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 in Albany County, Bethlehem Central is a Suburban Council school district that serves about 4,200 students in kindergarten through grade 12. There are five neighborhood elementary schools, serving students in kindergarten through grade 5; a 6-8 middle school; and a 9-12 high school. 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
Mission: To educate and prepare all students to reach their potential, discover their purpose, and be engaged members of the community.
In 2019, the district approved a Strategic Plan that will guide district decision making through the 2023-24 school year. The plan reflects core values and goals within four areas:
- Academics: Instructional and assessment practices that are aligned to a strong and relevant curriculum.
- Character: Positive character traits are essential to becoming contributing members of society.
- Community: Strengthening family, school and community partnerships through transparent communication.
- Wellness: Enhancing social-emotional wellness and balance for students and staff by supporting active, healthy lifestyles and promoting positive behavior.
- Bethlehem’s schools have been ranked #1 among Albany area school districts seven years in a row by the Albany Business Review;
- In 2022, the Bethlehem Central School District was ranked the #1 school district in the Albany area, #30 in New York state and #158 in the nation by Niche.com;
- Niche.com also ranked Bethlehem #52 in the U.S. for Districts with the Best Teachers in America.
- In 2022, Bethlehem Central High School was rated the top high school in the Albany metro area in U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools list. The school was #795 in the publication’s national rankings of more than 24,000 high schools across the country, up from #901 in 2021.
- In the BCHS Class of 2022, there were nine National Merit Scholars, 16 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists and six students received letters of commendation.