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Holiday Letter to Parents

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

As we reflect on all the wonderful programs and activities we have at Bergenfield High School, our learning community would like to wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season.

Bergenfield High School students and faculty are proud to share that for the 2nd year in a row, our high school was recognized by US News and World Report as one of the best high schools (top 4%, #815 out of 22,000 public schools) in the nation, moving up 53 places from last year.  For the sixth year in a row, Bergenfield High School has been recognized by the Washington Post as one of America’s Most Challenging Schools moving up 115 places to 1098 overall.  In 2015, TheBestSchools.org recognized Bergenfield High School as one of 50 Inspiring Schools Meeting the Challenge.  In 2014, BHS was named as one of America’s Top 500 Public High Schools by the Daily Beast through Newsweek Magazine.   

Our philosophy at BHS is to challenge each and every student academically.  This year we have 425 students enrolled in AP classes and 886 tests will be taken in May: 38% of our total student body enrolled in at least one AP course.  Of our class of 2018, 73% have taken an AP class during their four years at BHS.  Bergenfield High School had an overall total of 95 students receive AP Scholar recognition through the College Board, these awards include: 19 AP Scholars with Distinction, 23 AP Scholars with Honors and 4 National AP Scholars. We have 2017 graduates at Princeton, Cornell, Syracuse, and Vassar among many others. We are proud of the Class of 2017 graduates! Letters will be sent home in January identifying students whom the College Board identifies as having AP Potential through their PSAT performance from this fall.  We continue to offer dual enrollment courses through agreements with FDU, Rutgers, Syracuse, and BCC, where our students receive college credits for passing our college prep courses and exams.

BHS Enjoys the Spirit of Giving! 

While our students continue to flourish academically, the high school administration is particularly proud of the level of engagement that many of our students have shown through service to the community.  Our Student Congress partnered with Community Blood Services to lead a blood drive donation on campus.  Not only did our football team once again make the playoffs for the fourth straight year, they, along with the Cheerleaders, Action Team Captains and Members of RISE assisted the Church of the Emanuel in Hackensack to serve Thanksgiving dinner and drop off warm clothes and blankets for the homeless.  The Interact & Thrive Clubs wrapped over 200 boxes of gifts for impoverished children in Asia, Africa, and South America.  The BHS Spirit Squad & RISE Team donated toys/games, books and clothing for Snowflakes for Social Services of Bergenfield.  The Action Team Captains also collected gifts and stuffed over 50 holiday stockings for the needy as well as playing host for the Mayor’s Senior Citizen Holiday Party.  Our Music Department has performed holiday music at various town activities spreading peace and joy to all.   Indeed, the spirit of paying it forward is strong at BHS!   

For the fifth straight year, Bergenfield High School has signed on with the College Board to give all juniors the SAT for free during the school day on March 7th.  All students who are taking the SAT are encouraged to review the College Board website and access free Khan Academy resources for the SAT, making it easier than ever for all students to achieve their personal best.  These online resources generate individualized practice recommendations that meet students right where they are in their learning and help them grow.   Please access these resources at https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/sat.   If you have any questions about the program, please contact Rob Ragasa at rragasa@bergenfield.org.  Along with the online resources, Bergenfield High School will continue to offer SAT prep classes after school and in the evenings at no cost to students.  If your child is interested, or if you would like more information, contact Mr. Ragasa at rragasa@bergenfield.org; the next prep session will start in January.    

The STEM program is in its tenth year with 47 students involved.  Our STEM advisors are excited about the most rigorous curricular program that we offer and look forward to the ten graduating seniors’ final thesis presentations in May.  Program coordinator Mr. Neff held an informational meeting for parents of current 8th graders and over 40 parents attended.       

Please encourage your children to get involved in afterschool activities or clubs and to take advantage of the various resources available to help your child achieve success. The library/media center is open daily after school from Monday to Friday for students to research and study. Our Quiz Bowl team just kicked off its competition season and is off to a great start.  Our school newspaper, Bear Facts,  received Silver Medal recognition by the Columbia Scholastic Press.  The Dance team just held a successful fundraiser (3rd Annual Dancing with the Staff) and is preparing to host the Dance Team Union Regional Competition on January 14th.   Our TV Production students have been working hard; their productions can be seen on Optimum channel 77.   Our Model UN and Academic Decathlon teams are preparing for tournaments in 2018 and our Debate team just held a tournament on Thursday, December 14th.  The 2017 edition of Crossroads yearbook continues to be recognized by prestigious journalism organizations, having earned statewide and national silver medal rating critiques from both the Garden State Scholastic Press Association and Columbia Scholastic Press Association respectively. There is a great saying in which I believe strongly: “There is a big difference between going to school and being a student.  Going to school means you’re enrolled.  Being a student means you’re involved. Get involved!” 

The BHS boys and girls basketball teams will be keeping busy during the holiday break!  The boys team will be playing in the Jack Reilly Fort Lee Holiday Tournament and our girls basketball team will be playing in the Hornet Hoopfest at Passaic Valley High School.  Both teams will play in their respective tournaments on December 27th, 28th and possibly the 30th.  Our wrestlers will once again participate in the BCCA George Jockish Holiday Wrestling Tournament at Hackensack High School.  Please check the Bergen Record for times.  Come out and show your Bear Pride for our student athletes.       

Please support our music department by attending the Holiday Concert on Thursday, Dec. 21st at 1:15 or 8:00 pm.  Tickets may be purchased from BHS music students, online, or in person in the high school main office.  General admission tickets are $5, and senior citizens and students tickets are $3 for either performance. To order tickets online, visit http://bergenfield.ludus.com.   

There will be a half day session on Friday, December 22nd and school will be closed for winter recess from Monday, December 25th through Monday, January 1st.    

Remember, our next parent conference is on Wednesday, January 3rd from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.  Once again, we are asking parents to make appointments through PTCfast with your child’s teacher for that evening.  

Reminder to parents of seniors: any senior who needs summer school to graduate or has not completed their requirements will not be permitted to walk in graduation.   

The holiday season is a time to enjoy your family and spend time with the people who mean the most to you.  It is extremely important to hug, love and be supportive of your children.  Tell them that you love them every day, and thank them for all the joy and pleasure they bring into your life.  Have a wonderful holiday and know that the BHS staff enjoys working with your children.

 

Sincerely,

 

James M. Fasano 

Principal 

Bergenfield High School

 

Robert Ragasa

Assistant Principal

Bergenfield High School