The Bridge 1.5

The Bridge 1.5

October 22, 2017


This week, The Bridge will be a bit truncated, because we just returned from an island visit. We spent a few days at one of our favorite places, Kelley’s Island, which we have been visiting for nearly 18 years. It is situated north of Marblehead, Ohio in Lake Erie.   Kelley’s Island has a number of special features that keep us coming back and also provide some interesting connections to City of Bridges High School.

  1. Experiencing Deep History: Kelley’s Island gives us visual examples of the history of our planet. The island’s bedrock is Devonian Columbus Limestone. Fossilized shells are embedded in nearly every stone, both large and small. The island also has one of the best examples of Glacial Striations, grooves carved into the island by the mile of ice that once covered the land. There are a couple of pictures here, but they are best seen in person. The geology of the island demonstrates the importance of lived experience. You can read this post about the groves and fossils, but standing in front of them and finding the fossils on the beach brings the depth of our history to the forefront. Lived Experience is an essential component of City of Bridges. When students can see, touch and engage in learning, the potency and applicability of learning becomes tangible.
  2. New Growth: Along the northern shore of the island, a rare ecosystem, the Alvar, is found. This area of flat limestone shelves is constantly weathered by wind and waves and scraped bare by built up ice on the lake each winter.  The species that survive and thrive in the area must adapt to these unique (and harsh) environmental circumstances.  We saw liverworts and Pringle’s aster growing in this fascinating community.  City of Bridges is emerging from its own unique place, ready to adapt and adjust to what the environment will present to it.

City of Bridges is a high school, but it is also a way to position learning at the center of experience and community. There are challenges to building a small school that is focused on being rigorous, both academically, but more importantly, rigorous in preparation for life. We are steadily gathering people on this island (connected by many bridges) and we hope that you will join us…..if you want to visit a physical island, consider Kelley’s Island,

Thank you and Be Well,

Randy and Paige

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