, and news events inside and outside of our community are shared in morning meetings. Orientation, Family Night, Open House, Closing Ceremony and Year-Round gatherings bring the full Aspire community together.

Aspire places a strong emphasis  on public speaking; students speak regularly at meetings and events.

Field Trips

Field trips are scheduled regularly to increase the girls’ exposure and to help them feel more connected to the Greater Cleveland community. 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.

Year-Round Activities

The Year Round Program offers enrichment workshops and special events during the school year. Examples include a tour of ethnic markets on Lolly the Trolley, ice skating, and shows at Playhouse Square.

Shaker Heights, Ohio Girls K-12 Coed Early Childhood

19600 North Park Boulevard Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122 P: 216.932.4214
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