Blackstone Academy Charter School, Inc. operates a public high school as well as an educational enrichment program for middle and high school students. Our high school serves students from Pawtucket, Central Falls and Providence, Rhode Island. The school began in 2002 and grew out of the 30+ year old SPIRIT Educational Program, an educational enrichment program for students from Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls. The school and affiliated programs all have commitments to community involvement and take a “whole child” approach to learning. The corporation was formed to assist local urban students to complete high school, attend higher education, and contribute to their local, regional and global community. Mission Statement
The mission of Blackstone Academy Charter School is to build a strong community of learners and leaders. Our small educational environment helps foster independent inquiry, teamwork, and communication. Our students develop the skills to solve problems and use their voices in ways that lead to success in the academic, social, and professional arenas. Students demonstrate their achievements through a process of discovery, presentation, and reflection.
Community involvement and community improvement are key themes at BACS. In addition to classes, our portfolio system structures the progression of their learning by having students study themselves and their relationships to others, move forward with an exploration of the local community, and ultimately integrate an understanding of the wider world as students become responsible, motivated, life-long learners.
BACS honors and integrates The Common Principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools* into its educational philosophy. These include:
- Learning to use one's mind well
- Less is more, depth over coverage
- Goals apply to all students
- Student-as-worker, teacher-as-coach
- Demonstration of mastery
- A tone of decency and trust
- Commitment to the entire school
- Resources dedicated to teaching and learning
- Using principles of democracy and equity in all decision making at the school.
BACS faculty utilize these Common Principles when they design and execute the curriculum. Although classes include traditional tests, learning is also assessed through presentations and exhibitions of student work. In addition to classes, students complete three portfolios and a major senior project. These portfolios require reflection upon our 13 Habits of Mind, are presented to a panel, and are an important part of our proficiency based graduation system.