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Advanced Academics and Fine Arts Academy

Advanced Academics Fine Arts Academy at Blackburn

Welcome to the 2023-24 school year!! We have been so excited to welcome our AAFAA students back & can't wait to see all the accomplish this year. 

Attending the AAFAA

Students who qualify for either GT or advanced academic services will be invited to apply in January for any open spots at the AAFAA for the subsequent school year. To have your child evaluated for GT and advanced services, please complete the referral form on the GT website. An open application will be available in February for students who have not qualified for any advanced services, but would like to be considered for enrollment. Because the AAFAA is an advanced academics program, only students who perform above grade level will be considered for admission. 

Once accepted, students will be fully transferred to the AAFAA school for their grade level. Currently, there is no bus service to the AAFAA unless the AAFAA school is also the student's zoned school. There is also no additional expense to attend AAFAA, but there may be times where students need to attend rehearsals outside of the school day.

The Advanced Academics Fine Arts Academies at Blackburn and Smith will continue to expand into middle school in the 2025-26 school year. The exact location will be determined at a later date.

Watch the video below for an overview of the program. To view the informational slides for incoming kindergartners, click here. To view the informational slides for our first group at Smith Intermediate, click hereClick here to check out the AAFAA FAQs. Be sure to submit your question if you do not see it in the document.


Our Story

Starting in the 2020-2021 school year, Forney ISD opened the Advanced Academics Fine Arts Academy (AAFAA) at Blackburn Elementary. In spite of the pandemic and having to function in both in-person and virtual environments (with the expected hiccups along the way), our first year was a resounding success!

In February 2020, select kindergarten & 1st-grade students were invited to apply to the academy based on qualification for GT or advanced academic services. In August of 2020, the academy opened with 132 1st & 2nd-grade students. These students received specialized instruction in fine arts courses, including piano, dance, and theatre. Additionally, students received core academic instruction in an accelerated/compacted environment that is tailored to the young GT/Advanced brain. 

In the 3 years since, we have expanded the program to include AAFAA classes at all elementary grade levels as well as our first intermediate class at Smith Intermediate in the fall of 2023. We have also introduced guitar to 5th graders as our 2nd musical instrument and created a new core class that blends reading, writing, and social studies called Humanities.