Frequently Asked Questions About Boston Latin Academy

Do you have questions about the Boston Latin Academy? See if they’re answered in this list of BLA Frequently Asked Questions.

What is Boston Latin Academy?
A. Boston Latin Academy (BLA) is one of three Boston public exam schools, along with Boston Latin School (BLS) and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science (O’B). BLA educates students from grade 7 through grade 12. Students are accepted in grades 7 and 9. The BLA mission is to prepare students for higher academic study by challenging them with a rigorous curriculum. Our classical and liberal arts education allows students to become successful participants in a diverse and challenging society. Some of our alumni are now government officials, professional newscasters, leading-edge scientists, and successful entrepreneurs.

Q. Where is Boston Latin Academy?
A. BLA’s address is 205 Townsend Street, Dorchester, MA 02121. They are located in the geographic center of Boston and attract students from all over the city. 

Q. What is the application process and who can apply?
A. Interested students in grades 6 and 8 must register for the ISEE test, which typically takes place on the first Saturday of November (with a registration deadline sometime in September). In addition to the ISEE, the Boston School Department requires a Grade Point Average (GPA) for each candidate. The GPA is based on grades in English and Math for the final marks for Grade 5 or 7 and for the first half of grades 6 or 8. The criteria for the exam school admissions process consist of the ISEE scores and Grade Point Average, each accounting for 50%. Application to Boston public exam schools requires proof of Boston residency for both the child and parent/guardian prior to taking the ISEE test. There are no exceptions to this residency requirement. Families rank school choices in order of their preferences. The deadline for submitting preferences is typically in late January. 

Q. How do I sign my child up to take the exam?
A. Please visit the Boston Public Schools Exam School page for official information on the exam school application procedures. Information packets will also be available at all Boston Public School middle schools in mid-September each year. Testing locations and times will be included in the information packet.

Q. How can my child prepare for the ISEE?
A. There are many ISEE prep books available online or in any large bookstore. The Exam School Initiative (ESI) is held in August at Boston Latin School and strives to help students in the district’s traditionally underrepresented schools gain admission and achieve success at one of the three Boston exam schools. Each spring, BPS invites rising 6th graders, based on standardized test scores or principal recommendations, to participate in the summer program. A recent expansion will increase student seats to 750 to provide more equitable access to academic rigor for students from those underrepresented schools. The ESI experience focuses on test taking and academic preparedness. The fall program brings these same students back on Saturdays in the weeks leading up to the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) in November building upon the summer curriculum.

Q. Can prospective families visit BLA (i.e. set up a tour)?
A. Student-led tours for prospective families are offered during the school day from November through January on select dates and times, and on a limited basis at other times during the school year. 

Q. How can prospective families talk to parents of current BLA students (e.g. attend a neighborhood Information Night)?
A. Members of the School Parent Council are hosting information nights in several locations during the fall and early winter. More dates and locations are coming soon.

For more information, please visit the Boston Latin Academy website. Their Frequently Asked Questions page has links to more information.

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