“I’m smart, and I’m strong, and I’m ready for whatever comes along.”
The scholars at Baton Rouge Bridge Academy start every morning the same way. They come in, eat breakfast, and begin their morning motivation. This is a time where students sing, dance and get excited for their new day of learning. The level of excitement and energy the 5-year-olds at Bridge Academy can generate at 8:00am is incomparable to any other group of kindergarteners. They are genuinely happy to be at a school where they are able to learn, lead and grow.
Bridge Academy opened its doors in August 2015 with the goal of fully equipping every scholar with the academic and character foundation necessary to succeed in college and life. On Feb. 19, Bridge Academy hosted an open house for potential parents and teachers to able to experience Bridge’s learning environment first-hand.
One of the greatest motivators at Bridge Academy is success. Each Friday after morning motivation, the students and staff come together for a community circle. This is a time where teachers share stories of scholars that exemplified Bridge Academy values that week. The scholars are rewarded with a certificate and praise from peers. The environment at Bridge Academy is uniquely formed to allow scholars to succeed and grow together. The school is able to cultivate this type of environment through its teachers.
Teaching is a priority at Bridge Academy with the collective belief that the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers. The school’s mission statement states,
“Nothing will stop us in our collective endeavor to help our children – not poverty, not racism, not low incomes, not histories of abuse, not the state bureaucracy, not a low budget. We will make no excuses. We have the power to make a difference. We touch lives daily. We are teachers.”
Each teacher has five hours of professional development per week while receiving additional individualized coaching on a daily or weekly basis. The co-teacher method allows for a smaller teacher to student ratio and mentorship opportunities for new teachers. The teacher to student ratio is 1:10 allowing more one-on-one time to meet individual student needs.
Monica Andrews’ son is a scholar at Bridge Academy. She has been extremely impressed with the progress her son has made over the past semester saying, “Jamarkis’ writing and reading has gone from zero to one-hundred.” The parents at Bridge Academy are more than just parents. They are advocates. Bridge Academy places a strong emphasis on positive family partnerships in order to bridge the gap between school and home. The teachers set clear standards and expectations for scholars and their parents. “They have no secrets and always keep lines of communication open. You don’t have to guess what is next,” said Andrews.
Baton Rouge Bridge Academy currently serves 76 kindergarteners with plans to add one grade each year until it serves grades K-8. For more information visit www.bridgeacademybr.org