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Strong Foundations for Everyone
Strathroy Community Christian School has developed a long-term strategy to ensure that each of its students is given the best chance of achieving success.
In 2011, the SCCS board and school operations leaders approved and launched a proactive student support philosophy called the Bridge. It’s a way of thinking and it’s also a room – together the Bridge ensures that our 200 students have strong foundations built on social and emotional support.
SCCS’s Bridge is spearheaded by one social worker, two part-time special education teachers and one full-time educational assistant. They work with students, in cooperation with parents, teachers and our school principal, to troubleshoot learning obstacles. (Such as chaotic starts to the day because of anxiety over learning schedules and noisy bus rides.)
Bridge team members are assigned students to immediately and effectively change the dynamic of classroom learning. Staff has the ability and authority to act quickly to meet the cultural needs of the classroom and can follow up on student progress hourly throughout the day.
The Bridge room is an essential component to the program. It gives students a change of environment to physically, emotionally and psychologically separate themselves from classroom obstacles. In this setting, Bridge staff can better understand how individual students learn and can customize learning methods to support their needs.
The room’s creative space, which includes a couch, computers, and tables for games, opens for students before school begins and closes shortly after school ends. Here, students of all grade levels learn together and are offered a wide range of activities that help each of them in their own ways. They challenge themselves with board games, problem-solve tablet activities, write tests, play with Play-Doh, construct with Lego, complete puzzles and much more. The older students will often read to and engage in play with younger students.
Bridge staff is very deliberate about creating unique learning opportunities for students. If they can’t read well, they can use audio books. If they can hear well, staff use more sounds to communicate. If students have high anxiety about talking in front of their class, a Bridge team member records their speech, which is played for their teacher.
Through the support of the board, staff, parents and students, the Bridge has been a successful learning program to engage each student to celebrate their own uniqueness.