Baltimore International Academy (BIA) opened in 2007 as a k-8 school that offered Baltimore residents their first opportunity to have their children become bilingual through a public language immersion program. Parents of students who are in kindergarten and grade 1 are able to choose to immerse their children in one of French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish or Russian as their language of instruction. Students in grades 2 to 8 learn French also through the Rosetta Stone Program, which is an interactive, multi-media language-learning set of programs that replicate the environment in which learners naturally acquire new language.
French, Mandarin, Spanish and Russian are four of the official languages that are used by the United Nations for inter-governmental meetings and for document publication; Russian and Chinese are also on the U.S. government’s list of critically needed languages. Additionally, the Baltimore International Academy is applying to become certified as Maryland’s first elementary school accredited as an “IB World School” under the prestigious International Baccalaureate Organization’s Primary Years Program. BIA is currently a IB Candidacy School.
Research and local experience with other language immersion programs show that these programs develop students who show strong academic performance. The Maryland State Assessments results for students in immersion programs are amongst the highest in the state, with students of all races and socio-economic levels performing well above average. Structural aspects of immersion programs and the Rosetta Stone Program are particularly helpful for students with limited proficiency in English.
The BIA’s Board of Trustees is well-endowed with skilled and dedicated professionals with expertise in all areas necessary for the establishment and oversight of a public charter school. Its Board members have designed a truly innovative, exciting and educationally rigorous program and they have the relevant experience in language immersion and international education, in educational administration and management, in accounting, in law and in community activism to ensure the successful operation of the Baltimore International Academy.In short, the Baltimore International Academy is a thriving school known for its culture of both inclusion and excellence, and for its strong links to organizations and communities throughout Baltimore.