300 seats in classes. Students can take only two
classes, as we want them to focus. ”
Bridges says that family income level is a factor
in the application process, but the school also asks
that the children apply and holds an interview
process. The staff wants students who want to
be in the program and not students coerced by
their parents. Offering classes from 3-8 p.m. daily,
Monday-Thursday, the school leaves Fridays open
for master classes or special events.
A new venture, Art Start, is a special class for
children ages 1-4, offered during the day and in the
evening. Heather Wells, the school’s creative writing
instructor, teaches music and art to the little
ones and Bridges teaches dance.
Bridges says her staff is going through traumainformed
care classes. It is a seven-month training.
In addition to staff training, she also offers five
seminars a year that the students have to attend:
mental health awareness, human trafficking, antibullying,
safe gun control and substance abuse.
“We like students to attend the seminars,”
Bridges says. “We also monitor their grades and
attendance at school. We are stressing quality and
accountability. We want the kids to want to be here,
not forced. We have a lot of home-schooled kids
and special needs kids.”
Although the work schedule for the old St. Anastasia
School has yet to be determined, Bridges is
looking forward to moving her students into their
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Bridges leads the group of students in some fun and warm-up exercises prior to the start
of the group rehearsal at the Crain House.