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BCHS Handbook for Students and Parents

Academic Policies

Academic averages

A student’s end-of-year academic average is determined by a simple mathematical average of all credit-bearing courses, multiplied by the credit factor. Physical education courses are included in the computation of the GPA. Non-credit courses and pass/fail courses are not calculated in the average.

Course Load

All students must carry five (5) subjects and physical education each semester. Ninth and tenth graders are assigned to study hall any time during the school day when they do not have a scheduled class.

Course Registration

Course descriptions are available in the BCHS Curriculum Handbook, produced and disseminated annually each January, and in curriculum materials distributed during course registration. These materials are to be used as a planning guide for student course selection and scheduling.

Course Schedule Changes

Students will have the opportunity to make schedule changes at the time of course selection verification in June. The deadline for all student or parent-requested course changes is July 1. After classes begin in September, schedules may be changed only for the following reasons:

Ability-Level Change—This must be discussed in advance with teachers, department supervisors, and counselors. It is recommended that an ability-level change be made after the first marking period ends. A course level change may be initiated by the Pupil Personnel Services Department or by teacher recommendation.

Change in Interest—A schedule change due to change in interest will be processed only in those situations in which a major sequence revision is predicated on a student’s revised college or career plans. Parents must submit a written request for consideration of program change. The counselor, teacher and subject supervisor must agree to the change before it is processed.

Adding or Dropping Courses

For a full-year course, students may drop their sixth course any time until April 15. For a semester course, the deadline for dropping a sixth course in the first semester is any time until December 15 and in the second semester is any time until April 15. Courses may be added to or dropped from a schedule only during the first ten days of the semester.

Diploma Requirements

Bethlehem Central High School grants Regents and local diplomas. Requirements for each graduating class are detailed in the curriculum materials distributed during course registration. If you have any questions, see your school counselor or an administrator.

Academic supports

A student who is failing a course at the 5 or 10 week mark during quarters 1, 2 and 3 or at the 5 week mark of quarter 4 may be assigned a variety of academic supports, including but not limited to study hall. Student standing will be reviewed at the next marking period. These students may not be provided any of the privileges afforded to their grade level peers.

Course Failures

A student who fails a required course will be required to make up the course prior to the time of his/her graduation from high school. This is typically done by attending summer school or by repeating the course during a subsequent school year or semester.


Students’ grades in a class are determined by the practices announced by each classroom teacher during the first week of the course. Absences and make-up work may affect grades.

Grade Explanations

All assigned grades are to be given in percentages unless permission has been granted by the principal to issue pass/fail grades. The passing grade is 65. Each ten-week grade represents the average for all work completed during that period only. The final grade for full year courses will be determined by averaging four quarter marks, the final examination and the mid-term examination (when applicable). For semester courses, the two quarter marks and the final exam will be averaged. Any student enrolled in a Regents-certified course who has a passing final average including course work, examinations, lab requirements, and the Regents examination, and who has fulfilled the attendance policy will pass the course. Questions or concerns involving student grades are to be directed to the teacher and, if necessary, to the subject supervisor.

Honor Rolls

The BCHS Honor Roll includes students who earn an average of 91.5% or above in all credit-bearing courses (including physical education) and no single grade below 80%. The BCHS Merit Roll includes students who earn an average of 84.5% or above in all credit-bearing courses (including physical education) and no single grade below 65%. A student with an average above 91.5% who does have a grade below 80% will be included in the Merit Roll.


A grade of incomplete may be given to students in the following situations:

continued absences prior to the close of a marking period, with no time to make up work.

continued absences prior to a major test held at the close of a marking period, with no time to make up work.

intermittent absences during a marking period that have prevented a student from completing required work.

any disability during a marking period that has prevented a student from completing required work.

An incomplete must be made up within a reasonable length of time as determined by the teacher but no later than five weeks after the end of the marking period. Students who fail to resolve an incomplete will receive a grade of zero, which will be averaged in with the grade for the quarter.


Halfway through each 10 week marking period, students will receive an interim progress report. All interim reports will be available on BC@Home, the district’s information portal. (For more information about BC@Home, please see page 8.) Distribution dates are listed in the district calendar. These progress reports are intended to provide more frequent feedback about student progress and to communicate commendations and recommendations for improvement. These reports will include grades and/or teacher feedback from all subject areas. Parents with concerns or questions should call the main office of the high school for an appointment with the teacher concerned.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism is the presentation of another’s ideas or words as if they were one’s own, whether in term papers, on a test or as part of any school or homework assignment. This may include research gathered from the Internet, books, tapes, teachers or even from other students. Plagiarism is illegal, and a violation of the District Code of Conduct.

Cheating includes plagiarism but may also involve activities such as looking at another student’s paper during a test or being in possession of a cheat sheet. The student whose work is taken is culpable if he or she knowingly allows this to happen. A student implicated in any of the above will be given a grade of zero on the assignment. A school administrator will notify parents, and the student will be placed on formal academic probation for the remainder of his/her school career. A second incident of cheating will result in a note being placed in the student’s academic file.

If teachers or staff members observe a student talking or passing or receiving a note for any reason during a quiz, test or exam, they will immediately pick up the test. No student may leave the examination room prior to the stated exam release time. Violation of these or any other testing procedures or rules announced by the proctor at the start of the examination will result in a grade of zero on the exam. Appeals must be made through the school principal.

Report Cards

Report cards will be made available to parents and students through BC@Home. (For more information about BC@Home, please see page 8.) Distribution dates are listed in the district calendar. Report cards will not be available until all textbooks have been returned and all obligations met.

Student Assistance Time (Period 9)

The period of time between 2:15 and 3:00 p.m. is considered period 9. Teachers may request that students stay for extra help. Also, teachers may be available for make-up work if the student makes prior arrangements. Students may also use the computers and resources of the Library Media Center for research and study. We strongly encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities. A bus pass is required for students riding the bus after period 9 Tuesday through Thursday.
The only other reasons students are allowed in the building during period 9 are to wait for athletic or extracurricular clubs and activities or to serve teacher or administrative detention. Any student found loitering on school property during period 9 will be assigned to detention.

Student Records

Each year, in preparation for pre-registration, student transcripts are distributed during course selection to students in grades 9-11. Students should review the transcript for accuracy. If the academic record is inaccurate, the student may request a formal review of records, and transcripts can be updated. Students and parents have access to a student’s permanent record folder in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Students must present their request for a copy of their transcript or report card in writing using a specific form from the Counseling Center. Seniors will receive more detailed information about transcripts for college or employment during the fall of senior year. Graduates will be charged a $2.00 fee per request. Please allow one week to process a transcript request.

If a student transfers to another school, the student’s academic record and a copy of his/her discipline record will be transferred to the new school upon formal request from the school and proper release from the student’s family. All books and materials must be returned prior to the transfer.

Student transcripts and report cards are important documents. Students should make certain to review records carefully each time they receive one.

Tests and Examinations

Unit tests will not be given the week (five school days) before final and mid-year exams. Students may sit for Regents examinations at the conclusion of the course that prepares them for the exam. In most cases it is the completion of a sequence or of a specific curriculum that addresses the learning standards in the subject areas.


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