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Academics

Well-known throughout the Capital Region for its exemplary and innovative educational programs, BC is dedicated to preparing students to meet success in the classroom today and in the opportunities they will find tomorrow. Bethlehem’s schools have been ranked #1 among Albany area school districts many times and are consistently among the top performing schools in the Capital Region and across the state. BC enjoys the support of active, involved residents who recognize their schools as the heart of their community.

Academic Accolades

  • In August of 2015, BCHS ranked as one of the Top 500 high schools in the nation by Newsweek,‬ coming in at #247.
  • Ranked the #1 school district in academic performance by the Business Review in 2015 for their annual “Schools Report” for the fifth time within seven years.
  • In 2014, earned a GOLD rating from US News & World Report on their “Best High Schools” list. Out of more than 19,400 high schools, Bethlehem is ranked #421 in the nation, #49 in New York state and #173 in STEM nationally.
  • Ranked #1 school district in the Albany area by Business First for six consecutive school years.
  • Ranked one of the Top 10 Upstate New York School Districts by Business First out of 430 district in 48 upstate New York Counties.

Overview of Academics at Bethlehem Central

Bethlehem Central offers a K-12 program designed to promote the academic and personal development of all students. In our schools, students can take advantage of:

  • Unique, locally developed courses such as digital electronics, science research, and ecology and field biology
  • About a dozen Advanced Placement courses available to High School students each year
  • The EXCEL program, an interdisciplinary program that uses team teaching to meet the needs of students who benefit from smaller classes and an emphasis on skill development
  • Early Learning Focus, an array of prevention and early intervention programs to help our youngest students stay on track for success
  • A house plan and team structure at the Middle School that makes a large school feel smaller
  • Strong support for the arts, with art instruction and music classes and lessons beginning in the elementary grades
  • BCHS’ Lab School, a “school-within-a-school” that focuses on interdisciplinary instruction, teamwork, and a project-based curriculum to provide an alternative high school experience for students
  • Second language instruction beginning in grade 6
  • Accelerated math courses available to students from the intermediate grades on
  • Vocational and career education opportunities provided by the district and BOCES
  • A new High School Virtual Arts Center that combines writing, technology, and graphic design courses to create a state-of-the-art studio right in our High School
  • Academic Intervention Services in major subjects, providing extra instruction to students who need it
  • A three-season interscholastic athletic program offering students opportunities to compete in more than 20 sports
  • Nature’s Classroom, an outdoor experiential program for elementary students
  • Dozens of extracurricular clubs and activities, ranging from a literary magazine and several theater groups to Student Senate and Peer Helpers

Academics at Bethlehem Central High School

After the foundations of learning have been established at the elementary and middle school levels, the Bethlehem Central Board of Education, instructional staff and administration look to motivate students to engage in high-interest and challenging courses of study. Students work closely with school counselors at the high school, especially during our course selection process. Course selection for an academic year usually begins the January before the school year begins. During the course selection process, students are asked to assess future options, their academic strengths and weaknesses and their personal academic preferences and goals. Students will need to plan to complete the courses they select and New York State Regents examinations that are required to earn a high school diploma.

Academics at Bethlehem Central Middle School

A middle-level curriculum at Bethlehem Central includes academic content that extends beyond the knowledge presented at the elementary level and connects to that which follows at the high school. It adds a critical building block to a student’s academic foundation and helps students find personal meaning and excitement in their learning. In general, the core curriculum in grades 6, 7 and 8 stresses the continued development of student skill in reading, listening, discussing, writing and studying, with special emphasis on problem-solving and higher-level thinking skills.

Elementary Academics at Bethlehem Central

Bethlehem Central believes that children are individuals and progress through structured curriculum sequences at different rates. To help students build a solid foundation for learning, the faculty at Bethlehem will use differentiation of instruction and continuous progress. Differentiation refers to the process of placing a child with small groups of children who have similar strengths and/or weaknesses in a particular subject area. It could also mean that the teacher is working with a child in a one-to-one relationship. Continuous programs, on the other hand, refers to the child’s placement in a curriculum sequence. In other words, it could mean that a third-grade child is working in a fourth-grade math sequence or perhaps a second-grade math sequence. Even though we use the term “grade” to indicate age-level placement, instructional levels may vary because children learn at different rates.