BHS Site header picture


Click on the Department below to see a description.

AP Capstone is an innovative diploma program from the College Board that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. AP Capstone is built on the foundation of two AP Courses – AP Seminar and AP Research – and is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth, discipline-specific study
experienced in other AP Courses. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research but not on four additional AP exams will receive the AP Seminar and Research certificate. AP Seminar may be taken as a stand-alone option.

Prerequisite: None
AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational, literary, and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to
craft and communicate evidence-based arguments. Teachers have the flexibility to choose one or more themes that allow for deep interdisciplinary exploration such as: concepts or issues from other AP courses, student interests, local and/or civic issues, academic problems or questions or global or international topics.

Prerequisite: Students must have successfully completed AP Seminar
AP Research allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of individual interest. Through this exploration, students design, plan, and conduct a year-long research based investigation to address a research question. Students further their skills acquired in AP Seminar by understanding research methodology; employing ethical research practices; and accessing, analyzing, and
synthesizing information as they address a research question. Students explore their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of the development of their scholarly work in a portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of approximately 4000-5000 words (accompanied by a performance or exhibition of product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense.

RESEARCH BASE: The big ideas and learning objectives in the AP Capstone program reflect the core academic skills needed for
college, career, and life readiness identified by leading educational organizations and College Board membership, including the
~ The American Association of College and Universities (AAC & U), College Learning for the New Global Century, Essential Learning Outcomes
~ Advanced Placement Program, skills and practices identified in AP Courses
~ The Partnership for 21st century skills, A Framework for 21st Century Learning
~ Association of College & Research Libraries, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
~ Council of Writing Program Administrators, Framework for Success in Post-secondary Writing


Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathway Program

Benicia High School has committed to the expansion of career technical education curriculum for all students. Career technical education programs show many students the relevance of applied learning. The connection between school and careers after graduation results in increased student motivation to succeed in school. Our high-tech economy demands more highly-skilled workers. Many high-demand, high-wage jobs require training in technical skills along with academics. Career Technical Education is dedicated to preparing students for successful employment, college or continuing education, apprenticeships, and/or entrepreneurial opportunities.


Selection of a career sector provides our students the opportunity for successful employment and/or post-secondary training. Selection also provides educational opportunities to enter the employment sector at a more advanced level.

Provide a sequence of courses with curriculum that integrates employment skills relevant to that employment sector. Each Pathway will consist of a sequence of two or more courses.

The Career Pathway listed on the CTE webpage give recommendations for course sequencing, but may vary according to student interest and scheduling parameters. The goal is student exploration.



Benicia High School requires 4 successful years of English in order to graduate. Benicia proudly offers a variety of english/language arts courses to help accommodate the varying needs of every student. For a full listings of courses and their descriptions please click here.


This course is a comprehensive guidance course that helps students identify their interests and life goals, discover a career aligned to those interests and goals, and develop an educational pathway to prepare for that career. This course culminates with the development of an online, skills-based, 10-year career and educational plan that is updated each year throughout high school and used by advisors
for counseling and instructors for academic coaching.

All 9th graders choose one of the following semester electives that will go opposite of Get Focused.

So you think you can draw? Think again! Introduction to Art will teach you the basics and fundamentals you need to become a bona fide artist! Students in this class learn to paint, draw, and design their own creative and unique pieces. This course can serve as a prerequisite for Art 2 with teacher approval.

The course requires extensive research, reading, listening, analysis and writing culminating in frequent speeches given in the classroom. This course requires students to speak in front of the class regularly as they build their research and argument techniques and refine their speaking style. The course will be academically challenging as students engage in close reading of high-level texts in the form of historical and contemporary speeches while conducting extensive research for their own speeches. Students will learn to think critically to formulate valid arguments and articulate them publicly.

Ready to see your computer skills soar? Computer Technology explores advanced features of Google Apps, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher) as well as Internet based products, computer components, an introduction to computer programming and variety of presentation software. You will even get a sneak preview of Adobe products.

This course develops the five themes of geography as students focus on the physical and cultural aspects of specific regions of the world. Comprehensive map activities and a survey of some of the techniques used by geographers are assigned throughout the semester.



This is a required course for elected student body officers, class officers and appointed officers. Students coming into Benicia High School as freshman may apply in the spring to the activity director. After an interview, students will be selected for freshman class office positions. This class provides the forum for student body and committee meetings, and for the planning of all school activities that take place during the school year.


Two years of mathematics are required for graduation.  Integrated Math 1 must be successfully completed to meet the Algebra portion of the graduation requirement. It is recommended that students take additional math classes.  See Math Course Pathway at the end of this catalog.

Choose your course wisely.  Students will not be allowed to drop a math course once the school year has started.

Alternative course work:  Students wishing to take alternative course work (Summer school, Independent Study, Credit Recovery, Community College, On-Line, etc.) should be aware that it may not meet the prerequisite for advancement.  We recommend you contact the math department chair before starting course work.  Four weeks (30) hours of summer school is equivalent to one semester of work.  Work done in summer school is generally completed for credit recovery only and does not guarantee a change in the fall schedule nor the acceptance of the course work.

For a full list of course offerings and staff members please click here.

Click Here



The state of California has a two-year physical education graduation requirement.  Our classes follow the California State Framework for Physical Education and are taught by California Credentialed teachers.

The ninth grade core class is required.  We also offer a variety of elective classes for our students to choose from upon successful completion of their ninth grade year with a “B” or better, or a student may take P.E. 10 to fulfill their second year requirement.  A physical education rubric is utilized to insure that all students understand what the basic expectations are for successful completion of course content.

The student’s current school year’s first semester grade and teacher approval will determine elective eligibility.  Students may not make up ninth or tenth grade core P.E. classes in an elective class.  Course work may be made up in summer school or a P.E. 10 class during subsequent school year semesters.


The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are based on research about how student’s best learn science. They call for teachers to facilitate more student-centered learning that enables students to think on their own, problem solve, communicate, and collaborate – in addition to learning important scientific concepts. These standards were designed to help realize a vision for education in the science and engineering in which students, over multiple years of school, actively engage in scientific and engineering practices. Students deepen their understanding of Earth science, chemistry, physics, and biology by engaging with concepts that cross through all disciplines.


BHS students have the opportunity to earn the California State Seal of Biliteracy on their high school diploma. It is a recognition conferred by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for graduating high school students who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.

The English criteria includes:
Completion of all English language arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 2.0 or above.
Passing the California Standards test in English language arts in grade 11 at the proficient level or above.
For English learners not reclassified, attain the overall early advanced level on the English language development test.

The criteria for proficiency in a language other than English is one of the following:
Passing a World Language Advanced Placement exam with a score of 3 or higher.
Successful completion of a four-year high school course of study in a world language and attaining an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above.
Passing a school district language exam that, at a minimum, assesses speaking, reading and writing passing at a proficient level or above.
Passing the SAT II world language examination with a score of 600 or higher