The Bridge Program at Bay Ridge Prep is designed to address the needs of students with diagnosed learning differences. The program currently runs from the 6th grade through the 12th grade and offers a specialized learning environment for students who are generally in the average to above average range of cognitive functioning in either language abilities or nonverbal skills or both. These students have demonstrated significant weaknesses in one or more of the following areas: language abilities, memory, attention, perceptual-motor skills, executive functioning skills and/or academic areas. The specific deficits can affect one or more of the following areas: the ability to decode accurately and fluently, read with comprehension, encode words, write, organize work or belongings, or engage in mathematical computations and/or applied problem solving.
The aim of the curriculum is to maximize the learning potential of each student through the development of a focused, individualized educational program. The classes are student-centered and provide a variety of learning activities that draw upon the strengths of each student. Key elements of the program may include a limited class size, appropriate pacing of instruction, presentation of course material through a variety of formats, and assessment of learning through diverse methodology. The program has a multidisciplinary staff that includes special education teachers, school and educational psychologists, and speech and language pathologists.
Many Bridge Program students are diagnosed as dyslexic or learning disabled and require a program modeled after the Orton-Gillingham approach; with lessons that are structured, sequential, and multi-sensory in nature. As needed, students are provided with speech and language services, counseling services or both. These services may be provided based on information provided by previous evaluations and indicated on IEPs. However, either or both of these may also be offered based on the needs identified in the school setting. There is no additional charge for these services for students in the Bridge Program.