Monday January 25, 2021
Hello friends of City of Bridges! We hope you made it to 2021 in one piece, having enjoyed a holiday season to remember. I am writing this edition of the newsletter in between classes for my micropod, one of three that are currently running. The past few weeks have been momentous, from insurrection, to presidential inauguration, to a completely new school routine. Randy, Justin and I have settled into a groove with our students, each micropod it's own world. As one of our students so cleverly noted during last week's Board meeting, our solution to growth, maintaining our ethics and small size, lies in this not-dissimilar concept of school pods. This winter, we have split the school into three different micropods, operating out of three different locations. Each pod is fairly autonomous in how the day is structured and what the students are working on. Randy's pod is training to become entrepreneurs, with students working on personal projects and a communal project: City of Bridge's very own breakfast burrito food truck. Justin's pod is in the process of screenwriting, costume designing, and producing a movie. My pod is exploring photography and Photovoice, which will culminate in a Zoom gallery show at the end of the block! Stay tuned for news of our food truck opening, movie premiere, and gallery show in the coming months. Throughout this first micropod month, we've been learning an incredible amount about ourselves, our students, and school's potential. In one pod students have seized the opportunity to create clubs; in another, students are requesting one-on-one virtual sessions for Math class at 7am. The flexibility and customization these smaller group sizes allow reminds us of our commitment to individualized learning and the joy of working so closely with our students. In our non-teaching hours, we've added two wonderful folks to our Board of Directors! Anneliese Martinez and Neil Brown have now officially come aboard, and joined one of our three Board committees, focusing on Economic Systems (envisioning alternative funding systems); Creative Spaces (envisioning City of Bridges' permanent home); and Enrollment (focused on diversity, equity and inclusion). These committees are open to the broader community and we ask you to please consider joining! The more our community is engaged, the larger strides we can take in our movement forward. Speaking of movement: we ask for all community members to please take two minutes to fill out this survey of community skills and capacity. Thank you!
A note from Randy: The winter months are a time for reflection; the shorter days and the colder temperatures encourage us to pause and look back on what we have accomplished and to envision what might come in the future. This year has been remarkable for the City of Bridges community. We were presented with the challenge of living into our values and beliefs about school in the middle of a global pandemic that shifted all of the systems and structures of our society. In the coming months, we will be writing to you about our visions for the future, our excitement about what will come next and our joy in continuing to grow this amazing community. Right now, I want to take and thank all of you; students, family members, Board Members, supporters, community members and our amazing staff for making the first part of this school year such a success. Looking forward: By the time we write the next newsletter, we'll be ending our second month of micropods, and donning our coats to return to outdoor school once again. All educators remark on how the school year disappears after the holidays....but it feels especially poignant with these strange COVID milestones. We appreciate you being along with us, on the journey. Be well, Jess, Randy & Justin