How We Learn

A BCA education is about more than just excellent academics.

Championing the Arts

FiddlerOnTheRoofEvery person is an artist! Walk through the hallways at BCA and you’ll find beautiful and intriguing exhibits on every wall. You’ll hear the dulcet tones of choirs practicing and theater kids reciting lines. You’ll get an immediate sense that the arts are an essential part of the educational experience here, not just a box to be checked. BCA is known for its outstanding arts programs, and we’re proud of this, indeed. Vibrant arts programs help promote creativity, collaboration, self-discipline, and flexibility. They inspire new ways of looking at old problems and bring different dimensions of learning to life. In addition to providing Music, Theater and Visual Art programs for our K–12 students, we routinely integrate the arts into learning experiences across the disciplines. As educators we know this practice of integration serves to illuminate and explain, motivate and engage, and ultimately deepen learning and understanding.


Learning Teamwork and Fueling a Competitive Spirit

Our vision burns bright throughout our school community, spilling onto the fields, streets and courts on weekends and after school. From intramural sports (soccer, basketball, and track and field) at the Elementary level through no-cut team sports in Middle School, to our competitive interscholastic High School athletics, our students develop passion, skill, integrity and faith. They also have a lot of fun! At BCA athletics are about building character, confidence and camaraderie, as well as physical fitness and competitive skills. Our programs help students discover God-given abilities and equip them for a lifetime of health and well-being. Case in point: Our BCA Alumni basketball game is one of the most anticipated events of the year! Bengals pride is strong at BCA and our whole K­–12 community comes together to cheer for our teams.

Inspiring Creativity and Joy in Learning

gardenAt BCA we provide avenues for students to lead by serving in their classrooms, in their school, in their community, and beyond, with the understanding that every arena of society—science and technology, the arts, government, athletics, journalism, business, vocational ministry—offers opportunities to be agents of God’s Kingdom. Leading by serving is not about preparing students for the important, complex work they will accomplish “someday” or “somewhere.” Leading by serving starts here and now. It is the defining feature of the BCA experience. At BCA, we will call these leading-by-serving experiences “vision-based learning,” or VBL for short. Others might refer to this as experiential learning, service learning or servant leadership; and while we incorporate elements from all of these, VBL is all our own.

Embracing Excellence

BCA is committed to helping every child reach his or her full God-given potential. This includes meeting the particular academic and affective needs of our high-ability students.

Over the years we have developed a successful school-wide program based on the National Standards in Gifted and Talented Education and best practices of teaching. We are proud to report this program has gained recognition at the state level through our relationship with the Rhode Island Advocates of Gifted Education (RIAGE), at the regional level through conferences and workshop leadership, and at the national level through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). We rely on the extensive expertise of our recently retired Associate Head of School, Beth Zins, who received the RI Friend of the Gifted award at the 2011 New England Conference on Gifted & Talented Education.  Families can seek advice and receive support on  the unique ways needs of these gifted children, including Twice Exceptional (2E).  BCA's Director of Finance, Michelle Weber. is a past president of the Massachusetts Association for Gifted Education (MAGE), is working to re-establish a gifted network in Rhode Island, and has been experiencing the ups and downs of parenting two gifted students for more than 15 years.

Program components include the following:

  • Acceleration: BCA will consider early entrance to kindergarten, subject acceleration, and grade skipping.
  • Professional Development: Teacher training topics include classroom enrichment, differentiated instruction, and best practices of gifted education.
  • High-Level Skills: Ongoing focus on building reasoning skills and creative thinking skills across the disciplines.
  • Curriculum & Resources: Honors and AP level classes, Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs), Scholar Projects, Accelerated Reader, electives, online courses, etc.

Going Above and Beyond

field_investigationWith a solid commitment to purposeful, student-centered learning, BCA provides an exceptional education for each individual. As a college-preparatory school, we immerse students in a robust and challenging program of study that is informed by state standards—and we go above and beyond with extras like Bible classes, service learning programs, and Spanish language instruction for every grade, K–12. It’s a coherent educational experience that’s about equipping students to lead by serving in meaningful ways starting now, not simply to jump through academic hoops.

Students’ learning extends beyond the school walls as they actively engage in the world around them. “Vision-based learning,” the cornerstone of our philosophy, brings relevance and purpose to the educational process, fueling passion among students and teachers alike. Authentic, hands-on projects are woven throughout all grade levels and disciplines. Digital technologies and a global perspective infuse all aspects of the curriculum, preparing students for the complexities of a changing world.

Driven by our mission to nurture, equip and encourage students in the development of their God-given potential, we provide learning opportunities that are right for each student and provide services to accommodate learning differences and facilitate personal success.The Discovery Program at BCA caters to K–12 students whose learning benefits from special support. Our Enrichment Program, based on the National Standards in Gifted and Talented Education, enables BCA students to stretch themselves as far as they can go.

College dual-enrollment and Advanced Placement (AP) classes are offered at the high school level. BCA is accredited by both the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC). We are the only dually-accredited Christian college-preparatory K–12 school in Rhode Island.At BCA we aim to help all students feel confident about their abilities and use a range of resources and strategies to help them succeed.

Understanding Diverse Learners

At BCA, we know that no two children learn, perceive, or behave in the same way. It is our job to try to understand how God has designed each child, what their strengths are, and in what areas they may need extra support. The Support Services Team helps students realize their God-given abilities so they can move toward independence and experience success in the regular classroom as well as gain confidence, lifelong learning skills, and advocacy for themselves.

Many students are adequately engaged and challenged within the traditional classroom. However, some students benefit from accommodations or specialized instruction. These children have different learning styles and rates, strengths and weaknesses. One child may have trouble receiving information through listening or reading. Another may struggle to express ideas verbally or in writing. Some are easily distracted and find following directions or retaining information a challenge. Others have problems keeping track of belongings or organizing their day. Some students come to school with other types of concerns that impact learning. Sometimes complicated tasks can be easily mastered while simple ones are unmanageable. Our goal is to understand and support each individual and their needs. We strive to provide as much individual support and classroom support as our resources permit.

Nurturing Faith, Leadership, and Service

File_029Immersed in a nurturing and challenging Christian environment, BCA students grow as individuals and as a community together encountering God’s compelling love.

By learning with teachers and peers from a variety of Christian denominations, students stretch their perspectives and find common ground around basic tenets of the Christian faith. Through “learning by doing” from a young age, they discover and develop their interests and gifts, find and forge a sense of meaningful direction, learn to appreciate and engage with the bigger world around them, and internalize the values of God’s Kingdom.

A biblical worldview is reflected in our curriculum and in every activity of the school. Through Bible classes, chapel services, retreats, mentor group meetings and more, BCA sows the seeds of faith and guides students toward fulfilling lives of service to God and their neighbor.


Elementary students attend their own chapel service twice each month, with interactive, drama-based Bible lessons and stories featuring the talents of students and teachers. Elementary students periodically join the middle schoolers and high schoolers for all-school chapels as well. 


Weekly chapel is an important and integral part of teen life at BCA. Our own worship team, comprised of students and a professional musician mentor, leads the weekly worship. Chapel messages are brought by faculty, students, and special guests, and some services are reserved entirely for prayer and musical worship.


God’s truth is the foundation for everything that we teach. Bible classes are an important part of our academic curriculum at the Elementary and Middle School levels, enabling students to develop biblical literacy and to discover foundational Scriptural concepts. At the High School level, students are challenged to go beyond the basics, developing a deep understanding of the historical context and diversity of the Christian Church, examining culture in the light of scripture, discovering the relevance and beauty of theology, and re-experiencing their faith in a fresh, thoughtful, and transformative way.