The Bethlehem Central School District’s reputation for excellence has attracted families to the Town of Bethlehem since the district was formed in 1930. Well-known throughout the Capital Region for its exemplary and innovative educational programs, BC is dedicated to preparing students to meet the demands of a Regents diploma, and much more, on their way to successful careers and rewarding lives. As public education continues to evolve in New York State, BC vows to meet mandates without losing sight of local priorities. With a philosophy that puts student achievement first, Bethlehem Central seeks to provide a safe and respectful learning environment that promotes academic rigor, embraces technology, and responds to students’ individual abilities while remaining responsible to taxpayers. In return, Bethlehem schools have enjoyed the support of active, involved residents who have passed nearly every budget and bond referendum proposed by the district in recent decades and who recognize their schools as the heart of their community.
Bethlehem Central At-a-Glance
Encompassing most of the Town of Bethlehem and part of the Town of New Scotland, Bethlehem Central is a Suburban Council school district that serves about 4,700 students in kindergarten through grade 12. There are five neighborhood elementary schools, serving students in grades 1 through 5; a 6-8 middle school; and a 9-12 high school. The district implemented a full-day kindergarten program in September 2009. We strive to maintain an average class size of 22-24 students, with lower enrollment common in the primary grades and in some advanced and specialized high school courses. Bethlehem’s schools consistently are among the top-performing schools in the Capital Region and across the state. Our instructional staff consists of professionals who are well respected for their competency and contributions to education. This exceptional staff is supported by subject supervisors who oversee K-12 curriculum and instruction in addition to teaching. Our educational support staff consists of many full and part-time individuals equally committed to our students.
Mission Statement & Goals
Children and learning are the heart of Bethlehem Central. We cherish our students and challenge them so they develop the foundation to become thoughtful, responsible individuals. Through leadership and integrity, we pledge to provide this education, encouraging all students to reach their potential. To fulfill this mission, the Bethlehem Central School District will use the following goals to guide our work:
- Knowledge: to improve learning and achievement for all students.
- Character: to foster a positive and safe school culture and environment.
- Value: to manage and improve the quality, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency of the District’s current and future operations.
Located just three miles southwest of Albany and about 150 miles north of New York City, Bethlehem is a community of over 30,000 residents, covering an area of 52 square miles. Its natural borders include the Hudson River to the east and the Normanskill, one of several local “kills,” or creeks, to the north. The Helderberg Mountains, foothills to the Catskill Mountains, are visible from most parts of the district.
The Bethlehem community successfully combines the qualities of a rural-suburban setting with the benefits of many cultural, recreational, and economic opportunities found in close proximity to New York State’s capital. Downtown Albany, steeped in history and home to the Empire State Performing Arts Center and the NYS Museum, is just minutes away. Within a short drive, residents can visit a premiere shopping mall or enjoy cross-country skiing. More than a dozen colleges and universities are nearby, including the State University of New York, Skidmore College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Historic Saratoga Springs, home of the famous Saratoga Thoroughbred Race Track, lies less than an hour north on the way to the Adirondack Mountains, and Montreal, Boston and New York City are all within a few hours’ drive.