Summer Bridge 2012 at School Without Walls

Posted on: August 24th, 2012 by Admin

For those who are unfamiliar with the Summer Bridge Program at School Without Walls, it is important to know that Bridge is designed to make the transition of newly enrolled students into Walls as easy as possible. For more than eight years, the program has served as an introductory session for new students, so that for a few weeks in the summer they may learn the school’s expectations, develop relationships with their peers and teachers, and become accustomed to the environment. Under Principal Richard Trogisch, the program is especially structured to target ninth grade students, as well as new students transferring into the upper grades.

Summer Bridge 2012 consisted of two 2-week sessions, of which half focused on academic activities and half on counseling. Tenth, eleventh and twelfth-graders new to School Without Walls were asked to attend both sessions to ensure that they would be fully prepared for the Humanities curriculum, while ninth-graders were allowed to choose either session. Session 1 lasted from June 25–29, allowed students a break from July 2–6, and resumed July 9–13. Session 2 began on July 16th and continued until July 27th; and during this time, the counselors—Ms. Makar, Ms. Kapadia, and Ms. Iro—presented to and advised students to ready them for the Walls experience.

After Mr. Trogisch greeted new students and talked about basic school rules and expectations, students moved to their Advisories—similar to homeroom—and had their schedules for the upcoming year explained to them. Activities during Summer Bridge, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with an off-campus break for lunch, included math and computer skills classes; work on science, Humanities and World Languages; and a scavenger hunt around the GW campus. Students also were asked to introduce themselves by completing “About Me” posters, so that other students and faculty would get a good idea of who they are.

Nora Douglas, who will be a ninth grader this year, liked Bridge. “My favorite part was the field trip to the American Indian Museum and Air and Space Museum,” she said. “They gave us freedom to wander around…It really shows we’re an independent school.”

Being independent is definitely one of the most exciting things about School Without Walls, and based on the outcome of this Summer Bridge program, everyone is prepared for it.