In December of 2012, two months after Hurricane Sandy, the families, teachers, and administrators of St. Peter’s Episcopal Day School in Bay Shore were told that the school would close its doors at the end of the school year. Everyone was devastated by the news. St. Peter’s had a tradition of over 40 years of excellence in educating children. No one wanted to give up on our wonderful school and its community of families, so the parents, along with the teachers and professional staff, decided to start a new school. The vision was to take the very best of St. Peter’s and expand on it with a program centered around the values of character, confidence, and knowledge. It would be a school with a strong academic foundation enriched with a diverse set of programs to give students an opportunity to grow in many areas. The Bridges Academy name was chosen since the school would be a bridge from an old school to a new school, as well as a bridge for students from preschool to lower school and from lower school to middle school and beyond.
A grassroots effort consisting of parents, teachers, administrators, and students joined together and volunteered hundreds of hours to establish The Bridges Academy as a fully accredited independent day school serving Toddlers through Eighth Grade students. Over 90 percent of the St. Peter’s teaching and professional staff and families committed to joining the new school. To our amazement, many new families also enrolled, having been impressed by the mission and strong sense of community. So in September 2013, the doors opened at our West Islip location with over 150 students. As the children came off the buses, everyone gathered around cheering. It was an amazing first day for the school.
In the Media
From the very beginning The Bridges Academy captured the media spotlight with our remarkable community pulling together to open the doors to this amazing school for the very first time.
We continue to excite with our innovative programs and partnerships. We diligently look for new ways to create rewarding experiences for our students to help them explore the world and themselves in new ways.
The Bridges Academy is an example of a community coming together to face the toughest odds to achieve a dream. It is a rarity in a world filled with skepticism. Today, Bridges enrolls more than 250 students from over 26 school districts. Our graduates head off yearly to their first-choice high schools and move on to attend some of the best colleges and universities in the US.
As we reflect on our beginnings, we carry with us a strong sense of community, optimism, and true grit. Many told us it would be impossible to start a new school, but they underestimated the power of community believing in a dream.