The Bergen County Academies
(sometimes referred to as Bergen Academy
) is a magnet
In education in the United States, magnet schools are public schools with specialized courses or curricula. "Magnet" refers to how the schools draw students from across the normal boundaries defined by authorities as school zones that feed into certain schools.There are magnet schools at the...
public high school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....
located in Hackensack
Hackensack is a city in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States and the county seat of Bergen County. Although informally called Hackensack, it was officially named New Barbadoes Township until 1921. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 43,010....
that serves the high school population of Bergen County
Bergen County is the most populous county of the state of New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 905,116. The county is part of the New York City Metropolitan Area. Its county seat is Hackensack...
, New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...
. The school was conceived by the late Dr. John Grieco. The current principal is Russell Davis; Raymond Bath is the vice principal; Dr. David Ostfeld served as Admissions Chair until his passing in December 2010. The Academy has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories...
as one of the best high schools in the United States. According to 2011 Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...
statistics, Bergen County Academies students registered an average SAT
The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a nonprofit organization in the United States. It was formerly developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service which still...
score of 2100, the second highest of any U.S. high school; overall, Newsweek ranked BCA 23rd nationally and second in New Jersey. Bloomberg Businessweek cites Bergen County Academies as New Jersey's best high school.
As of the 2009-10 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,049 students and 94 classroom teachers (on an FTE
Full-time equivalent , is a unit to measure employed persons or students in a way that makes them comparable although they may work or study a different number of hours per week. FTE is often used to measure a worker's involvement in a project, or to track cost reductions in an organization...
basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.16.
House and grounds
The Bergen County Academies is located on the John Grieco Campus of the Bergen County Technical Schools
Bergen County Technical Schools is a county vocational school district that serves as the vocational / technical education arm of all the school districts within the 70 municipalities in Bergen County, New Jersey. The primary programs offered are the Bergen County Academies and Bergen County...
District in Hackensack, NJ. In addition to the main three-floor building, the Environmental Science Center (ESC) is used for academic purposes. A two-floor addition has recently been built and has opened on April 8, 2008. This portion of the building stands where a former parking lot and building once stood.
The school's baseball field, football field, track, and student/guest-parking are located behind the academic buildings. Recently, a fence has been put up to keep intruders from trespassing school grounds.
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
Cooperative education is a structured method of combining classroom-based education with practical work experience. A cooperative education experience, commonly known as a "co-op", provides academic credit for structured job experience...
Internship is a system of onthejob training for white-collar jobs, similar to an apprenticeship. Interns are usually college or university students, but they can also be high school students or post graduate adults seeking skills for a new career. They may also be as young as middle school or in...
ship 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
The Advanced Placement program is a curriculum in the United States and Canada sponsored by the College Board which offers standardized courses to high school students that are generally recognized to be equivalent to undergraduate courses in college...
(AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a two-year educational programme for students aged 16–19that provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, and is recognised by universities worldwide. It was developed in the early to mid-1960s in Geneva by...
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 does not exist for any later classes. Much of its core curriculum has been fused into the Academy for Medical Science Technology.
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 much earlier than the time school begins. (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
Flexible modular scheduling is a type of academic scheduling where a day is broken into many 10-20 minute modules or "mods". The technique resembles some common college scheduling schemes....
Among students, there is an elected government, or council. There are three branches to the student government: Student Council, Class Council, and the Superintendent's Congress. 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.
The campus was called the Bergen County Technical High School
Bergen County Technical High School, also known as Bergen Tech, or more commonly "BT", is a public high school serving students in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States...
before it became the Academies. BCA began as a single academy, "The Academy for the Advancement of Science and Technology" (AAST), which inducted students in 1992 for the graduating class of 1996.
In 1997, additional academies opened on the campus: the Academy for Business and Computer Technology (ABCT), the Academy for Engineering Design Technology (AEDT), and the Academy for Medical Science Technology (AMST). The following year, three career institutes, renamed a year later to become academies: the Academy for Culinary Arts (ACA), the Academy for Power and Transportation (APT), and the Academy for Visual Arts and Graphic Communications (AVAGC). Soon, the seven programs were geared less towards career prep and more towards college prep, adopting a liberal arts curriculum with an extra focus on their respective fields.
In 2002, APT was replaced, ABCT was split and renamed the Academy for Business and Finance (ABF) and the Academy for Telecommunications and Computer Science (ATCS), ACA added hotel administration to its coursework and became the Academy for Culinary Arts and Hotel Administration (ACAHA), and AVAGC expanded its scope to include performing arts and became the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA).
The school itself also changed its name numerous times, from "Bergen County Regional Academies" to "Bergen Academies", to "Bergen County Academy" and to the present "Bergen County Academies".
In 2001, a major dispute initiated by the Bergen County School Administrators' Association focused on what Paramus Superintendent Janice Dime called "elitism." Several of these districts threatened to withdraw funding from the program. The Bergen County Technical Schools agreed to increase the transparency of the admissions process and enter into talks with a number of sending districts. For the 2006 - 2007 school year, districts paid annual tuition of $6600 for each student.
Though it is a public school, the admission process is selective. The number of successful candidates for admission is widely thought to hover around 15% of those that apply. A math and English test, as well as an interview by a panel of teachers, is required for admission.
Tuition is free for residents of Bergen County and is paid for by the student's home school district, the State of New Jersey, and a number of public and private grants. Payments from sending districts are mandated by both state and county legislation affecting vocational and technical districts such as BCTS.
BCA serves all 70 municipalities of Bergen County. In recent years, classes of 250 - 270 have been accepted from an applicant pool of 1100 - 1500, with the class of 2015 accepting 277 students out of an applicant pool of 1500.. Limits are held on the number of students that can be accepted from each district, with the limit being based on the size of the high school. The school reports that there are "4 or 5 districts where this is a problem."
The academies are listed here in order of identification numbers. The first two academies (AAST and AEDT) share parallel schedules and science courses, often merging in core classes. The last three (ATCS, ACAHA, and AVPA) have science courses spread through four years, often sharing courses and classes. The academies are generally referred to by their acronyms, and more commonly by single-word nicknames.
The Academy for the Advancement of Science and Technology (AAST) (Science)
AAST was founded on a charter school framework in 1992 with the mission of preparing students for careers in math and science by promoting a problem-solving, project-based, technical learning environment. AAST has departed from this model and has become a more standard magnet school. The roots of the program can be seen in its unique science curriculum, which emphasizes and integrates chemistry, biology, and physics, and its hallmark Wednesday lab rotation for the first two years. This academy celebrated ten years of excellence in 2006-07. Much of the AAST model, including the 6-mod project period on Wednesday, has been adopted by the other academies.
The Academy for Engineering and Design Technology (AEDT) (Engineering)
This academy's core curriculum is similar to that of AAST. The two programs share the same core courses, but AEDT directs students away from some of AAST's focus on biology in order to provide room for courses in electronics and design increasingly in upper grades. However, a neuroscience course called Physiological Control Systems is required for all junior AEDT students. The program encourages students to take part in several competitions such as "BattleBots IQ". Students in AEDT take the required science courses with AAST, as well as its own engineering courses, like civil engineering
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...
and Digital Electronics. The only courses that are mandatory for AAST and not AEDT are biology electives.
The Academy for Business and Finance (ABF or ABFIB) (Business)
Originally called the Academy for Business and Computer Technology (ABCT), the academy participates in the IB Diploma Program beginning in 11th grade. ABF is the only academy required to participate in the IB program, but students in other academies are welcome to enroll in IB courses, but cannot enroll in the Diploma Program. Students in the Business Academy take additional courses in economics, management, SAP Technology
SAP AG is a German software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. Headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, with regional offices around the world, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software...
, business ethics, and the rigorous IB curriculum.
The Academy for Medical Science Technology (AMST) (Medical)
Students in this academy have more required biology courses, which include Medical Science Seminar, Biotechnology, Zoology, Anatomy and Physiology, Bioethics, plus four additional electives. Medical students typically take literature and history courses alongside business students.
The Academy for Culinary Arts and Hotel Administration (ACAHA or ACHA) (Culinary)
Founded in 1997 and originally called the Academy for Culinary Arts (ACA), the program represented a culinary vocational program that was reworked to give students a more academic focus. Originally grouped with APT and AVAGC (see abbreviations stated previously) as "career" academies, they were set apart from the college prep programs of AAST, ABCT, AEDT and AMST. After being reorganized into academic, college-prep academies, the name changed to the present name in 2002 to reflect the change in emphasis and curriculum. Head instructor Mary Beth Brace has been recognized as Advisor of the Year for SkillsUSA and has received attention for devotion as a baking and culinary arts instructor. Chef John Branda, who worked in the food service industry for 30 years, was the saucier
A Saucier is a position in the classical brigade style kitchen, which is still used in large commercial kitchens such as some restaurants. It can be translated into English as sauce cook. This position prepares sauces, stews and hot hors d'œuvres and sautés food to order...
at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
The Waldorf-Astoria is a luxury hotel in New York. It has been housed in two historic landmark buildings in New York City. The first, designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh, was on the Fifth Avenue site of the Empire State Building. The present building at 301 Park Avenue in Manhattan is a...
, and co-owned an upscale Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Fair Lawn is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States and a suburban municipality in the New York City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 32,457. Fair Lawn was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March...
The Academy for Telecommunications and Computer Science (ATCS) (Telecom)
This academy has a primary focus in the world of computers and the Internet. Its students are well-prepared for careers as computer programmers, software engineers, networking technicians, and other computer-related professions. ATCS students study material from Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Jose, California, United States, that designs and sells consumer electronics, networking, voice, and communications technology and services. Cisco has more than 70,000 employees and annual revenue of US$...
and Oracle Corporation
Oracle Corporation is an American multinational computer technology corporation that specializes in developing and marketing hardware systems and enterprise software products – particularly database management systems...
and compete in competitions against other schools and colleges.
The Academy for Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) (Visual, Music, Theatre)
This academy is unique for being subdivided into two main divisions: Visual Arts, which focuses on combing skill and passion into one cohesive movement, and Performing Arts. Under the Performing division, there are the Theatre and Music Academies. These students have performed at venues in \New York City. Depending on their focus, students in AVPA take classes in drawing, painting, printing, acting, and stagecraft, and music or music theory.
Global Leadership Exchange (GLE)
Started in 2004 to first support the class of 2008, GLE was the newest program at the Academies; its focus is the field of biotechnology and global leadership. It was initially designed to give its students the state high school requirements in two years, with International Baccalaureate courses being later added to the program. Much of its focus and goals are now being integrated into the Academy for Medical Science Technology. The GLE program only existed for the classes of 2008 and 2009.
There are eighteen academic departments of BCA: Biology, Business, Chemistry, Culinary Arts, Engineering, English, Health/PE, History, Journalism, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Studio Arts and Graphic Communications, Technology, Theater Arts, Senior Experience, Visual Arts, and World Languages. Besides specific classes and requirements, all academies require four years English, mathematics, physical education; three years social studies, science, and world language; two years technology and art/music. All students take three years of projects and clubs, with clubs placed at the last three mods on Wednesday. Over one hundred electives of diverse fields are offered and most are available to all students. (see the Scheduling
section.) In addition, 40 hours of community service is required for graduation.
Students in ABF who participate in the IB program have two years of Integrated Math and two years of IB Math. Other students generally follow the in-house mathematics curriculum with an advanced nature, which begins with algebra
Algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning the study of the rules of operations and relations, and the constructions and concepts arising from them, including terms, polynomials, equations and algebraic structures...
and continues to linear algebra
Linear algebra is a branch of mathematics that studies vector spaces, also called linear spaces, along with linear functions that input one vector and output another. Such functions are called linear maps and can be represented by matrices if a basis is given. Thus matrix theory is often...
, multivariable calculus
Multivariable calculus is the extension of calculus in one variable to calculus in more than one variable: the differentiated and integrated functions involve multiple variables, rather than just one....
, and beyond. It begins with the pre-calculus sequence (loose reference)
| Advanced Algebra II and Trigonometry
|| Math Analysis I or
Adv. Math Analysis I or
Discrete Mathematics I
|| Math Analysis II or
Adv. Math Analysis II or
Discrete Mathematics II
This prepares the student for Statistics or AP Statistics, or the more common calculus sequence:
| Calculus I or
AP Calculus AB or
AP Calculus BC or
AP Analytical Calculus (BC+)
|| Multi-Variable Calculus or
Linear Algebra and Ordinary Differential Equations or
Advanced Topics in Mathematics
|| Topics in Advanced Mathematics or
Students place into a course in the pre-calculus sequence and continue up, taking one course in each group. The full sequence requires six years; fewer than ten students from each graduating class reach Topics in Advanced Mathematics, which is not unexpected given the advanced nature of the course. The BCA course catalog states:
This is our most advanced course. Designed for the exceptionally well-prepared student, this course covers material that is two years beyond the curriculum of BC Calculus. As such, the material varies from year to year, currently covering a sweeping introduction to three cornerstones of Mathematics, namely, Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra and Real Analysis. Vector spaces, linear operators, groups, fields and rings, and the topological underpinnings of Calculus are covered. Emphasis is placed on rigor and proof.
An often-noted shortcoming of this otherwise rigorous curriculum is its lack of geometry, which spans a full year in traditional high schools. As of 2007, geometry is briefly covered in the introductory course "Geometric Concepts", a one-trimester elective, in Analysis I (for the first trimester) / Advanced Analysis I (for six-weeks) or in various six-module projects dealing with geometry.
Students currently observe a form of flexible modular scheduling.
Prior to the 2007-2008 academic year, the full school day lasted from 8:00 am to 4:10 pm and began with a 10-minute IGS followed by 24 modules (commonly referred to as "mods") that last 17 minutes; there were 3 minutes after each mod. (Each three-mod block was 60 minutes.)
A revised schedule was implemented in the 2007-8 school year. Two minutes were cut from each mod (to 15 minutes), IGS was cut by 6 minutes, the three minutes after each mod was preserved, and the number of mods extended to 27, with the day still lasting from 8:00 to 4:10. The Principal's Advisory Team strongly supported this schedule, giving students more time for electives and interaction. Classes still typically last three mods, or 51 minutes. (Each three-mod block is 54 minutes.)
Classes meet variably every day. Every week, a class may meet four hours per week for AP programs or high-level classes to two hours per week for electives. On Wednesday, students attend projects for six mods; students with labs meet for four mods for laboratory work, relevant to their chemistry, physics, or biology courses, in rotation. Wednesday labs and projects last four and six mods respectively. Extracurricular activities occur after the school day. AAST and AEDT have often shared their core courses and the other academies shared their core courses.
There are upper and lower limits to a student's free mods, or mods with no class. Students report to their elected clubs during the last three mods on Wednesday.
In 2005, Superintendent Robert Aloia suggested a new scheduling scheme be implemented. The schedule was criticized because it eliminated many 2-mod classes. Other scheduling schemes lacking free mods were suggested, but have not been adopted.
Students of all academies participate in various studio and performing arts courses. The Bergen County Academies Concert and Chamber Choirs have won excellent ratings and awards at local and national competitions under Dr. Patrick D. Finley. The Academies offer college-level courses in music theory, including AP Music Theory
Advanced Placement Music Theory is a course and examination offered in the United States by the College Board as part of the Advanced Placement Program to high school students who wish to earn credit for a college level music theory course.-The course:Some of the material covered in the course...
and Advanced Problems in Music Theory. The instrumental performance program offers other features, including an opportunity for students to play with the North Jersey Philharmonic and the Guitar and Mandolin Society, the latter of which was founded by the Academies' instrumental music director Mr. Michael Lemma.
The school features two studio art labs. The artwork produced has won awards in local, statewide, and national competitions. The second studio is a visual arts lab equipped with compositing and printing equipment to train students in graphic communication and print media.
The theatre arts department puts on plays and musicals each year in an auditorium seating 1200, sometimes rented to outside professional groups. The school has a restaurant-grade kitchen for teaching culinary arts, featuring the Academy Grill, which serves meals prepared by the school's culinary arts students. The Bergen Academies Video Lab broadcasts inside the school, featuring workstations, professional cameras, and a bluescreen.
AAST Math Team
With over 150 students from grades 12 and below in participation, AAST Math Team is the largest extracurricular team at the Academies. The late Joseph Holbrook, chair of the math department, was the team's coach from its founding until his January 2010 death. In line with the school's original philosophy, Holbrook created a model for mathematics education that was directed at solving non-standard problems, without concerning traditional time restraints and curricula. The coaches run problem-solving sessions on Saturdays and Sundays, which function as practice sessions for team members. Students are encouraged to come to practices and participate with the team in high school math competitions.
The AAST Math Team participates in competitions such as the AMCs
The American Mathematics Competitions are the first of a series of competitions in high school mathematics that determine the United States team for the International Mathematical Olympiad . This team, consisting of six high school students, competes in the IMO and has traditionally performed well...
The American Invitational Mathematics Examination is a 15-question 3-hour test given since 1983 to those who rank in the top 5% on the AMC 12 high school mathematics contest , and starting in 2010, those who rank in the top 2.5% on the AMC 10.The AIME is the second of two tests used to determine...
The United States of America Mathematical Olympiad is a high school mathematics competition held annually in the United States. Since its debut in 1972, it has served as the final round of the AMC series of contests...
Named in honor of the Mandelbrot set, the Mandelbrot Competition is a mathematics competition founded by Sam Vandervelde, Richard Rusczyk and Sandor Lehoczky that allows high school students to compete individually and in four-person teams.-Competition:...
, Harvard–MIT Mathematics Tournament, and ARML
The American Regions Mathematics League , is an annual high school mathematics team competition held simultaneously at four locations in the United States: the University of Iowa, Penn State, UNLV, and the newly added site at the University of Georgia. Past sites have included San Jose and at Duke...
. The team often ranks within the top ten in competitions it enters, competing against top magnet schools and state and regional teams. The team has been nationally ranked in the top three in each of the past five years of the Mandelbrot Competition.
In 2008, the team first place in Division B at the Princeton University Mathematics Competition
The Princeton University Mathematics Competition is an annual high school mathematics competition started in 2006. The contest is written, organized, and staffed entirely by Princeton students. In the past, it has been held variously in December, November, and January of the school year...
, an annual competition attended routinely by the team. The school routinely has 10+ students rank qualifying for the USAMO (United States of America Mathematics Olympiad). The school captured first place at the 2009 ARML Local competition, another routine annual competition.
Although the AAST Math Team is open to all academies, it is still known as "AAST" for historical and logistical reasons.
As part of a co-curricular program run through the Academies' Journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...
departments, students run a current events website known as FreshAngles
and was located at freshangles.com. FreshAngles is a project where students participate by taking electives in Journalism and Wire Editing, where students learn how to acquire articles from the AP
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...
wire. Teenvoice also had collaborations with Columbia University's
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...
Center for New Media
, Fred Friendly Seminars
Fred W. Friendly was a president of CBS News and the creator, along with Edward R. Murrow, of the documentary television program See It Now...
, ABC Television's
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...
ABC 2000 Today
ABC 2000 Today was ABC News's coverage of the turn of the millennium from December 31, 1999 into January 1, 2000. Part of the 2000 Today programming in the United States, Peter Jennings anchored the 23 hours and 10 minutes of broadcast in Times Square Studios in Manhattan, New York...
, as well as local high schools' newspapers.
The site debuted on January 27, 1997, originally located at teenvoice.com
and known as in-site
, later changing its name to Teenvoice
. In 2000, Women Express, Inc., publisher of Teen Voices
magazine, threatened with a copyright infringement lawsuit for using the name Teenvoice, so the name of the website changed to FreshAngles on May 9, 2001.
After a crash of the server around 2005, FreshAngles started back up in 2007 , run by the American Society of Newspaper Editors
The American Society of News Editors is a membership organization for editors, producers or directors in charge of journalistic organizations or departments, deans or faculty at university journalism schools, and leaders and faculty of media-related foundations and training organizations...
The website has not been updated since 2009 and FreshAngles is no longer a school program.
The Academies shares its sports program with the Bergen County Technical High School. The boys' teams, called the Bergen Tech Knights, and the girls' teams, the Bergen Tech Lady Knights, now compete in the Big North Conference
The Big North Conference is a high school athletic conference in New Jersey. It is one of six North Jersey "super athletic conferences" created by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association in 2009...
, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association is an association of hundreds of New Jersey high schools that regulates high school athletics and holds tournaments and crowns champions in high school sports.-State championships:...
. Previously, Bergen Tech had been placed in the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League
The Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League, abbreviated NNJIL, was a former athletic conference located in Bergen County, Passaic County and Essex County, New Jersey...
(NNJIL) at the start of the Fall 2006 athletic season.
The tennis team and baseball team advanced to the North I Group IV State playoffs in 2009, with the tennis team continuing on to the semifinals after winning sectionals.
In 2006, the football team reached the playoffs, falling to Randolph High School
Randolph High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school serving students in grades nine through twelve from Randolph, in Morris County, New Jersey, operating as part of the Randolph Township Schools. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and...
29-0 in football. The boys soccer team advanced to the 2006 state tournament, winning in the first round before losing to Memorial High School
Memorial High School is a four-year public high school that serves students from West New York, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the West New York School District. WNYSD, an Abbott District, serves all of the city of West New York...
in the semifinal game.
Numerous sports are offered for boys and girls, including basketball, bowling, golf, lacrosse, soccer, track, tennis, and volleyball. For boys, offerings also include football and wrestling. As of the 2008-09 school year, wrestling was discontinued. For girls, the program also includes cheerleading (club program) and softball. During the 2007-08 school year, a varsity fencing team was initiated by parents along with the Athletic Department. As of 2009, BCA has a Varsity and Junior Varsity Fencing team.
The Academies' BattleBots
BattleBots is an American company that hosts robot competitions. BattleBots is also the name of the television show created from the competition footage. BattleBots Inc...
IQ team, known as the Titanium Knights
, won the 2006 national heavyweight championship in the high school division with the robot E2V2
, and won two other awards for another 120 lb robot, Knightrous
. In previous years, the team has won second, third, and fourth place titles in BBIQ, and affiliated student teams have won numerous awards in Northeast Robotics Club
The Bergen County Academies is also home to a large Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...
student group, performing many activities and attend local, regional, and national conferences on human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...
The Academies' policy debate
Policy debate is a form of speech competition in which teams of two advocate for and against a resolution that typically calls for policy change by the United States federal government or security discourse...
program finished first in Bergen County in 2005-2006, beating Tenafly High School and the Dwight-Englewood School. The Varsity Debate program at the Academies consistently ranks in the top 3 of the Bergen County Debate League (BCDL) annually.
, there are two other student-run publications present at the Academies: The Academy Chronicle
and The Academy Advocate
, which focus on in-school news and activities, also discussing international and domestic affairs, social issues and business news.
Based out of its stem cell
This article is about the cell type. For the medical therapy, see Stem Cell TreatmentsStem cells are biological cells found in all multicellular organisms, that can divide and differentiate into diverse specialized cell types and can self-renew to produce more stem cells...
research laboratories and advised by director Robert Pergolizzi, the Bioscience Research Program enables students to work as scientists, constructing projects to submit to journals
An academic journal is a peer-reviewed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research...
. First opened in May 2008, the Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...
Lab offers two scanning electron microscope
A scanning electron microscope is a type of electron microscope that images a sample by scanning it with a high-energy beam of electrons in a raster scan pattern...
s to experienced faculty, and sometimes to students, as well as those researching the physical sciences.
Academy students participate in many other competitions nationwide, such as DECA, SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a United States career and technical student organization serving more than 320,000 high school and college students and professional members enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations. Since 2010, SkillsUSA has had Thomas...
, FBLA, and HOSA
Health Occupations Students of America is a national career and technical student organization endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Technology Education Division of ACTE. HOSA is composed of secondary and postsecondary students. It is headquartered in Flower Mound,...
. The Academies have a Model UN program consisting of their own Model UN conference, called AMUN
and the Academies Model United Nations Team, which has won Best Delegation at Yale
, and MIT/BU
, and garnered numerous individual delegate awards.
The Academies' Quizbowl
Quiz bowl is a family of games of questions and answers on all topics of human knowledge that is commonly played by students enrolled in high school or college, although some participants begin in middle or even elementary school...
team qualified to compete in a national championship in 2007. It won the fall 2006 New Jersey State Championship in the Knowledge Master Open, placing eighth in the nation, and also won the spring 2007 New Jersey Championship in the KMO, earning second place internationally in the overall rankings. It won the NAQT New Jersey State Championship at Rutgers in 2007.
Awards and recognition
For the 2006-07 school year, the Bergen County Academies was recognized with the Blue Ribbon Award
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program is a United States government program created in 1981 to honor schools which have achieved high levels of performance or significant improvements with emphasis on schools serving disadvantaged students. The program centers around a self-assessment conducted by the...
from the United States Department of Education
The United States Department of Education, also referred to as ED or the ED for Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government...
, the highest honor that an American school can achieve.
On January 2009, Bergen County Academies was recognized as the number 1 top high school in the state of New Jersey for overall academics. The study was conducted by BusinessWeek
Bloomberg Businessweek, commonly and formerly known as BusinessWeek, is a weekly business magazine published by Bloomberg L.P. It is currently headquartered in New York City.- History :...
. The Academies were featured on the first page of the article, focusing on the school's Stem Cell Lab.
In 2007, Bergen County Academies was recognized as one of six national Intel Schools of Distinction
The Intel Schools of Distinction Awards is a national education awards program sponsored by the Intel Corporation that recognizes K-12 schools in the United States that have demonstrated "excellence in implementing innovative, replicable programs supporting positive educational outcomes in the...
for excellence as one of the nation's top schools for mathematics. The program recognizes one school for math and one for science in each of three school ranges (elementary, middle and high school).
For the 1997 - 1998 school year, AAST was cited by the New Jersey Department of Education
The New Jersey Department of Education administers state and federal aid programs affecting more than 1.4 million public and non-public elementary and secondary school children in the state of New Jersey. The department is headquartered in Trenton.The Department is responsible for ensuring that...
as a Star School.
Bergen County Academies was recognized by Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...
magazine in its May 28, 2007 and May 17, 2008 issues covering America's Best High Schools, as one of its Public Elites
, a group of consistent high performers excluded from its rankings because of the number of students with SAT (or ACT) scores well above the national average. The school was also recognized as a "Public Elite", one of 22 such schools recognized nationwide in Newsweek
magazine's listing of "America's Best High Schools" in the May 8, 2006 issue. Newsweek described the school as "Seven subschools specializing in everything from finance to visual arts".
In 2005-06, BCA averaged a 2015 combined SAT score, second-highest statewide.
A number of alumni have been named Goldwater Scholars, an award given to 250 college sophomores and juniors nationwide for excellence in science, math, and engineering. These include:
Yael Elmatad (Class of 2002),
Brenda Rubenstein (Class of 2003),
Betty Kong (Class of 2003),
Tamara Agee (Class of 2004),
John Santa Maria (Class of 2004),
Aakash Shah (Class of 2006),
Samuel Kim (Class of 2006),
Noam Prywes (Class of 2006),
Matthew De Niear (Class of 2007)
and Sophia Porrino (Class of 2007).
In 2007, Class of 2003 student was awarded a Winston Churchill Scholarship to the University of Cambridge, the highest national honor conferred for collegiate mathematics and science excellence.
In November 2010, Aakash Shah (Class of 2006) was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship
The Rhodes Scholarship, named after Cecil Rhodes, is an international postgraduate award for study at the University of Oxford. It was the first large-scale programme of international scholarships, and is widely considered the "world's most prestigious scholarship" by many public sources such as...
and a Marshall Scholarship.
- Harry Altman, class of 2005, appeared in the documentary Spellbound
Spellbound is a 2002 documentary that was directed by Jeffrey Blitz. The film follows eight competitors in the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Documentary Feature; Yana Gorskaya's editing won the ACE Eddie award for best editing of documentary...
- George Hotz
George Francis Hotz , alias geohot, million75 or simply mil, is an American hacker known for unlocking the iPhone, allowing the phone to be used with other wireless carriers, contrary to AT&T and Apple's intent...
, class of 2007, famous for unlocking the iPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...
allowing the phone to be used with other wireless carriers, contrary to AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...
and Apple's intent, jailbreaking the iPhone OS
iOS is Apple's mobile operating system. Originally developed for the iPhone, it has since been extended to support other Apple, Inc. devices such as the iPod Touch, iPad, and Apple TV. Apple, Inc. does not license iOS for installation on third-party hardware...
and creating the first ever hack for the PS3.
- Sachin H. Jain
Sachin H. Jain is an American physician and health policy analyst who was senior advisor to Donald M. Berwick, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Obama Administration...
, class of 1998, physician, scholar, and Obama Administration official.
- Kaavya Viswanathan
How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life is a young adult novel by Kaavya Viswanathan, an Indian-American woman who wrote it just after she graduated from high school. Its 2006 debut was highly publicized, but the book was withdrawn after allegations that portions had been plagiarized...
, class of 2004, author of the controversial 2006 novel entitled How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life, since withdrawn due to accusations of plagiarism.