More than 30 years ago, a spirited and involved team of parents and teachers founded Clintonville Academy. What inspired them to create a new independent school in Columbus?
During the 1960’s and 70’s, parent volunteers were active and involved at the Glenmont Elementary School, located on Glenmont Road in north Columbus. Glenmont functioned as a neighborhood school and had a supportive parent group who routinely contributed to the library, teacher aide and fund-raising programs.
During the energy crisis of the mid-1970s, Columbus Public Schools (CPS) instituted a period where students attended school one day per week to receive assignments and were “home-schooled” the rest of the week.
The following year CPS instituted a busing plan in which the school was scheduled to be closed and students bused across town. The parent group lobbied tirelessly to save the school, but their message fell upon deaf ears. Feeling frustrated and powerless over the things that would affect their children most, parents began to think about forming a new independent school — a school where parents could have active input into their children’s education.
Soon a building was located, curriculum was written, and state requirements were reviewed. Unexpectedly, the busing plan was given a one-year stay, and Glenmont was granted another year of life. But the on-again, off-again situation convinced the parents even more that they needed to act.
With approval from the State of Ohio, Clintonville Academy opened its doors in 1978. That first school year began in a small building on Indianola Avenue for grades four, five and six with 34 students. Even in those first few years, the school offered innovative programming, including foreign language and specialists in physical education, art and music.
After two years and with enrollment of 45, the academy had outgrown its first building. The school moved into its present location at 3916 Indianola Avenue. This former sheltered workshop needed extensive renovation — all of which was accomplished in 30 days by parent volunteers! At that time, grades two, three and seven were added. Within the next few years, grades one and eight followed, and eventually kindergarten and pre-K.
The State of Ohio issued a permanent charter in January 1981, and the school has continued to receive excellent reviews, expand physical facilities and attract students and families who seek excellence in education.