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Dear Community,

Welcome to Lake Erie Prep (LEP), a learning community that values high expectations for both academics and behavior. LEP Falcons are members of the community we serve in, teach in and meet with often. As racism and xenophobia become more prevalent and overt in our schools and communities, it is more important than ever to listen to and elevate the voices, experiences, and history of our fellow citizens and communities under attack.

LEP staff embraces students, families, and communities to build and develop well-rounded individuals who are independent critical thinkers and intrinsically motivated to be life-long learners. We believe that all children can learn as we seek to make a difference in the lives of our students. Lake Erie Prep is here to be a part of the conversation on how we can work to make this a better place for our scholars and their families.

To help guide the discussion with your scholars please visit this link: https://kids.kiddle.co/Black_Lives_Matter

The teachers and staff at LEP are committed to providing a quality education for all students in a safe, secure, and nurturing learning environment, and to ensuring that each child reaches his/her full potential.

Currently, LEP has a student population of approximately 250 students in grades K-8. In addition to core academic subjects, students have the benefit of weekly art, and physical education, classes. Special services available to students include special education, literacy support, and counseling. School hours are 7:30 am – 3:30 pm Monday through Friday.

We encourage all parents/guardians to maintain regular communications with their child’s teachers and be actively involved in the school community.  Checking the school calendar, website, and our Facebook page for events and activities will help keep you informed.

If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact the office by calling (216) 453-4556.  We are looking forward to meeting your child and helping foster a love of learning.


Denecia Dillard

Denecia Dillard, Executive Principal

D Dillard returned to Lake Erie Preparatory School as principal in 2017 with over 12 years of experience in a variety of roles in education. Prior to joining ACCEL Schools, Ms. Dillard worked for ICAN Schools. Ms. Dillard is a proud graduate of the Cleveland public school system and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio. In 2008 she was recognized as a “Rainmaker of Tomorrow” by Northern Ohio Live. Under her leadership, Lake Erie Prep has become one of the top-performing schools in Cleveland and decorated with multiple A-ratings from the Ohio Department of Education.

Heather Stevens, Superintendent

Heather Stevens joined ACCEL Schools in 2017 with over 17 years of experience as a K-12 educator, principal, and superintendent. As Regional Vice President at ACCEL Schools, she oversees leadership development, instructional programming, operations, and strategic planning for multiple schools in Northeast Ohio. Prior to ACCEL Schools, Ms. Stevens worked as a regional leader of public charter schools at ICAN Schools. Ms. Stevens holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field of Education. She earned her B.S.Ed. from Ohio University and her M.Ed. from Cleveland State University.

Community School

Lake Erie Preparatory School is a public, community school. We are our own school district sponsored by the Ohio Council of Community Schools which provides oversight and enforces academic, fiscal, and legal accountability. We are managed by ACCEL Schools, a high performing network of over 50 charter schools located throughout the United States.

Community Schools (Charter Schools) offer families an alternative to the local public school. Community schools are tuition-free, open to all students in the county, and focused on meeting student needs for success. Community schools are among the top-performing schools in the nation. Read more about charter schools.

Founded in 2014, ACCEL Schools is a K-12 public charter school management organization (CMO) serving students across the United States in brick-and-mortar, virtual, and hybrid school settings. We focus on improving academic outcomes of students regardless of geographic location or socioeconomic factors. The leadership team at ACCEL Schools has a combined 1000+ years of experience as global school management operators with expertise in curriculum research and design, assessment, student support services, and education consulting. Our entire team fundamentally believes that all children deserve a great education and students should be supported as they pursue a wide variety of post-secondary options. Our robust technology increases engagement, access to resources, efficiencies, and academic results helping our students become productive global citizens.