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Advanced Academics and Fine Arts Academy


We are halfway through the 2023-24 school year. Both campuses are doing amazing things! Please see below for a list of upcoming dates:
  • January 19 - Current AAFAA renewal form opens (due January 31)
  • February 1 - Intra-district AAFAA transfer form opens (due May 22)
  • February 27 @ 5:45pm - 5th grade Parent Information Meeting at Smith
  • February 28 @ 5:45pm - 6th grade Parent Information Meeting at Smith
  • March 12 @ 6pm - K-4th Parent Information Meeting at Blackburn (Attendance is mandatory for incoming kindergarten families)
  • March 21 - Blackburn AAFAA Spring Project Showcase
  • May 11 - GT/Fine Arts district showcase 
  • May 22 - Transfer form opens for students who live in Forney ISD, but do not yet attend Forney ISD schools


Attending the AAFAA

Students who qualify for either GT or advanced academic services or who are performing well beyond their current grade level will be able to apply in February 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. Because the AAFAA is part of our advanced academics programming, eligible students must show a need for academic enrichment. 

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.