The Bridge 3.6
Welcome to the first issue of the Bridge for this new decade. During our fall semester, we experienced young people building a community, learning with educators and professionals, experiencing possible futures through internships, exploring big questions and having a lot of fun in the process.
Second Expedition Week
City of Bridges students continue to explore real issues in real communities. Our second expedition week was before our winter break, we explored representation and access in our region’s cultural institutions. We visited museums and cultural sites around Pittsburgh and in Cleveland, Ohio. The final expedition week of the school year will be in May and we will see what explorations the students plan, stay tuned.
Personal Learning Plans
The second semester brings some changes to the City of Bridges curriculum. The students will begin to work on their Personal Learning Plans (PLP). The PLP process is designed to support each student in identifying the futures that they hope to achieve and identifying their existing assets and areas for growth on the paths to those futures. Students will identify academic and experiential learning opportunities that will help to shape their high school experience. They all have dreams for the future and this step is to design plans to make those dreams a reality.
Below is the message that we are sharing as we launch our campaign, please feel free to share it with your friends, colleagues and neighbors.
We have some progressive opinions about the way schools should be run. To give us the freedom to live out these progressive ideals, it’s necessary for us to be an independent school. So with a new way of running school comes a new way of funding school!
We’re an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. State and federal funding supports public schools, but comes with many strings attached. Private schools are supported largely through tuition, but a fixed tuition rate is a barrier to access that goes against our principle of Universal Hospitality.
Fortunately, City of Bridges doesn’t mind a challenge. We just have to find new ways to support schools, and Patreon is one of those ways!
We are building a community of learning, and we want you to be a part of it. With your support, we can continue to offer a cutting edge, personalized education to each of our students, but the best part is that once you are a part of our community, you are also one of our students! Our Patreon is going to be filled with content created by students and educators, and as a member of our community, you will be able to take part in all of it.
Not only will our students be producing demonstrations of learning (poems, stories, podcasts, videos, art, and anything else we can think of), but our practitioner educators will be sharing video lectures, masterclasses, workshops, even private tutoring and homework help. Plus, we’re all about giving our students agency (that includes you!); do you want to see something on our Patreon? Let us know and we’ll work on it!
Support progressive schools. Help us give students the education they deserve. Join our community. Learn something new and share it with the rest of us.
You belong at City of Bridges.
The Patreon already has some great content, like an audio recording of this short fiction piece being read by its author (one of our students):
You are not who you say you are.
This should be obvious.
You use a different name everywhere you go, and you never stay in one place for long. You slip from city to city, country to country, and if someone were to ask about you, they would be met with blank stares and shrugs. People don’t remember you for long. Their minds and attention slide away from you, avoid you, and that’s how you like it.
Because if someone were to remember you, if They found out that you had escaped, They would come after you.
How long has it been since you were last at peace? You don’t know.
But it doesn’t matter, not really. You just have to keep running, keep hiding. You don’t even know why you bother. Wouldn’t it just be easier to let yourself be found, be caught, be destroyed?
But you are the Last. You run out of some misguided sense of duty, you think. If They catch you, humanity’s last shred of hope would be gone. Humanity. It rushes by you, a river of faces and wails and grasping hands. A river of tiny, fleeting lives. You try to stay away from the river, because you know that if you get too close, one of those hands will catch you, and that only leads to grief and loss.
Human lives are like sparks against the bonfire of your existence. They move so fast, die so fast.
And the centuries pass by.
It will happen, someday, you know. As humanity weakens, so do you. As the sparks die out, your bonfire shrinks. Someday, someday soon, They will catch you, and it’ll all go up in flames.
But humanity will struggle on for a few more centuries, and you’ll be there, overseeing them without getting too close, just as you always have.
Because They haven’t caught you yet.
Today is not the day you die.
And maybe that counts as peace, after all.
Thank you for reading this issue of The Bridge, I am excited to share our work and some of our exciting plans for the future.