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Advanced Academics and Fine Arts Academy


For students interested in applying for AAFAA, all classes for the 24-25 school year are full at this time. Please complete this Transfer form to be placed on the waitlist.


Attending the AAFAA

There are 3 ways to qualify for enrollment in the AAFAA:

  • Student qualifies for GT services
  • Student qualifies for advanced academic services
  • Student is performing academically well beyond their current grade level 

The intra-district transfer application will open in February for any open spots at the AAFAA for the subsequent school year. For students not currently enrolled in Forney ISD, but live within Forney ISD borders, an out-of-district transfer form will be activated on the last day of school. Because the AAFAA is part of our advanced academics programming, potential students must show a need for academic enrichment. Students who are not meeting minimum grade level expectations are not eligible to enroll in AAFAA.

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.  Click 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 4 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.