Bridge Boston sustains academic rigor by increasing learning time and setting high expectations. We have an extended school day from 8:00a.m. through 5:00p.m., with many students arriving as early as 7:15a.m.; our year runs from August through June. Our students have more than three hours daily of math, reading, and writing. Our teachers meet weekly to discuss curriculum and lesson planning; regular professional development and planning meetings focus on student data and best practices. We also have rich thematic social studies and science curricula that are designed to incorporate hands-on projects and develop student inquiry. Below are some examples featured this year:
- Our third grade students wrote identity poems, expressing their values through the format of a poem
- In science the 2nd graders studied the whles and whaling. They researched and wrote reports, built whale fossils, and designed their own whaling ships. They also studied water preservation and built water filters.
- Our 1st grade students studied the rain forest and capped off their year with a play about the kapok tree. The play showcased their environmental awareness and invovled elaborate costumes, an illustrated-by-all backdrop, and memorized lines.
English Language Learning (ELL)
As we saw our ELL students grow in size to almost half the school, our instructional team recognized our program had to innovate and change to meet this growing population. For grade levels with higher proportion of ELL students, during the literacy block our licensed ELL teacher will teach the ELL students in a concurrent class where they can fully differentiate instruction with their needs in mind. This has been a critical complement to the push-in and pull-out strategy that embraces the school’s inclusion model and develops student skills. In addition, the ELL department will regularly collaborate with and provide professional development for all teachers so language proficiency development is built into the whole school day. Every grade level team meets several times a month to discuss individual student growth and action plans, including a regular Roster Review session and Child Study Team.