The Bridges Academy High School has developed a strength-based, college preparatory liberal arts experience that places 21st century critical themes and skills, learning to learn, personalized learning and student passions at the core of the design. We value self-directed learning and give students the opportunity to develop the mind set, hard and soft skills, tools and self-awareness to become the architects of their own lives. The 2016-2017 school year will see a roll out of new program elements designed to further these goals.
Updates to our website on these newer elements are forthcoming.
All courses and graduation requirements are designed to meet or exceed those needed for entrance into California universities and specialized public and private (music, technology, art, etc) colleges across the country.
Our program prepares students to face the unique challenges of the 21st Century. In order to be successful, students must develop skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and other vital areas. The role of technology as a platform for practicing and applying these skills is paramount, as using technology effectively and productively is a requisite skill in the modern workplace. The Personalized Learning program is purposefully designed to ensure that students develop 21st Century skills. through their engagement in the core, badge and symposia program experiences.
Liberal Arts Core
Applying the badge program (see next column) to the required core in grades 10-12 requires a rotating "Copernican" schedule focusing students on two core subjects per rotation in humanities, math, science, foreign language, and physical education. To earn core credit, students must demonstrate competencies of skills and standards in traditional high school content areas. Each core discipline has a developed 3-year scope and sequence designed to cover the required content and skills. Since core knowledge and skills are also developed and practiced in badge work, core teachers will take into consideration the application of their subject in badge work.
40% of weekly instruction grades 10-12
60% of weekly instruction grade 9
is dedicated to advisory, general academic support, individual tutorials, writing workshops and/or senior "Life after Bridges " seminar based on grade and/or need
20% of instruction grades 9-12
Twice-Exceptional (2e) Students
The twice-exceptional learner demonstrates incredible intellectual or creative giftedness that is coupled with learning differences, attentional struggles, and executive functioning challenges that hinder academic productivity. Their asynchronous development does not follow the same trajectory as their non twice-exceptional peers. It is crucial to acknowledge that difficulties in one or more areas do not in any way preclude the existence or the enormity of their gifts and talents in other areas.
Self-Directed Learning Badges
Badges require students to dive deeply into a chosen subject area, developing a substantial fund of knowledge, making connections and thinking critically as they work toward mastery of advanced content and 21st-Century skills. The scope of all badge work must involve explicit interdisciplinary awareness resulting in a thorough, expert level coverage of their topic and /or area of exploration. Students who demonstrate a disciplinary expertise through concentrated work in a field-related cluster of badges (and additional work required by the professional mentors) may earn a formal honors credit & certification as a "young expert" in the field.
20% of weekly instruction grades 10-12 only
is dedicated, co-curricular electives. Elective may enhance the core, align with badge work and/ or provide student with additional alternatives to explore new fields and develop new skills.
16% of instruction 9-12
Our program seeks to develop self-efficacy through engagement in personally relevant, meaningful work, explicitly linked to possible college and career paths. We promote a profound awareness of our "2e Icons", a group great thinkers like those pictured above. They are successful writers, musicians, scientists, artists, and leaders whose own combination of gifts and challenges render them twice-exceptional by today's criterion. At Bridges, we are completely devoted to the social, emotional, intellectual, academic, and creative growth of our "2E" students. After all, we could be teaching some of this generation's greatest minds.
As part of the educational ecosystem, seminars, documentaries, guest speakers, artists, musicians, and TedxKids presentations will take place regularly each week, both on and off the campus. Most events are interactive in hands-on and/or Q&A formats. They will cover critically relevant contemporary and longer-term 21st century themes, skill development and careers, and topics related to students' interest and research. The purposes of these symposia are to expose students to new interest areas, further knowledge of a particular domain, build inter-disciplinary awareness, model what scholars and career professional think about and do, and inspire intellectual curiosity.
4% of weekly instruction grades 9-12