Spotlight on Traditions: Winter Week

Winter Week is: a week of unabashed fun; a phenomenal example of the talent in our community; an example of Bridge School’s focus on non-traditional learning…want to know more?

Students inside the “Quinzee” snow shelter they built.

Each year, we throw out our normal academic schedule for the week before February vacation and fill our days with electives. Taught both by Bridge School teachers, and guest teachers, there is never a dull moment during Winter Week. Instead of regular Language Arts, Math and Explorations classes, students get to choose three electives from a list of up to 12 different classes!

This year for Winter Week, students chose from:

  • Theater Games
  • Soup Cooking
  • Abstract Expressionism
  • Dutch
  • Duck Drawing (for the Junior Audubon Stamp Contest)
  • Hand Bells
  • Sewing
  • Bridge School Newspaper
  • Winter Survival
  • Health and Mindfulness

To add to the already goofy and spunky days, each day during Winter Week has a different Spirit Week theme: from pajama day, to beach day, to fancy clothing day!

Winter Week culminates with a community service fieldtrip. We spend each morning during Winter Week practicing a lineup of songs, and take our performance on the road to sing for Project Independence, an elder services day program just down the street from school.

At its core, Winter Week is about community. We tap into our network of parent and volunteer teachers to share their talents; we come together to learn new things, and we spread the fun to the community outside of school. We are already looking forward to next year!

Spotlight on Traditions: Skiing at Rikert!

Each year, the Fall term ends with a flurry of energy poured into The Big Show. Both students and teachers give all their energy into each year’s masterpiece. Thus, arriving back from winter break can feel a little melancholy. The oldest students begin working on the script in early September, and we can all feel a little lost without the focus of the show.

Thankfully, the winter months at Bridge School are full of outdoor activity and traditions to fight the January blues. One of these traditions is weekly field trips to Rikert Nordic Center to go skiing and snowshoeing! All students and teachers suit up in warm gear and make the most of Vermont’s winters. We are lucky to not only have the privilege of skiing, but also the guidance of Rikert’s expert ski instructors. Many students go Nordic skiing for the very first time on these field trips!

These field trips are both pure fun, as well as a rich opportunity for learning outside of the classroom. Students practice working through feelings of frustration and excitement as they try something new—skills that are essential and transferable to the feelings of learning a new concept in math class, or practicing new vocabulary words in Spanish class. Furthermore, we come together as a community and practice kindness as we encourage each other, cheer on each other’s successes, and provide a helping hand when someone inevitably loses their balance. By the time skiing is over, and before we can get too blue, we’re already looking forward to Winter Week, another Bridge School tradition!