Bridges Prep earns high marks on school’s initial report card

The first report card for Bridges Preparatory School is in, showing the Beaufort institution not only among the top third of the state’s charter schools in meeting state standards for elementary students but outpacing the Beaufort County School District’s average.

The S.C. Public Charter School District’s annual analysis showed 56 percent of Bridges Prep elementary students achieved standards in English/language arts in 2015-16, seventh among 24 South Carolina Public Charter School District members offering elementary instruction. Math standards were met by 53 percent of students, ranking sixth.

That compared to 46 percent of BCSD elementary students meeting math standards and 44 percent in English.

“For such a young school to have started so strong and to have such a bright future is something worth celebrating,” Dee Matthews, chairwoman of the school’s board of directors, said in a statement.

Middle school students also were strong in English/language arts, with 62 percent meeting state standards. Math lagged at 49 percent — though 96 percent of middle school students who took Algebra I passed the required exit exam.

Opened in August 2013, Bridges Prep was not subject to assessment in its first two years. The school had 511 students last year, ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade.

Bridges Prep added ninth grade this year, with plans to to expand by a grade for three more years to achieve full K-12 status.

Last summer, the school announced its intent to purchase an 18-acre site off Robert Smalls Parkway in Port Royal that will consolidate its three campuses into one. Design work is underway for a proposed 90,000-square-foot facility that would open in August 2018.

Jeff Shain: 843-706-8123, @jeffshain