Bridges Middle School


Bridges Middle School is an independent nonprofit school in Portland, Oregon that provides a highly creative and focused school setting for 5th - 8th grade students with learning differences.

Fast FactsPhotosVideosAdmissionsOur New CampusCore ValuesFAQsContact Us

Serving 5th-8th grade students with learning differences.

  • Many of our students have multiple learning differences such as ADHD, ADD, and ASD, Executive Functioning difficulties and/or specific learning disabilities that hamper their ability to learn in more traditional educational settings.
  • Too often they have been the victims of bullying in previous schools, losing confidence and motivation.
  • Bridges Middle School does more than prepare our students for high school. We transform lives.
  • Students with learning differences experience academic success and personal growth. They learn to navigate school - and life - with confidence and competence.
  • Students leave Bridges with self-awareness and the tools to accomplish their goals despite their learning differences.

Bridges Middle School is fortunate to have a professional, creative, knowledgeable and caring staff.

  • An important component to ensuring the success of each student at Bridges Middle School is to have faculty who fully understand the developmental characteristics and unique learning needs of middle-school students.
  • Our team of teachers, counselors and administrators bring a wide range of expertise from diverse backgrounds. They help students understand the complex nuances of middle school culture, provide responsive services for challenges that arise within the school community, and assist individual students by providing support and coaching at different stages of need.
  • In our small classes, Bridges' students flourish in a community of supportive teachers and peers. We strive to maintain a student-teacher ratio of nine to one and often even lower, compared with other public and private settings where class sizes often average 30 or more.
  • This unique context allows individualized assistance, the development of a deep understanding of our students' needs, and the ability to tailor lessons to build on the strengths and creative interests of each child.

Building confidence and competence.

  • Every moment is a teaching moment at Bridges Middle School. At Bridges, students ascend to new levels of confidence and competence in an environment of caring, trust, respect and excellent teaching.
  • A strong academic program is vital to helping students reach their potential and prepare them for high school. Our students enjoy a typical middle school curriculum, transformed to meet their individual needs.
  • Bridges' core academic classes include reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and science. Because reading and writing skills are the foundations of academic success, systematic and explicit reading and writing instruction is a central component in each subject area at Bridges Middle School.
  • Additional classes include fitness, organizational skills, keyboarding and art therapy. Our Social Bridges Program provides practical, creative and fun strategies to help students become more aware of concrete social concepts.
  • Bridges' students also benefit from a wide variety of enrichment courses and educational and cultural field trips. Community service integrates classroom learning with the value of volunteerism.

Applications are accepted throughout the school year.

  • We invite you to contact our office to schedule a student-led tour of our campus and meeting with admissions staff to learn how we can help your student succeed in school-and life.
  • Call us at 503.688.2922 or email at to schedule your tour today.


  • Bridges Middle School is an independent nonprofit organization that relies on tuition as the main source of revenue. Tuition is used to finance the school's operating costs including school programs, teachers' salaries and benefits, and facilities. These elements are at the core of the Bridges experience. Annual tuition for the 2017/2018 school year is $22,500, and for the 2018/2019 school year is $23,000.

Our Financial Aid Policy

  • Bridges Middle School is committed to serving an economically diverse community of students. To this end, Bridges endeavors to make its education affordable to all who are qualified, regardless of their financial resources. We raise funds throughout the year to make this resource available to our families.

Need-Based, Need-Blind

  • Bridges' financial aid awards are strictly need-based. The Admissions Committee considers each applicant without knowing whether or not the applicant's family is applying for financial aid. Once students are admitted, the Financial Aid Committee meets to review the financial aid application and to determine the size of each grant.

Learn more at

Our New Campus
Wow! It has been an amazing last few weeks! If you haven't heard the news...WE HAVE MOVED! Bridges has an amazing new location in downtown Portland. As we secured this new spot just before summer ended, it has been a whirlwind of work to pack up and move in to the new location.

And, we could not have done it without a troop of current and alumni parents and student volunteers who jumped right in and helped at a moments notice to make sure we could open and be ready. We cannot thank them enough and we are so incredibly grateful.

You can now find us on First Avenue in Downtown Portland. Our new building boasts floor to ceiling windows, spacious classrooms, private counseling offices, and state of the art infrastructure. Most importantly, its central location enables more families to access a Bridges education. As one of the few schools in Oregon devoted to students with learning differences and the only one focused exclusively on middle school, Bridges offers its 5th through 8th grade students small class sizes, differentiated instruction, and a safe place to learn and grow. For many Bridges students, this means the difference between effective learning and being passed along. It means positive social and emotional growth rather than isolation or, worse, bullying.

A strong academic program is vital to helping students reach their potential and prepare them for high school. Our students enjoy a typical middle school curriculum, transformed to meet their individual needs. Our students gain strategies and skills that increase their academic performance, including learning to organize, focus and communicate more effectively. Bridges Middle School does more than prepare our students for high school. We transform lives. Bridges students learn to navigate school -- and life -- with confidence and competence.


Core Values
Bridges Middle School is committed to creating a school environment based on the Core Values of Respect, Compassion, Justice, Excellence And Citizenship.


  • We welcome the uniqueness and honor the dignity of every person.
  • We communicate openly and we act with integrity.
  • We develop the talents and abilities of one another.


  • We reach out to people in need and give comfort.
  • We embrace those who are suffering.
  • We nurture the well-being of one another and those we serve.


  • We believe everyone has a right to the basic needs of life.
  • We join with others to work for the common good.


  • We set the highest standards for ourselves and for our students.
  • We strive to transform conditions for a better tomorrow while serving today's needs.
  • We celebrate and encourage the contributions of each other.


  • We believe that everything entrusted to us is for the common good.
  • We strive to care wisely for our students, our staff, our resources and the earth.

Q: Who attends Bridges Middle School private school?
A: Students in grades 5-8 who benefit from additional learning support for learning differences. Learn more about Bridges Middle School here. Often our students have been under-served in their former educational experience. Many of our students have learning differences such as ADHD, ADD, Asperger Syndrome and other specific Learning Disabilities that impact their ability to learn in more traditional educational settings. Because our school is largely based on a social model of learning, we have a very thorough evaluation process, and only admit those students who will be the best fit at Bridges.

Q: What is the school schedule?
A: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Wednesday (early dismissal for teacher meetings/planning). Major holidays match the Portland School District calendar as closely as possible.

Q: What is the ratio of teachers to students?
A: 1 teacher for every 9-10 students. Some classes are smaller as the students' needs dictate. Learn more about our academic program here.

Q: What classes are offered?
A: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Art, Fitness, Social Bridges, Organizational Skills, Keyboarding, a wide variety of Enrichment courses, Educational/Cultural Field Trips and Community Service (where students integrate classroom learning with community volunteering). Learn more about our academic program here.

Q: Does Bridges Middle School incorporate Oregon benchmarks?
A: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Social Science and Science curricula prepare students to meet the Middle School Oregon State Benchmarks. Learn more about our academic program here.

Q: How do students improve social skills?
A: Interpersonal skills coaching focuses on involving students as partners in positive problem solving. Community meetings and student committees help build a strong learning community and reinforce positive social skills.
An active Student Ambassador leadership program encourages students to take a dynamic role in promoting their school to visitors and other students.

Q: Is lunch provided?
A: No. Students bring their own lunches that do not require refrigeration or reheating.

Q: Are there classroom observations for prospective parents?
A: Yes; please contact our office to schedule a date.

Contact Us
Bridges Middle School
2150 SW 1st Ave
Portland, OR 97201
Phone: (503) 688-2922

Beven Byrnes
Principal/Executive Director
Direct: (503) 916-2929
Cell: (503) 887-6319

Mrs. Byrnes brings 20 years of experience as a leader in non-profit educational institutions. She is dedicated to building educational environment that encourage active and equitable participation in learning for students of all learning styles and abilities.

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