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Bridges Academy

Emotional Growth School

Bridges Academy Program Information

Gender: Males Only
Ages: 14 to 18
Grades: 9 to 12
Estimated Enrollment: 25
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 1997
Accreditations: Affiliations:

Bridges Academy Contact Information

67030 Gist Road
Bend, OR 97701
Phone: (888) 283-7362
Fax: (541) 383-4108
School Contact: Maureen Bidasolo, RN
Alternative Contact: Joan McOmber, MFT
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

Bridges Academy is a year-round emotional growth boarding school for teenage boys aged 14-18 who are struggling with emotional, behavioral or academic issues. Our program is therapeutic in nature and combines several philosophies surrounding emotional growth, community living, the creation of a positive peer environment and experiential learning. While at Bridges Academy, students are challenged to identify their positive and negative behavior patterns. They explore their role in family dynamics and examine ways in which their choices have influenced and been influenced by their peer interactions. Ultimately, during students’ tenure with our program, they are provided with the tools necessary to make healthy, positive choices in their lives, as well as in their peer and family relationships.

Through the emotional growth process students learn accountability, which includes their academic success. Bridges Academy offers a carefully planned, college preparatory program for students of all academic abilities and goals. An all-inclusive school is located on the campus, and certified teachers work closely with students to ensure their success. Bridges Academy provides an accredited curriculum that is individualized to fit each student's needs and can accommodate grades nine through 12 with year-round classes. This individualized style of learning makes it possible for students to complete sometimes up to two years of school in only twelve months. Students work at their own pace, which encourages even the most resistant of teens to take responsibility for their education. The academic program at Bridges Academy exceeds state of Oregon Department of Education High school graduation requirements.

The primary goal of Bridges Academy is to promote a student's personal growth and emotional maturity by building a well-rounded individual with commitment to self, family and the community. Our unique program provides an integrated academic and emotional growth curriculum designed to meet the needs of the family as a whole. At Bridges Academy, students are able to explore and develop the insight to better understand themselves and their relationships with others.

Our highly structured living setting, positive peer environment, earned phase system, leadership building combined with experiential learning, all work together to encourage respectful behaviors and accountability. At Bridges Academy, students learn and demonstrate improved behavior by exhibiting positive habits such as self-regulation, adhering to daily schedules, following basic rules and interacting with staff and peers. Students also work on emotional growth and insight through individual, group and family counseling and other thought-provoking assignments.

The typical Bridges Academy student is a bright, sensitive adolescent boy between the ages 13 and 18, with a history of emotional, behavioral and/or academic problems at home or in school. He may have a short history of drug or alcohol use, be in minor legal trouble along with truancy, plummeting grades, and disregard for rules and curfews. He might have difficulty fitting in with a traditional classroom environment and may not feel comfortable within his peer group. There may be cases where the teen has run away from home, has exhibited sexual promiscuity, or has shown verbal and physical aggression. Diagnostic categories include: Depression, Oppositional Defiance, ADD, ADHD, Anxiety, Borderline, and Bi-Polar disorder among others. Our program works well with boys who are exhibiting any of the following:

-Low self-esteem
-Disrespectful behavior
-Lack of accountability
-Defiance toward authority figures
-Lack of problem solving skills
-Poor family relationships
-Lack of anger management skills
-Underachievement and Perfection
-Identified as talented and gifted
-Lack of Life-Skills
-Addictive behaviors
-Social isolation
-Attachment issues
-Victim-role issues
-Out of control behavior at home, in school, or in the community
-Shows poor motivation in their participation of family life, school, or other activities
-Loss of interest in sports and/or hobbies
-Poor Hygiene and/or personal self-care

Surrounded by the grandeur of the Cascade Mountains, Bridges Academy is located in a rural setting, approximately 3 hours southeast of Portland, between the cities of Bend and Sisters on the High Desert Plateau of Central Oregon. Our campus is situated on 35-acres and provides freedom from distractions and close to mountains, lakes and national forests, where students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of outdoor activities. On campus, students have access to an outdoor basketball court, volleyball court and Gist field, where students play team sports such as flag-football, softball, and soccer. A variety of community events are available in the nearby towns of Sisters, Redmond and Bend.

Bridges Academy uses a rolling admissions policy, accepting applications year round for at-risk teenage boys ages 13-18. While most of the families that apply to Bridges Academy will be accepted, not all students are appropriate. Based on our years of experience, we have a good understanding of the kinds of students we work best with. Students are selected on the basis of their ability and willingness to make the transition to our structured living environment and to receive the maximum benefit from the combined academic and emotional growth program. Because of this we have a thorough, yet simple, admissions process.

We realize that making this decision is a difficult one and also understand that taking this first step is emotional for most families. In addition to the emotional stress of placing your son in a boarding school, we can also address your financial and logistical concerns.

At Bridges Academy, students and their families benefit from a year-round, cutting-edge emotional growth and academic curriculum designed for teenage boys ages 13-18, who are struggling with emotional, behavioral and/or academic issues. Our highly structured, intimate environment provides for concentrated, individualized attention in working with each student and their family as a whole. Here are just a few highlights of our program:

-Safe, Single Sex Environment
-Master's Level Therapists
-Individual Achievement Plans
-Individualized, Accredited Academic Curriculum
-Family, Group and Individual Counseling
-Addiction/Recovery Program
-Outdoor Adventure Education
-Positive Peer Environment

While most coursework is done individually, some elective courses are taught in a small classroom setting, which provides an opportunity for students to maintain their note-taking skills. With a student to teacher ratio of less than five to one, one-on-one tutorial support is always available should a student begin to fall behind in a particular area of study.

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