Bridgeport School educates students with mild cognitive delays and challenges with social communication and/or language development. The school serves students ages 5 to 21, many with autism spectrum disorder. This integrated educational and therapeutic program is designed to promote academic, communicative, behavioral, social, motor, adaptive and independent living skills.
The mission of the Bridgeport School is to provide students with the ability to access skills that will improve their quality of life and to assist them in becoming productive members of their communities. It is designed for students who can benefit from an academic curriculum, as well as hands-on life skills instruction and vocational services. The Bridgeport curriculum is structured for life-long independence and self-fulfillment.
The comprehensive program includes:
- Small class size
- Individualized academic instruction and functional curriculum
- Bridgeport School offers both General Education and Alternate Curriculum tracks
- Emphasis on social communication and social skills training
- Classroom and individual Positive behavior support
- Vocational education; jobs skill awareness and career exploration
- Career Counselor who facilitates senior transitions to postsecondary education and works with all students and parents on transition pathways
- Occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and counseling
- State-of-the-Art Sensory room where students practice self-regulation strategies and calming strategies
- Weekly computer lab classes
- Elective programs, including art and drama, music classes, computer, and yearbook.
- Physical education program for grades K-10; CIF team sports for high school aged students (flag football, track and field, basketball)
- Special Olympics events: Students in grades K-12 participate in a variety of Special Olympic events. Private schools including Harvard Westlake, Campbell Hall and Buckley host our students for Track Meets, Soccer matches and Unified Sports Days.
- Student Government and student council.
Both Bridgeport School in Sherman Oaks and Bridgeport West in Culver City are certified by the California Dept. of Education
All services are provided by a highly professional, licensed and credentialed staff.
Bridgeport Elementary provides students with the tools necessary to maximize their academic potential and remediate deficits using comprehensive, research-based curriculum including applied academics, community-based instruction and social skills. California State Standards are integrated throughout the curriculum, and with the use of best-practice teaching strategies, each student will learn fundamental reading, writing and math skills.
Bridgeport Middle School focuses on traditional gen-ed academic skills while incorporating a functional academic components into the curriculum. The school-wide framework integrates modified California State Standards into an alternative curriculum. Through a variety of research-based teaching strategies,each student continues to learn and practice fundamental reading, writing and math skills.
Bridgeport High School conducts comprehensive academic and career survey assessments for each student to begin the transition process. Students learn to build on their existing academic knowledge in order to apply their skills to real-life settings and situations. The Practical Assessment Exploration System, PAES, facilitates the transition of applying skills to practice. It is a hands-on, comprehensive curriculum that provides exploration, training and assessment in the areas of basic career skills, vocational skills and life skills for high school and transition students attending the Bridgeport School. In this simulated work environment, students are taught skills in a systematic format to help them become more independent and learn everyday skills. The assessment component of the program helps students to determine interests in five specific areas including Business/Marketing, Construction/Industrial, Consumer/Services, Processing/Production and Computer/Technology. Each area has a comprehensive array of tasks for students to perform, providing the foundational basics for school-to-work transition.
After completion of the high school program, students are eligible to enter the Bridgeport Vocational Education Center to further their independence and employability training skills.
Bridgeport School believes that children show the most growth when they are provided with a safe, predictable, and structured learning environment. The Bridgeport social skills philosophy is that the way to strengthen all skills is to highlight what a student is doing correctly, rather than by focusing on inappropriate behaviors. Throughout the day at Bridgeport, students are reinforced with immediate, specific and positive feedback each time they demonstrate appropriate behaviors or approximations thereof. Students at Bridgeport School are taught social skills on a daily basis. Bridgeport uses the “Super Skills” program by Judith Coucouvanis as its core curriculum for all grades kindergarten through 12th. This curriculum is supported by Brenda Smith Miles (author of “The Hidden Curriculum”) and reflects all the key concepts reflected in Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking curriculum, and Skill Streaming. The curriculum focuses on 4 areas of skills necessary for social success:
- Fundamental skills
- Social initiation skills
- Getting along with others
- Social response skills
The Super Skills’ “Steps to Success” are published each week in the campus newsletter that goes home to each family every Friday. In this way, families are able to practice and reinforce the same skills teachers are working on during the week. Teachers use a developmental approach and may encourage students who move at a faster pace to serve as role models or peer mentors for the other students.
At Bridgeport School, we believe the key to success is for students to enjoy their overall school experience. We build student activities into the calendar right at the beginning of the school year to start strong and maintain that enthusiasm and momentum high throughout the school year.
Bridgeport School calendars monthly themed socials that are designed to strengthen student social skills in an enjoyable, meaningful and natural setting. Socials are school-wide, and all students are encouraged to participate. Student interactions are staff supported to demonstrate and model socially appropriate behaviors. Themed socials are an excellent opportunity for our students to come together as a group and make new friends based on shared interests or spend time with existing friends.
School dances are an extra-curricular activity held for our middle school and high school aged students. There are three dances held on Friday evenings after school throughout the year. The dances are themed and have a DJ. In addition to the three scheduled campus school dances, there is a Junior/Senior Prom held each Spring. This is typically held off campus, providing students with an opportunity to interact socially in an age-typical event but in an atmosphere which is monitored by school staff that are there to facilitate the prom experience.
The High School Student Council is made up of a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, as well as a student representative from each grade level. The student representatives speak for their classes, and all officers serve as a collective voice for the student body. Their responsibilities include helping plan school events and bringing new ideas to the attention of the administration and staff. They organize a range of school-wide activities including spirit days, dances, and holiday activities. The officers show the characteristics of a positive role model, and maintain strong school attendance.
Bridgeport students K-12th grade participate in service to their community. Over the course of a school year teachers and students embark on a mission of service where each classroom identifies an area of need or way that they can contribute, locally, nationally or internationally. Throughout the year, students develop a sense of service to their community, effect change and develop a sense of ownership in the world around them.
Students are provided specially designed physical education on a daily basis. Playground activities are done in small groups. This allows students to explore and practice various gross motor skills, and cooperative games. Physical education can play a big part in the development of our students not only physically, but socially as well. All students use a variety of age-appropriate equipment so that they have multiple opportunities to practice skills and participate in sporting events. As skill level develops, students begin to understand the relationship between correct technique and practice. Students learn team games such as basketball, volleyball, baseball, football, tennis and hockey.
Concurrent enrollment takes place at the local community colleges for students to explore career readiness and opportunities for further developing interests and hobbies in a typical and age-appropriate environment.
Students create a weekly newspaper by remaining up to date on current events, collaborating with their classmates, compiling articles for the paper, including an Entertainment, Sports, Cooking and Advice Column sections. Students play the role of reporter and interview their schoolmates on various topics. This is a great way to interact, get others’ points of view as well as practice social skills.
Students participate in using a variety of equipment such as the green screen, Cricuts (Vinyl Cutting), 3-D printers, T-Shirt presses, and how to use Mac computers for their small businesses.
Students participate in tennis lessons twice a week. The students not only learn ground strokes, and how to volley, but they learn how to socialize with their classmates. Most importantly, they have fun while being active.
Buckley Buddies students from the local high school Zoom into our social skills lessons once a week and share their typical perspective.
Bridgeport School is committed to providing all students K through 12 with opportunities to access technology to enrich their learning experience. Each classroom is equipped with computers, and students have access to the computer lab on campus on a regular basis. Interactive white boards and tablets are also used daily throughout every division to support the curriculum.
Bridgeport offers both general education and alternate curriculum tracks. This best-of-both-worlds program allows students to maximize their potential academically while incorporating critical independent and functional skills into their schedules.
Bridgeport Early Elementary uses a variety software programs including Teachtown: Basics and digital access to Wonders for English Language Arts. Teachtown is a comprehensive, research-based, developmental intervention that is based upon principals of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Teachtown addresses language learning, social skills, communications skills and emotional development. Wonders is the state approved curriculum for English in the elementary grades. Number Worlds is a curriculum that provides digital access for math facts and concepts. Moby Max is another digital access curriculum that provides students instruction in all subject content areas.
Bridgeport Middle School uses an online reading program called Ticket to Read, which teaches vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. Ticket to Read lets students practice important reading skills in the classroom, in the computer lab and at home. Students are provided with digital remediation in areas of deficit in English Language Arts through a program called Study Sync. Digital access of Number Worlds is also available to Middle School students for math as well as digital access to Moby Max for all subject content areas. Students also begin to use word processing applications, email programs and the Internet to explore available options for expanding communication.
High school students at Bridgeport School use computers equipped with Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. With Microsoft Office, the students can create professional-looking documents, eye-catching spreadsheets and charts, impactful presentations and professional-quality marketing materials. Technology is available to the High School students through digital access to Study Sync for English Language Arts, Number Worlds for math remediation and Moby Max for all subject content areas.
In the functional arena, tablets are integrated into the high school curriculum with the goal of preparing students for life after graduation. Students apply the skills they have previously learned on the iPad to more advanced applications for functional life skills, such as locating information for community-based instruction trips, creating shopping lists, emailing their parents and family and using the built-in calculator functions to calculate change for food sales or purchases.
Pamela Clark, MA
Director of Schools
Sherman Oaks Campus
Sue Anne Kaples
Head of School
Sara McCracken, PsyD, BCBA
Director of Early Elementary Programs
Mary Bauman, PhD
Senior Clinical Director
Assistant Director of Student Behavioral Services
Bridgeport Intermediate Program – Assistant Principal
High School Assistant Principal
Culver City Campus
Head of School
Pat Sandler, MFT
Director, Clinical Services
The Help Group admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion and of either sex.
* Certified by the California State Department of Education
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Bridgeport is located in Sherman Oaks and Culver City. Its state-of-the-art education campuses include the following:
- Occupational therapy room
- Computer lab
- Athletic and play areas
- Student-operated stores
13130 Burbank Blvd,
Sherman Oaks, 91401
4160 Grand View Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066