- Is Blyth-Templeton Academy a college prep school?
Yes. Though we don’t think that is enough for a 21st century secondary school. Blyth-Templeton Academy was built to position young people to thrive in college, career and life.
- What does a successful student look like at BTA?
Per our Blyth-Templeton Experience video, our students are smart, driven, artistic, kind, curious. They are students who don’t just want to sit in a classroom and be talked at — they want to actively participate in their learning. Or as you’ll also see in the video, they no longer want to look at teachers as rule makers, but as partners in learning. Students who are motivated to learn about the world around them and themselves will be most successful at Blyth-Templeton Academy.
- What makes BTA different from other high schools?
Most notably, we have a unique schedule in which students take two classes a day per quarter.This allows students to deeply engage with the subjects they’re studying. Instead of jumping from class-to-class in 45-minute increments, students spend 2 hours and 20 minutes each day to explore each subject.This also supports our experiential approach to learning. We take hands-on learning seriously and use the city’s vast resources to deepen our understanding of the world and the subjects we’re studying. We’re also a small school where everyone knows everyone else and classes average only 8 students. Because of this, every student is known and expected to engage every day.
- What is the advantage of taking two classes at a time?
Taking two classes a day and only two per quarter allows students to deeply engage with the subjects they are studying. Instead of jumping from class-to-class in 45 minute increments, students have 2 hours and 20 minutes with each subject to explore concepts fully. This model also allows students and teachers time to make learning hands-on. Educational activities like cooking tacos while speaking only in Spanish or visiting the U.S. Capitol for a lesson on politics are only possible in a setting that provides that needed time and space.
- What does a 2 hour and 20 minute class look like?
Each day differs, but typically classes average 3 transitions within a 2 hour and 20 min block and might include group and individual work (lab, projects, problem-solving sessions), student presentations, excursions, quizzes or tests, and breaks.
- What can I expect in a BTA classroom?
Similar to a college seminar, students sit around a conference table beside their teacher and are expected to actively participate in discussion. When on excursions, students use their metro card and travel around Washington D.C. with their teacher to enrich content learned in class.
- How often do students get out of the classroom to take excursions?
Teachers are encouraged to take their classes out at least once a week. Last year, Blyth-Templeton Academy took over 80 excursions throughout the school year. Click here to see some of the places we’ve been so far. An excursion can be a photo shoot of the neighborhood or an all-day visit with a docent at the African-American Museum.
- Do you offer extracurricular activities?
BTA supports extracurricular activities developed by students. Theater Club, Film Club, Chess Club, and Improv Club are examples of student-generated and led activities. In addition, students have input into which electives are offered each term. Computer Science, Drama, Film, Creative Writing, and Political Science are some of the electives that have been offered based on student interest. BTA students are able to engage in a myriad of activities outside of school because they are able to complete most of their homework while at school. Sports clubs and leagues, dance and music classes, community service, and paid jobs are some examples of our students’ commitments outside of school.
- What service learning opportunities do you offer?
Students are required to complete 75 hours of service in order to graduate. Students also participate in school-wide service learning projects like urban gardening on Capitol Hill and partnering with Capitol Hill Village seniors. To learn more, read about our service learning program here.
- Do you offer AP or honors courses?
Students interested in taking AP courses have the option to do so through Blyth Academy Online or another online platform, but we do not offer AP or honors courses on campus.
- How much homework do students have? What is the school’s philosophy/approach to homework?
We believe the majority of learning should be during class, but homework is a useful tool to reinforce what was learned in class or to work on an upcoming project. The amount of homework each student has each day varies depending on how effectively students manage their time.Students have a "Flex" period of 2 hours and 20 minutes each day to work individually, with classmates, and with teachers on class assignments.Students who take advantage of their "Flex" period should expect approximately one hour of homework outside of school each day.
- Do you offer assistance when applying for college?
We offer college counseling for grades 9 through 12. Our college counselor works one-on-one with each student and family to develop an individualized plan that reflects the goals and aspirations of the student.
- How do I apply? Is there a fee to apply?
- What is the cost of tuition?
$14,775 to families that pay in full by March 31 (please refer to our tuition for more details). With private school tuition outpacing inflation for decades, we see an enormous opportunity to make private education more accessible to families. The two top drivers of cost in most schooling models are people and buildings. Rather than putting tuition toward building and maintaining expensive facilities and grounds, we use the city as our campus, focusing our budget on hiring the best full-time and part-time teachers.
- What is not included in tuition?
School supplies, special events (ex. Graduation), metro card fees, and a laptop device are not included. Instead of using textbooks, students and teachers use open sources and online resources.
- Do you offer financial aid?
Yes. We fully appreciate that tuition just less than $15,000 is still unattainable to many families. Please see this page for additional details.
- Where do BTA students live and how do students get to school?
BTA students live in all parts of the DMV metropolitan area (click here to see a google map of where BTA families past and present live). They walk, take the metro, ride the bus and commute by car. Eastern Market Metro Station is one block away and the 695 Southeast Freeway is 3 blocks away.
- Is BTA accredited?
BTA is in the process of completing Middle States Colleges Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation and has been recommended for accreditation, which should be finalized this spring. BTA has been approved for operation in the District of Columbia by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.