History

history

New Beginnings Family Academy is a public charter school in Bridgeport, CT.  Charter schools are public schools of choice that work independently from the local school district. This autonomy allows charter schools flexibility in staffing, curricula, length of school day/year and other critical areas. 

New Beginnings Family Academy ("NBFA") opened Bridgeport’s first elementary charter school in September 2002, serving 156 students in grades K-3. By 2005, NBFA had expanded into the city’s first charter middle school, serving roughly 260 students. Today, New Beginnings Family Academy annually enrolls nearly 500 students from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 8, providing a strong foundation that prepares them for outstanding academic success in high school, college and beyond. NBFA students are selected through a blind lottery. There is no admissions criterion.

Founded by a career educator and a Southport businessman, New Beginnings Family Academy seeks to improve the lives of low-income urban students by providing a free, high-quality public education in a small school with a proprietary curriculum that organically weaves ethics and character-building into everyday instruction. Each NBFA homeroom is named after an historical figure – Sir Isaac Newton, Helen Keller, Benjamin Banneker, Eleanor Roosevelt, to name a few –  whose life personifies “academic success and character,” the tenets of NBFA. Classrooms are interactive places filled with “good noise.” They are led by certified teachers who use their individual talents and techniques, combined with best practices, to intrigue and educate children. Mistakes are viewed as teachable moments that build resiliency. This model fosters a love of learning and work ethic in NBFA students.  

NBFA’s student achievement outcomes demonstrate the school’s efficacy. The single-school district has consistently outperformed Bridgeport (its host district) as well as neighboring urban districts (including New Haven, Waterbury and Hartford) on state standardized exams. For example, in the first official administration of the SBAC to public school students in grades 3 – 8 across the state in spring 2015, 60% of NBFA’s 8th grade students scored at level 3 or 4 in English Language Arts (ELA) – 9% higher than the state average – compared to 26.9% of Bridgeport district 8th graders. Furthermore, 27.5% of NBFA’s 5th graders scored at level 3 or 4 in Math compared less than 5% of Bridgeport district 5th graders. In addition, scores for NBFA African American and Latino students exceeded the state average in both ELA and Math. Perhaps most impressive are NBFA students’ long-term outcomes. NBFA graduates have been admitted into such competitive admission high schools as Fairfield Prep, Hopkins, Greens Farms Academy, and St. Luke’s.