Ballston Spa High School
|Ballston Spa High School|
|220 Ballston Avenue
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
|Color(s)||Purple and Gold|
Ballston Spa High School is a public high school located in Ballston Spa, New York. It is part of the Ballston Spa Central School District, which covers the towns of Ballston, Milton, and Malta in Saratoga County. The mascot is the Scottie dog, dedicated to long-time athletic director/coach Coach William R. Scott. The school colors are Purple and Gold but the complementary (alternative) color of black is often used.
The high school was shifted to a new building in 1998; it remains on the same campus as the previous high school, which now functions as a middle school. Prior to moving to current complex in the 1950s, Ballston Spa High School was located in what is now Malta Avenue Elementary School. Graduating class sizes range from 300 to 400, resulting in a total student population of around 1,400.
Each academic department maintains an "advisory room" and each teacher advisory hours. Similar to a professor's office hours at college, these are provided so that students can seek help during their study halls.
Beginning in the middle school, students have the opportunity to accelerate in several subject areas. This program continues into the high school, where classes have various levels to meet each student's individual academic needs. Many classes are also offered as Advanced Placement courses to students who wish to challenge themselves and earn college credit. In addition to AP courses, Ballston Spa offers special college classes, in which students are presented with college level material and may gain credit from local colleges. Although enrollment into the college is not required to take a class, it is required to gain college credit for the class. Students are charged a reduced fee to enroll in the college course. Ballston Spa is also very open-minded in regards to independent studies, including online coursework.
Ballston Spa offers students the International Baccalaureate curriculum as of the fall of 2012.
Updated course requirements and more information is provided in the Guidance section of the high school website, available at www.bscsd.org .
|Ballston Spa Schedule Outline|
|Period||A Day||B Day||C Day||D Day|
|1||Block 1||Block 4||Block 3||Block 2|
|2||Block 2||Block 1||Block 4||Block 3|
|3||Block 3||Block 2||Block 1||Block 4|
|4||Lunch 1||Block 8||Block 7||Block 6|
|Block 5||Lunch 2|
|Block 8||Lunch 3||Lunch 3|
|5||Block 6||Block 5||Block 8||Block 7|
|6||Block 7||Block 6||Block 5||Block 8|
Ballston Spa operates on a rotating block schedule, where eight scheduling blocks (classes) are distributed over four six-period days. Classes are divided between morning and afternoon classes, which rotate separately through the first three and last three periods, with fourth period having an extra half-hour built in for lunches. Students are placed in one of three lunches, depending on which class is scheduled during that period. Although students report issues with schedule memorization, the schedule offers many benefits: days are more varied than in a simple A Day/B Day schedule, and not tying it directly to weekdays allows for more flexibility.
Ballston Spa's athletic program is a member of the Suburban Council. Ballston Spa offers many sports at the Modified, Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity level for both boys and girls. The currently offered Varsity sports are:
Varsity Boys' Teams
Varsity Girls' Teams
The Athletics section of the website contains a wealth of information on the athletics programs in the district, and is accessed through www.bscsd.org.
Ballston Spa's arts program is and has a large number of motivated student participants. In school students can choose from a wide range of art, music theory/history, and performance oriented classes, which take advantage of Ballston Spa's art facilities, including a dark room, several kilns, and a well-equipped auditorium/theatre.
A number of musical performing groups are offered through the music department, including a Symphonic Band along with an audition-only Wind Ensemble, a String Orchestra and Jazz Band directed by Mrs. DeRagon. Also, a Concert and Women's Choirs along with the audition-only Select Choir.
These groups perform at least twice a year, with concerts in December and May, occasionally performing at a special concert in March. Members from the groups also use their musical talents in the community on a regular basis, organized mainly by Ballston Spa's chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Members of the band, for example, have performed on the street corners and Maplewood Manor, a local nursing home, around Christmas, while chorus members have gone caroling both in downtown Ballston Spa and at a local respite home.
Some also consider the Intro to Theatre and Intro to Acting classes as performing groups, as students in these classes put on a "Scene Night" for both their midterm and final exams. For Scene Night, students prepare scenes that they either wrote themselves or found in plays that they read, and then perform them live for an audience in January and again in June.
Ballston Spa's extracurricular theatre club is known as Troupe, and current director Matthew Lopez puts on two shows a year, the fall show typically being a smaller show or drama and the spring show being a large musical.
2007 marked the retirement of longtime director Pat Pacelli, with whom Larson would switch on and off with. Before Larson joined the district in 2000, Pacelli had been the sole director since the early 90's. She had acted as first choreographer and then producer for Don Mitola, the previous director, taking over the directing position when he retired. Pacelli herself had attended Ballston Spa, and had been involved in theatre as a student.
The Troupe was originally a separate group from the school-sponsored theatre club. Its origin, in 1977, was as a small traveling performance group with the goal of interesting elementary students in theatre. This group was spawned from the highly successful school theatre program, as was the Spa Theatre Company. All of these groups were under the direction of Don Mitola and Harry Smith. In the 1980s the school program adopted the Troupe name and logo as its own.
Ballston Spa offers a plethora of after-school clubs and activities. These include
- Amnesty International
- Anime/International Travel Club
- Art Club
- Best Buddies
- Biology Club
- Board Game Club
- Book Club
- Chess Club
- Class Governments
- Communications Club
- Debate Club
- Environmental Club
- National Honor Society
- Mock Trial
- Odyssey of the Mind
- Outdoor Club
- Physics Club
- Science Club
- Student Council
- Engineering and Technology Club
- FIRST Robotics Club Team #3044, 0xBE4
- Interact Club
- Students Helping Students
- Ski Club
- Swing Dance Club
- Theatre Outreach
- Tri-M Music Honor Society
- Varsity Club
- Youth Court
Of note are several academic-related teams. Ballston Spa's Science Olympiad team, advised by physics teachers, placed fourth in regionals for the 2006 season, and has frequently gone to state competitions. Of more recent note, the team placed 3rd at regionals and a new school record of 23rd in states for the 2008 season. The team also finished 3rd in the 2010 season. The Mock Trial team, advised by a history teacher, also has a good record, placing well in the 2006-2007 season. A Biology teacher runs the Envirothon team, which placed very well at states in the 2007 season. Ballston Spa also has an Odyssey of the Mind team.
National Honor Society
The Ballston Spa Chapter of the National Honor Society contains over fifty members from the Junior and Senior classes and is very active in the Ballston Spa community.
Throughout the year, student groups sponsor a wide variety of fundraisers and activities, such as the Homecoming Chicken BBQ, Pizza and Wings Night (area pizza places are invited to send in samples, and students vote for their favorite), Amnesty International sponsored Coffeehouses, the Talent Show, the annual Foreign Language Lip-Sync night, a "Mr. Ballstonian" contest, and Ballstonian Idol (an American Idol parody). These events have been known to gather large audiences and are popular among the students. Dances are held yearly at Ballston Spa. The first two, Homecoming and Fire and Ice (held homecoming weekend and mid-February, respectively), are sponsored by the Congress of Student Legislators, while the Senior Prom is put on in mid-late May, typically at SPAC's Hall of Springs.
- Ballston Spa, New York
- Saratoga County, New York
- New York State Education Department
- University of the State of New York
- Education in the United States