Why BCA is Different
Bay City Academy is not just different — it's better. That's because we don't teach subjects, we teach students.
Academics through Creativity
Bay City Academy is a tuition-free K-11 public charter school created for quality. BCA serves Bay City's students with the proven best practices in education, melding together brain science, character education and effective instruction. Our students not only learn to appreciate the arts, but have rich opportunities to actively participate in creative work and learn relationship building. We develop students' minds and bodies, the complete person. We promote development through the arts, such as body movement through dance, language development through poetry, auditory and visual development, and more.
Safe, Loved, Learning
Bay City Academy creates a loving environment where kids feel safe so they can learn at a higher level.
Common sense dictates that a safe, happy child is more productive than a student who is distressed. For this reason, the Bay City Academy model is to first create an environment that is nurturing and supportive, and based on relationships rather than coercion. Bay City Academy is a school for all types of students. Our program is designed to offer a safe, nurturing place where students learn to love learning. By combining proven knowledge of human development, best practices in education and strong character education, we will help each child to discover his or her inherent gifts.
Character through Education
At Bay City Academy, we teach students to do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.
We believe that proper behavior leads to good character, which leads to arts and academic excellence. It's as simple as that. Good character is an important part of every student's success, both in school and beyond. That's why the character traits of respect, kindness, responsibility, optimism, getting along and work ethic are continually modeled, taught, assessed and reported to parents at all grade levels.
Mindful Learning Model
The science behind our model of teaching kids how to learn is based on natural human development and how the brain learns best.
Our academic program is based on proven best practices in education, melding together brain science, character education and effective instruction.
Meeting the basic human, growth and development needs of each child will increase achievement and prepare the child for adult life. Thus, delivering instruction by developmental level, as opposed to chronological age, encourages continuity of relationships.
We use two primary underpinnings:
- Choice Theory: The school culture is defined by positive relationships and placing the needs of the children before the school curriculum. In other words, we teach children, not a subject matter.
- Character Education: It does us no good to produce highly educated, gifted learners if they have no moral compass. We teach our students to "do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do."
The frontal lobe of the human brain is the last and most complex area to mature. As this region matures, children acquire motor, sensory, attention and thinking skills. Physical, emotional and cognitive behavior is a reflection of the state of brain maturation. Our developmental teaching model is aligned with the natural maturation of a child's brain.
The model of teaching we use understands that Development starts with movement, progresses to auditory/verbal and finally matures with visual/oculomotor, the most complex motor system in the body.
Proper behavior leads to good choices, which lead to academic and arts excellence. Our curriculum emphasizes six traditional positive character traits. These traits are Kindness, Work Ethic, Responsibility, Respect, Optimism and Getting Along. Students receive and grade themselves in each of these traits along with their academic grades. The traits are woven throughout our school protocols, lessons and culture.
Traditional education experiences teach part-to-whole and in a linear fashion. Here are the facts, and they happened in this order. Research has proven that the brain does not naturally think this way. At BCA, we give our students the whole picture so that when they get the detailed facts, they have an understanding of why they are important, or whole-to-part. We also explore connections naturally made during the learning process to have a deeper understanding of relationship as opposed to learning linearly.
Making the Grade
At BCA we not only teach content but we teach students how to learn.
Students are expected to do quality work, demonstrating they have fully learned a concept before progressing to the next level. This works to the advantage of all students. Those who need a bit more support to master a topic will get it. On the flip side, once a concept is mastered, the student will be allowed to move on, eliminating the requirement of simple seat time. The students who seek the opportunity to advance will be given the chance.
We expect mastery from all our students, not just the top percentage. We work with our elementary students to learn each topic well and earn at least a grade of B. In our competency-based grading system. For our elementary students earn an A, B or N ("not yet'). We believe that lessons important enough to be stressed in our curriculum need to be mastered to at least 83% competency to receive credit. At the secondary level, grading is proficiency based.