History of Blythe Academy
In 1950, land was purchased for $48,250 to build a public school in the Augusta Road area. Blythe Elementary School was built to alleviate overcrowding in neighboring schools within the city limits. This school was named for local educator and school board member, Edgeworth Montague Blythe. It first opened its doors in the fall of 1951. The growth of the school increased to over 700 students. This caused the district to build an addition, which doubled the number of classrooms. Blythe Elementary School continued to thrive during the 1950’s and the first half of the 1960’s. In the mid 1960’s, with the closing of nearby Donaldson Air Force Base, Blythe lost a significant number of its students and attendance lines were redrawn to encompass a larger attendance area to the south and east of the school. During the 1970’s the administration, faculty, staff, and community continued to work together to create a positive atmosphere emphasizing citizenship, leadership, and challenging academics despite the school’s changing demographics and declining enrollment.
In the 1980’s, based on Blythe’s declining enrollment, discussions were initiated within the school district to determine the fate of the school. Members of the immediate neighborhood walked the streets gathering signatures on petitions to keep the doors of Blythe open in an attempt to preserve the integrity of the neighborhood. The decision was made not to close the school. Instructional programs were instituted, numerous business and community partnerships were forged and cosmetic renovations were made to the physical plant. Blythe Elementary School emerged as a hub of cutting edge academic activity on the district, state and national levels as evidenced by being named one of “Palmetto’s Finest” elementary schools and as a state finalist for the US Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon School Award.
In 1995, Blythe was chosen to become one of Greenville County’s Select Schools. Blythe’s academic focus was broadened to include daily foreign language (French and Spanish) instruction at all grade levels (K4–5), and the name of the school was changed to Blythe Academy of Languages to reflect its magnet school status. Blythe is currently recognized one of two elementary schools in the state that offers daily foreign language instruction to all of its students through either a FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary School) or Partial Spanish and French Immersion program. Our Partial Immersion students receive instruction in Spanish or French for math, science and health in grades K4-5.
In August 2003, Blythe Academy moved into its new facility located on the original property designed for a capacity of 1,000 students.