Bridge Elementary School

Construction of Bridge Elementary School on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016.

The Higley Unified School District is constructing a new school to serve Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek students from kindergarten through sixth grade.

Bridges Elementary School, which will open during the 2016-17 school year, will accommodate approximately 1,000 students.

Similar to other elementary schools in Higley, Bridges will offer its students programs such as kids club, Higley Youth Sports League and fine arts.

Sherry Richards, the school’s principal, said what makes Bridges different is that the school will take a “project-based learning” approach.

“We want students researching real-world problems, collaborating with their classmates, answering diverse questions, designing presentations and presenting what they’ve learned,” she said. “We want to make sure the learning process is engaging and challenging for students.”

Students will also have the opportunity to participate with the morning orchestra program at Sossaman Middle School. “We are glad to be able to meet the education needs of the community,” said Sheryl Rednor, director of curriculum and instruction for Higley. “Mrs. Richards has worked very hard to ensure that the school is successful, and I have no doubt in my mind that it will be.”

In addition to being Higley’s newest school, Bridges Elementary will offer its Higley Program for Accelerated Learning (HPAL), which will serve Higley’s high-achieving, highly motivated students.

Students must apply, have a self-recommendation form completed and obtain two teacher recommendations in order to be placed in HPAL.

“We also look at the AzMERIT assessment scores, and we want them to be proficient or highly proficient in reading and math,” Richards said. “If they don’t have that then we look at other benchmarks such as online assessments to see if they have a solid foundation in reading and math. This will allow us to see if the student is capable of moving at an accelerated rate.”

The program will be offered to students in grade levels third through sixth and will prepare students for honors classes in middle school and AP and dual credit classes in high school, Richards said.

“They will enter college with approximately 20 college credit hours once they are done in Higley,” she said. “We will cover all of the Arizona College and Career Ready standards.”

Construction for Bridges Elementary School will be completed by April, and school tours will take place in May.

For additional information about Bridges Elementary School, visit www.husd.org/bridges.

• Contact writer: 480-898-4903 or dochoa@evtrib.com.

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