Bridge Program FAQ
The Bridge Program serves students in 6th - 12th grade who are diagnosed with language based learning disabilities, ADHD, and executive functioning weaknesses. The Bridge Program is for students who can be successful but have not achieved grade level success due to their diagnosed learning disability.
The Bridge Program’s mission is to provide a personalized educational experience that gives students the academic, social, and critical thinking skills they need to be independent, lifelong learners.
The Bridge Program is founded on the fundamental belief that all children can learn if they are taught in the ways that compliment their individual learning preferences and strengths while developing areas of specific need. We also believe that there is a direct link between learning disabilities and creativity. Our program is designed to harness students’ creative talents and to use these talents to create a truly strength-based learning experience. The Bridge Program also closely aligns with Wooster School’s Purpose, Promise, and Belief initiative.
At The Bridge Program, we believe that there is no “one size fits all” solution for remediating learning disabilities. Each student’s program starts with a review of their records and an evaluation of their specific skill set. Then a plan is developed in collaboration with families and other professionals. We use The Bridge Success Criteria to regularly monitor each student’s development. Each student’s program is consistent and highly individualized. This is more than differentiated instruction. Specific resources and strategies are developed for our students to succeed academically.
The Bridge Program recognizes learning disabilities as a spectrum of difficulties related to the understanding and use of spoken or written language, including listening, reasoning, speaking, reading, writing, and math calculations.
The following is a list of the types to learning concerns that our program supports:
- Reading Disorders: This is characterized by difficulty with decoding, spelling, reading fluency, and/or comprehension.
- Disorders of Written Language: This is characterized by difficulties with grammar and punctuation, difficulty organizing ideas, and excessively poor handwriting.
- Math Disorders: This is characterized by difficulty learning math concepts, difficulty memorizing math facts, difficulty organizing numbers, and difficulty applying math concepts to word problems.
- Expressive/Receptive Language Disorders: These are communication disorders in which there are difficulties with verbal and written expression. Expressive language disorders are often characterized by expressive spoken language that is markedly below appropriate level but with language comprehension that is within normal limits. Receptive language disorders are often characterized by difficulty in understanding spoken, and sometimes, written language.
- Executive Function Weaknesses: This is characterized by difficulty with planning, organizing, and managing time. Weaknesses in working memory are common. This difficulty with organization has a negative impact on a student’s academic skills and their ability to form age appropriate social relationships.
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: This is characterized by difficulty with inattentiveness, over-activity, and impulsivity that is out of the normal range for the student’s age and development. Students with ADHD, Inattentive Subtype are most successful in the Prospect Program at Wooster School. The Prospect Program can structure academic programs for students who are distractible and/or inattentive, but not for students who demonstrate significant difficulty with self-control.
Our program does not accommodate students with a diagnosis of Autism nor does it support students whose primary diagnosis is behavioral or emotional.
The answer is, no. We do not modify the curriculum. Students are taught the necessary skills and strategies that will allow them to successfully navigate their courses. We do collaborate with students, families, teachers, and other professionals to develop an accommodation plan called a Wooster Educational Plan that can be implemented in the classroom.
The Wooster Educational Plan is developed based on each student’s individual need. Types of accommodations include:
- Testing/Examination: These accommodations may include extended time, seperate testing location, small group testing, oral tests, use of a calculator, use of a word processor, etc.
- Classroom: These accommodations may include preferential seating, movement/mental breaks, visual or verbal cues, etc.
- Material: These accommodations may include use of digital texts/audio books, copies of class notes, use of advance graphic organizers, etc.
- Production: These accommodations may include use of a word processor, speech-to-text programs, scribe, etc.
The schedule for students in the Bridge Program is based on a gradual release model. Please refer to our Gradual Release Overview 2018-2019 and sample schedules for The Middle School and Upper School Bridge program:
The Bridge faculty work closely with Dr. Tyrone Black (Director of Student Advancement) and Adam Kendis (Co-Director of College Guidance) to assist students and their families to navigate the college application process. This process includes acquiring accommodations for college readiness testing (ACT, PSAT, SAT), writing essays for college applications, participating in mock interviews, etc. To learn more about College Guidance, please review Wooster School’s College Guidance Handbook.