After some really terrible school experiences our kid switched to Bridger. We were on the verge of homeschooling, but it was practically next door to a house we had moved in to so we decided to give it a try. It would be difficult to express how glad we are. The middle school teachers at Bridger are outstanding. They create innovative and engaging lessons, and they seem to sincerely care about the kids. Our son was shot down by teachers at his previous school for being too engaged, too into learning (I kid you not, one of them said he raised his hand too much). The teachers at Bridger celebrated his participation and expressed sincere gratitude for the very thing his previous school ostracized him for. The community was incredibly inclusive. He came late in the year and was immediately welcomed into a bonded group. The the cultural and ethnic diversity of Bridger is beautiful and beautifully nourished.
It's not perfect. Like all middle schools, there are kids who are unkind, and missed teaching opportunities But ultimately I consider this school to be a hidden and unsung gem. Most of Portland doesn't even know this school is here - it's just a tiny neighborhood school. It doesn't really look like much, and it certainly doesn't feel like a wealthy school. But it has outstanding teachers and lots of heart.
This is a school that is up and coming. Bridger was the most improved school last year in PPS when compared to similar schools. Still lots of room for improvement though. There is a lot of parent involvement and energy. The new Principal this year cares about the children. He has the children in mind first, which is where a school needs to be. His heart is there and I believe this school has huge potential. Overall we have been pleased for the five years we have been there.
Bridger is a disaster and getting worse. Grade literacy ratings are 21%-35%. The 2013 7th grade Spanish class has had 6...six(!) teachers in the first eight weeks of school. PPS cannot PAY people to work there. Substitute and permanent (2nd career "teachers") are reported power struggling and intimidating students. There have been three principals in the past four years; with this year's being clearly the worst of the lot(!) whose answer to every problem is discipline, and consequences..and worse: threatening to CALL THE POLICE. Criminalizing kids' frustration? Really? I met with the principal to suggest stabilizing my son's Spanish class with increased adult supervision, teaching assistants, after school help, or other positive interventions. I came away dismayed by the principal reverting to a punitive Criminal Justice approach to authority as solution: seeming to not understand fundamental tenets of education or human motivation, or at least finding it easier to blame frustrated students than deal with severe systemic problems as, again, indicated by teachers/administrators fleeing this school.
The new principal (second year) is making amazing changes at this school. The school's test scores went up a huge amount from last year. The staff works extremely hard, and the school has the potential to be a great school. The only thing holding this school back is the amount of families in the neighborhood that choose to send their children to other schools. If people actually went to the school in their area, they could make this a strong community, instead of weakening their own community.
This a wonderful community and neighborhood school. My son's experience in the Spanish Immersion program has been awesome so far, and we are pleased at the dedicated, progressive and intelligent staff and family involvement.
bridger isint as great as it seems. they got a new principle. but things arent as great. the middle school isint very good. they dont have lockers so they just drop there stuff on the ground in the classrooms. my child got bullyed. and the old principle did absolutley nothing about it. please dont put your child in bridger middle school!
Bridger has a new principle and the vice principle would not know how to handle a problem if it fell onto her lap. The vice principle should be the back bone of the school as well as to the principle. How did she ever qualify for this job at bridger? She thows problems back at the teachers and lets serious issues slide. My child was called by another parent to her car in the middle of the street and she said some horrible things to my child and snatched things out of his had and left him there. The responce from the vice principle was well it was not our problem the bell already rang and it was after school. #2 issue. my child was pushed to the ground and pushed into the building and told to stop snitching on him. Then he continuesd to push my son. The responce from the vice principle s responce was "I wasnt there so I really dont know if that really happened". WOW really?? Whats going on in our schools? Take some responsibility! Inform your parents and if you cant handle your school Iam sure as parents we can!! P.S. I still havent heard back from the principle on the student if anything was ever done!!
Bridger is a K-8 with a new principal this year who is really making a difference. The school has a strong neighborhood program, as well as a great Spanish immersion program. The teachers are collaborative and dedicated. The student body is very diverse, with many different language backgrounds and cultures represented. I intend to send my children here once they are old enough.
This review is for the middle school portion of Bridger, I do not know how good the elementary school is. The middle school program is atrocious. The students are extremely difficult and disrespectful to teachers, they are extremely talkative and rowdy. In the middle school classes literally a third to half of students are failing their classes. Of the four primary middle school teachers two are leaving. Of the two remaining one of the teachers is the most hated teacher in the school. The students dislike this teacher so much that a student will skip 4 classes until the class with the bad teacher is over and then come to school. The students (unfortunately) aren't entirely wrong in disliking this teacher either. The teacher has done several things that should have resulted in some sort of discipline but nothing was ever made of it. This is a bit of a rant but I'll bottom line it here, don't send your middle school child to Bridger, find a real middle school and send your child there.