Special Programs

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Why should my daughter apply to Aspire?

Every day at Aspire, girls have the opportunity to learn, grow, and challenge themselves by taking risks. Aspire is an extension of Hathaway Brown School; as such there’s a deep commitment to educating and empowering girls.  

Aspire is transformative and strives for each girl to cultivate her leadership characteristics in and out of the classroom. And the program builds a network of sisterhood. 

One Aspire parent said, “[This program] is a bright light at a tunnel’s end. It is a force that can’t be stopped or stalled. It is a beacon that stands for education, learning yourself, feeling safe, and finding sisters in this world.”


When does the Aspire program start?

For three consecutive summers (prior to entering sixth, seventh, and eighth grades) Aspire girls commit to attending a five-week session starting in mid-June — Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Breakfast is offered at 8:15 a.m., students who want breakfast should arrive at that time.

Additionally, Aspire offers an optional, Ninth Grade Academy to help students entering ninth grade, with a successful transition to high school. The Academy is held the summer prior to her ninth-grade year.


Are there fees associated with Aspire?

Aspire is tuition-free. Lunch and an optional breakfast are served daily, also at no charge. 

Is transportation available?

Aspire offers round-trip transportation during the summer session and for year-round activities. Bus routes include stops at schools and libraries in East Cleveland, Cleveland, Warrensville, and Cleveland Heights-University Heights.  


How can my daughter apply to Aspire?

Aspire accepts online applications from fifth-grade girls only. The application period starts annually in December. If your daughter has already completed fifth grade, she is ineligible for the program.

My daughter doesn’t attend one of Aspire’s partner schools. Can she still apply?

Aspire accepts applications from fifth graders who attend any school in the Greater Cleveland community. The Aspire Admission Committee will prioritize applications from students who attend the following partner schools: 

  • Cleveland Metropolitan School District 

  • Breakthrough Schools

  • East Cleveland City Schools

  • Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District 

How is the Aspire program connected to Hathaway Brown School?

The Aspire program is an extension of Hathaway Brown School. An essential component of HB’s commitment to girls’ education is to expand its reach to students of great promise across Greater Cleveland. The Aspire experience supports deep engagement and fully embraces HB’s motto to learn not for school, but for life. The majority of Aspire programming takes place on Hathaway Brown’s campus in Shaker Heights. 


Does Aspire end after eighth grade?

No! Once Aspire girls graduate from the program, the summer prior to eighth-grade year, they become part of the Aspire Alumnae Association. Aspire alumnae receive high school and college guidance through the program.

Additionally, Aspire offers an optional, Ninth Grade Academy to help students successfully transition to high school. The Academy is held the summer prior to her ninth-grade year.

Is Aspire only a summer program?

The Aspire program runs for five weeks during summer. During the school year, Aspire girls are expected to attend four outings, called year-round events. Year-round events are held four times per year on Saturdays and transportation is provided. 

What is the time commitment for Aspire?

Aspire girls are expected to fully participate. Upon joining Aspire, girls commit to attending three summer sessions, prior to their sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade year. Full participation includes daily attendance during the summer and attendance at year-round events, held four times per year on select Saturdays. 

Families are discouraged from planning events or trips during Aspire’s summer session and on year-round event days during the school year. 

After graduating from Aspire, students are expected to maintain ties with the Aspire Alumnae Association by attending alumnae events and providing updates regarding her high school and college progress. 


Is parental involvement required?

Families play a crucial role in their daughter’s success and are asked to support their daughters throughout the Aspire process. This starts with the fifth-grade application process by completing a family statement and interview. Aspire families are asked to help their daughters honor their commitment to Aspire by helping the girls attend all events and uphold all Aspire responsibilities through college. 

Families are invited to visit the summer program and attend special events, specifically student orientation, parent night, and the closing ceremony. 

Lastly, families are discouraged from planning events or trips during Aspire’s summer session and on year-round event days during the school year. Year-round events are held four times per year on Saturdays.


What kind of programming does Aspire have?

High school, college, and graduate students, plus early-career educators teach, inspire, and mentor Aspire girls through a creative and engaging curriculum that spans Math, Science, and Social Studies to Computer Science, Adventure Learning on the ropes course, and yoga. 

With small class sizes, teachers help girls develop essential academic skills by using dynamic teaching styles. Additionally, Aspire’s Leadership Seminar allows girls to cultivate their decision-making and problem-solving abilities.

Aspire doesn’t administer any standardized tests. On average, a middle school student takes at least four standardized tests per year. Aspire recognizes the power of learning simply for the joy of learning. 


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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