Bridges Area Learning Center
Quarter 2 Community Newsletter
Taking the Distance out of Distance Learning
Dear Bridges families and friends
Quarter 2 has seen our district (and most MN districts) shift to distance learning due to increased COVID-19 infection rates during the month of November. Here at Bridges we know the critical roles our teachers and staff play in our students education and overall wellness. As a result, we have worked to provide a weekly structure that allows opportunities to continue to come to Bridges as well as work in a distance learning model to provide mitigation for COVID-19.
We have structured the week in two parts:
- Optional In-Person days with classes that are asynchronous - Monday & Wednesday
- Distance Learning Days with synchronous classes - Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
Optional In-Person days - Monday & Wednesday
These days allow students to come into the building and work with teachers as well as our student support staff as needed. Coming in is optional and not required. Classes these days are asynchronous meaning to be done on your own. Teachers will have class instructions and a schedule in their Schoology page for students to work on their own.
We also call these asynchronous days. This means that students conduct their learning and work on their own without a live teacher working in tandem with the student. To do this work and learning students should access their teacher classes in Schoology, PBL work in Headrush and/or online classes in Edmentum.
Distance Learning Days - Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
These days are done outside of Bridges (at home). A key component of these days are the video classes or Google Meets conducted throughout the day. Bridges have five blocks (or periods). Each Block requirement is below:
Block 1 (8:10am-9:20am) - Asynchronous without live teaching
Block 2 (9:20am-10:10am) - Synchronous/Live teaching through Google Meet - 9:20am
Block 3 (10:10am-11am) - Synchronous/Live teaching through Google Meet - 10:10am
Block 4 (11am-11:50am) - Synchronous/Live teaching through Google Meet - 11am
Block 5 (12:20pm-2:50pm) - Office Hours with an advisor through Google Meet - 12:30pm
We know that the effects of the pandemic on our students and families have been hard. As a result, our full support staff are in both Mondays and Wednesdays. During distance learning days there is regular scheduled time to be meeting with students and provide needed support. Additional, we publish a survey each week that our student support team reviews regarding meeting requests and student needs.
Meals and Transportation
As of now, the US Department of Agriculture continues to provide free meals to students. This includes breakfast and lunch. If getting to school is a barrier the district can help. If transportation is needed please call Jennifer Powers, School Secretary, @ 952-226-0840.
Taking the Distance out of Distance Learning
We know the value of students being in school and working with our fabulous teachers and support staff. Bridges is open five days a week and our teachers and staff are accessible every day either in person or through a video link. It is key during this time that students stay engage and connected. The effectiveness of Bridges has always been the engagement, empathy and competency of our staff which is needed now more than ever. I know that things are challenging and difficult. We are all still here to provide the support, education, connection and guidance to accomplish our mission to educate all learners to reach their full potential in our ever-changing global community.
Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools Mission - to educate all learners to reach their full potential as contributing and productive members of our ever changing global community.
Bridges Q2 Weekly Schedule
Bridges Students Supported by PL Rotary!
Fill out the form below to get your gift cards!!
Your Feedback is Needed
What is Bridges like? See below!!
Taking the Distance out of Distance Learning
Students are able to come in and work with teachers and support staff Monday's and Friday's
PLSAS Ready to Learn Plan and COVID-19 School Info
Congrats to this year's grads (so far!!)
Bridges Past - 2017. Students and staff getting ready for Winter Break
STRIVE group returning from a luncheon
Mr. Lawson and students happy about a donation of gift bags
Now in 2020 with COVID procedures in place this year was more one-on-one
October Student of the Month, Alicia, Created Beautiful Art for Ms. Powers
Bridges was awarded the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International Certificate of Appreciate in 2019
The award is presented to individuals or organizations that embody the spirit of Rotary and service above self through their daily and special activities in our community, region, nation or world.
Q1 Class @ Bridges
Many graduates have stopped by to check in and see the new school!
Teacher Corner: David Lawson, Social Studies and Independent Study
We’re heading into the winter months in 2020, this strangest of years.
Nobody asked for this. Nobody expected this. But here we are.
Distance Learning is our jam until a vaccine drops and the all-clear is sounded.
So how do we do our best work and press ahead under the circumstances?
Here’s what Bridges students have told me works:
Establish a comfortable learning space for schoolwork. Study near a window, if possible.
Even though we’re meeting and working online, get dressed just like any other school day. The act of getting ready for the day helps you feel more alert and present.
Set up a daily schedule based on the Bridges Q2 Schedule and your own schedule. A planner helps.
Establish a routine. Shoot for a reasonable bedtime. Get up early enough to wake up. Make a smoothie.
Stay engaged and reach out. Contribute to class discussions. Social interactions are more important than ever.
Connect with your classmates. Pretend it’s 2009 and talk on the phone.
Reach out to your teachers. Ask for help or just catch up with a little chit-chat.
Keep an eye on the big goal. Every class completed is another credit toward the magic 63 and graduation.
Know that your Bridges teachers and staff want you to succeed and will support you however we can, even from a distance.
Stay safe and keep in touch.
Graduation 2020 - Celebration despite a Pandemic
PL Rotary to sponser STRIVE @ Bridges ALC for 11th consecutive year!
STRIVE (an acronym for “Students Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of Education”) is a Prior Lake Rotary program that helps Bridges students set and attain goals with the ultimate goal being earning a Prior Lake High School diploma! The program pairs students with an adult Rotarian or person in our community allowing mentorship to occur.
We have been doing STRIVE for 11 years and with our new space we can accommodate more students! Prior Lake Rotary sponsors the STRIVE program with Bridges and provides catered lunch from The Pointe in Prior Lake and a mentor to call their own. For successful participation in the program (missing two or less meetings and consistent participation) students are awarded an attendance scholarship, and a $500.00 - $750.00 scholarship to a post-secondary school of their choice. If a student is going into the military, a $500.00-$750.00 check is given to them upon graduation.
The days we meet with our students, the entire school is buzzing with activity. The mentors are chatting, the students are full of energy, and food (frequently pizza) is creating a delectable aroma that fills us with anticipation. As we get into our positions to converse, it sometimes is so loud it’s difficult to hear one another. As we begin our program this year in our new space, we not only have more of it, but we also have places where more private conversations can happen. This program is very successful, many students graduate, and several of them earn scholarships. As we look to the future, I see the program growing and expanding with more interest and participation. We are looking forward to the new scholastic year!
Dr. Cindy Shepard
STRIVE Taking the Distance out of Distance Learning
Amber connecting with her mentor.
Several Mentors enjoying lunch with their students
PL Mayor Briggs and his mentee enjoying lunch
2020-2021 Mentor share outs
The power of STRIVE is apparent with my student. She just almost ‘pours’ out her heart when we get together. I know she looks forward to it and it makes both our days. I am taking driving from time to time to help her so she can get her license. She is a wonderful person. I love this program.
We try to stay focused on the positive things in life and around us. He has been really concentrating on his school work and finishing strong. We as STRIVE leadership plan to continue the program as "Normal" as possible with all of the extra curricular activities that we have done in the past. Let's all be thankful for our health and family at this time.
JMLM Restaurants Inc
This is my first year and if all future years are like this, I think you have me hook, line & sinker Prior Lake style. My student is an extraordinary young lady that has found not only what it takes to succeed, but also the hard work and perseverance to accomplish the hard work. She also has a passion to serve as she takes care of her Grandmother through these very trying times. I’ve been about empowering and encouraging her to search for the who she will become in the future. At the same time, she has encouraged me to see who I am today. Seriously great mentorship. I can honestly say that we both seem to encourage each other to succeed and drive towards our NOW NORMAL & Future goals. I thought STRIVE was for the student, if so, I guess that I’m the student. Thanks Bridges and PL Rotary!
Prior Lake Neighbors
I've been impressed by the work that Bridges has continued to do for its students. My mentee has said several times how grateful he is for Bridges. Previously he felt as if he was drowning in school work and didn't feel supported. Since going to Bridges, he has felt significant support and gained confidence that is clearly provided by the staff and teachers of Bridges ALC. Thank you for all you guys do!
Scott County Young Life
I am certainly enjoying my year as a Strive mentor. I am mentoring a wonderful young lady. She is smart, positive and hard working. We are having great interaction even during the pandemic. I really think being a Strive mentor helps me greatly as well. I think I am a better person and father for mentoring in the Strive program.
This is my second year as a mentor in Strive and it has been wonderful. The relationship one develops with the student continues to grow as they learn that it is built on mutual trust. I look forward to meeting with my student as we talk about everything from family to school. I would encourage all Rotarians to give it a try. You will not be disappointed!
Schedule a conference this quarter!
Your student's progress is always available through Infinite Campus, Schoology and Plato. Please be frequently checking in and connecting with your student and us!
Student Voices - Arian
My name is Arian and I am a senior in high school. I recently transferred to Bridges Area Learning Center. I transferred because at my current state, I would be unable to graduate high school normally. I chose to go to Bridges because they were capable of supporting me in a way where I can graduate on time. At first, I preferred to have stayed at my previous school rather than be here in Bridges, as it can be difficult to adapt to new environments. During my first week, I talked to Mr. Lawson (social studies teacher), who is also present when in Summer School. Another person I talked to was the principal, Mr. Brown. Not only did these two help me understand how Bridges is different, they were also very helpful in guiding me on the right path and answering any questions I may have had. By the second week, I had a decent grasp on what was expected of me, and what I had to do. I especially love that the school features pretty high quality food! A big difference between Bridges and PLHS is how you can work. You have the flexibility of choosing to work wherever you want to, as long as the teacher knows where you are, and I can be there as long as it works for me. This is possible because Bridges is way smaller, and they can easily talk to you if they need something from you. Overall, as I got used to Bridges, I found it a pretty enjoyable day to day place! Both teachers and students are very nice and respectful when talking to each other.
Student Voices - Bella
Bridges Students of the Month
Congrats to Ms. Jenkins, Bridges 2018-19 Teacher of the Year and Ms. Nelson, Educator of Excellence nominee!
Bridges In The News
Bridges Staff and Contact Information
David Lawson - Teacher (Social Studies & Independent Studies Coordinator)
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday / 9:20am, 10:10am, 11am & 12:30pm
Mon, Wed / by appointment
Independent Study:Independent Study is an opportunity for students to take additional classes if needed. Students are assigned edmentum classes (online) and can work on them at school during the designated time and/or outside of school. A minimum 10 hours is needed to completed at Bridges ALC.
Independent Study is held Monday - Thursday.
Student Support Staff
Ms. Lucas - Bridges Paraeducator
I'm Ms. Lucas the Paraeducator at Bridges. You can find me in the classrooms assisting in small group instruction and one on one instruction with students. I enjoy connecting with students to build positive relationships as well as supporting our students in achieving their academic goals.
From the Student Support Team: Kevin Wagner, Social Worker
Hello Bridges families,
For those who are not familiar with me, I am the social worker at Bridges. I work with students who may be struggling with any number of barriers to success in school. Being a teenager is a stressful time in anyone’s life, and Covid has made things even more stressful. I am committed to helping as many students and/or families as I possibly can…especially during this difficult time.
In addition to being at Bridges in person on Mondays and Wednesdays until 11:00, I am also available over phone, email or google meet Monday through Friday until 11:00.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone how to get ahold of me:
Phone: 763-226-5829 (I get texts too)
Google Meet office hours: 8:30 to 11:00 Tuesday, Thursday Friday
Mondays: At Bridges in person until 11:00
Tuesdays: call, email, or google meet with me starting at 8:30
Wednesdays: At Bridges in person until 11:00
Thursdays: call, email, or google meet with me starting at 8:30
Fridays: call, email, or google meet with me starting at 8:30
Bridges Guidance Counselor congratulating April on her Project Based Learning Experience
Bridges ALC Independent Study
Here at Bridges we offer a flexible online based program to support students in need of credit recovery. After a student determines the credit need (usually through the student's guidance counselor), simply register online, complete needed forms, bring them in to Bridges ALC and meet with the independent study teacher, Mr. Lawson, and they are ready to go within minutes. Each student is enrolled in a class through a web browser based program called PLATO. The program runs October 1st through May 19th, 2020.
Each class a student signs up for requires a total of 10 hours of seat time here at Bridges and/or PLHS, and this can be done after school on Mondays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m @ PLHS and @ Bridges Tuesday through Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30pm. Once the attendance piece is completed the student will finish the course(s) on their own time. I’ve had many students get caught up, back on track, or even finish up for their diploma through Independent Study. It’s a great program and it provides a great service to our students.
More information and online registration can be found on our webpage:
If you have questions please feel free to reach out to our Independent Study Coordinator:
David Lawson: firstname.lastname@example.org