SPIRE Institute & Academy's learning environment balances daily academic, passions, professional and career aspirations within facilities and programs that nurture personal growth and stimulate the desires to challenge oneself. All of this is done while helping individuals identify and experience professions and career development opportunities that better prepare them for all of life’s journey. Passions in 2021 includes Basketball, Esports, Swimming or Track & Field. Grades 9-12 plus Post Grad Programs.
Accredited 9-12th grade college preparatory academic program.
College courses available for Post Grad student athletes.
SPIRE Institute offers latest technology for students and athletes.
Five 'Majors' include Basketball, Esports, Swimming and Track & Field.
SPIRE Academy also offers Camps throughout the year.
Top Event facility in the U.S. for high school and collegiate swim and track and field events.
Learning at SPIRE Institute & Academy during COVID-19
What learning looks like now: As we have consistently done since Governor Dewine started his statewide mandates relating to Covid, SPIRE will be following the most recent State of Ohio mandate and no longer require masks to be worn indoors. We will continue to monitor any and all mandates put forth by the State of Ohio.
It’s true that every school is unique, though SPIRE proves the point and then some. The academic program is strong, as you’d expect from any school of this stature, though the draw, rightly, is the athletic program. For the elite athlete, you’d be hard pressed to create an environment more suited to personal, academic, and athletic success. The school is within an elite training institute, coaches are at the top of their games, very literally. Students engage with others of a like mind, like aspirations, and like determination to succeed. They also interact with mentors who not only know their field, but are at the very pinnacle of them, including goal medal Olympians, professional athletes, and professional coaches. The facilities match all of that. If there is a school better suited to the talented, aspiring athlete, we haven’t heard of it.
Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.
Curriculum approach at Spire Institute & Academy: Progressive
Spire Institute & Academy has a Progressive approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
[Show: About Progressive?]
Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Progressive - 17%   Traditional - 15%   Liberal arts - 17%   Montessori - 17%   Reggio Emilia - 17%   Waldorf - 17%
What Spire Institute & Academy says: College preparatory academics delivered using an integrated, cross-curricular, project-based model culminating in the earning of a transcript for submission and acceptance to college/university.
Sports: Basketball • Lacrosse • Swimming • Track & Field
These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
Mathematics at schools on OurKids.net
Equal balance - 33%   Traditional math - 34%   Discovery math - 33%
What Spire Institute & Academy says: We focus on a project-based math curriculum, incorporating real world applications into each class and level of mathematics. Utilizing the facilities at SPIRE makes project-based opportunities quite easy. Additionally, the teacher supports taking students on field trips further enhancing practical application of math skills. Given the fact students come from all over the world and many different experiences with math the teacher differentiates instruction in order to support students where they are in the learning process.
Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.
Calculator policy: Students can utilize calculators – many use TI-84 calculators or equivalent graphing calculator applications available on computer or phone.
Teaching approach: The focus is project-based and inquiry. The teacher utilizes both virtual and hand’s on labs to support the curriculum. Some of the courses follow a more traditional science curriculum, with the teacher supplementing the curriculum with original resources utilizing the facilities on campus. Teachers within the science department are encouraged to relate content to the majors we have on campus, utilizing the passions the students already possess in order to learn new material. The science curriculum is evolving and changing based on current research, interests of the students, and the opportunities on campus.
These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
Literature at schools on OurKids.net
Equal balance - 77%   Traditional - 20%   Social justice - 3%
What Spire Institute & Academy says: Literature is taught with an emphasis on voice and choice, critical thinking, analysis and depth. Across the curriculum teachers are encouraged to incorporate literature into their coursework with the hope students will see the link of writing across disciplines. Additionally, teachers are collaborating with each other to help students see how literature is connected to all disciplines and should not be taught in isolation. Utilizing trade books and first person resources students have the opportunity to read historical and contemporary fiction with an eye for interdisciplinary connection.
What Spire Institute & Academy says: World languages, like every department at SPIRE (affiliated with Grand River Academy), take students where they are in their understanding of language and culture to their what’s next. The teacher adapts to the unique background and awareness of the students and utilizes opportunities for differentiated instruction, peer learning, and independent exploration to encourage students to delve more deeply into their understanding of the language. The teacher utilizes the backgrounds of the students (approximately 50% are international) to augment the curriculum both through spoken word and cultural understanding. The teacher creates the curriculum based on where the students area and the emphasis is on project-based mastery learning.
This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.
Curriculum Pace approach at Spire Institute & Academy: Standard-enriched
Spire Institute & Academy has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).
[Show: About Standard-enriched?]
Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.
Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.
Academic Culture approach at Spire Institute & Academy: Supportive
Spire Institute & Academy has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).
[Show: About Supportive?]
A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.
Academic Culture at schools on OurKids.net
Supportive - 50%   Rigorous - 50%
What Spire Institute & Academy says: This information is not currently available.
Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.
Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
"Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."
Secondary Developmental Priority: Physical
The goal is to cultivate "strong, ?exible - bodied and active individuals, in tune with the joys of movement, sport and wellness."
What Spire Institute & Academy says: The Academy is designed to facilitate knowledge acquisition in academic, personal growth, passion interests and profession interests, which are all of equal value to each student. Its educational delivery model is built on the foundation that with the abundance of knowledge available through technology, the old, unfortunate silo approach to learning…and the essential levels of motivation demonstrated by high school, college and young professionals today…indicate that a major learning re-direct is necessary.
Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.
Spire Institute & Academy offers Indirect Support
Students remain in a regular classroom for the whole day; the teacher receives special training in accommodating special needs and/or learning disabled students.
What Spire Institute & Academy says about their special need support: Teachers are able to differentiate the lesson plans at SPIRE to meet the learners where they are take them to the what's next due to the small class sizes. We are able to work with students with mild learning differences and discuss options with students as they work through the application process.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
Language Processing Disorder
This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
Drug and alcohol abuse
This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.
Curriculum delivery: Enrichment (The main focus is on enrichment. This means that while students may work at a marginally quicker pace than public school peers, the primary aim is to study subject in broader and deeper ways.)
Homework is work that's assigned to students for completion outside of regular class time. There's a long-standing debate over homework. Should homework be assigned to school-age children? If so, in what grades? And how much homework should be assigned? In selecting the right school for your child, it's important to look closely at a school's homework policy.
In grade Gr. 12, Spire Institute & Academy students perform an average of 1.5 hours of homework per night.
Spire Institute & Academy
What Spire Institute & Academy says about their flipped classroom policy: This information is not currently available.
While all schools measure individual progress and achievement in students, they have different ways of doing this. For instance, many traditional schools gauge progress through report cards, which give students lettered or numbered grades. Other schools, meanwhile, measure progress in other ways, either in addition to or instead of giving grades. For instance, they may offer prose-based feedback (i.e, comments), academic achievement reporting, habits and behaviour reporting, and parent-teacher meetings. In choosing the right school for your child, take a close look at its policy for measuring the individual progress of students.
While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.
Competitive sports: 5 Recreational sports: N/A
Legend: Competitive offered Recreational offered
Track & Field
SPIRE Institute & Academydoes not offer any clubs or extracurricular programs.
This can depend on a number of factors, including the type of school, living arrangements, what’s included in tuition, school location, resources, and facilities. Many private schools in Canada have tuition that ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 a year. While some schools, such as schools which provide room and board, can be more expensive, many of these schools provide ways to defray the costs of tuition. For instance, they may offer merit-based scholarships or needs-based financial aid (often referred to as “bursaries” or “subsidies”).
What Spire Institute & Academy says about their tuition: Tuition covers all academics (books, experiential learning opportunities, and technology), training, housing, and food.
Need-based financial aid
Grade range that need-based aid is offered:
9 to 12
Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid
This school works with School and Student Services (SSS). for processing financial applications A complete application includes the SPIRE application, recommendations from the student's English and math teachers and a counselor or coach, and a transcript review.
Families who are applying for financial aid must complete the School and Student Services (SSS) application, which can be found at www.sssbynais.com. SPIRE's school code is 200038.
Merit based Scholarships
SPIRE Institute & Academy does not offer merit-based financial awards.
Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some larger schools have enrolment numbers in the thousands, while some smaller schools have only a few dozen students. Boarding schools tend to be on the larger side, while alternative schools, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf, are normally smaller. Besides the overall size of school, there are other important facts you’ll want to know about a school’s enrolment. For instance, here you can learn about a school’s enrolment for separate streams (if they have them), such as day and boarding, its average class size, and its average enrolment per grade.
Gr. 9 to Gr. 12
Average class size
12 to 17
% of international students (total enrolment)
Number of different nationalities within student population
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies. All schools have some required application materials, though these vary between schools. These may include letters of application, application fees, essays, and exams (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require interviews with prospective students, either with their parents, on their own, or both. Schools also have different standards and priorities when evaluating student applications, different acceptance rates (which may vary between grade levels), and target different kinds of students. To improve your child’s chances of acceptance, you should find out everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they assess applicants.
9 - 12
SSAT (out of province)
9 - 12
Boarding students: Rolling Offer mid-year entry:
SPIRE looks at each student individually to determine if they would be a good fit. The admission process includes submitting an official transcript, letters of recommendation from an English teacher, math teacher, and principal or coach, an interview with the coach and Director of Admission (either virtual or in-person) and a completed application. Each applicant is reviewed by the admission committee which is composed of administrators, teachers, and coaches to determine if the student meets SPIRE’s admission requirements.
Acceptance Rate: 75%
This is the percentage of applicants typically accepted into the school. So if 50 students are admitted out of 100 applicants, the school has an overall acceptance rate of 50%.
Student Entry Points
This shows approximately how many openings there are likely to be in each grade in a typical year, as well as the estimated acceptance rate for each grade level.
Boarding Acceptance (Acceptance rate)
20 - 30 (75%)
15 - 20 (75%)
12 - 15 (75%)
10 - 12 (75%)
Type of student Spire Institute & Academy is looking for:
SPIRE accepts athletes of varying ability, but they all have one thing in common. They come to SPIRE because they have the heart and desire to become better student athletes. SPIRE student athletes come from various competitive backgrounds and all have different goals they want to achieve while here and beyond, whether it is to continue their sport after high school or beyond.
Where graduates of a school do their post-secondary studies can be an important factor in choosing a private school. Do you want your child to go to a Canadian university, an Ivy league school in the US, or some other institute? Regardless of your inclinations, take a look at a school’s university placement record, and the services they offer to support university applications and decisions.
Average graduating class size
Students accepted into post-secondary studies upon graduation
Percentage of students who attend post-secondary institutions outside of Canada
Students who attended a Ivy+ school
Number of students in the past 5 years that that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)
SPIRE Institute & Academy Graduates’ Post-Secondary Studies:
30% - Liberal Arts and Sciences 15% - Engineering and Applied Sciences 20% - Business/Commerce 0% - Fine and Performing Arts 20% - Applied Health Sciences 15% - Applied Professional Studies (Post-grad certificate / diploma) 0% - Other
Aggregate of All Schools’ Post-Secondary Studies:
24% - Liberal Arts and Sciences 25% - Engineering and Applied Sciences 24% - Business/Commerce 4% - Fine and Performing Arts 14% - Applied Health Sciences 2% - Applied Professional Studies (Post-grad certificate / diploma) 6% - Other
SPIRE Academics is built on the concept that we strive to prepare students for college and life. Looking to find ways to link core content to projects with real-world application helps bring relevance to the work students do within the classroom. Each class integrates disciplines and faculty strategically work to create opportunities for students to challenge themselves where they are in their academic growth and find purpose in their learning. We are excited to carry learning from the classroom to the field and back. We believe that learning does not happen in isolation and utilizing passion helps anchor learning. For example students may collect data on the basketball court and bring it back to the classroom to look at statistics, physics and geometry.
We are excited to bring new faculty to SPIRE this coming year to support the academic division. Teachers will be charged with working together and building an academic experience that challenges students, broadens their perspectives and links learning to life.
Additionally, the academic division is working closely with residential life to integrate the boarding curriculum with the academic day. Incorporating opportunities to explore the greater Cleveland area, expand service programming and bringing in career exploration students will have the chance to delve deeply into understanding how their passions can lead to future career opportunities. Athletics, academics and residential life will continue to work closely together to ensure there is a balance between training, learning and down time.
Get better perspective on SPIRE Institute & Academy
Join the Our Kids roundtable discussion about SPIRE Institute & Academy. Alumni and current parents are answering questions and sharing their insights—about the school’s culture, strengths, and weaknesses.