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Board approves BHS program of studies

Board approves BHS program of studies


At the Jan. 14 Berlin Board of Education meeting, the board unanimously approved the 2019-2020 BHS Program of Studies. The Program of Studies is updated by the high school staff each year, and is designed to guide students in developing a personalized learning program to meet the Berlin Public Schools graduation requirements. 

As a small, comprehensive high school, BHS is proud of the wide range of learning opportunities available for our students. The Program of Studies offers students nearly 200 courses in 14 areas of study. Students have the opportunity to achieve college credit during their time in high school in three program options, including 18 Advanced Placement courses, 11 UConn Early College Experience courses, and three College Career Pathways courses.

Each year, the high school faculty and administration work in collaboration to revise and refresh the Program of Studies. New courses are offered, changes in course level, name or credit may be made, and courses may be suspended, or not offered during a particular year based on the analysis of enrollment data. This year, for example, a previously offered course, Foods I, was brought back and expanded into a two-course sequence of Culinary Arts I and Culinary Arts II. Two courses, Journalism and Broadcast Journalism, were combined into a new English course, 21st Century Journalism and Media Literacy.

In other changes, new courses were created in Television Production, Engineering Design and Robotics, Technical Theatre and Theatre to allow interested students an opportunity to pursue further study in these areas. A new course was also created in Health and Wellness, which will be a required course for incoming freshmen. This course will focus on decision-making and personal choices that lead to a healthy lifestyle, as well as important topics such as substance abuse and prevention, stress management, safe use of social media and youth suicide prevention. This new course will help meet the new Connecticut high school graduation requirement for expanded study in the area of health and safety. 

BHS is excited to announce a new partnership with Capital Community College which will allow us to offer a new course, Mobile Computer Science Principles. This college credit-bearing course will help students learn to create mobile apps and develop creative, technical solutions to problems. We are pleased to add this new course to our other computer science offerings, including AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles.

Finally, a number of courses were suspended and will not be offered in the upcoming school year. This decision was reached based on careful analysis of enrollment and student interest in the courses. As is the case in any district, budget allocations impact the staffing available to support the range of courses offered. Among the courses which were suspended for the upcoming school year are Greco-Roman History and Culture, Introduction to Anthropology, Transportation Systems, Philosophy and Literature, Art Survey and History of Symbolism in Works of Art.

-- Submitted by the Berlin Board of Education