Pedagogical Foundations

 

City of Bridges High School’s curriculum is built on a number of pedagogical foundations that provide focus, purpose and meaning to the learning that takes place in the school and in the community. These values should be considered in all of the decisions made regarding learning experiences, materials, resources or partners.

 

  1. Learning at City of Bridges High School shall be informed by the experience of application. Students should learn from practitioner-educators and be able to connect their learning to application.
  2. Learning at City of Bridges High School shall allow students to comprehend their own inherent human dignity, follow their passions, and assert learning and progress through unconditional confidence. We are supporting the growth of the next generation of wakeful adult-citizens, not perpetual school students.
  3. Learning at City of Bridges High School shall always be aware of the voices of non-majoritarian narratives and strive at all times to be inclusive, kind, aware, and attentive to its own context.
  4. Learning at City of Bridges High School shall keep at its heart the pursuit of justice and peace, the natural outcome of the practice of compassion.
  5. Learning at City of Bridges High School shall strive to maintain the curiosity, joy, and laughter that encourage new explorations, foster happiness, and transform our lived experience.

Sample Daily Schedule

The City of Bridges learning environment will be shaped over time by the interests and needs of the student community, the following provides an overview of the initial framework for learning.

9th 10th 11th 12th
8:00-8:20 Morning Circle/Meditation Morning Circle/Meditation Morning Circle/Meditation Morning Circle/Meditation
8:20-10:15 Main Lesson Block Main Lesson Block Main Lesson Block Main Lesson Block
10:15-11:05 Academic Path 1 Academic Path 1 Academic Path 1 Academic Path 1
11:05-11:55 Academic Path 2 Academic Path 2 Academic Path 2 Academic Path 2
12:00-12:25 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
12:25-1:00 Home Time Home Time Home Time Home Time
1:00-3:00 Experience and Exploration (E2) Block E2 Block Guided Project Collaborative Project Senior Project
3:00-3:15 Cleaning Cleaning Cleaning Cleaning
3:15-3:25 Closing Circle Closing Circle Closing Circle Closing Circle

Draft Schedules

Our pioneering students, families and faculty will help us to build our schedule and learning community. That being said, our draft schedules are built using our experience as educators and from the experience of our model schools.

Weekly Schedule

Block Schedule

Academic Path

8:00-8:20Morning Circle and Meditation: City of Bridges High School begins each day with an all community gathering. This time allows for a coming together and recognition of the school community. The Morning Circle will include meditation, and may also include acknowledgements of appreciation for community members, a song, and announcements.

8:20-10:15-Main Lesson Block: The main lesson block is at the heart of the foundational studies of City of Bridges High School. Main lesson last between three and five weeks and are focused on a specific topic, subject or skill. Educator-Administrators may teach Main Lesson blocks or Practitioner-Educators may teach them. The format of each Main Lesson block is dependent of the topic that is being studied. As an example if the topic of a Main Lesson is the plays of August Wilson, the class may read and enact scenes from a number of his plays or if the topic of the Main Lesson is Architecture the class may walk the neighborhood sketching and learning about the buildings of their city.

The Main Lesson block is designed to provide all students at City of Bridges High School with a solid foundation in both knowledge and process. Students in all four grades continue to have Main Lesson blocks throughout their time at the school. The topics covered in Main Lesson are designed to build understanding over time and provide students with increasing complexity. The Main Lessons are scaffold to both build upon each other and to provide interconnection between subjects, experiences and learning opportunities. Descriptions of all of the Main Lesson blocks can be found in the course catalogue.

10:15-11:05 and 11:05-11:55-Academic Path 1 and Academic Path 2: The Academic Paths consist of two 50 minute blocks of yearlong courses. These courses focus on academic areas that benefit from consistent progression over the course of an entire school year and throughout the high school experience. These courses focus on Mathematics, Science and Foreign Language. Educator-Administrators teach the Mathematics and Science courses, while a native speaking Practitioner-Educator teaches the Foreign Language Course. Academic Path Courses rotate in order to ensure equity of time and focus. Wednesdays consist of a double block so that every other week Math or Science have a hour and forty minutes for explorations of labs.

Student Meeting/Faculty Meeting-On Thursdays the two primary bodies of the school, the students and the faculty hold separate meetings. The students design, run and maintain records for their weekly whole student body meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to provide students with the time to address internal community issues, plan fundraising and support the student life of the school community. The all faculty meeting is required for all Educator-Administrators and open to all Practitioner-Educators. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the faculty with the time to attend to immediate issues of concern or interest.

12:00-12:25-Lunch-Lunch at City of Bridges High School is a time for students to socialize, refuel and prepare for the afternoon. The specifics of lunch will be determined as the school year approaches, as the physical location of the school will have an impact on the form and structures of lunch.

 

12:25-1:00-Home Time-Every student at City of Bridges High School is part of a Home. Each home consists of students from all grade levels and has an Educator-Administrator as its Home Parent. Students remain in their Home for their entire time at City of Bridges High School. Home serves as a place for individual and community support, service and activities. Each Home is also responsible for cleaning a section of the school during the cleaning time at the end of each day.

 

1:00-3:00-Experience and Exploration (E2) Block (9th and ½ of 10th grade open to 11th and 12th graders as necessary)-The Experience and Exploration Block is a time for 9th and 10th graders to continue to be exposed to the lived experiences of Practitioner-Educators. Each E2 block will offer a number of elective experiences that will provide students with the opportunity to explore skills, knowledge or experiences. The E2 blocks have a great focus on Techne or doing, so they may include such skills as metalworking, spoon carving, cooking or printmaking. Tenth grade students will spend the first half of the year in E2 blocks before beginning their team Guided Project. 11th and 12th graders may elect to take any E2 block as it applies to their Collaborative Project or their Senior Project.

 

1:00-3:00-Guided Project ( ½ of 10th grade)-The Guided Project is the 10th grade classes introduction to the real-world community project component of City of Bridges High School. The 10th grade class will be separated into a number of different teams and a faculty member will guide each team. The team will undertake a guided project designed to address a need/project/problem in the community. The faculty member will work with the team and the community partner to identify the activities that will be mutually beneficial to student learning and the community partner.

 

1:00-3:00 (11th grade)-Collaborative Community Project-The 11th grade year begins in earnest the application of content and skills, of knowing and doing that students have been working on at City of Bridges High School.  Inspired by the graduate program at Carnegie Mellon Universities Entertainment Technology Center, 11th grade students will be grouped into teams with different interests, talents and dispositions. Each team will then work with a community partner to identify a need within the community and spend the year studying, designing and implementing a project or program to meet that need in the larger community. The teams will have guidance from the Educator-Administrators and Practitioner-Educators as well as community experts and other relevant stakeholders. Team members may enroll in Experience and Exploration blocks if they feel that the knowledge or skills contained in the E2 blocks will be useful for their project. The projects will be completed during the course of the school year and each team will offer a final presentation in May of their junior year. Successful completion of the Collaborative Community Project is a graduation requirement of City of Bridges High School.

 

 

1:00-3:00 (12th Grade)-Senior Project- The 12th grade year is the culmination of the City of Bridges High School experience. The students have spent the past three years building their knowledge, their skills and their practical wisdom, honing their sense of curiosity, joy and justice. The senior project is an opportunity for each student to dig deeply into their passions, and an opportunity to explore their possible future as they enter adulthood.  Each senior begins the year in consultation with their Home Parent, a community advisor and their peer support team. They determine their area of exploration and develop a yearlong plan to both learn and create in the context of their topic. The topics that the students explore can be as varied as human interests and professions, from carpentry to theology to physics to fiction writing. Each senior will be supported throughout this project, but ultimately the senior project is the opportunity and the responsibility of the student. Senior may take any E2 class that they feel is useful in the process. Senior projects will be presented in June of the Senior year and their successful completion is a graduation requirement of City of Bridges High School.

3:00-3:15 Cleaning-The students and staff of City of Bridges High School are responsible for the care of the facilities of the school. Other than maintenance that requires professional skills, all cleaning will be conduced by the Homes of City of Bridges High School.

3:15-3:25 Closing Circle-Each day at City of Bridges High School ends with a closing circle. The entire school community comes together to celebrate the successes of the day, acknowledge the challenges and remind the community to take their values of kindness, curiosity, justice and joy out into the world beyond the school.