Place Bridge Academy was established in 2008 as a magnet school to serve the refugee students of Denver Public Schools. The designation of a magnet school specifically for refugee students is essential to the academic success of the children. Often, as refugee families change jobs or status, they also must relocate. For children in a typical school, this would mean a change in schools and a break in educational continuity. Since Place Bridge Academy is a magnet school, regardless of changes in family circumstance, the children are always assured that as long as they reside in Denver, they will not have to change schools. Obviously, this is comforting to children who have already experienced a great deal of change in their lives. Children, Early Childhood Education through Grade 8 come to Place Bridge Academy from all areas of the Denver Public Schools attendance area. Almost all of the children who attend the school are bussed in- some from as far as 20 miles away. Each morning and each afternoon, over 20 full sized school busses surround the school to either deliver children or bring them home.
Most of our students have come to us from one of 64 home countries other than the United States. Many of the children have spent more time in refugee camps than their home country. Our students speak a total of 65 different home languages and dialects. Many of the students come to us knowing little or no English. As the average family income is approximately $24,000 per year, over 96% of our students receive free or reduced price meals. Some of the children have not had any formal education. Some of the children have had interrupted education. Many of the children struggle with the intricacies of school when they first come to us. Consider how strange a United States school must seem to children who have not ever sat at a desk or used indoor plumbing. Regardless of these circumstances, the students of Place Bridge Academy are valued and we believe in their success.