A Bridge to the Future

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A Bridge to the Future

Mr Gallant and senior Morgan Dodge

Mr Gallant and senior Morgan Dodge

Mr Gallant and senior Morgan Dodge

Mr Gallant and senior Morgan Dodge

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Every high school senior dreams of being able to escape their classes early and enjoying more freedom as a young adult. Here at Ipswich High, seniors are given the opportunity to be done with school a few weeks early and enter the Bridge Internship. The Bridge Internship is a six week long program that replaces school in the final quarter. Bridge starts April 5, 2019, and for qualifying seniors it can’t come any sooner.

It may seem too good to be true, seniors being done with school early and not having to take finals, but there are many requirements that come along with Bridge. First off, for every required class that you have that semester, you must complete a project assigned by the teacher. Additionally, students who take AP classes must be in attendance for every class. You also cannot be absent, dismissed, or tardy more than five times the third quarter with the exception of college visits. Some seniors especially struggle with this requirement, due to senioritis beginning to set in. Other qualifications include that you may not have any F’s senior year and if you have been banned from sports or clubs you are not eligible for the Bridge Internship. Seniors also must be at their Bridge site for at least 30 hours a week.

For some seniors, the decision is easy on whether or not to participate in Bridge, but others do not qualify or decide that the program is not for them. Andrea Stone (Class of 2018), decided not to participate in the Bridge Internship her senior year. She said “I didn’t do Bridge my senior year because at the time, my grades weren’t in the best shape. I had to complete my senior year at Ipswich High school.” Andrea also said that she had no regrets about not participating in Bridge. She explained that she was able to form closer bonds with her teachers and “[get] more one on one learning that I needed at the time.” In recent years, a lot of seniors end up participating in Bridge. So, what does Ipswich High school look like on a daily basis when most of the senior population is gone? Andrea said, “It was a little weird not having my closest friends there with me everyday, but it went by so fast that you didn’t really have time to think about it.” Whether or not you decide to do Bridge, it’s important to weigh your options and consider what opportunities they both have to offer.

This year the Bridge Program has a new coordinator, Mr. Gallant. Mr. Gallant is a technology and engineering teacher here at Ipswich High School. Mr Gallant has always been a big supporter of the Bridge program. As he said, “I think it’s really important for seniors to get out and see what it’s like to work or to get some experience in what they might be doing after high school.” With changes in leadership there often comes possible changes in the Bridge curriculum and requirements, Mr Gallant has a few ideas for what he would like to change in the years to come regarding Bridge. He thinks the requirements should be different and slightly less rigid for students who take AP classes and are playing a sport this spring. He said, “I think they should get more of a break in terms of hours.” So, how does the new Bridge coordinator feel about this opportunity? Mr Gallant said, “I think it’s a great idea for seniors. A lot of seniors have done everything by the fourth quarter of their senior year. So it’s a good chance to learn something and make money because college is expensive.” Overall, Mr Gallant plans to make some changes to the Bridge Program next year with the intention of being more inclusive for students who take AP classes.

The Bridge internship is an exciting opportunity that we are lucky to have at Ipswich High School. Whether you are doing an internship for your possible major in college or working to save money, there are countless possibilities that every senior should look into. So whether you decide to participate in the Bridge internship or not, there are great opportunities no matter where you look.

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