Curriculum Handbook

This academic and career planning guide contains valuable information to assist you in successfully completing your high school years. The ultimate goal is the same for everyone. It is for all our students to be to a lifelong learner with a satisfying career. 

2018-2019 Curriculum Handbook (PDF). Courses and course descriptions can also be found inside the linked pages on the right hand column.

One of the most important decisions you will make is choosing a career that will be rewarding and satisfying. Your career search will combine looking at the type of work you enjoy with the education and training needed for that particular career and the kind of lifestyle you will be able to lead. The term “career” is not just a job but a combination of all these factors.

It takes time, research, and exposure to different careers to help you in the process of deciding what path to choose after high school. It is never too early to start thinking about your future career plans. This planning guide is designed to help you realize that you do have many choices, and you should use your time at BKW to research and evaluate these choices.

These next four years of high school provide the opportunity to obtain the necessary education, training, skills, and experience to prepare you for your future.

To increase your chances of success, take the most challenging academic courses available, become involved in extracurricular activities in and out of school, and work to your potential.

Availability of Courses

All courses listed are not always offered each year; some are offered on a rotating basis every other year. Final course offerings are based on student interest, staffing availability, overall schedule placement and the final budget. Courses may be cancelled due to low enrollment, staffing/scheduling issues and budget constraints.

Essential Qualities

It is the hope and intention of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School District that all students will possess the following skills and qualities:

Essential Academic Skills

Reading: Locate, understand and interpret written information in prose and in documents

Writing: Communicate thoughts, ideas, information and messages in writing

Mathematics: Perform basic computations and practical problems using a variety of mathematical techniques

Listening: Receive, interpret and respond to verbal messages and cues

Speaking: Organize ideas and communicate orally

Essential Cognitive Skills

Creative Thinking: Generate new ideas

Decision Making: Determine specific goals and constraints, generate alternatives, consider risks, evaluate and choose the best alternative

Problem Solving: Recognize problems and devise and implement a plan of action

Know How to Learn: Use techniques to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills

Essential Personal Skills

Responsibility: Exert a high level of effort and persevere toward goal attainment

Self-Esteem: Believe in one’s own self-worth and maintain a positive view of self

Sociability: Demonstrate understanding, friendliness, adaptability, empathy and politeness in group settings

Self-Management: Assess one’s self accurately, set personal goals, monitor progress, and exhibit self-control

Integrity/Honesty: Choose an ethical course of action in all decisions

Course Load

Course selection throughout high school can significantly impact options available for post-secondary education. Students should always take the highest level of academic course work they can successfully handle, along with electives that offer a view into different careers.

All students are encouraged to prepare for continuing their education beyond high school. This can be at a two-or  four-year college, technical college, apprenticeship or job training program.

The promotional policy for the secondary school (grades 9 – 12) is based upon accumulation of credits instead of the number of years students are enrolled in the secondary school. Students must successfully complete the following number of credits to be promoted to the next grade: 

  • Sophomore: minimum of 6 units
  • Junior: minimum of 12 units
  • Senior: minimum of 18 units

Students in grades 9 – 11 should enroll in a minimum of 6.5 credits per each school year. Seniors should enroll in a minimum of 6 credits.

It is the practice of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo CSD not to allow students to drop a full year course after the first five weeks of school. A drop/fail will be printed on the academic transcript if the course is dropped after the first five weeks.