Bridgeport International Academy Article

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Bridgeport International Academy
Top1 copy.jpg
285 Lafayette Street
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604

United States
TypePrivate Secondary
PrincipalDr. Frank LaGrotteria

Bridgeport International Academy (BIA) is a private college preparatory school in Bridgeport, Connecticut with an international faculty and student body. The school is located adjacent to the seaside campus of the University of Bridgeport. BIA has a well-rounded curriculum with the opportunity for students to take college courses and use university facilities. The students and staff value both academic achievement and character development as essential aspects of school life.


View of the school building, April 2011

In 1997, BIA was established in Bridgeport, CT with a vision for a school in which students could be comfortable practicing a pure, moral lifestyle. The school enrolled an academically excellent student body and obtained state approval as a non-public school. The name Bridgeport International Academy reflects its philosophy to educate world citizens, offer a global experience in high school, and open the school to local and international students who would comply with the core values of BIA.

On March 9, 2007, BIA was again granted state approval as a nonpublic school by the State of Connecticut. In addition, the academy has approval from the Department of Homeland Security of the U.S. government to issue I-20 forms in order for international students to obtain F-1 non-immigrant student visas. On March 15, 2007, Bridgeport International Academy was elected to institutional membership and was granted accreditation for ten years by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

BIA then moved to the former Seaside Institute at 285 Lafayette Street in 2008 and also developed an English Language Program, taking international students through two levels of English and then mainstreaming them into regular classes by their junior or senior year. International students have already graduated from BIA and are now in colleges and universities in the US.


The academy is located adjacent to the campus of the University of Bridgeport, 55 miles from New York City. Seaside Park and Long Island Sound mark its southern boundary with sand beaches. Its beautiful setting and adjacency to the university provide BIA students with a rich environment for studies in a variety of disciplines and for the enjoyment of recreation and the arts.


Wheeler Recreation Center

Bridgeport International Academy is located on 285 Lafayette Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut. All classes and offices are located there, including Intensive English or ELL classrooms, English classroom, science classroom and lab, computer laboratories, assembly room, lunch room, and health center.

The school has two separate dorms, one for boys and one for girls.

Through an arrangement with the University of Bridgeport, BIA students, faculty and administrative staff have access to the following university facilities: The Marina Dining Hall, The Magnus Wahlstrom Library, The Wheeler Recreation Center, The Arnold Bernhard Arts and Humanities Center, and the University Student Center. [1]


Accelerated Courses

Through an arrangement with the University of Bridgeport (UB) and Housatonic Community College (HCC), qualified juniors and seniors may take classes at these universities in lieu of Honors or Advanced Placement (AP) courses. This is a dual credit system in which a student may receive credit simultaneously from college and high school. Such courses are marked “UB” or “HCC” on a student’s transcript.

The following are some of the courses that BIA students have taken at UB and HCC:

  • English Composition and Rhetoric
  • Literature and Civilization
  • Trigonometry
  • Applied Statistics
  • Pre-Calculus, Calculus I, II, III
  • Introduction to Computing I, II, Computer Graphics, Computer Concepts
  • Communications
  • Economics
  • International Business
  • Fine Arts
  • Principles of Physics I, II
  • General Biology I, II, Elementary Microbiology
  • Intermediate Chemistry, Biochemistry
  • World Politics
  • American History, American Government
  • Psychology, Personality Psychology, Social Psychology, Educational Psychology
  • Beginners Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, Arabic
  • Intermediate Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish

Graduation Requirements

Seniors, 2015

Students must complete a minimum of 23 credits in order to graduate.

  • English – 4 credits
  • Social Studies – 3 credits
  • Mathematics – 3 credits
  • Science – 3 credits
  • Health – 1 credit
  • Computer Science – 1 credit

A variety of electives is offered, and an English Language Learner program is offered for international students. (One credit is the equivalent to a one-year course that meets 200 minutes per week.)

Student life

The principal and vice principal coordinate student life, overseeing student leadership, counseling services, community service, and character education activities. The academy provides opportunities for students to participate in extracurricular events including debate contests, science fairs, athletic events, art shows, and educational outings. Events are scheduled for cultural and educational purposes. Club and sports activities are also available.

Core Values

BIA promotes a social milieu in which students make a commitment to personal growth through positive behaviors and academic achievement. Students are encouraged to develop meaningful and constructive relationships with peers, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. BIA’s policy of abstinence from drugs, alcohol, smoking, and premature sex allows students the freedom to pursue their studies and personal lives unencumbered by excessive peer pressure. Instead of engaging in exclusive romantic relationships, students are socially active in groups, and are encouraged to relate to each other as brothers and sisters. Each student and his/her parent or guardian must agree to comply with these policies as a condition of entering the academy. Students discuss the school’s core values in various forums throughout the year through the character education curriculum.


In all dealings with students, BIA administrators teachers and staff respect the integrity of each student, supporting each one’s personal motivation to maintain a high standard of behavior. Students are expected to respect school rules, teachers, staff, and peers, and a clear set of reasonable rules for classroom and dormitory behavior is provided.

Discipline is applied in an appropriate and lawful manner, according to the seriousness of the offense. The use of ridicule, corporal punishment, obscenities, abusive language, or harsh, humiliating, frightening, or ostracizing treatment is not tolerated. Discipline focuses on the actions of the student, but motivation is also considered. Students' rights to make choices, to be respected, and to be treated fairly are observed. Encouragement, problem solving and patience are used to promote self-reflection.


Activities offered include:

  • Art
  • Fine Arts
  • Digital Arts
  • Chorus
  • Drama
  • Yearbook
  • Basketball/ Volleyball
  • Contemporary Dance / Hip Hop
Volleyball at the Beach

Students are involved in a variety of extracurricular clubs and activities after school and on weekends. New clubs are formed based on petitioning the Student Council, and since students live in or near the school, they are able to schedule a meeting at any reasonable time. After-school clubs and activities include:

  • Student Council: composed of elected students who represent the student body and help manage student activities.
  • Volleyball Club: After-school volleyball games are organized for fun and love of the sport. Games are played at the University of Bridgeport’s Wheeler Recreational Center and on beach volleyball courts by the sound.
  • UB Tae-Kwon-Do classes: The University of Bridgeport Martial Arts program is the first at an American institution leading to a Bachelor’s degree in martial arts studies. Some students have chosen to participate in this fee-based program as an activity which teaches self-defense, self-discipline, determination, and inner peace.
  • Music Club: Using the school's drums, keyboards, and many privately owned guitars, students enjoy playing together informally, sometimes supporting school musical performances.
  • The WAIT Team: Washington AIDS International Teens is a performing arts group that educates youths about the dangers of HIV/AIDS. [2] Team members use their talents to make a difference in the world by modeling abstinence and faithful life partnership. The Bridgeport chapter has been in operation for five years, and many BIA students participate in this activity.
  • Film Club: Students are able to use state of the art equipment and make films about the school. The club is largely supported by MSG Varsity.


Cinderella, 2015

In physical education classes, students play sports — soccer, basketball, volleyball, frisbee, and softball — in friendly competition. They play at Seaside Park, two and a half miles of grass and trees, which is a short walk away, or, when the weather is cold or rainy, in the Wheeler Recreation Center's large fieldhouse. The sports club meets weekly to play sports after school.

Because Bridgeport International Academy does not have any athletic teams, eligible students are allowed to join the local public school's teams, Bassick High School, and juniors and seniors with the University of Bridgeport. BIA students have played for Bassick's football, soccer, and volleyball teams over the years.


At the end of each school year, the drama class of Bridgeport International Academy performs a play in the main theater of the University of Bridgeport's Arnold Bernard Center. This is usually a musical, such as "The Wizard of Oz," or The "Sound of Music." However, in 2011, they performed Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Students receive credit for performing.

BIA Affiliation with News 12 Varsity

The academy is partnered with MSG VARSITY on Cablevision Channel 14 [3] to cover and promote school activities and events (UCCT). MSG Varsity is a 24/7 television network dedicated to high school sports, academics and activities throughout the tri-state area. The students and faculty in schools that are working with this service are given access to curriculum and training in multimedia creation and distribution (Cablevision).

MSG Varsity has provided HD cameras and video editing software to the academy, in addition to hosting videos made by the academy's students on their website. Also, a crew from MSG Varsity occasionally comes to record special events or for interviews. One student, Daniel Hirano, was interviewed about his hobby, origami. The videos made by the students of BIA are available on the MSG Varsity website, or on Cablevision channel 14.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-31. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  2. ^
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External links


41°10′02″N 73°11′17″W / 41.1673°N 73.1881°W / 41.1673; -73.1881