Tuesday • February 27
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Specialized Teaching for Learning Differences
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Our special guest this week is Beven Byrnes. Ms. Byrnes is Principal and Executive Director for Bridges Middle School, an independent nonprofit school in Portland Oregon. The school provides creative and focused school setting for 5-8th grade students with learning differences. At Bridges, students ascend to new levels of confidence and competence in an environment of caring, trust, respect and excellent teaching.
Episode Segments:
Heaven Sent and Bent: Beven Byrnes
My guest today is Beven Brynes. Ms. Byrnes is the Principle and Executive Director for Bridges Middle School, an independent nonprofit school focused on students 5th-8th grades. Bridges offers the students a chance to have the normalized experience of middle school without the stigma of being “pulled out” for special education. The teachers and counselors at BMS don’t see behavior as the issue but rather they just work with learning differences. They offer small classrooms giving each instructor the ability to know each student personally and teach with repetitive structure, personal learning and fair consequences. When you have programs such as Bridges Middle School that are so effective and successful, you have to ask yourself, why isn’t this model copied, repeated and integrated into the national public school system, at least on some level? But, anyway, thank heavens it does exist and a few future young men and women will be better for it. Listen as Beven and I discuss how this program works…..
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Links to Related Websites:
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.

Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Beven Byrnes
Beven Byrnes is the Executive Director/Principal of Bridges Middle School. Educated at Portland State University and the Institute for Nonprofit Management, Mrs. Byrnes has 20 years of experience as a leader in various capacities for non-profit organizations that range from a large national healthcare advocacy and service organization to a small local science education program serving at-risk youth. She strongly believes in the power of an educational environment that encourages active and equitable participation in learning for students of all learning styles and abilities. She is a Portland native, wife, mother of two, artist, community activist and lover of animals.

Bridges Middle School on Facebook