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The Voices of Our Parents:
“What I appreciate most about BRIDGES Charter School … I appreciate the joy that I see on my daughter’s face when I drop her off at school in the morning. I love to watch her at school when she doesn’t know that I am there. She is so excited about learning, engaged in her class. My daughter loves her class, she adores her teacher, she loves to read, write stories, to create! She has been inspired to be a self-motivated learner.” – Stacie D. (mother of Julia in 2nd grade)
“My children are growing in every area. They are learning and most importantly are loving it. The educational experience is all rounded: hands-on science, fun math, publishing books, and learning skills on the playground. Wow! I love BRIDGES … the bonding our families feel, the love and security our children get. It cannot get better!!” – Ruchika K. (mother of Uday in 4th grade and Aadi in 1st grade)
“I appreciate BRIDGES for the family atmosphere. It is exciting to see so many people coming together for our children. Sage is super happy with her teacher and friends and feels safe and cared for. I love so many people here and we love all the staff. Sage is confident here and trusts everyone! She is engaged and challenged in the classroom and has become an independent learner." – Rochelle M. (mother of Sage in 3rd grade)
“I am very appreciative of the “whole child” kindergarten experience BRIDGES Charter School has provided my child. The breadth of hands-on, fun, educational experiences is impressive – from Art & Music to Science projects and field trips. I enjoy working in my child’s classroom weekly and participating in their “centers”. Watching my child’s reading and writing skills emerge has been magical. I am also appreciative of the school’s focus on healthy food and habits.” – Marisa S. (mother of Leo in kindergarten)
“I chose to enroll my child in the BRIDGES community because I had a very shy, quiet child who was not going to thrive (quickly) without a lot of parent support. Today she is very confident and even somewhat outgoing. Without the love and confidence of our school community, I’m not sure we would be where we are today.” – Renee L. (mother of Paige in 1st grade)
“My daughter spent 5 years at a great local public school but, every year, there was a feeling communicated that she just didn’t fit within their educational box and a hope that we would change her in some way to make her a better fit. We were so happy to find BRIDGES and to see her, this year, find her place – as she is – in an environment where she is accepted for who she is.” – Noreen S. (mother of Layne in 5th grade, Sadie in 1st grade, and Coltrane in kindergarten)
"BRIDGES Charter School has given my children the ability to learn in a multitude of ways, whether it be through creative writing and drawing, geology hikes, sewing a family quilt, choosing healthy snacks to bring to school, or cooking to study fractions. Through reading buddies my children get to have relationships with other students in different grades, and fieldtrips are numerous. Both of my children get to enjoy their afternoons, free of loads of homework, so that they may build relationships with their neighborhood friends, ride their bikes, and practice their musical instruments.
But most importantly, BRIDGES has been teaching my children to make choices about how they want to be treated and how to treat others, how to set a goal and reach for it, and that the step backwards is just as important as the 2 steps forward. My children are learning who they are, and who they want to be. They will always try, because they will not fear failure. To me, this is the type of learning a child cannot receive in a textbook or by sitting upright at a desk listening quietly to a teacher. But this beautiful way of learning is happening everyday at BRIDGES Charter School." - Cindy M. (mother of Ever in 5th grade and Levi in 2nd grade)
“I chose BRIDGES last year after having my son attend a traditional Kinder class. The difference between the type of education my son received at the traditional school to BRIDGES is evident now in his overall confidence, his positive peer relationships, his willingness to assert himself with his peers, and his love of school and learning. I don’t hear any more complaints of not wanting to go to school. He comes home excited about what he has learned. BRIDGES did that!” – Sabrina M. (mother of Wyland in 1st grade)
“Originally we enrolled Savannah at BRIDGES because we appreciated the philosophy of conflict resolution and focus on positive environmentalism. As we have now been through a year at BRIDGES, and have also enrolled our son, what we most appreciate about BRIDGES is the feeling of community. We enjoy being surrounded by other parents who are committed to being active in their children’s education. We have also been very impressed with the teachers and the investment they make in our children’s educations, both emotionally and scholastically. BRIDGES Charter School was (and continues to be) the perfect choice for our family.” – Tara and Nathan S. (parents of Savannah in 1st grade, and William in kindergarten)
“Our family has been with BRIDGES for 2 years. I have seen both of my kids excel in their confidence, creativity and academic success through their experiences at BRIDGES. The boys are able to stand up in front of their peers and speak confidently. They receive detailed report cards written by teachers who are invested both in their academic success as well as their growth emotionally, creatively, and as healthy, well rounded individuals. I have only positive praise for what the children are experiencing at BRIDGES!!" – Kerry D. (mother of Jack in 3rd grade and Noah in 1st grade)
“My daughter was having a hard time in third grade. I was very nervous changing her to a new school, but coming to BRIDGES was the best thing I’ve done for her. She is happy, she loves her teachers, and she is always bragging about all the fun things they do at school.” – Maria H. (mother of Baylee in 5th grade)
“BRIDGES Charter School has contributed to my children’s success by allowing them the freedom to be who they are and discover their talents. I appreciate the teacher’s abilities to draw out the talents of their students by paying attention to where they excel and helping to cultivate that area. It is a unique education because they are always teaching in a hands-on way. It is a special school because in addition to learning reading, writing and math they are also learning to be good to each other through circles, reflections and intentions. I chose BRIDGES for my children because of the whole child learning and the healthy food policy.” – Tracy C. (mother of Chad in 6th grade, and Dean, Paige and Shea in 2nd grade)
“My son attended a preschool that focused on conflict resolution skills and a love of learning. BRIDGES has been the perfect continuation of his education in those values and more. He is reading, writing and so much more, but best of all he is doing it in an environment where he feels loved and secure, and where his individual personality is respected and nurtured.” – Dana J. (mother of Jesse in 1st grade)
“Our family is so thankful to have this school – we are fortunate to have such a quality education offered so close. Both our children are strong academically, so in the traditional system they became easy targets for “pushing”. We saw our daughter lose the love of learning and realized her “value” was being reduced and her ability to think for herself definitely diminished. Here at BRIDGES her light is back. She enjoys learning and has found her inner-strength to question, pursue, and create. We are so happy to see her leadership grow and her vested interest in school be restored. We love the way school is done at BRIDGES Charter School!” – Stephanie H. (mother of Ava in 4th grade and Liam in 1st grade)
“I have four children: ages 15, 13, 12…and an 8 year old at BRIDGES Charter School. My older three are in traditional public school. What makes BRIDGES different?
First, we actively promote a healthy food environment. Eliminating chips, sugars, and processed foods at school…translates into a healthy child. You will soon find that your child will follow the example at home as well. Then you have made a lifestyle change for your entire family!
Second, my child is connected to the entire school. Activities that cross grade levels and encourage friendships and mentoring among different grades and ages of children. Such as: Friendship Fridays, Reading Buddies, Make a Gift, Authors Celebrations, and Circle and Council time! BRIDGES treats children like they are family. All age groups have something important to offer to each other…just like a family at home!
Third, my child’s learning is personalized and supported by her teacher(s). Her teacher(s) monitor her progress, provide feedback, and are continually adjusting learning activities to maximize her progress. She is not just a “body” in the classroom being taught the same curriculum…
Fourth, my child is not just learning the “standards” – so she can do well on a test. She is developing critical thinking and reasoning skills. She is learning to problem solve. I am not doing her homework or projects – she is! She takes pride and ownership in her work. Does she still make mistakes, of course, but now she has the foundation to rethink and try again.
Finally, she looks forward to going to school; she is empowered academically and socially at BRIDGES.” – Theresa H. (mother of Emily in 2nd grade)
“If it were not for BRIDGES, I would be lost. It’s Cindy seeing the brightness in my son so he can believe the sky is the limit. It’s Norma telling me it’s going to be alright with Josh’s disabilities. And of course it’s Hilda with her hugs. We have a wonderful school – tell the world.” – Lindy S. (mother of Cory in 7th grade and Josh in 4th grade)
“We are a fan of BRIDGES. The school gave my son an opportunity to become aware of so many important things, such as being respectful of personal space, listen to a person speaking, and take responsibility for your actions. The fact that the whole child experience comes first is putting BRIDGES as our #1 school option.” – Alex L. (father of Lucas in 2nd grade)
"What is most special about BRIDGES Charter School? The students! As a kindergarten parent I am in constant awe of the older children's manners, kindness, and investment in whatever activity is going on. Most recently, it was the African American History event in the MPR. This amazing event highlighted accomplishments and traditions of the African Americans. My family was there to "help out" but we were the lucky ones. Students participating in the African fashion show engaged my three young children and explained and involved them in their show. Looking out at the audience, I saw interested and engaged children learning and showing respect to their peers." - Catherine H. (mother of Kate in kindergarten)
“Here are some positive experiences my 7th grade son has enjoyed in the last 2 years at BRIDGES. I am comparing his middle school years to my daughter’s while she was at our public middle school. Because parental involvement in the classroom is a key element at BCS, I have been able to share my expertise in science with his classmates. Something, you cannot get from any textbook. Working collaboratively with teachers, students and other parents is not an option in traditional school. Because Sean is in a smaller class setting, with only 2 teachers for 4 core subjects, he has built a strong relationship with his teachers. Ms. Cindy has Sean in Algebra, a year ahead of schedule. At a traditional school, a student would need to petition the department head and then make changes in the master schedule to allow him or her to move ahead. At our public middle school, honors math was a weeding out class, that would eliminate students who were not gifted in math. What a way to kill a child’s love of a subject, gifted or not. Sean’s homework load is very reasonable, not mandated by a district rule of 10 minutes per grade level plus 30 minutes of reading per night. He often finishes his work at school which allows him to pursue other interests. Electives at BCS are real electives, the students actually get a choice and sometimes can request a subject for a possible future class. At other district schools, electives are not chosen by the student. Thanks to the BCS music program, Sean has discovered his love of music. He learned to play saxophone in Beginning Band with Ms. Calille and moved to Advanced Band in just a few months. He would not have had that opportunity anywhere else. Ms. Bridgett asked Sean to be a part of Advanced Chorus. Under her direction, the Advanced Chorus won a scholarship from Village Voices and an invitation to perform at one of their concerts at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. The Village Voices Singers were very impressed with the BCS chorus, though small in number, they sang beautifully.
Every family has a set of values and ideas of what BRIDGES means to them. Bringing together a cohesive culture takes time, considering in our inaugural year there were families from every CVUSD school, some from SVUSD and many previously home schooled. Our school has the families and staff that are willing to work to achieve that goal of Whole Child education for their children.” – Kathy J. (mother of Sean in 7th grade)
“When we came to BRIDGES last year, we came with a 1st grade daughter who was insecure in her learning and who was made fun of as being “the worst reader in the class” according to her Kindergarten teacher at our neighborhood school in Thousand Oaks. She was fragile and needed a teacher who would love her for who she was and what she did know. Her teacher at BRIDGES was/is warm, compassionate, positive, and has turned our daughter into a fantastic above grade level reader. My daughter spends her free time reading and writing because of the nurturing environment she receives at BRIDGES.
Our son, who is in the 5th grade, has had the same great experience in a different way. He is by far our most difficult child out of three. He came to BRIDGES as a straight “A” student and still is. He doesn’t have to work hard for his grades and book smarts come very easy to him. What he needed was to learn to have compassion for others and empathy for those around him. We have tried to teach him this in our home but were never able to get through to him. Our son’s teachers have been able to communicate with him on a different level. They have “circle” and “council” on a regular basis in their classrooms and have taught our son the importance of communication and conflict resolution. His last report card a few weeks ago even said, “he offers many insights and empathizes with students during circle.” This brought tears to our eyes to see that he has come so far in such a short time with teachers that are such positive role models.
Our children have the opportunity to experience art, music, and PE on a regular basis. These programs are priceless in the ways that they have helped shape our children.” – Tori and Juan C. (parents of Andrew in 5th grade and Beca in 1st grade)
The Voices of Our Students:
“I appreciate all the fun activities BRIDGES has to offer. The best of all days are Fridays, except that you have to leave school at the end of the day.” – Layne S. in 5th grade
“What I think is special about BRIDGES is that it is a smaller school so you can have more one-on-one time with your teachers. I also like that you know everyone, making it a friendlier environment.” – Chandler W. in 6th grade
“Miss Debi helps me do things that are hard but she makes it seem easy. BRIDGES is everything I like.” – Emily H. in 2nd grade
“I appreciate my teachers, they help me learn. I would choose BRIDGES as my school if I could go to any school because they have really good teachers. I have learned to join in and participate with my friends in class and in other classes too.” – Paige L. in 1st grade
"There are many things about BRIDGES Charter School that I like very much. These are some of my favorite things about BRDIGES.
Mr. Joey is great at teaching science and math. We get to do a lot of hands-on projects, such as looking at cells through a microscope. Mr. Joey takes us on many fieldtrips, including an overnight fieldtrip in Santa Barbara to study geology and nature. Ms. Karissa is very good at teaching writer's workshop and literature circles. Last year we got to make our own books! Because of Karissa, writing is now fun.
At BRIDGES, it is very easy to make friends. They are nice, caring, and help you with homework and situations. Teachers and friends help resolve concerns with other friends and encourage us to show appreciations towards each other.
P.E. is always enjoyable with Coach Luis because we play a wide variety of sports, and art with Miss Christy is awesome. Music with Bridgette is fun because we play music games. And at BRIDGES, there isn't a lot of homework, so after school I get to play outside, jump on my trampoline, ride my bike, and do origami.
Since I started going to BRIDGES Charter School, I never feel sad about going to school." - Ever M. in 5th grade
“I appreciate that we have math because of the adding, and that it is fun. “ – Noah D. in 1st grade
“What I appreciate most about BRIDGES Charter School is that they give me a great learning experience and I learn a lot of different things. I love that BRIDGES goes up to 8th grade. That is what I appreciate about BRIDGES Charter School!” – Tallula A. in 4th grade
“What I like about BRIDGES is the healthy school policy and the great teachers.” – Keitha Y. in 4th grade
“BRIDGES is fun. I have lots of friends here and my teachers are awesome. I like to learn math and feel special that I get to go to BRIDGES.” – Liam H. in 1st grade
“What I like about BRIDGES is that it is the only school that has a gaga pit that I know of.” – John Y. in 5th grade
“I like BRIDGES because the teachers are really nice. I like how the school has to eat healthy. I love the subjects in class. I also like how we have a fair, it’s my favorite time at BRIDGES.” – Sage M. in 3rd grade
“My teacher helps me when I need help. I love her.” – Beca C. in 2nd grade