What Makes Bridlemile Special?
Welcome to Bridlemile School. We are a K-5 elementary school in the Portland Public School District. We are located in Southwest Portland and we have on average about 450 students.
Our core program includes:
- Music with a Music Specialist weekly plus an optional band program for fourth & fifth graders and a strings program for third, fourth and fifth graders
- Physical Education with a PE specialist twice a week
- Media (Library & Technology)
- Art with an Art Specialist
- Artist in Residence
Class Sizes for 2023-24:
- 3 - Kindergarten classes
- 3 - First grade classes
- 3 - Second grade classes
- 3 - Third grade classes
- 3 - Fourth grade classes
- 3 - Fifth grade classes
Bridlemile parent and caregiver volunteers are a key part of our program. The community is an integral part of the school. Almost any hour of the day, a parent can be found somewhere in the building: tutoring, making materials, helping students at lunch or recess, photocopying, or meeting together planning for the school.
The Bridlemile PTA hosts many family events throughout the school year including:
- Harvest Party
- Fall Book Fair
- School Dance
- Missoula Theater Week
- Freaky Friday Carnival
The Bridlemile Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors made up of parent volunteers. The Foundation raises funds from families and community partners to provide resources to the school to increase staffing. Events that they host:
- December Pancake Breakfast & Greenery/Tree Sale
- Annual School Auction
The Bridlemile philosophy supports the fact that each student can learn and has a right to develop to his/her fullest potential. Helping each child become a participating and contributing member of the school, community, and world is our number one goal. It is our responsibility to create a nurturing, positive school climate that promotes self-confidence and positive self-esteem. The learning environment at Bridlemile strives to meet the student’s intellectual, emotional, social, and physical growth patterns using high academic and behavioral expectations coupled with sensitivity to each child’s unique needs and learning style. Through the cooperative support of the staff, the teacher, and the parent, we expect each child to reach his/her maximum potential by:
- Learning problem-solving skills in a non-threatening, enriching setting
- Working cooperatively to develop socially and emotionally
- Becoming challenged through a curriculum that developmentally meets the needs of all our students
- Motivating students to be life-long learners
- Becoming responsible, thoughtful and contributing members of immediate and global communities
- Developing feelings and being able to express them freely and confidently
- Assuming responsibilities
- Appreciating cultural diversities
- Respecting individual differences.
Bridlemile School History
Have you ever wondered how Bridlemile Elementary School got its name or what the surrounding neighborhood was like fifty years ago? Recently, I spent some time with Mrs. Ruth M. Powell who, along with her late husband, Dr. John H. Powell, was responsible for naming and developing the area in Portland known as “Bridlemile.” During the mid-1940s, Dr. and Mrs. Powell lived on the southeast side of Portland but wanted to buy approximately 35 acres on the west side of town where they could build a new, larger home as well as raise horses. They settled on a parcel of property west of Dosch Road, between Hamilton Street and Tunnelwood Street. While the Powells did eventually build a new home on their land, they decided not to raise horses after all. Instead, they opted to turn their many acres into a residential neighborhood.
The problem of what to name their new neighborhood, however, was no easy task. The Powells tossed around names for months. Then one night, as Mrs. Powell was brushing her teeth, she simply looked in the mirror and said Bridlemile. “We knew right then the name was perfect,” she told me. “It was rhythmical, and it was true. The entire area around our property totaled about a mile, and as we had originally planned to turn that area into a bridle path, there you have it--Bridlemile.” The Powells were also responsible for naming many of the streets in the area. “Jerald Way,” and “Jerald Court,” for instance, were named after their son Jerald.
Throughout the years, the Powells watched their neighborhood grow and change. More homes continued to be built, and plans were made to build a new elementary school on several acres of field bordering the Powell’s Bridlemile neighborhood. On September 4, 1958, Bridlemile Elementary School officially opened its doors. Prior to that time, children living nearby attended either Robert Gray Elementary School or Saint Thomas More School. In fact, by the time Bridlemile School was completed, Jerald Powell had moved on to high school and so never attended the school his mother had helped to name.
If you’re curious about what the Bridlemile area looked like all those years ago, take a peek at the large photograph in the school library. Can you find where Bridlemile School is located today?
-Megan Davis, 9/96