F.A.Q.

The answers to most questions can be found in detail on our Philosophy page (click here).  Below you will find abbreviated answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Bridge School.

Why should I send my child to Bridge School?

You should send your child to Bridge School if…

  • …you want your child to thrive in elementary school, not just get by.
  • …you are looking for a school environment where your child can be authentically themselves, and supported in a community for their individuality.
  • …you are seeking a strong academic program where children are guided to pursuing excellence.
  • …you value a holistic learning environment, where emotional intelligence and social skills are actively taught and practiced.
  • …you believe that children of all ages do best when they have free time to play.
  • …you want your child to connect authentically with his or her teachers, and for the teachers to know your child on a personal level.
  • …you want your child to at a school that actively changes and evolves based on current child-development research.

Why are there mixed-age classes?

Bridge School utilizes mixed-age, flexible groupings for two reasons.

  1. Our flexible groupings allow us is to create classes based on readiness and ability, rather than solely on a child’s chronological age. Is your kid ahead in math? No problem! We will teach him or her at exactly the right level for them. Do they need a little extra time and support with reading? We can do that! Our students are used to these diverse classes, so there is no social pressure of feeling like someone has been “left back”. Our students recognized each other as individual learners 
  2. Research shows us that mixed age is both essential and advantageous for emotional and social development. Traditional schools with narrow age ranges are outdated, are not based in child development reasearch, and based on an industrial model of education. In the 21st century, we recognize  that we can do better than this outdated model.

“…age-mixed play offers opportunities for learning and development not present in play among those close in age, permitting younger children to learn more from older playmates than they could from playing with only their peers. In age-mixed play, the more sophisticated behavior of older children offers role models for younger children, who also typically receive more emotional support from older kids than from those near their own age. Age-mixed play also permits older children to learn by teaching and to practice nurturance and leadership; and they are often inspired by the imagination and creativity of their younger playmates.”  (Peter Gray, “The Special Value of Children’s Age-Mixed Play

I went to a traditional public school, and I turned out fine. Why shouldn’t my kid just go to public school?

We want your kid’s childhood to be better than “fine”–we want your child to thrive. We know that we have the teachers, the philosophy, and the environment for your child to be joyful and learn at their highest level. We can help your child be the best version of themselves, and set them up for long-term success academically, emotionally, and socially.

Just like we don’t still use the same carseat technology as we did twenty years ago, Bridge School doesn’t believe in using outdated teaching models. We know we can do better, and we want the best for your children!

What happens after Bridge School? Will my child transition to regular middle school?

Feedback from nearly 40 years of Bridge alumni and their parents is incredibly positive. Nearly all Bridge alumni are college graduates, many are still living and working in and engaged with our community.

The majority of our students transition into the public middle schools in Addison County. Our students assimilate smoothly into public middle schools for several reasons: 1) they know understand themselves so deeply as learners 2) they have the communication skills to advocate for themselves and 3) our rigorous curriculum prepares them academically for Vermont’s middle school curriculum.

My child is doing well in public school. Why should I consider a change?

Even if your child is doing well in their school setting, we encourage you to consider Bridge School! Our approach combines knowledge of current brain research with innovative pedagogy and a deep understanding of child development. We can help guide your child to the next level of their development!