Top 100 Best High Schools 2013 – Bergen County Academies – Newsweek – 26/100
200 Hackensack Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, United States
Bergen County Academies
GRAD RATE(%): 100
AP/IB TESTS: 1.3
COLLEGE BOUND(%): 100
AVG SAT: 2121
AVG ACT: 31
SUBS LUNCH(%): 4
AVG AP SCORE: 4.1
NEWSWEEK SCORE: 3.87
The Bergen County Academies (BCA) is a public magnet high school located in Hackensack, New Jersey that serves students from Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As a public school, students from across the county are eligible to attend with no out-of-pocket cost, with costs covered by the student’s home district. The school is divided into seven specialized college-preparatory programs, each called an “academy,” thus giving rise to the school’s name.
U.S. News & World Report continued to recognize BCA in 2013 as one of the best high schools in the United States. According to 2011 Newsweek statistics, Bergen County Academies students registered an average SAT score of 2100, the second highest of any U.S. high school; overall, Newsweek ranked BCA 23rd nationally and second in New Jersey; while in 2013, The Daily Beast ranked the school 26th in the nation among participating public high schools and third among schools in New Jersey. Bloomberg Businessweek has cited Bergen County Academies as New Jersey’s best high school. As of the 2010-11 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,068 students and 92.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.51:1. There were 26 students (2.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 16 (1.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
The Bergen County Academies is located on the John Grieco Campus of the Bergen County Technical Schools District in Hackensack. The school occupies a sprawling main building which runs along Hackensack Avenue as well as a nearby Environmental Science Center (ESC) building. A 1,200-seat auditorium adjoins the main building.
The school’s baseball field, football field, track, and parking for students and visitors are located behind the academic buildings.
The school’s strengths are evident in its academics, extracurricular activities, and notable faculty, many of whom hold doctorates in their respective fields. The school also offers individual research opportunities which allow students to compete in science fairs on local to international levels. Seniors participate in Senior Experience, a cooperative education or internship program through which seniors work and learn for the full business day each Wednesday instead of reporting to school. The school is involved in the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma programs. Bergen County Academies was certified to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma in January 2004. The school is one of only 16 schools in New Jersey to offer the IB program. The school is divided into seven college-preparatory academic programs. An eighth program, called the Global Leadership Exchange (GLE), existed for the graduating classes of 2008 and 2009 but was discontinued.
The school day is from 8:00 AM to 4:10 PM, accommodating a traditional high school education and higher education in specific fields. Students are permitted to enter the building as early as 7:20. (On half days, the school day runs from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM. The school opens two hours late on a scheduled delayed opening day.)
While the academies are treated as a single school within the district and the state, students apply to colleges and academic programs under their respective academy, rather than BCA as a whole. Bergen County Academies itself has no CEEB code.
Homerooms are referred to as “IGS” (Information Gathering Sessions). All seniors participate in the Senior Experience internship, and classes are scheduled using flexible modular scheduling.
Among students, there is an elected government, or council. There are two branches to the student government: Student Council and Class Council. Each graduating class elects its own Class Council with required council experience to perform functions limited in scope to a single class. The Superintendent’s Congress consists of representatives from every academy recommended by teachers.