Planning for the school began in the late 1998 after a group of educators and non-profit leaders involved with the SPIRIT Educational Program and Rhode Island Youth Guidance Center recognized the need for a small alternative secondary school in the communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls. 

Through their work with SPIRIT, they experienced the success of strong student-teacher relationships and the value of connecting learning to the community. They also sought to address the high drop-out and low college attendance rates for students in these cities. After visiting and researching other small schools locally and nationally, the group wrote and submitted its charter to the Rhode Island Department of Education in the fall of 2000. BACS opened on September 16, 2002.

Many people contributed ideas and concepts that created the school. The founding group included Doc Augusta, Kyleen Carpenter, Stacy Joslin, Liz Newton, Cynthia Roberts, Carolyn Sheehan, and Bob Wooler. Most of them work at the school today.

Current Expansion

For the 2015/2016 School Year, Blackstone Academy expanded more in one year than ever before. The size of the student body grew from 165 to 250 students, requiring the school to double its square footage at 334 Pleasant Street. This was accomplished by taking over the lower floor of the building under the existing BACS classrooms. The rising 10th grade doubled in size by adding new sophomore students and the incoming freshman class is double the previous size for the 9th grade.

The expansion is set to continue over the next two incoming classes until enrollment reaches 360 for the 2016/2017 school year.


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