K-8 Bridges Academy opens up in Steiner Ranch

Alexandra Elliot, Bridges Academy Austin director

By SUMERLYN YUDELL, Four Points News

With the 2020-21 school year approaching, Bridges Academy, a private K-8 school will open up in Steiner Ranch in August. 

Alexandra Elliot, the director and founder of Bridges Academy, as well as a Steiner Ranch resident, has 23 years of teaching experience and is eager to begin offering a private education for her students. 

“I became an educator to see my students overcome challenges,” Elliot said. “My specialty is dyslexia, I enjoy helping students who have been struggling and maybe flustered catch-up and reach grade-level to become successful students. Many of my students are behind when they start out, but when they re-enter public school they often go to the top of their class.”

Bridges Academy is a tailored education with certified teachers who specialize in dyslexia, dysgraphia, gifted twice-exceptional and other learning differences. 

“Our teachers are specialists with doctoral and master’s degrees who are typically triple certified as core subject teachers, reading/dyslexia specialists and special education teachers,” Elliot said. 

With schools adjusting curriculum for the 2020-21 school year, Bridges will offer three options for students. 

The students a part of the in-person program will attend school five days a week with a 1:9 teacher to student ratio. The Live-Taught Virtual Program will use video conferences to teach students directly where Bridges specialists will meet 1:1 with students via video conference to provide dyslexia therapy and other academic interventions. The hybrid program allows for students to attend both in-person and virtual instruction, which benefits commuters and individuals who enjoy a diverse learning experience. 

“Our highly-skilled team works collaboratively to individualize intervention and classroom instruction to meet the needs of students, whether they are ahead or behind in a subject. Students have times during the day that they receive 1:1 intervention, if needed, or pursue advanced interests.”

Alexandra Elliot, Bridges Academy Austin director, inside one of the multiple instruciton rooms.

The goal for each student who attends Bridges Academy is to reach their academic potentials, gain confidence and engage with learning. 

The staff wants their students to develop critical thinking while also building basic skills. Bridges Academy students begin with an early arrival to receive their 1:1 intervention before the start of the regular school day. Then, they have a traditional school day attending classes in language arts, math, science, social studies and art. 

 “The students I’m working with are so delighted to have that one-on-one support and I truly get to know my kids with such a small class size,” said Alondra Gladdis, a teacher and reading specialist. “I get to tailor things to my students to motivate them to be successful.”

The difference between Bridges and a typical K-8 school is that Bridges adapts the subjects to be more hands-on and engaging than the instruction provided in most programs. 

COVID-19 did not affect the in-person program since class sizes remain small to create a personalized education. “We were already providing live-virtual teaching, so COVID-19 just increased the amount of live virtual teaching we were doing,” Elliot said.

To enroll, parents should contact director Elliot at 512-506-1980 to arrange an appointment. Applications are available after contacting the director to discuss your child’s needs and to determine if there is space available.