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    Program Purpose

    Young adults ages 18-21 who receive special education services often need continued services after high school in order to meet their individualized post-secondary transition goals for:

    Working, Independent Living, and Learning (WILL).

    Through a majority of off-campus community-based instruction, BRIDGES provides opportunities for students to become productive, independent, and engaged adults.

    Student engaged in hands on and active art project.

    Program Focus

    • Personal Life: Social Skills, Self-Advocacy, Executive Functioning
    • Employability: Job Awareness, Hard & Soft Skills, Building Stamina
    • Daily Living: Time Management, Food Preparation, Self-Care
    • Community Living: Transportation, Recreation/Leisure
    • Functional Academics: Money Management, Reading and Writing Skills in the Workplace
    • Agency Linkages: DDA, King County DDD School to Work, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WISE), employment vendors, Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WISE), Arc of King County, King County METRO etc.

    Program Locations

    View of downtown and Elliot Bay from DVR offices in the Pac Med Building

    Map of BRIDGES locations 2019-20

    There are numerous classes/programs at multiple sites around the city.  Even though some of the BRIDGES programs are 'home-based' at high schools, BRIDGES students are no longer part of daily high school schedules, routines, and events.   Most student employment and recreation/leisure activities are off-campus.  Recreation and leisure activities may involve using METRO as a group to visit restaurants, museums, swimming pools, bowling alleys, libraries, etc.   Each site/class is staffed by a Seattle Public Schools certificated special education teacher and at least two instructional assistants.

    2019-20 SCHOOL YEAR


    • Project Search @ Children's Hospital*
    • Swedish Hospital at Ballard
    • Swedish Hospital at First Hill
    • Providence Mt. St. Vincent in West Seattle
    • Project Search @ University of Washington**

    *Students in last year of school-age eligibility and DDA-eligible. Classroom at Roosevelt Commons in U-District.

    **Students in last year of school-age eligibility who have a diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and are DDA-eligible. Classroom at Nova High School in Central District.


    • Ingraham High School
    • Rainier Beach High School
    • Roxhill Annex in West Seattle


    • Ingraham High School
    • Rainier Beach High School
    • Roxhill Annex in West Seattle


    • Rainier Beach High School


    • BU-North: Middle College at Northgate
    • BU-Central: Seattle Central College
    • BU-South: Roxhill Annex
    • BU @ Highline College ACHIEVE Program


    Program Schedules

    BRIDGES programs follow a full-time Monday-Friday schedule.  Every Wednesday is an early release day.  Fridays are often designated as coordinated recreation/leisure days.

    All programs follow holiday school calendars.  Check with each site’s teacher to verify student hours.
    BRIDGES 1 - Swedish Ballard students and staff at the Zoo

    Community Locations

    Students go into the community at various work, volunteer, & learning sites. Examples include grocery stores, college campuses, libraries, restaurants, hospitals, childcare settings, gardens, & Seattle Public Schools' Skills Center classes.

    Typical Volunteer/Work Experiences

    Data entry, filing, retail, fast food, mail delivery, printer stocking, recycling, linen processing and delivery, warehouse, food prep, mail, copying, packet assembly, sanitizing, kitchen & cafeteria work, childcare, inventory, receiving donations, sorting, greeting, groceries, landscaping, etc.

    Daily Living and Recreation/Leisure

    Student paying for lunch using real world math skills.
    When students leave school, they often do not have not enough activities to fill their time, even if they work.  One day/week, BRIDGES students visit community sites such as restaurants, stores, swimming pools, zoo, bowling alleys, museums, libraries, sporting events, etc.  Students access Specialized Programs through Seattle Parks and Recreation.

    General Program Prerequisites

    • Eligible for special education services.
    • Ages 18-21.
    • Demonstrates safe behaviors in the community and work sites.
    • Has not graduated with a diploma yet, but has completed as many graduation requirements as possible.

    Each BRIDGES program has additional prerequisites.  Please see each BRIDGES web page for details.

    Grades and Graduation

    Students are graded on a pass-fail basis. Students can still graduate if they enroll in the BRIDGES program. However, given that the focus of BRIDGES is not academic in nature, students should complete as many of their high school graduation requirements as possible before an IEP team places the student in the BRIDGES program (e.g. all state wide testing, credits, academic requirements, etc.).  Students should check with their home base high school IEP case manager and/or school counselor to determine where they stand in relation to graduation requirements.

    Students who have graduated from high school are not eligible for the BRIDGES programs or their 18-21 program equivalents.

    Related Services

    If students were eligible for and receiving related services such as speech-language and occupational therapy prior to their entry into the BRIDGES transition program, then those services will continue. Each student’s IEP team determines how those services will be delivered. However, the high school IEP team should strongly consider whether or not continued related services will help or hinder the student from becoming a more independent adult.

    Students and staff at a coffee shop during a rec/leisure outing.


    Every student is issued a district-provided Metro ORCA card at the beginning of the school year.

    Most students in the BRIDGES U, BRIDGES 1, and BRIDGES 2 programs use a district-issued ORCA card and/or their own means of transportation to get to their class/program sites.

    Most of the students in the BRIDGES 3 and 4 programs use some form of door-to-door transportation provided by the school district.

    Depending on a student's level of independence, students may or may not be accompanied by school staff to their individual work sites. Students are highly encouraged to access free Metro training.

    For more information, call King County Metro at 206-749-4242 or visit the Metro website

    Food and Meals

    Each site has a different way of addressing student food and nutrition needs.  Similar to the world of work, many students bring or buy their own lunch. Students who qualify for free and reduced lunch can receive a sack lunch provided by the district.  Contact the individual site teacher for details.


    Students in the BRIDGES 18-21 transition programs are covered by an accident insurance policy carried by Seattle Public Schools. Staff and families should discuss and agree on a plan of response for emergencies including, but not limited to:

    • Exchange of medical/insurance plan information
    • Emergency contact numbers
    • Primary care physician name and number
    • Current medications and possible side effects
    • Allergies
    • Special equipment
    • Other information as appropriate