Bridge Year Program
On June 6th, 2020, Governor Murphy signed into law P.L. 2020 c.41, which established the Bridge Year Pilot Program (Bridge Year). The purpose of this program is to provide students in the graduating classes of 2021 and 2022 an opportunity to offset disruptions to both learning opportunities and extracurricular activities that may have resulted from school closures due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Under this program, eligible students in the classes of 2021 and 2022 who have met both state and local graduation requirements may defer graduation from High School for one year to participate in an additional year of academic courses and extracurricular activities immediately following their Senior Year.
Students who wish to participate in the program must inform the Bridge Year Liaison (Jamie Kinard, JKINARD@ebnet.org) by February 15th of their Senior Year.
Below are a series of Frequently Asked Questions associated with the program. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the Bridge Year Liaison (Jamie Kinard, JKINARD@ebnet.org.)
Who is eligible to participate in the program?
- Students in the classes of 2021 or 2022 who have met East Brunswick High School and New Jersey graduation requirements prior to the Bridge Year.
- Students must be 19 years of age or younger during the entirety of the Bridge Year. A student who would turn 20 before the end of the Bridge Year is not eligible (Exception: a student with disabilities is eligible to participate if the student will turn 20 years old during the Bridge Year due to services provided under the student’s IEP).
- Students must have a GPA of 2.0 or above.
My child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Will this be impacted by the Bridge Year?
- Students who meet all graduation requirements and do not turn 21 years old before June 30th, can receive the additional year of services through the Bridge Year.
- If a student has not met all graduation requirements but has an IEP, the student may remain in the district until they are 21 years of age. However, they would remain in the district through their IEP programming, and not through the Bridge Year program.
What will the program look like academically?
- During the Fall Semester of the Bridge Year, students will take between 9 and 12 credits. These can be at East Brunswick High School, Middlesex College or a combination thereof.
- During the spring semester, students will take between 9 and 12 credits at Middlesex College only (Students are considered non-matriculating for both Fall and Spring semesters).
- During either semester, students may take up to 3 credits offered by a four-year institution of higher education at any high school in the State or any other location to fill the requirements above (Dual Enrollment courses do not count towards the requirements above).
- Student courses will be determined through an Individual Learning Plan (ILP). Please click here to download a copy of the Bridge Year Individual Learning Plan.
- All credits taken through this program must prepare students for high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand occupations.
What is the cost of the college courses, and is my child eligible for financial aid?
- Once a student declares interest, the Bridge Year Liaison (Jamie Kinard, JKINARD@ebnet.org) will work with Middlesex College regarding cost, financial aid and scholarships available to students (East Brunswick Public Schools is not responsible for any financial obligations set by Middlesex College.).
My child wants to go to another county college. Can they do so?
- No. Students must attend the county college of the county that the host school is located in.
What will the program look like in terms of sports and other extracurricular activities?
- Students are eligible to participate in sports at East Brunswick High School for the Spring semester only. Students are not eligible to participate in Fall or Winter sports.
- Students must meet all eligibility requirements outlined by the NJSIAA.
- Students must be enrolled in the Spring semester of the Bridge Year program to participate in the Spring sport or extracurricular activities.
- Students must pay all applicable fees for extracurricular activities.
My child wants to walk with their graduating class. Can they?
- Yes. Students may participate in their Graduation Ceremony either at the end of his or her Senior Year or at the end of his or her Bridge Year.
- The student’s diploma will be withheld until the completion of the Bridge Year.
Can my child leave the Bridge Program at any time?
- A student can leave the program after the Fall semester, at which time all transcripts will be released by East Brunswick High School. Leaving the program after the fall means that students are not eligible to participate in Spring sports or extracurricular activities.
Does my child still need to follow the code of conduct for East Brunswick High School?
- Yes. Your child is still considered a High School student during the Bridge Year, and all district and building policies apply.
What will transportation look like?
- As students are still viewed as attending High School, East Brunswick Public Schools will transport students to Middlesex College during East Brunswick High School hours. Students who wish to transport themselves to Middlesex College must adhere to all district policies and regulations, and must gain approval by the Principal.