Director's Note, February 26th: State Testing, Director's Coffee Chat, Last Chance for Re-Enrollment, and More!

State Testing at Bridges Charter School
At Bridges we take pride in being leaders in Whole Child Education. We recognize that there is far more to schooling than assessments.  We believe in supporting the social, emotional, and academic development of children and we do so in an environment that is driven by intrinsic motivation rather than competition and extrinsic motivators. This is the core of who we are as a school.

We also recognize that for many of us who subscribe to this core philosophy, it is easy to brush off the state tests as unimportant. However, because we are a Charter School, the stakes for state testing are actually much higher than for other public schools. Our Charter Renewal is dependent upon our students participating in the state tests and on them doing well on these state tests.

We are very confident that the learning opportunities that our teachers naturally provide at Bridges will support our students' success on the state tests even with out us teaching to the test. That said, as we move closer to the state testing window, students in grades 3-8 will be learning how to navigate the testing system, they will start engaging in some practice questions, and they will be discussing some strategies for working through the tests. We are taking time for this because we want our students to feel confident and prepared.

The state tests are given only to students in grades 3-8, and a minimum of 95% of our student population must take the state tests.

The new assessments are different in that they are not timed assessments, so students can take as long as they need. We are also planning to organize the testing environment so that it is relaxing for the students with music and refreshments available.

Testing Windows:
Science (grades 5 & 8) -- April 16th-18th
English Language Arts (grades 3-8) -- April 23rd-May 4th
Math Assessments (grades 3-8) -- May 7th-18th

As we get closer to state testing, we will be providing more information!

Director's Coffee Chat -- New Evening Time for March!
We meet once per month with parents in an informal coffee chat in order to discuss parent concerns and ideas for improving our school. These are usually engaging discussions. We recognize that many working parents have not had the ability to attend our coffee chats because they have been held in the morning. For the month of March, we are offering our Coffee Chat in the evening from 5:30-6:30pm, and we hope that more of our parents can join us! We will provide refreshments. Please RSVP below so that we know how many snacks we need!

Announcing! James and the Giant Peach Jr. School Musical
This spring, Bridges 3rd-8th grade students will be performing "James and the Giant Peach, jr"  Show dates are Mar 15-18 in the MPR. Tickets will be available for purchase online at www.bridgespac.org on Wednesday, Feb 28. All information is in the attached flyer. Please contact Deb at performingartspmc@bridgespac.org for additional information.

Jan Brett Contest -- we STILL need your help!
Have you filled out the form below yet? If not, please do! It's simple, and Bridges could win a visit from Jan Brett, illustrator and writer of children's picture books!

Please vote for our school on her website by clicking on the link below then click on "Enter Here". Enter your name, your email address, and our school's information: Bridges Charter School, 1355 Calle Bouganvilla, Thousand Oaks CA 91360 (you can even copy and paste the above in the appropriate blocks if you like).
http://www.janbrett.com/

Last Parent Information Night Coming Soon!
We have just one more Parent Information Night before our lottery in March! Our last PIN is TOMORROW Tuesday, February 27th at 6:30pm. If you haven't told your friends about Bridges, now is the time!  Enrollment Interest Forms are due no later than Friday, March 9th at 4pm. Spread the word, and have your friends sign up here: https://www.bridgescharter.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=992548&type=d&pREC_ID=1308279

Intent to Re-Enroll
This is your last chance to let us know if you will be returning for the 2018/2019 school  year! Please fill out the form at the link below, or if you are unable to fill out the form on our website, we do have a paper copy available in the office. Stop by to see Theresa, Maria, or Libby. The deadline for submitting the forms is MARCH 1!

If you are a current family interested in seeing an upper grade classroom in action, please let us know. We are happy to give you a brief tour and introduce you to the teachers.

The re-enrollment form is available here: https://www.bridgescharter.org/apps/form/form.BRICS.qH2aF3Z.2z7

It's Makerspace Week!
Our February Makerspace is bursting with opportunities for your child to explore energy, lights, crocheting, and more! Some classes will be joining Ms. Rebekah in the library on February 28th. Check out your child's Parent Square page to volunteer -- it will just take 30 minutes of your day!

Upcoming Dates for your Calendar:
  • Thurs. 03/01: Deadline to submit Intent to Re-enroll
  • Fri. 03/02: End 2nd Trimester for K-5
  • Fri. 03/09: K-5 Report Cards 
  • Wed. 03/14: Public Lottery for Enrollment
  • 03/15-03/18: James and the Giant Peach Musical
  • 03/26-03/30: Spring Break, NO SCHOOL
  • 04/23-05/18: ELA and Math State Testing
  • Mon. 05/28: Memorial Day Holiday, No School
  • Thurs. 06/07: 8th grade Graduation 9am-11am
  • Thurs. 06/07: Bridging Ceremony for all grades 12pm-3pm
We hope you have a great week,

Dr. Kelly and Ms. Cindy
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