Bringing back the joy of reading & writing

Academic Upper Elementary

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Upper Elementary for Academic Year



Our tutoring classes for our upper elementary students, generally for 4th to 5th graders, are two hours long.  Students come in once a week.  We place students in groups of 2 to 6.  They are grouped by age.  These classes are categorized as enrichment classes.  Enrichment classes are for students who are at or above grade level and want to go above and beyond what they are learning in their regular school classes. If you feel your child may be below grade level, we will gladly conduct an assessment to figure out the best class setting for your child.

Our Upper Elementary Reading and Writing Program is broken up into two semesters.  However, a new student can begin our program at any time and does not have to wait for the next unit to begin.

AUGUST 30, 2016 TO JANUARY 20, 2017

During our fall semester, the 4th and 5th grade students will learn how to successfully read informational and non-fiction texts.  To engage the students, we have high-interest but challenging non-fiction texts.

Students will practice useful study skills and reading strategies for understanding, remembering, and organizing the information they read.  They will learn note-taking skills and the importance of organizing non-fiction reading into five different organizational patterns as a way of better remembering a large amount of information: sequencing, description, compare/contrast, cause/effect, or problem/solution.

During the second half of this unit, students will write informational essays on a topic of their choice.  It will be a topic they feel they are experts in and have enough experience to “teach” or “inform” their readers.  We will teach students to use the basic three-paragraph essay structure, which includes the introduction paragraph, elaborative supporting paragraphs, and concluding paragraph.  They will use the proper transition words and technical vocabulary to enhance their writing. They will practice using the full writing process (brainstorming, organizing, drafting, revising, editing)..

JANUARY 23, 2017 TO JUNE 2, 2017

During our spring semester, the 4th and 5th grade students will learn how to successfully read informational or literary texts for the purpose of writing argumentative/opinion essays.  Students will learn to navigate through the text of particular topics, first making sure to read for understanding and then for effective note-taking skills. The purpose of our reading will be to gather the evidence necessary for building a logical, persuasive argument.  Students will learn how to effectively search for and identify the specific quotes that can use to back up their argument/opinion and how to organize them in their reading notes.

We will also give students the space to brainstorm personal experiences and/or true-to-life events to help support their opinion about a real-world argumentative/opinion topic.  After formulating a thesis argument for their opinion, students will learn to write a three-paragraph argumentative/opinion essay. This will include an introductory paragraph, a body paragraph, and a concluding paragraph.  Useful transition phrases and language will be used to help structure their essays in a way that creates a stronger bias.  Students will practice using the full writing process (brainstorming, organizing, drafting, revising, editing).

See Class Info and Schedule for more information.  Both semesters are literature based, so each semester revolves around the literature we read.

In each unit, we engage our students in (a) vocabulary enrichment, (b) reading comprehension and analysis, and (c) the writing process. Our curriculum is a process-based methodology. Therefore, even though the three units cover a variety of subject matters, our students use the same process for vocabulary enrichment, reading comprehension and writing for each unit. We believe that the repetition and practice is essential in helping our students grow and learn.


Our Academic Year Program is broken up into two semesters.  However, a new student can begin our program at any time and does not have to wait for the next semester to begin.  Students come in once a week and all classes are from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Choose one day: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

1st Semester

August 30, 2016 to January 20, 2017


2nd Semester

January 23, 2017 to June 2, 2017


Thanksgiving Holiday : November 21, 2016 to November 25, 2016HOLIDAYS

Winter Break : December 19, 2016 to December 30, 2016

Spring Break : April 3, 2017 to April 7, 2017

Fees, Information & Policies

  1. How much does it cost? $45 per hour.  Our classes are 2 hours per week for a total of $90 per week.
  2. When time are the classes? Classes are from 4:30 to 6:30.
  3. What do I need to pay when I register?  To register, you will need to pay a one-time registration fee of $25 on Eventbrite.  Upon registration, you will also be charged the registration deposit for the first 4 weekly sessions of $360 (or $320 if a sibling discount applies). The registration deposit will be applied to the first 4 sessions.  This amount is non-refundable. Please note that if you start sessions in the middle of our 4-session billing cycle, your first invoice will be reduced by any credit from your registration deposit.
  4. How do I register?  There are 2 simple steps to the registration process:
    • $25 Registration Fee. Please register online by clicking on the “Register Now” button to reserve your child’s spot in the class and pay the $25 registration fee.  The registration fee is nonrefundable. After you pay the registration fee on Eventbrite, you will automatically be directed to the Registration Form.
    • Complete the Registration Form. After you pay the registration fee, the registration system will automatically direct you to the Registration Form.  The Registration Form will require parent’s contact information, student information, and the credit card authorization for the recurring 4-session payments.  Your registration will not be accepted until the Registration Form is completed and submitted. Upon receipt of the Registration Form, we will charge your credit card the registration deposit for the first 4 weeks of $360 (or $320 if a sibling discount applies).  This is nonrefundable.
    • After you pay the registration fee and complete the registration form, we will send a Welcome Email within 2 to 3 days to confirm your child’s enrollment in our program.
  5. What are the terms of service? When you register you must agree to our Instructional Agreement.  Please review it carefully.  You may also download a pdf copy of the Instructional Agreement.
  6. How do I pay for the fees?  Our billing cycle is every 4 sessions (not every four weeks).  You will not be billed for holiday weeks.  Every 4-session period, we will automatically bill your credit card for the next 4 sessions.
  7. Do I have to pay by credit card?  Yes, and we do require a credit card to be kept on file for automatic billing.  The online credit card form is secured by SSL protocol and data encryption through Formstack.
  8. Do you offer sibling discounts?  Yes. For students with siblings in our program, the hourly rate is $40 for the additional sibling.  For example, if there are 2 children from one family, one child will be at $45 per hour and the sibling will be at the reduced rate of $40 per hour.
  9. What is the class size?   Up to 8 or 9 students.  However, some classes could be larger.
  10. How do I get on the waitlist if the class is full?  To be put on a waitlist for any of our classes, please submit a waitlist request and provide the requested information.  During the beginning of the academic year, we are always adding new classes so please submit a waitlist request.  We will pull students off the waitlist first when we open new classes.
  11. Is there a minimum contract period?  There is no minimum contract period.  We do not obligate you to any long term contract, but you must give 30 days prior written notice to withdraw from classes.
  12. What is your absence policy? There are NO REFUNDS  for absences.  However, you may email us at to request a make-up class for another day during the same week. Make-up classes are not guaranteed and are subject to availability.
  13. What if I am late to pickup my child?  As stated in our Instructional Agreement, if the student in not picked up within 15 minutes after the end of class, there will be a $25 fee for each occurrence.
  14. Is there homework?  Students at Bridges will not receive any homework.  All work is done at Bridges.
  15. How many times a week does my child have class at Bridges?  Students come to Bridges once a week.
  16. Can my child bring a snack to Bridges?  In consideration of some of our students that have severe food allergies that could be life-threatening, we have a strict policy of limiting the type of snacks that your child may bring to Bridges.  Here is a list of approved snacks. All other snacks are strictly prohibited. Please do not give your child any snacks to bring to Bridges that are not on this list.  This list is periodically updated.
  17. Do you require an assessment prior to registration?  No, an assessment is not required prior to registration.  It is only necessary for students with reading & writing skills significantly below grade level.  If you have any questions, or would like to discuss your child’s reading & writing skills, we offer free consultations with our education director.  Please submit a request by click on the Questions tab on the bottom of the page.