Learning differences can be challenging, but not for students at Middlebridge School. Here, many students have attention disorders like ADD or ADHD, executive function deficits or anxiety. Some have language-based learning differences like dyslexia or dysgraphia. However, each can confirm they’ve never felt more liberated.
Located in the charming seaside town of Narragansett, Rhode Island (known to the locals simply as ‘Gansett), Middlebridge School focuses its efforts on academic, social and emotional growth — a combination designed to foster a lifelong love of learning in boarding and day students between the ages of 13 to 18, and postgraduates.
At the historic, Hogwarts-esque Hazard Castle, they spend their days engaged in tutorial courses with an emphasis on study skills, executive function, and metacognition. They even take on social-emotional intelligence courses —studying the self and the world around them, a primer of psychology.
Here, all learners are expected to thrive in the basics — the signature Middlebridge curriculum consists of instruction in English, Mathematics, Science, History, Art and Technology, as well as Physical Education and Wellness. With a staff to student ratio of nearly 1:1, everyone is guaranteed a highly individualised education.
In fact, all learners are provided one-on-one tutorials with a language specialist daily. As students progress and evolve, so do the nature and focus of these sessions.
Middlebridge School’s specialists are trained to support in the areas of phonological awareness; encoding and decoding; reading comprehension; written expression; morphology; essay construction; sequencing and spatial awareness; problem-solving; the language of math; research methods; homework/curriculum support; and executive function. Since no two journeys to university are ever the same, they provide personalised college-prep support as well.
Expert guidance ensures that wherever life takes Middlebridge students — they will arrive ready. The school’s exceptional Lighthouse programme teaches pupils everything they should know about the working world. It helps them develop job-related skills through credit-bearing classes at local organisations, internship placements, job-shadowing, fieldwork, and resume-building sessions.
Students take college-level courses for credit — in lieu of AP courses — at the Community College of Rhode Island or the University of Rhode Island. Others rub shoulders with professionals whose shoes they hope to one day fill, thanks to some of Middlebridge’s many internship and job shadow partners.
The list includes esteemed businesses and organisations, such as Habitat for Humanity, the YMCA, Advanced Auto Body, South Kingstown Animal Rescue, URI Marine Life Science Research Centre, Narragansett Parks and Recreation Department, Growing Children of Rhode Island, Union Fire District, and more.
A taste of professional life and a keen awareness of the world outside their picturesque campus inspire most to pledge an enduring commitment to service as well. At Middlebridge, all students are encouraged to give back through the school’s community service programme. While bettering the world, they better themselves — racking up credits in the process.
Every unique offering here was introduced with purpose — to complement one another and enable deep longevity of comprehension. “Middlebridge has taken my education to places I haven’t even thought were possible!” enthuses a student.
Where horizons are broadened and passions are realised
At Middlebridge School, fun goes hand-in-hand with the rigours of academia, hence why within each learner’s daily schedule, there’s plenty of time to turn interests into aspirations. The school offers diverse and varied after-school and weekend programming. There are over 250 enrichment electives in total — the list grows constantly in accordance with student interests and suggestions.
The expansive lineup currently includes: surfing, painting, drama club, beach football, beach exploration, comic book creation, meditation, pottery, jewellery making, video editing, budgeting for life, photography, watercolours, geological exploration, and music appreciation.