New Students & Prospective Students

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Boston Latin Academy?

Where is Boston Latin Academy?

What is the application process and who can apply?

How do I sign my child up to take the exam?

How can my child prepare for the ISEE?

Can prospective families visit BLA (i.e. set up a tour)?

How can prospective families talk to parents of current BLA students (e.g. attend a neighborhood Information Night)?

Q. 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.

Our 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. We are in the geographic center of Boston and attract students from all over the city. View to plan the best route. Also, see the official BPS transportation information at

Our phone number is 617-635-9957.

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. Boston includes: Allston, Boston (Back Bay, Downtown, Fenway, North End, South End, West End), Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, Roxbury Crossing, South Boston, and West Roxbury.

Families rank school choices in order of their preferences. The deadline for submitting preferences is typically in late January. Please see the Boston Public Schools Exam School page for more information.

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. Also see the BPS website’s Frequently Asked Questions page for more details about ranking and admission.

Information packets will 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. Also, “What to Expect on the ISEE” can be found here.

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.

If you have any questions about the ESI, please contact BPS via Maria Vieira at (617) 635-9512.

Q. Can prospective families visit BLA (i.e. set up a tour)?
A. Of course! 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. Please sign up for a tour using this form.

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. Register here for an Information Night in your area. More dates and locations are coming soon.

Welcome Back to School!

Dear Boston Latin Academy Community:

I hope you have enjoyed summer recess. During this time, Boston Latin Academy (BLA) has undergone a few critical improvements. First, we painted the gymnasium in our school colors, sanded and sealed its floors, and installed new bleachers. Second, we created four new classrooms in the building by reconfiguring existing space. One of those classrooms was created on the third floor and three classrooms were created on the ground level. These long overdue major physical changes will greatly enhance the educational experience for students.

As we near the first day of school, which is September 8, I want to share with you the instructional and administrative activities that will take place on September 8 and 9. These activities are important to the academic and social fabric of our school. Building on last year’s instructional focus, these two days will kickoff our yearlong dialog on climate, culture, and college readiness. Students in grades 7 thru 12 and teachers will engage in the following:

  1. Social Media Responsibility Activities
  2. Bullying Prevention & Awareness Activities
  3. SAT Practice Tests (12th grade only)
  4. Forum: Understanding Each Other’s Identities
  5. Summer Reading Activities
  6. Grade Level Meetings
  7. Community Building Activities
  8. Essay Writing Activity
  9. Complete All Necessary School Forms
  10. Group Fitness Activities (no special dress or footwear required).

The regular class schedule will begin on Monday, September 12. On September 8 and 9, students will not follow the regular class schedule. On these two days, student will need to bring a pen and pencil only. Regarding school supplies, for returning students, teachers will provide their students with a list of those supplies needed. For our new students in grades 7 and 9, we have put the list of supplies they will need on the school’s website. In the future, we plan to create and post on our website a basic supply list for students in all grades. This will help students and parents plan for their supply needs sooner.

As you may know, the heavy traffic in front of BLA during drop-off and pick-up times is challenging. To help relieve the congestion caused by numerous buses and cars, and by 1,750 students, the Boston Traffic Department (BTD) has changed the drop-off and pick-up location. Therefore, when dropping-off and picking–up students, drivers must use the newly designated drop-off and pick-up area located on Warren Street, between the bus stop and Deckard Street. BTD has posted signs to direct drivers to this new area. Please do not use Townsend Avenue during this congested morning and afternoon times.

I look forward to our paths crossing during this school year. “Vita Tua Sit Sincera.”


Troy P. Henninger

New Students for 2016: Summer Orientation, August 31, 2016

Our summer orientation program helps incoming seventh graders to prepare for the first day of school.

It is strongly recommended (but not required) that all students attend.

Session I – Wednesday, August 31, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Session II – Wednesday, August 31, 12 noon to 2:30 p.m.

Students sign up for one of the two sessions listed above.

Please select one and notify us by using this Grade 7 Summer Orientation Registration Form (due June 1).

Summer Assignments …

… are listed here.

Welcome Night, April 7, 2016

To welcome you and to introduce you to our school, we held an open house for new students and their families on Thursday, April 7, 2016, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This included a brief presentation, a tour of the building, and a preview of programs and activities. It was an opportunity to meet other parents, guardians, and students.

Student interpreters for the following languages were available: Spanish, Haitian Creole, Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, and Vietnamese.

Handouts from Welcome Night

If you were unable to attend on April 7, please click the links below to access important documents; please note the indicated deadlines for sending us these documents:

Grade 7 Elective Information and Sign-Up Form (due April 22)

Grade 9 Elective Information and Sign-Up Form (due April 22)

Grade 7 Summer Orientation Registration Form (due June 1)

Summer Assignments

Grade 7 Supply List

Grade 9 Supply List

Volunteer at Latin Academy!

To join our team of involved parents, please complete this form.

What are Sixies and Beezies?

“Sixies” are students in grade seven. This term has been used for decades. At the start of the school’s history, the term “First Class” was used for what today is called grade 12. The “Second Class” was today’s grade 11, and so on down to “Sixth Class,” which corresponded to today’s grade 7. The term “Sixies” is a vestige of this numbering system.

“Beezies” are students who start at BLA in grade 9. The term is derived from “9B,” a cohort name that used to be given to these students because they took Latin 1 in the 9th grade.