The Highbridge Green School
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A focus on the environment in a new building with "green" features
Test scores have a ways to go.
Opened in 2013 after years of lobbying by community groups, Highbridge Green School has stable leadership, teachers who work together as a team, and a beautiful building that includes green features such as a rooftop garden, a wind turbine, solar panels, a greenhouse, and a rainwater collection system.
Students may grow vegetables in the school’s garden and incorporate it into their lunch menu. They may build a ramp to measure the speed of a toy car in science class. They may interview their parents or neighbors about their experiences as immigrants. Students get intensive instruction in reading through a program called the Middle School Quality Initiative.
Free after school activities, provided by Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) include dance (salsa, merengue, bachata), art, drama, choral music, piano, and gym time, as well as extra help in academics.
Most students enter Highbridge reading at least one year below grade level, and the school has devoted many resources to helping them catch up, including small group instruction and afterschool help. All teachers, including science and social studies teachers, are trained in how to help children read better. While test scores are low, students make “enormous” growth in their reading skills, according to a report by Advocates for Children, a non-profit group that lobbies on behalf of students with disabilities.
Kyle Brillante, a former Teach for America member, has been principal since the school opened.
Special education: Advocates for Children identified Highbridge Green School as a model school for instruction for children with dyslexia or difficulties reading, according to a 2016 report “A is for All." The school has eight integrated co-teaching (ICT) classrooms, in which general and special education students are taught together by two full-time teachers, one of whom is a special educator, according to the school’s yearly plan.
Admissions: Priority in admissions goes to children zoned for PS 11, PS 73, PS 114, or PS 126. (Clara Hemphill, web reports, April 2019)Read more