Tahoe Expedition Academy

6th-Grade Bridge Program

Easing the Transition to Middle School

The transition from elementary school to middle school presents a unique set of challenges for growing learners at TEA. Increased academic rigor, transitioning between classes, and having more than one teacher all require students to scaffold up their executive function skills. Longer and more frequent overnight fieldwork experiences require an increased level of maturity and personal responsibility. With design elements from both of our elementary and middle models, the 6th-Grade Bridge Program at TEA will provide students with the necessary skills and content to be successful in older years.

Students in our Bridge Program will have two experienced TEA primary core content teachers, Loren Trux for math and science and DC Larrabee for social studies and English language arts. Each of the primary core content teachers will also serve as a Crew Leader during Crew Time, where we develop executive functioning and habits of scholarship. With a maximum enrollment of 28, students will be separated into two 14-student 6th-Grade crews, enabling a higher level of individualized attention during core academics and Crew Time.

Bridge Program Overview

During their core content classes and Crew Time, Bridge Program students will learn alongside their 6th-Grade classmates. However, during Intensives and Enrichments, students will be in class with 7th and 8th-Grade students and will be instructed by different teachers. Intensives are TEA’s version of electives and are academic experiences designed to push students to the limits of their intellectual, social-emotional and physical boundaries. Enrichments are typically physical education, study hall, and student support.

Here is what a week in the life of a 6th-Grade Bridge Program may look like- remember another advantage of the program is the ability for the teachers to be flexible. Note during the classes that are shaded in blue, students would be with their 6th-Grade Crew peers. During other classes, students will be with a mix of 6th, 7th and 8th-Graders.

 

 

Fieldwork will be scaffolded to make sure that students have the skills and readiness needed as the demands of fieldwork increase. Fall fieldwork will consist of significant support for shorter overnight trips which will build into more rigorous five-day expeditions in the spring. Finally, when the 6th-Grade Bridge Program students enter 7th-grade, their schedule would look very similar to their 6th-Grade year, with the exception that all classes will be taught by different teachers and there will be combined 7th/8th grade math courses based on individual readiness.

To learn more about our 6th-Grade Bridge Program, fill out a brief inquiry form HERE.