Brautigam Center Honors Inaugural "Bridging to High School" Graduates

January 22, 2020

Inaugural Brautigam Center Bridging to High School ceremonyBrautigam Center student Angelina Jimenez, right, accepts her certificate of completion from the school’s inaugural “Bridging to High School” program. The collaborative effort among district staff, CFISD middle schools and the Brautigam Center staff allowed participants to successfully complete the eighth grade curriculum during one semester and begin working on high school coursework in the spring semester. The school held a ceremony Jan. 10 to honor the 12 program graduates.

Jan. 22, 2020—The Leonard Brautigam Center recognized 12 students at a special ceremony in front of family, teachers and campus and CFISD administrators on Jan. 10. These students successfully completed the eighth grade curriculum during one semester and have begun working on high school coursework in the spring semester.

The students were participants in the inaugural “Bridging to High School” program, a collaborative effort among district staff, CFISD middle schools and the Brautigam Center staff.

To be eligible for the program, students must turn 15 or 16 years old in the eighth grade. In addition, each participant’s academic history was studied to ensure he or she would receive the instructional support to be successful and not face any potential disadvantages by entering the program.

“The program helped me a lot,” Brautigam Center student Caleb King said. “At first, I had a lot of negative thoughts–quitting school and trying to find my way out. I thought I was too far behind for my age. Now, I feel like I can do this, and I did do it.”

The students completed course work in science and social studies through digital credit recovery, while language arts and mathematics were taught in a block schedule by Tina King and Amanda Fulton, respectively.

Inaugural Brautigam Center Bridging to High School celebrationBrautigam Center student Natijha Hawkins, left, poses with her grandmother, Malvin Galmon, after she was honored during a ceremony Jan. 10 for completing the school’s inaugural “Bridging to High School” program. She joined 11 participants in completing the eighth grade curriculum during one semester to begin working on high school coursework in the spring semester.

One initial challenge facing the students was bonding with each other. Few spoke when the program began, Fulton said, but they quickly opened up and learned to lean on each other for support. During the ceremony, each received a rousing ovation from classmates and guests.

Each received a certificate recognizing completion of the program and promotion to ninth grade. The ceremony also included refreshments and treats gifted by a parent.

“As they started to become more successful and they saw that their goals were achievable, you could see the maturity happening and see the pride,” Tina King said. “Seeing these kids, who probably haven’t been successful in academics, being cheered on for being successful was exciting.”

Now as ninth grade students, program participants are taking English I, Algebra I, Health and Personal, Academic and Career Exploration (PACE) during the spring semester.

“I am very proud of the commitment and work our students in the program put forth,” said Dr. Linda Macias, CFISD chief academic officer. “For most of these students, this is the first time they have been successful in school and the first time to be acknowledged for their work. They are motivated to continue working toward their high school diploma. The Brautigam Center administrators did an excellent job implementing the program and selecting the right teachers for our students. We all know the teachers make the difference.”

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