About 1 in 5 students has a language-based learning disability, of which dyslexia is most prevalent. And in the borough of Staten Island, there has long been a dearth of appropriate school placements that can adequately address these common learning issues for the over 40,000 students PK-8. In fact, young students who live on Staten Island are sometimes bused for hours to other boroughs to get their educational needs met.
Bridge Preparatory Charter School for Creative Thinkers (aka Bridge Prep) hopes to change this dynamic. The proposed public charter school recently passed the first hurdle of the charter review process in Albany. Bridge Prep plans to open its doors to Staten Island residents for the 2018-19 school year, and while charter approval isn’t a sure thing, the project enjoys strong support from the Staten Island community, including from Borough President James Oddo, and hopes are high for an on-time opening.
The plan for year one, as outlined in Bridge Prep's letter of intent to the state education department, is to open five classes of no more than 12 students (one class for Grade 1, two classes each for Grades 2 and 3). By the 2022-23 school year, the student body will grow to over 300 students from Grades 1 – 7.
Public charter schools have free tuition. Applications will be open to Staten Island residents and filled by lottery.
Congratulations to the founders and to everyone who has worked so hard on behalf of students with dyslexia on Staten Island!