Who goes to a school to play sports?
By Tillie Bruss, Landscape Designer, Bridgedale Academy Mom
The concept was foreign to us ... (but now) he has asked more than once to stay after school to study.
That's how I start every conversation about my son's school.
Because, lets face it, it's weird.
I went to Catholic grade school and high school and so did my husband. All four of our kids were in Catholic school; that's just what we thought was normal.
The problem was that our son was struggling.
My husband and I debated what to do; his grades were low, he didn't want to study, he didn't want to do homework and we just couldn't keep doing the same thing - there was no way he was being prepared for high school.
When we were forwarded the Bridgedale Academy info from a friend, we were initially reluctant - who goes to a school to play sports? The concept was so foreign to us. I mean it's all fine and good to skate and train every day but what kind of education would you get?
After much handwringing we decided to try Bridgedale.
With the small class size we felt that our son would get the attention he needed to succeed.
When we looked at the tuition, we tried to figure how much we would have to spend with private tutors if we kept him in his old school. We told ourselves that we could pull him out at any time if it was not working and send him somewhere else.
Let's try it for a month or a semester and see how it goes we said.
One year later, I can honestly say sending him to Bridgedale was one of the best decisions we ever made for him.
We have already reenrolled him at Bridgedale for the 2018-19 school year.
It's not just the improvement in our son's GPA that is the measure for us, but his entire attitude for school. At Catholic school we had to fight every night to get our son to finish his homework, if he didn't "forget" to bring it home.
At Bridgedale, we are usually just checking the homework he has already done without being forced.
In fact, he has asked more than once to stay after school to study. That is something I would never have thought he would ever do before Bridgedale.
He wants to get good grades now and is working for them, rather than not caring about grades and not putting in any effort to school work as in the past.
Again, our main concern with our Catholic school was that he was not being properly prepared for high school; we do not have that worry at Bridgedale.
We also had concerns about the social aspect of Bridgedale. Our son has friends and school activities that he does not see as much while attending Bridgedale. But I can say again it was a concern that never materialized.
I always ask my son "who did you hang out with today" or "who are you friends,” and he always says "everyone, mom, we all hang out together."
To me the clearest example of what Bridgedale Academy is teaching the boys happened in a playoff game this year. My son's team played against a team with two other Bridgedale classmates. A teacher came to watch, which shows the dedication of the staff to the boys to take time outside of school hours to support the students.
After the game, all three of the boys hugged at center ice, which to me showed the friendship they have is more important than the game.
That, to me, is what Bridgedale is about.
Tillie Bruss appears by permission. She is an entrepreneur with the landscape design firm Tillie Bruss Landscapes, based in Naperville, IL, continuing a family business begun in 1952. Tillie has her degree in horticulture from the University of Illinois.
Tillie's son George Kopek is a 7th grader at Bridgedale Academy and competed for the Admirals Hockey Club during the 2017-18 school year.
Bridgedale Academy is honored to have Tillie Bruss contribute her Testimonial on our blog page.
At Bridgedale we are committed to the development of our young student-athletes, helping them to develop their physical and mental skills so they can perform at their best when it matters most, no matter the arena of life that challenges them. If you would like to learn more about Bridgedale Academy, please click the button below so we can schedule a time to chat.
Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy
And what do Bridgedale teachers say about Bridgedale?
"This is such a special place!! It is life changing for these boys as it centers around strong relationships that encourage strong academic growth. It’s a hockey school, but so much more than that.
"It’s a pleasure to come to work everyday. Thank you for creating such a positive, caring environment."
Kristi Florey, Bridgedale Math Teacher
Bridgedale Academy is an all-boys school for athletes, a prep school for serious youth hockey players. We will offer grades 5 through 8 in the 2018-19 school year. In addition to our winning combination of sports and academics, we focus on leadership training. We use a classical academic curriculum and our graduates go on to attend some of the most prestigious high schools in the midwest, including Lake Forest Academy, Culver Military Academy, Shattuck St. Mary’s, Northwood School, Benet Academy, Fenwick Prep, St. Ignatius Prep, Latin School and Providence Catholic. We pride ourselves on being the top youth hockey prep school in the nation. Eleven (11) of our former or current students have already received their NCAA Division 1 college hockey commitments. Three (3) of our former students competed for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program and will begin their college playing careers in 2018-19, two at Notre Dame and one at Michigan.