Steps to opening a school

Bridge follows a careful and detailed approach with every new school that it opens. We personally perform every step necessary to create a great school that will provide a high-quality education. This involves scouting the right location for a school and working closely with local authorities to make sure it passes all the tests, to ensuring it has the best teachers and that it follows the rigorous academic lessons we have developed.

We believe that this attention to detail is paramount in running the best schools and giving every child the high level of quality education they deserve.

The slideshow below highlights every step we take to get a school approved, built, and open so we can serve more pupils and families. At every step along the way, we work in close partnership with governments, communities, families and teachers.

  • Technology

    Technology develops all of the applications used to complete research, navigate land buying, teach, track, and assess pupils, communicate with parents, and manage and evaluate each academy.

    While there are other organizations that might have developed any one of these tools, none are using them at Bridge's scale nor integrating them to run an entire social enterprise from start to finish!

  • Research

    Research analyzes where an academy should be built based on the needs and price points of local families using mobile surveys, GPS devices, satellite imagery, and more.

    Bridge's use of technology and data gives us an in depth understanding of the families and communities we serve.

  • Government Relations

    Government Relations liaises with local and national leaders to discuss the possibility of building an academy and garners their support.

    In Kenya, this involves talking to 47 different country governments and meeting with thousands of local government officials!

  • Real Estate

    Real Estate personally scouts land for every academy using GPS devices to make sure they stay within the neighborhood specified by Research.

    Bridge International Academies closes an average of one new real estate deal every three days in order to make room for new academies and expand ones already in operation!

  • Legal

    Legal is responsible for real estate transactions, contracts, intellectual property protection, and litigation, in addition to general risk management and compliance with laws and regulations.

    Legal reviews approximately 1,500 contracts per year!

  • Physical Planning

    Physical Planning ensures that an academy’s building plans are approved and that they meet the environmental protection and zoning laws of each locality.

    Every planning approval requires in-person meetings with the district physical planner, public health officer, town clerk or country engineer, and occasionally the district lands office, county surveyor, municipal planner, and district education officer, too!

  • Construction

    Construction builds each academy based on one of three previously-developed and tested designs over the course of approximately one month.

    Due to the amount of galvanized corrugated iron (GCI) that Bridge needs to keep up with its rapid growth, manufacturers are now producing GCI specifically for us in our iconic Bridge green!

  • Recruiting & Training

    Potential Academy Managers and Teachers are individually scouted, evaluated, and trained at the Bridge International Training Institute.

    Bridge International Academies interviews five people for every one person we hire to work at one of our academies!

  • Human Resources

    Human Resources supports the constantly growing number of people employed by Bridge International Academies.

    At Bridge International Academies, we have quadrupled our workforce every year since our inception!

  • Curriculum

    Bridge International Academies develops all of its lesson plans and teacher guides based on the individual curriculums of countries. we also develop matching books and hands on learning tools based on the class and country requirements of each academy.

    Our academics develop over 13,000 worth of new material every year!

  • Production

    Production provides graphic design, illustration, proofreading, and printing support for all of the materials used by academies.

    For the start of any given term, Production uploads 3,486 lessons to teachers’ tablets, designs 4,347 pages of curriculum instruction, prints 180,983 books, and outsources 12,133,991 pages of other materials for printing!

  • Supply Chain

    Supply chain delivers all of these materials to academies.

    A new academy will receive 15 boxes of materials, each weighing around 10 kg!

  • Marketing

    Marketing develops materials and programs to recruit and retain pupils.

    Every academy has an annual marketing budget of just $156, which must pay for printed materials, such as posters, flyers, and decals, and events, such as Grand Opening Celebrations, Parent’s Day, Prize Giving Day and more.

  • Academy Operations

    Academy Operations opens and manages all academies using a sophisticated tech-enabled support, audit and monitoring system, which combines remote data collection and analysis, field-based professional development and audit teams, and a central call-center facility.

    Every Academy Improvement Officer travels up to 1,500 km each month to support the 25 academies, 25 Academy Managers, and 265 Teaching staff he or she oversees.

  • Business Operations

    Business Operations identifies and prioritizes business challenges arising throughout the opening of a school and then develops, implements, and fully executes strategies to solve them, in addition to enhancing existing processes and building new foundations for growth.

    A lunch program is one of many new ideas to be piloted by Business Operations.

  • Finance

    Finance uses a cashless system to run each academy, exclusively using mobile financial services to track pupil payments and pay academy bills, including staff wages.

    Bridge International Academies was one of Safaricom’s very first M-PESA corporate accounts. Today, Finance handles over 100,000 mobile money transactions per month through our mobile payment system.

  • Data Analytics

    Data Analytics tracks every step in our academy lifecycle in order to analyze our operational and instructional processes, which we can then use to derive more efficiencies and attain higher results.

    Everything Bridge International Academies does is thanks to data. As soon as we get more data, we start the cycle again. And then again and again until our 10,000,000th pupil is reached!