The Bridge School


Distance Learning at The Bridge School

updated 09/10/2020

By decision of the Board of Directors, The Bridge School will begin classes on Monday, August 27th in Distance Learning due to COVID-19, and we expect to remain in Full Time Distance Learning through September. Similar to other schools, we will return to in-person school in sequential steps that could include a Hybrid Model that brings some but not all students onto campus. This will only occur if San Mateo County is off the State Monitoring List or if The Bridge School requests a waiver if opening seems safe for students. The Bridge School will reexamine metrics in mid-September to determine next steps for October and each month thereafter if necessary. Parents will be surveyed as to their willingness to return their students to school when it is determined safe to do so.

The Bridge School will closely follow Hillsborough County School Districts reopening plan. Please link to their site for additional information.

School Hours

On June 20, 2020, a new state senate bill (SB98) was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. In that bill, regulations for instructional minutes for the school day for Elementary school students were outlined. They are as follows: 

  • Kindergarten – 3 Hours (180 minutes) 
  • 1st – 3rd grade – 3 hours 50 min (230 minutes) 
  • 4th – 12th grade – 4 hours (240 minutes) 

Each student must have daily live interaction with a teacher (via WebEx, Zoom, or telephone).  Instructional minutes will be met in a combination of in-person, live synchronous, and independent asynchronous work. For The Bridge School, Pre-Kindergarten will follow the same schedule as Kindergarten, with increased time for asynchronous learning.


The Bridge School staff is required by the State of California to take attendance and document daily student participation for distance learning. Daily participation will include but is not limited to evidence of participation in online activities, completion of regular assignments, completion of assessments, and contacts between staff and students and/or their families.

Attendance is based on participation in synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities (Synchronous learning is remote learning where everyone from a given group is online at the same time using tools such as WebEX or Zoom. Asynchronous learning is remote learning where students access lessons or independent learning tasks at any time during the day).

Parents’ communication requirement: If a classroom teacher contacts you about your child’s attendance, please respond on the Remind App, by email, or by phone.

The Bridge School is dedicated to ensuring the following during Distance Learning: 

The Bridge School will:

  • Support our students as they continue developing educational and social life skills
  • Continue supporting students as they work toward developing communicative competence
  • Strive to support families in their homes during Distance Learning 
  • Continue integrating Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems, Assistive Technology, and Cortical Visual Impairment strategies and support
  • Ensure that our students can participate with their classroom teachers and peers 
  • Remain mindful of and factor in the anxiety and other impactful conditions that this crisis is imposing upon our students, our educators, and all of their families
  • Maintain and nurture connections with our students
  • Provide work that is meaningful and that mitigates skill’s regression
  • Continue reinforcing prior learning and support students’ deepening understanding 

Our 2020-2021 classrooms will be implementing new Distance Learning schedules. The new schedules will provide our staff more flexibility to work with small groups of students, co-teach lessons, and schedule and conduct family and IEP meetings virtually. Related service providers (speech therapists, occupational therapists, etc.) will also continue to support students virtually.

For Questions About…Contact
The Daily Schedule and related classroom work Your child(ren)’s Teacher/SLP
Classroom 1
Bridget Emery (Teacher); Rebecca Matthews (SLP)
Classroom 2
Stephanie Gieseker (Teacher); Johnson Taing (SLP)
Occupational Therapy and Assistive Technology
(ex: issues regarding seating and positioning, access issues and/or ideas for accessing home environments)
Yolanda Scarpati OT
Joy McCollum-Franco ATP
A personal concern regarding your childYour Child’s Teacher and/or SLP
Vicki Casella (Executive Director)
Aileen Arai (Director of Education)
Other issues related to distance learning Vicki Casella (Executive Director)
Aileen Arai (Director of Education)
Kathleen Carr (Associate Director of Education)


Classroom Schedules by Grade

Pre K-K

Teacher: Bridget Emery/SLP: Rebecca Matthews

TimesMonday – Friday
9:00 – 9:45Morning Meeting Story
9:45 – 10Online Break
10 – 10:50Music/Sharing
10:50 – 11:15Online Break
11:15 – 12Asynchronous Learning
12 – 12:30
12:30 – 1:15


Teachers: Bridget Emery and Stephanie Gieseker/SLP: Rebecca Matthews

TimesMonday – Friday
9:00 – 9:45Morning Meeting Language Arts
9:45 – 10Online Break
10 – 10:50Letter Block
10:50 – 11:15Online Break
11:15 – 12Writer’s Workshop
12 – 12:30Online Lunch
12:30 – 1:15Math/Science


Teacher: Stephanie Geiseker /SLP: Johnson Taing

TimesMonday – Friday
9:00 – 9:45Morning Meeting Language Arts
9:45 – 10Online Break
10 – 10:50Letter Block
10:50 – 11:15Online Break
11:15 – 12Writer’s Workshop
12 – 12:30Online Lunch
12:30 – 1:15Math/Science


Teacher: Stephanie Geiseker /SLP: Johnson Taing

TimesMonday – Friday
9:00 – 9:45Morning Meeting Letter Block
9:45 – 10Online Break
10 – 10:50Language Arts
10:50 – 11:15Online Break
11:15 – 12Math/Science
12 – 12:30Online Lunch
12:30 – 1:15Writer’s Workshop

Tools that we will be using to support distance learning and communication

Remind App

  • Remind is a communication platform that helps educators and parents communicate much like texting.
  • While this app will be a supplement to email and not the only form of communication, it provides an alternate option for the families that do not have easy access to email.
  • Remind’s guidelines, practices, and features have been designed to protect the safety and security of users and their personal information. Remind has been certified by iKeepSafe for privacy practices related to COPPA, FERPA, and California Student Privacy.


Teachers/SLPs will hold video sessions with students to give live instruction, discussion, 1:1 support, and/or to continue to build social-emotional connections with students.  Your child(ren)’s teacher will announce the date/time for these virtual meetings and will share a link to the session. WebEx is an encrypted, secure platform and the only shared platform approved of for video conferencing at The Bridge School.


Bridge School staff will post videos through password protected Showcases in Vimeo. Families will be given a secure, private link to Vimeo that should not be shared with others.

IT, AT, Communication Devices

  • IPads, laptops, or other IT equipment are checked out to families who may require additional IT/AT support at home.  These are determined on a case by case basis.
  • Additional AT may be checked out to families such as, Step By Steps, SGDs, etc., on a case by case basis.

Additional Tools

Teachers will give clear instructions for students if they want them to use any of these extra tools. Many of these tools are ones that are already used frequently by teachers. Please note: teachers may also be using tools that are not listed below. They will communicate requirements for using these, and all, tools to students using their main method of communication. 

The Bridge School Distance Learning Plan [PDF, 248KB]