Frequently Asked Questions

What is a ninth-grade academy? An academy is a school that offers specialized training. The William Blount Ninth-Grade Academy specializes in preparing students for their high school careers through a variety of concentrated efforts.

What are the benefits of a ninth-grade academy? Ninth-grade academies have many benefits for the students. There is an increase in school attendance and school spirit due to a sense of belonging. There is an increase in passing grades due to year-long classes, remediation, and focus of the teachers. There is a significant decrease in behavior problems due to the structured environment. Finally, there is an increase in parent communication and involvement due to teaching teams.

Is the ninth-grade academy an entirely different school from the high school? Although ninth-grade students do attend classes in a separate building, the ninth-grade academy is part of William Blount High School. We are Governors too!

Where is the ninth-grade academy located? The William Blount Ninth-Grade Academy is located in the former William Blount Middle School (originally Mary Blount Elementary) building on the campus of William Blount High School facing William Blount Drive.

How are classes structured at the ninth-grade academy? Core classes are year-long and meet for 55 minutes per day. Elective classes are one semester. Students also attend a Freshman Focus Class which will meet for 30 minutes per day.

What are “teams” and what are the advantages? Teaching teams consist of the G team, O team, V team, and S team. Each team is made up of four core teachers (math, English, social studies, and science). Teachers on each team are assigned the same group of students in order to better meet the needs of each student by tracking progress in each class throughout the year. The teams are heterogeneous, meaning they all consist of high, average, and lower level courses. Teaching teams allow teachers to have a common plan time and enable them to communicate more efficiently with parents.

What is Freshman Focus? Freshman Focus is a course designed to ground students in the rules and expectations of high school and provide character education. This time is also used for remediation opportunities for students who may be falling behind in class work or may have missed several days of school. This period is also used for extracurricular activities such as pep rallies, assemblies, and clubs.

Are students able to participate in sports and clubs while attending the ninth-grade academy? YES! students at the ninth-grade academy have the opportunity to participate in clubs and extracurricular activities currently offered at William Blount High School.

Are students able to participate in choir and band while attending the ninth-grade academy? YES! The choral and band directors conduct classes at the ninth-grade academy. Also, freshman band members march with the band during football games.

What are the hours of the ninth-grade academy? The ninth-grade academy operates on the same schedule as the main campus. Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.

Do buses run at the academy? YES! The buses make a separate stop at the academy. Car riders may also be picked up at the academy: however, they are permitted to ride with older siblings at the main campus as permitted by parents/guardians.