Blackstone Academy is a “Commended” School for Three Years in a Row

PAWTUCKET, RI – Blackstone Academy Charter School, a twelve year old independent charter high school, is proud to announce that it is a Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education “Commended” high school for the third year on a row. Blackstone Academy is one of only three urban high schools to hold this distinction. The students are all from Central Falls and Pawtucket and are picked through a blind lottery. Only eight high schools statewide were given this distinction.

For several years, Blackstone Academy students have met or surpassed state average on the NECAP tests and the major subgroups that they serve (low-income and Hispanic students) have also exceeded statewide averages for these groups. Additionally, the graduation rate is high and at least 90% of graduates are going on to some form of higher education.

Executive Director Carolyn Sheehan states, “This three year streak shows that our success with urban high school students is not a fluke. Our students have worked hard and their teachers have made our school a place where students are happy and engaged. They want to come to school every day and have success. We have established a strong school culture where students with diverse learning styles and abilities feel comfortable. Students receive rigorous instruction but also apply their learning to real world problems through group and individual community improvement projects. Even though our school is small, our students are able to gain skills and have experiences that usually only happen in leading independent schools.”

“We couldn’t be prouder of the achievements of our students, faculty and staff. Even though the vast majority of our students speak another language at home, qualify for free/reduced lunch and will be first in their family to graduate high school and attend college in this country, they have pride in their school and in themselves. They have helped us to demonstrate that a highly personalized, rigorous high school experience, coupled with a multitude of opportunities to demonstrate success can make a huge difference,” shares Head of School Kyleen Carpenter

Blackstone Academy Charter School Inc. serves 165 grades 9-12 students from Central Falls and Pawtucket who are admitted through lottery. A public school of choice, the school is an independently run non-profit organization. In addition to running the school, the organization hosts the SPIRIT Educational Program, a 30 year-old educational enrichment program which runs an intensive summer and school year enrichment program for 120 urban middle and high school students.

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