The First Step
We believe that education is an integral part of a student’s recovery and overall well-being. Our academic program is designed to provide a supportive and structured environment for students to continue their education and make academic progress while in residential treatment.
Our experienced and dedicated staff works closely with each student to identify their individual academic needs and create a personalized education plan. Our goal is to help students develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed academically, with the plan to enroll them in a public high school while at Building Bridges. This real-world experience is crucial to a student’s overall success after successfully completing our program.
Academic Curriculum: Our academic program is designed to meet the needs of high school students who may have fallen behind in their coursework due to mental health challenges or other obstacles. Our curriculum includes core subjects such as English, mathematics, science, and social studies, as well as electives such as art, music, and physical education.
Individualized Instruction: Each student in our academic program receives one-on-one instruction from a dedicated teacher. This individualized approach ensures that students receive the support and guidance they need to succeed academically and make meaningful progress.
Supportive Environment: We understand the importance of creating a supportive and nurturing environment for students to learn and grow. Our teachers and staff are dedicated to helping students build self-esteem, confidence, and a positive attitude towards learning.
Blended Enrollment: Some of our students may be selected for a blended enrollment process, where they will experience a curriculum delivered by the public school, but remaining in the Building Bridges Academy classroom. Often, this will help ease the transition to the public school.
Transition to College or Career: Upon completion of the academic program, students will have the skills and confidence they need to transition to college or career. Our staff provides guidance and support to help students make this transition and ensure their continued success.
The Next Step
We recognize the importance of having a student using the tools we give them and experiencing the challenges of the real world while in a structured and protected setting. The ultimate step toward that goal is attending a public school and being able to find success – academically, behaviorally, and socially – in that environment.
Students who are ready for this next step in their program will be enrolled in the local public school to continue their academic and therapeutic growth. Our experienced and dedicated staff works closely with each student to monitor and guide them as they encounter challenges in their days. We work closely with the school and teachers to identify each students academic needs in order to best help each student during this part of their recovery.
Small School: Our public high schools are small, typically less than 200 students total. This allows each student to experience more focused day than perhaps they were able to in their last school. Small class sizes also mean a better teacher to student ration, and more individualized help. Lastly, there is less anonymity at a school that size – it is simply harder for a student to get lost in the crowd, increasing their personal responsibility.
Supportive Environment: Every teacher at the public school is willing to work closely with our students, offering them any additional help as needed. Because each class will often have more than on Building Bridges student, peer support is always present. And, once back at the house, our academic team is available to provide a final layer of support. All of this comes together to help ensure each student is putting in their best effort and finding academic success.
Extracurricular Activities: Each of the students enrolled in a public school is asked to participate in an extracurricular activity of their choosing, whether that is a sport, academic club, or some other program. Our goal is to have each student become more involved in their school, beyond their classes. This help build a sense of self-confidence and creates the opportunity for positive social experiences – key pieces of their overall success.
Testing: All juniors and seniors have the ability to take college level assessments and exams, including SAT, ACT, and ASVAB, as well as any other tests they may be necessary to help them progress towards their next steps after high school.
College and Career Planing: Every student’s academic journey is different. For some, they will head straight into the workforce, others may be headed to a 2 or 4 year school, while other may have military or other aspirations. We understand that each of these has merit for the right students and family. We work closely with the family and senior students to help plan out the next stages of their lives and come together with a plan that works for all.
College and Career Planning
Many of our students graduate from high school while at Building Bridges. Building an appropriate academic, military, or vocational plan is critical to their ongoing success. Both the academic and therapeutic teams will work together with the student and his family to build a post-graduation plan that works for all involved. Graduates from Building Bridges have found success in top tier universities, moved on directly to the job market, or enlisted in the military. All of that takes fair amount of planning and coordination on the part of the student, and we are here to support him along the way. We will support each student as he takes ACT/SAT exams, completes college and financial aid applications, arranges college tours, and ultimately decides, along with his family, on the best school to attend. We will also support them as they arrange for job interviews, create resumes, or arrange meetings with military recruiters and ASVAB testing.
There are innumerable paths to a single goal. We work with each student and family to find the one that works best for their needs.