About the Ballston Spa Schools and Community
The Ballston Spa Central School District currently serves approximately 4,300 students from Pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Located in the heart of New York's "Tech Valley" (approximately 25 minutes north of Albany and 5 minutes south of Saratoga Springs), the area has been growing, both in residential and commercial development. As of the 2015 census, the 12020 zip code has over 31,000 residents spanning the 65 square miles of the district’s boundaries. A diverse socioeconomic population resides within our suburban district, which encompasses portions of the Towns of Milton, Malta, Ballston, and Charlton and the Village of Ballston Spa. Over 140,000 people live within 15 minutes of Ballston Spa, supporting and working at over 5,500 businesses.
The District includes four elementary schools (grades Pre-K-5), which include Milton Terrace Elementary School, Gordon Creek Elementary School, Malta Avenue Elementary School and Wood Road Elementary School; Ballston Spa Middle School (grades 6-8) and Ballston Spa High School (grades 9-12; opened in 1998). In Spring 2012, the district launched a $57 million facilities renovation project, including the construction of Gordon Creek Elementary School (September 2013), the historical renovation and restoration of Malta Avenue Elementary School (2013-2014), renovations at Milton Terrace North Elementary School, Wood Road Elementary School and Ballston Spa Middle School (2012-2015) along with improvements to the array of district athletic facilities (2014-2017).
The community prides itself on the vast array of educational and cultural opportunities available to residents. The Ballston Spa Middle School received the designation as a 2015 School to Watch by the New York State Education Department after a lengthy review process and is one of only 27 schools in New York State since 2004 that have achieved this prestigious national honor. The school has subsequently been re-designated as a 2018 School to Watch after an additional review process.
In 2010, 2013 and 2016, Ballston Spa High School was recognized as one of "America's Best High Schools" by Newsweek Magazine, by The Washington Post in 2011, by US News and World Report in 2012 and 2017 and was recognized on The Washington Post's list of America's Most Challenging High Schools in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Also in 2010 and 2012, Ballston Spa High School received the National AP Achievement Award from the College Board for increasing access to AP coursework while maintaining achievement levels.
Malta Avenue Elementary School and Ballston Spa High School are recognized as National Gold Star No Place for Hate Schools by the Anti-Defamation League. Milton Terrace, Gordon Creek and Malta Avenue Elementary Schools, as well as the Ballston Spa Middle School, have been recognized as National PTA Schools of Excellence. These national recognitions combined with regional and local awards recognize the great work of staff and students that occurs throughout our district on a daily basis.
The District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Ballston Spa is one of the 4% of public school districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2018. The district also received the recognition in 2017.
Ballston Spa fully addresses the Learning Standards. The elementary level features the incorporation of current best practices, balanced literary instruction, interdisciplinary teaching and an extensive use of technology by students and teachers. Each school has access to technological tools both in the classrooms and throughout the building. Both the High School and Middle School are organized on a modified, rotating, block schedule, which provides teachers and students the opportunity to participate in coursework across content areas in 8th grade.
High School students may take Advanced Placement courses, College courses and/or University in the High School classes for college credit in art, biology, calculus, chemistry, physics, history, language and composition, literature and composition, French, Spanish, Video Game Design, technology and in many other areas. In September 2011, the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Early College High School was launched at the Hudson Valley Community College TEC-SMART in Malta, and students attend classes in this state of the art learning environment while being fully enrolled in college, with the opportunity to earn up to 25 college credits upon completing high school. In September 2012, the High School began to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, an internationally recognized program of study that exemplifies college and career readiness.
Athletics, extracurricular and cocurricular clubs and activities complement the academic program. Academic clubs including Business, Envirothon, Science Olympiad, Robotics, Biology and Odyssey of the Mind have an impressive history in competition, earning regional and statewide awards annually. Beginning in grade 4, students can participate in Band, Orchestra and Chorus. Students who choose to continue their musical careers into their high school years often perform at state and national levels. The Young Scholars Program and additional enrichment opportunities are available to students in grades 3-7.
The surrounding communities are very supportive of the educational system and provide many opportunities for residents to be involved. The Ballston Area Recreation Commission (BARC) is a non-profit community group of volunteers that offers a variety of programs for the children in the district. BARC works closely with the schools to promote programs ranging from traditional athletic programs to enrichment classes and summer sessions. The Ballston Area Community Center (BACC) offers before and after school childcare programs, as well as a teen program in the evening. A community swim program operates at the Ballston Spa High School swimming pool, enabling community members and staff to enjoy use of the facilities.
Parent groups are active in each building, and volunteers are a familiar sight. In addition, the district has formed partnerships with a number of local businesses and community organizations. Community members are also actively involved in the schools through participation on school committees, academic teams, theatre & music programs and task forces. The Ballston Spa Education Foundation (BSEF) was established to seek resources to provide academic enrichment for the students. The BSEF has raised and distributed over $360,000 to the school district in recent years. These partnerships enhance educational experiences by involving students in mentoring programs, career exploration programs and citizenship activities.
More than 600 educators, administrators and support staff make up the district’s dedicated team of employees. Staff members also enjoy continued growth and learning. In-service training and staff development remain a district priority. In addition, the district supports teachers’ pursuit of the National Certification process as an indication of educational excellence. More than 15 area colleges provide even more options for professional growth.
The district boasts of excellence in our curricula and student services. Our new and upgraded learning environments are designed to support academic and enrollment growth. The staff is recruited based on their solid experience and potential to enhance the success of our students. Parents and students are discovering the benefits of a Ballston Spa education, and enrollment continues to climb.
Ballston Spa manifests its motto: “Educating Everyone Takes Everyone".