Most classes the homework was what one would expect for a high school curriculum. The classes which were higher end AP classes or college level would definitely have a good bit more homework, but that was expected to prepare you for college. I still think that my AP Biology Lab Reports were more difficult than any lab I had to perform in college and prepared me amazingly.
I've been out of the school for a short time now, but found Bethel High School to be a great school. I transferred from another high school in another state and Bethel brought abilities out and helped me to reach my potential. I went from being in average classes at my previous high school to Honors and AP classes at Bethel. The science department was particularly great, I took 3 AP classes and received credit at RPI for these classes and found myself well prepared when I started RPI. The English classes also pushed my writing skills to another level I hadn't reached through my prior schooling.
This school is a hit and a miss when it comes to the education and the community. Although some students and teachers are excellent when it comes to these aspects, for the most part, this school is a sullen place filled with kids who don't wish to learn and teachers who shouldn't be qualified. Also, the schools atmosphere itself is a drab with low light levels and graphite covered desks. Even with these few flaws, this school is still great to attend to if you are interested in having a well connected community and AP classes that will push any student to their potential.
What a nightmare BHS is! My oldest graduated last year with honors, and in the first month at UNCONN is struggling. While he had fun at BHS, he even admitted how much more his college classmates from other public and private high schools know than he does. My daughter is now a sophomore at BHS and, like her brother, is suffering due to the poor academics. Unlike her brother, she is not having fun. the school is SO clicky-if (at 15-16!) you don't drink or do drugs, you do not fit in and are subject to daily bullying.
BHS is an excellent school. We have two children that progressed through the Bethel school system and graduated from BHS within the last 4 years. They both did very well academically and played varsity sports. Both went on to attend selective, private colleges with scholarships. As parents, we provided support at home to help them to be successful. Like most things in life, you will get out what you put in to it. I would highly recommend this school.
I am a student at Bethel. I read another post that described the "In clique"/crowd being favored by administration and teachers, which I couldn't agree more with. I struggled with science in particular last year and the counselors seemed more interested in getting the teacher to just pass me rather than really work with me. The teacher seemed to fear administration (maybe because they were a terrible teacher) and as soon as any action from guidance came into play, the teacher immediately did everything in their power to push me along, without any means to really work with me to grasp the information. This was shocking both to me and my parents as I have attended a different school where the status quo was much different. At bethel, if you are not considered "popular" chances are you will not be recognized for any awards or other academic recognition, (unless you devote your life to the ROTC program) Also, "popular" (that word is being used for lack of a more demeaning word) students of each grade are favored by the teachers and administration. Teachers and admins are EXTREMELY BIAS. As far as positives go, the school is clean and has good lunch food (A+, yus bethel, yuuuus).
I am a sophmore at BHS and really do not like it. The classes are to easy, classes are out of control, and students have no respect for anyone. I dread going there every day and know I will not be ready for college if I decide to go.
All of the Bethel public schools are outstanding! The teachers and guidance counselors are on top of everything considering my child has learning and social issues. Also, the security at the schools is very strict and makes me feel at ease.
As a parent who's children have experienced education in Westport, New Canaan and Bethel, here are my observations. First, too many expect the school to parent their children. They will make excuses and blame the school for what they should be doing. Its a parents job to make sure students attend on time, get their homework done, and learn about drugs. Drugs are in every school in the country. That said, Bethel is a better town than most of the coastal communities. Westport and New Canaan pretend to be a glossy magazine cover, when in fact they have families that are barely clinging to the dream. Too much stress to appear to be number one which results in too many coverups of major failures. Bethel's teachers are excellent. The school campuses are great. There is a negative political element in town that is anti-intellectual but their stupidity takes care of itself and as a result the rest of the town tries harder. The crime rate in town is near zero, its a wholesome and hard working area to raise a family. You get more for your money in Bethel than any Connecticut town I can think of and its an easy commute anywhere. If you are an involved parent, Bethel is great.
Bethel High School is far from "top in the state"..it is average at the very best. I found their math program terrible, and many other areas way below my expectations. I expected improvements after the renovation and while the building is much nicer, the academics are still below average.