Course Offerings

Course Offerings at Barnstable

Academic and enrichment courses to prepare for college and life

Below is an overview of the courses available to students at Barnstable.

Computer Applications

Every Barnstable student is required to type or word process all material that is turned in (with the exception of workbook assignments). Strong computer skills are an indicator of success in college and life beyond. Computer Applications covers keyboarding, introduction to the computer and its many uses, as well as computers for college use: word processing, database, and spreadsheet applications. Advanced Computer courses include PowerPoint, HTML, Web design and animation, 3-D graphics, and programming.


The English Department has designed enriching and creative approaches to reading, language skills, and written expression. The primary goal of the department is the introduction of meaningful literary experiences. The aim is to awaken students to the depth and variety of experiences available to them through literature, then stimulate and strengthen their capacity to understand and build imaginatively upon what they have read.

There is a high degree of emphasis on written expression. English courses give students a clear understanding of the structure and uses of English, especially as they relate to composition. Grammar skills are also an important ingredient in these courses. There is a thesis requirement for advancement to the next grade level and graduation.

Literature courses cover American, British, and world literature. Among the authors and poets studied are Shakespeare, Chaucer, Poe, Hemingway, Ibsen, Emerson, Steinbeck, Angelou, Milton, Keats, Molière, Whitman, Huxley, Sinclair, and Orwell.


The central focus of the Mathematics Department is to prepare young people for college-level math through a traditional college preparatory math sequence, while strengthening their capacities in thinking, logic, and imaginative problem-solving. The traditional course sequence is Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Advanced Math (Precalculus, Trigonometry).

Basic and Intermediate courses are available to build the skill and confidence of students who are not yet ready to fully participate in the regular college preparatory math sequence. Business Math is also offered.

For those students who are particularly talented, accelerated courses in Precalculus, Calculus, and Trigonometry are also offered.


The Science Department is firmly convinced that before a young person can be successful at any science, it is vital that laboratory procedures be mastered. It is expected that these procedures have been learned in the 7th and 8th grades. For those students who have not received this as part of their prior education, laboratory skills are reviewed in 9th grade.

Barnstable Academy requires three years of science. Students in 9th grade begin their science experience with either Earth Space Science or Biology. After Biology, students take Chemistry. Although Physics is not required, many seniors elect to take it, and will be allowed to do so only if they have acquired the necessary mathematical prerequisites.


Our History Department enables students to develop their knowledge of the world in a broad historical context. We provide a strong base in United States history. Classroom study is enriched and enlivened with the creative use of film, videos, and trips to historic sites in cities such as Washington, D.C.; Trenton, NJ; Salem, MA; Boston, MA; and Gettysburg, PA. Additional courses offered through the History Department are World History/Geography, American Cultural History, Contemporary Issues, Economics, and American Government. Courses in Art History can further enhance one’s understanding of world culture through a historical perspective.

World Languages

The objectives of the World Languages Department are to teach students to communicate in a foreign language and to develop an appreciation of that culture. Many students begin studying the languages as early as 5th grade. For those who have not done so, the first year of a language is offered in the 9th grade. Students often begin with the study of Latin. It provides an excellent starting point for language development, structure, and grammar while broadening one’s English vocabulary.

Barnstable’s extensive program of study in languages such as French, Spanish, and Latin allows students to learn language as a living conversational construct. This, when combined with the development of basic grammar skills, leads to a well-rounded mastery of the language.

In addition to the regular curriculum, an optional trip to Europe is conducted each year.

Performing Arts (Afternoon Elective)

Barnstable Academy’s Performing Arts program offers academic study and training in acting, singing, dance, and music as a four-day elective. Students rehearse in an on-site studio, equipped with mirrors, barriers, stereo equipment, and safety flooring. The ‘Players’, as they are called, work toward producing two plays as well as an end-of-year variety show. Additionally, Players compete against other school programs in the Bergen County Teen Arts Festival. Each year, Barnstable Academy returns from the Teen Arts Festival with talent awards, which are displayed in the studio.

Areas of study include:
Voice, Dance, Music, Acting, Cabaret, Playwriting, Mime, Scene Study, Improvisation, Tech, Lighting, Commercial Technique, Costuming, Stage Movement, Set Design

Fine Arts (Afternoon Elective)

Fine arts classes enhance creativity and artistic confidence, and develop basic skills in realistic and abstract media. Students exhibit their works throughout the campus and in the Bergen County Teen Arts Festival.

Students who choose to pursue an art major in college have the opportunity to work on their portfolio under the guidance of the art director.

Areas of study include:
Graphics, Pottery, Oils, Photography, Watercolor

Physical Education and Health (Afternoon Elective)

At Barnstable, we take a different kind of approach to physical education. Each trimester, students select a Physical Education-related activity that meets their needs and interests. Most of the electives can turn into lifelong pursuits. Electives meet for double time periods in the afternoon, twice per week.

Physical Education electives offered include:
Nautilus and Aerobic Training, Bowling, Martial Arts, Golf, Roller Skating, Tennis, Volleyball, Recreation, Soccer, Basketball, Hiking, Flag Football

Non-Physical Electives (Afternoon Elective)

  • Community Service
  • Documentary Films
  • Knitting
  • War Strategies
  • Publications (school newspaper)
  • Yearbook
  • Strategy Games (chess, etc.)
  • Rock Band
  • Fashion Awareness

Learning Management

Our Learning Management course is the way in which we address executive function skill-building—such as self-monitoring, planning, organization, emotional control, initiation, shifting, and working memory—in our middle and high school students with learning differences.

Children with ADD and ADHD frequently struggle in this area. A lack of executive function skills can have a dramatic impact throughout one’s life, as it affects self-regulation and the ability to work toward achieving a goal. Therefore, our students who require consistent supervision in meeting expectations are enrolled in the Learning Management course, providing them with daily organizational and remedial support.

The Learning Management instructor is a certified Learning Disability Teacher-Consultant (LDT-C) who offers individualized instruction to each student in order to accommodate specific learning needs and varying levels of achievement.

The goals of Learning Management are:

  • Development of consistent methods in recording/monitoring homework assignments
  • Development of organizational and study skills
  • Content area support for understanding/retention of academic concepts and information
  • Development of compensatory learning strategies in accordance with individual learning profile

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Isabella, 11th Grade

Barnstable Academy

Tel: 201.651.0200
Fax: 201.337.9797

Barnstable Academy Est. 1978