Bridges Academy

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Bridges Academy
Bridges Academy Logo.jpeg
3921 Laurel Canyon Blvd
United States
Coordinates 34°08′28″N 118°23′43″W / 34.141082°N 118.395316°W / 34.141082; -118.395316Coordinates: 34°08′28″N 118°23′43″W / 34.141082°N 118.395316°W / 34.141082; -118.395316
Type Independent
Motto Imagine, Persevere, Achieve
Established 1994
Founder Carolyn McWilliams
Dean Greg Kaczynski
Headmaster Carl Sabatino
Faculty 50
Grades 5-12
Gender Co-Ed
Number of students 125+
Athletics Cross country, track, basketball
Mascot Phoenix
Nickname Bridges
Accreditation WASC, NAIS, CAIS
Student to faculty ratio 9:1
Average class size 4-15
Phoenix Program Director Marti Colglazier
Director of Admissions Doug Lenzini

Bridges Academy is a grade 5-12 middle and college preparatory high school dedicated to educating students who are twice exceptional, or "2e," (gifted and highly gifted with learning disabilities) such as ADHD, ADD, and Autism is located in Studio City, Los Angeles, California.


Bridges Academy started as a private tutorial for three students in the home of founder Carolyn McWilliams in 1994. Prior to the 1997-1998 school year, the school relocated to its former site on Burbank Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, California. During that time, annual enrollment was between 40 and 50 students a year.

In 1998, the school was granted non-profit corporation status, with a Board of Trustees and McWilliams continuing as the Head of School. In 2002, the Board of Trustees and Head of School dedicated the mission of the school to educating twice-exceptional students. McWilliams retired in the summer of 2003 and Charles "Chuck" Potts, the founding Head of the Wesley School in North Hollywood, California, was hired as interim Head of School. After a national search, Carl Sabatino, former Head of the Upper School of Lawrence Woodmere Academy in NY, was hired as the Head of School in 2005. In 2008 enrollment had reached over 100 students; as of 2010 it had risen to over 150 students. Current enrollment is around 125.


Bridges moved from its previous location in Sherman Oaks, California in 1997, to its current location, a shared-use arrangement with Osaka Sangyo University (OSULA) Education Center in 2005. The campus is the former site of the Corvallis Catholic High School for Girls. It was purchased by OSULA in the late 1980s. Bridges occupied the upper floor of the classroom building and the bottom floor of the annex/former convent. Bridges also shared the use of the other facilities on campus with OSULA, until their purchase of the campus in 2011. OSULA now rents a few classrooms and part of the dormitory from Bridges to run a smaller satellite program.


Bridges Academy is a college preparatory school for twice exceptional students in grades 5-12. The term twice exceptional or "2e" refers to students who are gifted or highly gifted (their first exception) and who also have learning differences or disabilities (their second exception). Bridges Academy has small classes, differentiated instruction, and a compassionate community in which both gifts and differences are respected. One-on-one and student/teacher relations are key in this kind of an environment, and this is highlighted by the fact that no teacher is called by their last name.

The curriculum is driven by an understanding that "students thrive when the academic challenge is commensurate with their intellectual gifts", and a belief that "students" special needs can be met without diluting the curriculum".[1] The learning disabilities among the gifted and very gifted student population include: nonverbal learning differences, organizational challenges, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, audio and visual processing problems, and dysgraphia.

The program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC) and the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). Bridges is a Member of the California Association of Independent Schools; the National Association of Independent Schools; and the Educational Records Bureau. The high school program meets or exceeds the university of California A-G requirements for high school graduation.

All students are required to have a laptop. The campus has a wireless network aside from hardwired classrooms and office.

In sports, Bridges participates in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) in basketball, cross-country and track. Other sports and physical fitness are also offered including handball, dodge-ball, tennis, and other traditional fitness components in the classes, but only basketball, cross-country and track are offered as extracurricular activities.[2]

Since first graduation in 1996, graduates have been accepted at virtually all Cal State and University of California schools, as well as major universities and four-year colleges throughout the nation. [3]

In 2007, two Bridges students received Honorable Mention Awards as part of the Smart Kids With Learning Disabilities organization's annual Youth Achievement Award program. [4]

Parents' involvement is encouraged and supported via the Parents Association, on-line resources and forums, and on campus events including support groups and a popular speaker series.


Phoenix logo

In 2010, a new mascot, a Phoenix was chosen. This was the product of a school-wide contest in which many designs were submitted. The mascot is used for athletic and fund raising events. All documentation and brandings contain the official logo (The Bridge).


  1. ^ Bridges Academy website [1]
  2. ^ Bridges website, sports [2]
  3. ^ Bridges Academy Admissions [3]
  4. ^ Smart Kids with LD [4]

External links[edit]