Ballard High School has a long-standing tradition of excellence in academics, arts and athletics. Ballard's mission is to expose students to a solid liberal arts curriculum consisting of high-level courses and award-winning arts programs. Boasting an extremely diverse student body, Ballard students are drawn from neighborhoods, in western Jefferson County to those most east. Ballard serves as one of the performing arts magnets in Jefferson County and offers an extensive Advanced Program curriculum, which includes 19 College Board Advance Placement (AP) courses. Ballard continues to rank among the top schools in the district and is consistently in the top 10 in the state for numbers of National Merit Scholars. Ballard High School was the first Jefferson County public high school recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an exemplary school. Newsweek Magazine has also named Ballard in its top 350 schools in the nation. It is Ballardís diverse student body, coupled with the most varied and extensive curriculum and a tremendous faculty, that makes Ballard the outstanding school that it is.
While many schools encourage students to specialize, the Ballard philosophy believes that students are gifted in many ways and that those many gifts should be encouraged and cultivated. Students at Ballard are allowed to excel in academic areas and be involved in extra-curricular activities while they pursue their gifts in the arts.
Many arts programs are suffering from block schedules, increased graduation requirements and a general lack of support. Due to an amazing guidance staff and unique administrative insight and diligence, Ballard is thriving with a six-period day, comprehensive honors and advanced curricula, many A/P courses and strong language, art and music programs!
The Ballard High School instrumental music program offers a wide variety of performing ensembles and is dedicated to the development of outstanding young musicians and dynamic student leaders. The instrumental music program consists of two concert bands (Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band), four orchestras (Freshman Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and Full Orchestra), Marching Band, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band, Pep-Band and AP Music Theory. There are also several chamber ensembles. All of the ensembles at Ballard High School consistently receive Distinguished Ratings at KMEA Large Ensemble District Festival and the Wind Ensemble continues to receive Distinguished Ratings at State and National Festivals. All students are strongly encouraged to participate in the KMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival, All-County Festivals, All-State Auditions and other honors ensembles throughout the region. The instrumental music program also maintains a highly skilled faculty that provides specialized instruction and enrichment to the various sections in the ensembles.