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Our History


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.


In 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. Over the next two years, we continued adding a 9th grade of about 90 students, until we finally reached full enrollment of approximately 360 students. Our enrollment will maintain this sized student body moving forward.

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