Eastern Sierra Academy of Bridgeport, CA


This was the official website for the Eastern Sierra Academy of Bridgeport , CA. As of 2014 the school is closed due to budgetary issues. The content below is from the site's 2006 archived pages as well as other outside resources.



Bridgeport School #1 in California

Eastern Sierra Academy ranked 19th nationally in Newsweek/Washington Post Challenge Index 

When it comes to academic rigor, Eastern Sierra Academy of Bridgeport is number one in California and number nineteen in the United States according to a new survey issued by Newsweek.  The Challenge Index ranks schools according to the number of Advanced Placement exams the schools administered divided by the number of graduating seniors.  At Eastern Sierra Academy all seniors take at least three AP courses, and all juniors take at least one AP course.  Advanced Placement (AP) classes are an opportunity for students to experience college level curriculum in high school.  The courses are far more comprehensive and demanding than most high school classes.  This level of commitment in high school has shown to drastically improve students’ ability to perform well in college.  Over the past five years, 94% of Eastern Sierra Academy’s graduates have gone on to college and no college dropouts have been reported.

At the end of the school year, students in AP classes take AP exams in the subjects they studied.  If they receive a passing score, they earn college credit for their course.  In 2004, ESA students took 17 AP exams in English, Statistics, Microeconomics, US Government, and US History.  Seventeen exams may not seem like a high number, except that Eastern Sierra Academy only had 4 graduating seniors in 2004.  On the Challenge Index, this ratio of tests to graduates comes to 4.250; high enough to rank 19th in the nation out of over 27,000 public high schools.  In the 2002 Newsweek rankings, Eastern Sierra Academy ranked 7th in the nation.  For the 2004-2005 school year, Eastern Sierra Academy will administer 22 AP exams in seven subjects.  The tests will be taken by the school’s five juniors and four seniors.

The Challenge Index is the brainchild of Washington Post columnist Jay Matthews.  In his article for Newsweek, Matthews explains his use of AP and IB (International Baccalaureate) exams, “The index uses AP and IB as a measure because schools that push these tests are most likely to stretch young minds—which should be the fundamental purpose of education.”  Over 2 million AP exams were administered last year in 14,000 high schools. According to the Newsweek article, the Dean of Admissions at Harvard University says “AP is already a better predictor of college grades than the SAT.”  Recent studies have shown that students of all socio-economic levels have a far greater chance of finishing college if they had taken even one AP course in high school.

Established in 1997, Eastern Sierra Academy, a California Distinguished School, has an enrollment of 23 students and focuses on preparing students for college through demanding courses and advanced technology.  The school is located in the town of Bridgeport - a remote part of the Eastern Sierra.  The small building that houses the school boasts a new computer on every student’s desk with a wide array of software and hardware provided by grants and donations.  ESA has three full-time teachers who deliver challenging content in all subject areas.  The principal, Roger Yost, acts as the math and science teacher for the school, while motivating rural students to compete in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world.  He has been able to achieve this in large part through the pervasive use of technology and by pursuing a rigorous academic curriculum.  The social studies teacher, James Godoy, offers AP courses in US History, US Government, and Microeconomics.  ESA’s English teachers, Sarah Taylor and Pamela Bradley, offer AP English Literature and Composition and English Language and Composition. Students also take advantage of AP courses offered online or via distance learning. 

Newsweek's 2006 The Complete List of the 1,000 Top U.S. Schools

Public schools are ranked according to a ratio devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school in 2004 divided by the number of graduating seniors.

1 |  Jefferson County* |  Irondale |  Ala. |  10.755 |  2
2 |  International Academy*|Bloomfield Hills|Mich.|8.422 |0
3 |  Stanton College Prep* | Jacksonville |  Fla. |  7.385 |  7.8
4 |  Eastside*  |  Gainesville |  Fla. |  6.682 |  39
5 |  H-B Woodlawn |  Arlington |  Va. |  5.747 |  14
6 |  Science/Engineering Magnet |Dallas|Texas|5.545|37.8
7 |  Paxon*  |  Jacksonville |  Fla. |  5.373 |  13
8 |  Pensacola* |  Pensacola |  Fla. |  5.362 |  63
9 |  Raleigh Charter |  Raleigh |  N.C. |  5.089 |  0
10 |  Hillsborough* |  Tampa |  Fla. |  5.085 |  50
11 |  Richard Montgomery* | Rockville | Md. |  5.029 | 13
12 |  Highland Park |  Dallas |  Texas |  4.588 |  0
13 |  Coral Reef*   |  Miami |  Fla. |  4.528 |  27.5
14 |  Jericho |  Jericho |  N.Y. |  4.347 |  1.6
15 |  McNair Academic |  Jersey City |  N.J. |  4.342 |  40
16 |  Cold Spring Harbor |Cold Spring Harbor | N.Y. | 4.317 |1
17 |  Wootton |  Rockville |  Md. |  4.307 |  2
18 |  Atlantic Community* |  Delray Beach |  Fla. |  4.291 |  23
19 |  Eastern Sierra Academy| Bridgeport |Calif. | 4.250 | 18