Bridge Prep Charter School is New York State’s first and only public school specifically designed to meet the needs of students with dyslexia and other language-based learning difficulties. Bridge Prep is a literacy-focused elementary school designed to ensure that all students, especially those struggling with literacy, gain the skills and confidence to meet their full academic potential.
Partner Laurel Wedinger is a member of the founding team and on the board of trustees for Bridge Prep in Staten Island, which officially opened on September 5, 2019.
For the past several years, families and advocates, including Mrs. Wedinger, have been pleading for programming and school options designed for students struggling with literacy, specifically those students with dyslexia. In November of 2014, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo formally met with parents, advocates, and students to better understand the challenges they faced every day. In early 2016, armed with that understanding, it was determined that a major step in addressing this need, would be the creation of a new public charter school and a Planning Team was convened to begin the process of bringing Bridge Prep to Staten Island. In June 2018, the New York State Board of Regents voted to approve the charter for Bridge Preparatory Charter School to open on Staten Island, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. As a result of the Regents’ historic approval, Bridge Prep became the first public school in New York State and one of only a few nationwide, designed specifically to meet the needs of students with dyslexia and other language-based disabilities and to truly improve academic outcomes for all students.