Academics

  • Learn about SMUHSD Graduation Requirements, including approved A-G Courses.

    Learn about Burlingame’s offerings: BHS Course Description Guide 2021-2022.

    English

    40 credits

     

    Career Technical Education

    10 credits

    Social Studies

    35 credits

     

    Health

    5 credits

    Science  (10 credits of life science; 10 credits in physical science.  One course must meet the D requirement in the U.C. “A-G” list)

    20 credits

     

    Physical Education

    20 credits

    Mathematics  (Including Algebra 1-2 & Geometry 1-2)

    30 credits

     

    Visual and Performing Arts

    10 credits

    World Language

    10 credits

     

    Elective Credits  

    40 credits

       

    Total Credits

    220 credits

    College Entrance Requirements

    At BHS, it is our goal that every student is prepared to go to college upon graduation. Students are encouraged to make plans as early as their freshman year in order to be eligible for many colleges that are selective and competitive.

    The UC/CSU Subject Requirements 

    (i.e. UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, SJSU, SFSU)

    Students interested in attending a UC school should be in the top 12.5% of high school seniors. Those students interested in attending a CSU school should be in the top 33% of high school seniors. 

    Both UC and CSU requirements are the following: 

    • 2 years of history/social studies (US History and World History).
    • 4 years of English
    • 3 years of college preparatory mathematics, 4 years recommended for UC (Algebra, Geometry, Intermediate Algebra required.)
    • 2 years of laboratory science, 3 years recommended for UC (such as Biology and Chemistry or Physics).
    • 2 years of the same world language, 3 years recommended for UC.
    • 1 year of the same visual or performing arts (in sequence Art, Drama, Music, etc.) 
    • 1 year of academic elective (from the subject areas above)

    Examination Requirements

    • California State University – Take either the SAT or the ACT
    • University of California – SAT or ACT; SAT Subject Tests are not required, but are recommended for certain selective majors. 

    Private Colleges or Universities 
    (i.e. Stanford, USC, University of Puget Sound, Boston U)

    These schools vary widely in their admission policies, with some being extremely competitive and others being less so. Students should go online, see their counselor, or visit the College & Career Center for specific information.  Many times the financial packages at private colleges or universities are more generous.

    The Community College System 
    (i.e. Skyline, College of San Mateo)

    These colleges are a good choice if students wish to attend for one or two years to prepare for a 4-year college by transfer, attend for one or two years to prepare for a vocation, are not sure of the academic field of study, and/or want to stay near home for a variety of reasons.  The requirements include:

    • A high school diploma, a certificate of proficiency, or the age of 18
    • No admission tests are required, but placement tests are required upon enrollment

    Athletic and Extracurricular Eligibility

    To be eligible to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities that includes but are not limited to student government, theater productions, and class representative, a student must: 

    • Meet minimum academic standards
    • Have passed 25 units of coursework the previous grading period
    • Have a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all enrolled courses during the previous grading period
    • Not have more than one failing (“F”) grade

    *Eligibility is recalculated each six-week grading period.  

    To be eligible to participate in athletic activities, a student must do the following after June 1:

    • Maintain on file an annual Physical Examination Form and “Clearance Packet” including the signature of a parent or guardian
    • Provide insurance verification
    • Complete the emergency data online

    *The above items must be completed and on file prior to the start of the season of participation before a student will be permitted to participate.  Complete your athletic packet online through SportsNet here!

    Fall Season (August through mid November)  

    Women’s: JV and Varsity: Cross-Country, Tennis, Volleyball, Golf, and Water Polo

    Men’s: JV and Varsity: Cross-Country, Water Polo, and Football.

    Winter Season (Mid November through mid February)  

    Women’s: JV and Varsity: Basketball, Soccer, and Wrestling.

    Men’s: JV and Varsity: Basketball, Soccer, and Wrestling.

    Spring Season (Mid February through May)  

    Women’s: JV and Varsity: Track & Field, Badminton, Softball, Lacrosse, and Swimming.

    Men’s: JV and Varsity: Track & Field, Badminton, Baseball, Golf, Tennis, Lacrosse, and Swimming, Volleyball.

    Work Permits

    Students may apply for a work permit through the College and Career Center.  Students must have a 2.0 GPA in order to be granted a work permit.  Students should limit hours to no more than 12 to 15 per week.  Work hours should be planned to allow ample study time.  Research shows that students who work longer than 20 hours a week average lower grades.

    College and Career Center

    The Career Center provides students with information on standardized exams, colleges, financial aid, scholarships, community service and job shadowing.  Students are encouraged to explore the Career Center and to take part in the PAWS (community service) and EXPLORE (job shadowing) programs.  (Information is in the Appendix section of this handbook.)

    Special Education Services

    Special Education Services are available at Burlingame High School.  For more information about testing and qualifying for Special Education Services, please contact one of our Special Education department co-chairs by email:  Sharon Bleviss (sbleviss@smuhsd.org).   For information about the aids and services available and the corresponding policies, please contact Holly Wade, Director of Special Education, at hawade@smuhsd.org or 650-558-2260.

    Section 504 

    The Section 504 eligibility process may be initiated by contacting your School Counselor.  The decision to evaluate will be made by the school's Student Intervention Team.

    What is Section 504?

    Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act allows for the creation of formalized supports for students with disabilities who attend schools that receive Federal financial assistance.  This covers most (if not all) public schools, including Burlingame High School.

    Who is protected under Section 504?

    To be protected under Section 504, students must be found 'eligible'.  The eligibility process requires that the student be determined to:

    1. Have a physical or mental impairment (by diagnosis of impairment, prior determination of impairment, or appearance of impairment) 
    2. The impairment must impact one or more major life activity
    3. The major life activity must be 'substantially limited' by the physical or mental impairment.

    Examples of major life activities include the following:  learning, walking, seeing, speaking, hearing, thinking, breathing, concentrating, working, reading, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks.

    How do students request services at Burlingame High School?

    Parents, guardians, or students interested in working through the Section 504 eligibility process at BHS should begin the process with a conversation with their student's School Counselor.  Our School Counselors are adept at discussing the process and assisting parents with understanding the requirements of determining if their student's disability or impairment is considered to 'substantially limit' a major life skill.

    Generally speaking, the following is a brief overview of the eligibility process at BHS:

    1. Conversation between Parent/Guardian with School Counselor (students may also self-identify)
    2. Parent/Guardian will submit a formal 'Request for Support' through our online survey.  The School Counselor will send this information to the parent only after discussing the different supports we offer students on campus.
    3. Request is reviewed by the Student Intervention Team (SIT).  This team meets weekly to review all Requests for Support.  The SIT team will make the determination of whether all on-campus and district-level interventions have been exhausted prior to moving forward with an approval of an eligibility determination meeting.  We do our utmost to ensure that we have exhausted all of our Tier 1 and Tier 2 resources to meet students' needs prior to formalizing individualized student support plans.  

    Possible SIT recommendations include (but are not limited) to the following:

    • Additional Tier 1 interventions are put into place to support student
    • Additional Tier 2 interventions are put into place to support student
    • SST meeting is scheduled to determine appropriateness of a formal individualized student support plan. 

    What's the purpose of an SST Meeting?

    Student Study Team (SST) meetings are scheduled to delve a little deeper into the issues a student may be experiencing that is 'getting in the way' of their ability to work at the same level of their peers.  SST meetings are recommended by the Student Intervention Team (SIT).

    If your student has been scheduled for an SST meeting, this is what you can expect:

    A formal invitation: While parents are not required to attend an SST meeting, we value your input and will always invite you to a meeting about your student.  This invitation will come in the form of an email or letter through the USPS.

    A request for information: Along with an invitation, we will also send you a form to complete your student's personal and academic strengths and struggles.  There is also a form included for your student to complete - their voice is important in this process, too, since we will focus our attention on them!  Please bring these feedback forms with you to the SST meeting - we will review that information and any other documents you would like to share with us at the actual SST meeting (including medical reports and outside academic or psychoeducational evaluations that have been completed previously).

    Meeting participants:  Assistant Principal; School Counselor; Parent; Student; and the School Psychologist (in the event that it appears that we may recommend an assessment for services through Special Education).

    Meeting Agenda: This may help you understand the ebb and flow of the meeting (which will run for about 45 minutes):

    • Introductions of meeting participants
    • Identify the primary area(s) of concern (why the student was referred for an SST meeting)
    • Review a summary of formal performance data (current grades, transcripts, CAASPP results, etc.)
    • Review a summary of behavioral data (attendance/truancy issues, behavior issues, disciplinary actions and consequences, etc.) 
    • Discussion of parent/guardian report/comments (health history, interventions attempted in past, school history, outside supports already in place, information from medical professionals, and a review of the student's strengths - things they are good at and positive personality attributes).  We will review your feedback form at this time.
    • Discussion of student report/comments (we will ask your student to offer their perspective at multiple points in the meeting).
    • Review a summary of staff reports and commentary (we solicit feedback from all of your student's teachers prior to the meeting and will share their feedback in the meeting).
    • Determine the outcome and next steps.

    Our SST meetings are an involved process with the express purpose of getting a solid understanding of the issues your student is working through and making collective decisions on how best to support them in the school environment moving forward.

    For more information on Section 504, please refer to our SMUHSD District 504 page or the 504 FAQ section of the U.S. Department of Education website.

    School Counseling

    All students are assigned a counselor based on the first two letter of your student’s last name:

    Alpha designations are as follows:

    • A-El: Ms. Kreppel
    • En-La: Mr. Buckner
    • Le-Ro: Mr. Mashek
    • Ru-Z: Ms. Renzi

    Counselors provide guidance, support, and expertise under the national model for school counselors in the areas of academic, career, and social/emotional development. Students can make appointments to see their counselors by emailing them directly or by completing the “Request to See Counselor” form in the counseling office. Appointments should be scheduled using our scheduling system link. This can also be found on the school website. 

    Counselors meet with each grade level throughout the school year and hold information nights by grade level for students and their parents/guardians. 

    SMUHSD Homework/Makeup Work Policies

    Purpose of Homework

    The Board of Trustees recognizes that homework contributes toward building responsibility, self-discipline, lifelong learning habits, and that time spent on homework directly influences students' ability to meet the District's academic standards. The rationale supporting the District's homework policy and regulation is based on the following:

    • Equity and access
    • Student health and wellness
    • School/life balance
    • Quality of instructional practices over quantity of assignments

    Definition of Homework

    The definition of homework encompasses any task assigned by a student's teachers solely intended to be completed during non-school hours and does not include work pursued during tutorial periods, flex time, office hours, etc. For assignments in which students work during school and non-school time, only the non-school work is considered homework. Homework does not include extracurricular activities.

    Homework Application

    Homework is a tool to enhance student achievement and gain mastery over subject matter. Homework is part of an overall instructional strategy employed to accomplish the ultimate summative performance goals of the particular course. Typically, homework provides students with an opportunity to practice, reinforce, and apply previously taught skills and prepare for new material that is immediately reviewed in class. Homework intended to prepare students for future lessons shall be clearly defined for that purpose and have a limited objective and reasonable timeframe.

    The following are requirements or guiding principles for homework:

    • Homework assignments shall emphasize quality over quantity.
    • Homework must have a clear academic purpose, such as checking for understanding or applying knowledge and skills.
    • Homework is a relevant extension of classroom instruction and learning.
    • Homework assignments shall be based on individual student needs including, but not limited to, specific IEPs and 504 plans.
    • Homework assignments of different types are recommended.

    Homework shall be structured around content with which:

    • The student has some familiarity and context,
    • The student has been exposed to in prior coursework, or
    • The student is not familiar with but is reasonably prepared to comprehend (such as an introduction to new content in preparation for future lessons).

    Homework Free Breaks

    Effective homework practices do not place an undue burden on students in regards to the amount and difficulty of homework. The Board of Trustees recognizes the value of extracurricular activities, family time, hobbies, unstructured time, adequate sleep, and their importance in a student's life. The Board of Trustees realizes that too much homework negatively impacts these valuable activities and competes with other responsibilities that students may have. As part of a balanced approach to homework, specific homework free breaks, as detailed in the accompanying administrative regulation, are required. The intent of homework free breaks is to provide students time to develop personal interests, engage in other pursuits beyond their academic load, and take part in family activities.

    Makeup Work

    1. Students who miss school work because of an excused absence shall be given the opportunity to complete all assignments and tests that can be reasonably provided. As determined by the teacher, the assignments and tests shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the assignments and tests missed during the absence. Students shall receive full credit for work satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time. (Education Code 48205)
    2. Students who miss school work because of unexcused absences may be given the opportunity to make up missed work for full or reduced credit. Teachers shall assign such makeup work as necessary to ensure academic progress, not as a punitive measure.
    3. No student may have his/her grade reduced or lose academic credit for any excused absence when missed assignments and tests are satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time. Such notification shall include the full text of Education Code 48205. (Education Code 48980)
    4. The teacher of any class from which a student is suspended may require the student to complete any assignments and tests missed during the suspension. (Education Code 48913)