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.

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.

8:00-9:30Optional Project Time/Work Time City of Bridges knows that the research on school start times is very clear for teenagers. Therefore we will open our doors at 8:00 for students to work with educators, work on their projects, engage in on-demand seminars or just to spend some time supporting the community, but the day officially starts at……

9:30-9:50Morning 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.

9:50-11:15-AM 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.

11:15-12:15 and 1:00-2:00 -Math, Movement, Foreign Language (MMFL) MMFL consist of two 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, Movement and Foreign Language. MMFL courses will rotate in order to ensure equity of time and focus.

12:15-1:00-Lunch-Lunch at City of Bridges High School is a time for students to socialize, refuel and prepare for the afternoon. Students may bring their own lunch or with permission from their parent/guardian they may leave campus to purchase lunch at one of the local establishments on the South Side.

2:00-2:50 PM Block Part 1: PM blocks will offer a number of elective experiences that will provide students with the opportunity to explore skills, knowledge or experiences. The blocks have a great focus on Techne or doing, so they may include such skills as metalworking, spoon carving, cooking or printmaking. Year 2 and 3 students will be able to uses these blocks to shape their projects around their post-secondary goals.

2:50-3:00-Break Everyone needs to take a break in the afternoon.

3:00-4:00 PM Block Part 2– PM Block Part 2 will either be a continuation of Part 1 or a separate block, depending on the topic. It is also an opportunity for students work on collaborative or individual projects.

2:00-4:00 (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 faculty advisor, 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 block classes 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.

4:00-4:30 End of Day Reflection and Cleaning- We will end each day with a reflection on the day and then 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 of City of Bridges High School community.


Friday at City of Bridges is different. We will begin with our optional work time and Morning Circle and Mindfulness and then:

9:50-11:15- Special Block-The special block is a time to dig deeply into our our learning, goals and path that we are building for our life. This block will allow members of the community to reflect on their own independence, resilience and engage with some practical skills which will help them prepare for life after high school

11″15-12:15 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.

12:15-1:00 Lunch-Lunch at City of Bridges High School is a time for students to socialize, refuel and prepare for the afternoon. Students may bring their own lunch or with permission from their parent/guardian they may leave campus to purchase lunch at one of the local establishments on the South Side.

1:00-4:00 Internship/Apprenticeship/Project Time/Independent Study/Advising – City of Bridges is designed to support young people in finding and experiencing their possible futures. Friday afternoons are a time for students to dig deeply into those futures. Each student will work with their advisor to set goals, actions and opportunities for them to explore. These experiences may last a few weeks or for the entire year. As students progress into Years 3 and 4 this time becomes central to their development of a plan for their future beyond City of Bridges.