Blair Academy
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The competitive advantage of a Blair Academy education

In serene Blairstown, New Jersey, lies Blair Academy — a prestigious co-educational boarding school that provides a truly transformative education. It’s where children arrive as students, and evolve into persons of great accomplishment and character. They’re set to not only achieve success in college and in life but to become future leaders, the kind who can concisely and compellingly convey one’s message.

It’s what sets them apart. Much of this is due to Blair’s cross-curricular communication initiative and myriad public-speaking opportunities. Such opportunities let students craft and deliver compelling narratives, speak effectively to audiences of all sizes, and engage with others in ways that build vital relationships.

Blair Academy

Great leaders are great communicators hence why Blair students participate in communication-focused activities across various academic departments. Source: Blair Academy

“The Senior Speech Contest is one of my favourite Blair traditions because it gives our students the opportunity to share with the community their life experiences and how much they have grown and changed during their time here,” said Head of School Peter G. Curran.

“A number of this year’s speeches focused on belonging and connection to classmates and teachers, which was especially moving and poignant as our seniors get ready to join our alumni ranks. We couldn’t be prouder of all they have accomplished and can’t wait to applaud all of their successes moving forward.”

Founded in 1848, Blair Academy is home to 465 students from 28 countries. Here, students in grades nine to 12 embark on a journey of superior college preparatory education, where academic excellence is a hallmark. The school offers vast opportunities for growth and development, providing its students with a nurturing environment supported by dedicated faculty-student relationships and vibrant community life.

“Our faculty members inspire students to develop their intellectual curiosity and challenge them to step outside of their comfort zones and discover new passions. Blair students live and learn in a service-minded, global community where they establish relationships that last a lifetime,” says Curran

Student Nami from South Korea agrees. “Blair is passionate about relationships. The size of our campus and student body are perfect for building strong connections with teachers and classmates. Our community is also incredibly diverse, and this combination creates an extremely supportive environment and an interesting experience,” Nami says.

Robust curriculum

Blair believes that students learn best when they have the freedom to choose what and how they learn. Hence, it offers over 50 honours options for students to choose from. Electives are diverse, including design thinking, robotics, negotiation, theatre, video studies, economics, biomechanics, architecture and constitutional law.

Blair Academy

Blair Academy is a midsize boarding school that allows staff to know each student individually whilst offering big-school opportunities. Source: Blair Academy

Exceptional facilities enrich the learning experience here, and a wide range of artistic activities, such as art, theatre, music, film production, and dance, provide ample opportunities for self-expression and creativity. All of this is designed to challenge and empower, preparing students for college and the working world.

Despite the vast array of offerings, Blair remains committed to placing the students at the centre of its educational approach. How? By maintaining a student-faculty ratio of 6:1, Blair ensures every student can take part in discussions, build confidence, and develop trust. These interactions create strong connections, enabling teachers to understand students’ learning styles, interests, abilities, and passions. With this knowledge, teachers can customise their education and push students to higher levels of achievement.

But that’s not all. Within the classroom, Blair has implemented a dual-advisor system to ensure comprehensive student support. Each student benefits from the guidance of two faculty members: an academic monitor and a choice faculty member. These advisors offer both academic guidance and emotional support, fostering a well-rounded learning experience.

In the fall of 2024, Blair is embarking on an exciting journey of redefining its advanced curriculum, moving beyond the traditional AP framework. “Our choice to move beyond the AP curriculum is investment in the best possible learning opportunities for our students. We believe that the ideal curriculum for Blair Academy is the one that gives students the broadest range of choices and the opportunities to study topics of interest to them at a very deep level,” says Nathan Molteni, Dean of Academics.

The move will let students sample more college-level work and take ownership of coursework. The Advanced Survey classes align with first-year college courses in core subjects like Calculus, Economics, Java, Biology or US History while Advanced Seminar courses will take a deep dive into a particular theme, skill or discipline along the same lines as Blair’s current Integrated Science Research (ISR) programme.

“In the transition to the advanced curriculum, our focus is to change the final outcome. Instead of a three-hour cumulative exam, we aim for a more flexible approach. We want our students to walk away with a portfolio of their work, showcasing their learning, abilities, and growth over time in our curriculum,” Molteni says.

At Blair’s Chiang-Elghanayan Centre for Innovation and Collaboration, students have access green screens, digital fabrication tools, 3D printers, vinyl cutters, and more. Source: Blair Academy

Learning at Chiang-Elghanayan Centre for Innovation and Collaboration

Blair students are prepared for life beyond school. On the academic front, teachers ensure students master executive functioning and organisational skills. Over at the Chiang-Elghanayan Center for Innovation and Collaboration, students learn by doing.

Blair Academy

At Blair’s Chiang-Elghanayan Centre for Innovation and Collaboration, students have access green screens, digital fabrication tools, 3D printers, vinyl cutters, and more. Source: Blair Academy

As the hub for Blair’s technology and fine arts departments, it’s a facility boasting a unique open architecture and technology-infused academic space. It’s unlike any other on the historic hilltop campus.

From robotics to ceramics, there is a diverse array of classes fill the centre’s schedule throughout the day. Just ask Jason P. who intends to pursue artificial intelligence in college. “Everything in the technology classroom is high-tech!” he says.

“The projector is like those I’ve seen in college classrooms, and it is amazing that we have that technology in high school. I’m excited to learn programming, robotics, prototyping and design this year using all of the centre’s resources.”

With all of this in mind, it’s easy to understand why students here effortlessly strengthen friendships and embrace transformative opportunities. It’s this combination that prepares Blair graduates not only to master the challenges of today’s world but to shape its future with empathy, confidence and a resolute dedication to meaningful connections.

To learn more about the truly transformative Blair experience, click here.

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