Community Day School to Offer New 5th Grade Bridge Program

RocketKids Article

Pictured: (from l-r) Head of School Dan Ceaser, Elementary Director Barbara O’Brien, Middle School Director Dr. Vincent Miller, and longtime 5th grade teacher Joannie Bloch Provided photo/Community Day School.

Data clearly shows that 5th grade is a pivotal point in children’s development at which they are ready to move beyond the framework for elementary school but benefit from a specialized bridge program to make the transition to middle school less stressful and more successful. Backed by ample research, Hershorin Schiff Community Day School (CDS) is proud to offer a new program, called 5th Grade Bridge. Starting in the 2024-2025 school year, the private school’s 5th grade will neither be a part of the elementary nor middle school but rather a transitional year between the two. Studies show that introducing specific changes – such as the use of lockers, switching classrooms for at least one class period, teaching more advanced problem-solving, study techniques, organizational, and executive functioning skills (to help students “learn how to learn”), and giving students more space to flex their increasing autonomy – as significant factors in ensuring that students will be able to hit the ground running in 6th grade … and beyond. Like a traditional classroom, CDS’s 5th grade will have a primary teacher – Joannie Bloch, who has taught 5th grade at CDS for many years, will serve in this role – for both homeroom and the humanities. Students will begin the process of switching rooms for classes such as math, science, and foreign language, more akin to a traditional middle school schedule. Also like middle school, students will utilize individual lockers throughout the day and be able to participate in many middle school activities, such as athletics, select art offerings, leadership activities, and certain speakers and presentations. They will also have access to certain elective classes in the second and third trimesters. This program will be overseen by CDS’s Elementary Director, Barbara O’Brien, with its Middle School Director, Dr. Vincent Miller, also involved in many aspects of the curriculum. As the year progresses, Dr. Miller will engage with more intensively with the program to begin the process of getting to know each 5th-grade family/child and introduce them to CDS’s middle school program. CDS will offer two upcoming Elementary School Open Houses to assist families in learning more about the 5th Grade Bridge program, on January 30 at 6:30 p.m. (in person), and February 13 at 9:30 a.m. (virtual). To register for one of these sessions, visit communityday.org/admissions/open-houses.
CDS is located at 4335 Wilkinson Rd., Sarasota. To learn more, visit CommunityDay.org or call 941-552-2770.

Pictured: (from l-r) Head of School Dan Ceaser, Elementary Director Barbara O’Brien, Middle School Director Dr. Vincent Miller, and longtime 5th grade teacher Joannie Bloch Provided photo/Community Day School.

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