Brethren Christian Junior/Senior High School

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Brethren Christian Junior & Senior High School
Motto Soli Deo Gloria
Established 1947
Type Private, Christian High School
Principal Rick Niswonger
Admin. staff 50
Students about 350
Location Huntington Beach, California, United States
Colors Green & White
Athletics Academy League, CIF-SS
Mascot Warriors
Website www.BCHS.net

Brethren Christian is a private Christian middle school and high school located at Huntington Beach, California. It is situated on a 15-acre (61,000 m2) site leased from the Huntington Beach School District, formerly the site of Gisler Middle School. The school has about 350 junior and senior high students that live within a 25-mile (40 km) radius of the school, commute from over 40 communities, and represent over 150 different churches within the Christian community. The school is independently operated and controlled by a board of directors.

About Brethren[edit]

BCHS considers its purpose as helping students have a high quality education and help them grow in the Lord.

Admissions policy[edit]

The requirements for students desiring to enter Brethren Christian include that the student must be a born-again Christian, at least one parent must be regularly attending church, and that the parent and student must agree with the Statement of Faith. Students must have scored in at least the 60th percentile in Total Reading and Total Mathematics on their most recent achievement testing. Tuition fees range from $8,295 - $12,895.

Academics[edit]

Brethren Christian states that approximately 95% of their students matriculate directly to college or university immediately following graduation. Students generally score several years above grade level on standardized testing and nearly 200 points above state and national averages on the College Board SAT Reasoning Test. The school offers a wide variety of academic courses, ranging from the Options Program for students needing academic assistance to Advanced Placement courses. College preparation begins in the junior high program with the introduction to the use of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, study skills training, and the option for advanced students to take high school level courses. The high school program provides coursework that meets the University of California A-G requirements for university admissions, utilizes test preparation for standardized aptitude tests from The Princeton Review, and offers additional opportunities for individualized planning with the academic dean and additional staff members. Each student taking an Advanced Placement course is required to take the Advanced Placement Examination. The percentage of students passing with a score greater than 3 is significantly higher than the state and national averages for AP courses offered at Brethren Christian. The pass rate for the 2013 testing period was 88% and is among the highest pass rates in Orange County. Approximately 32% of eligible students took at least one AP class during the school year.

Accreditation[edit]

BCHS is accredited through both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of Christian Schools International.

Faculty[edit]

All faculty and staff members are professionals; many have degrees and/or teaching certificates. The administrative staff includes the principal, assistant principal, academic dean, athletic director, director of advancement, Options director, and business manager.

Fine arts[edit]

Their Band, Drama, and Visual Art departments have won awards for excellence in performance. Most recently, Brethren Christian was named a recipient of one of five annual achievement awards in the 12th Annual Orange County Arts Awards program by Arts Orange County, the official Orange County, California arts council. The school received the Spark of Imagination statuette and were named Outstanding Arts Education Program in Orange County.

The Brethren Christian Wind Symphony, under the direction of Len Montgomery, went on a tour to New York. Competing against schools from all around the country, BCHS won gold. The high school wind symphony has been named Best Large Band in the Biola University Invitational Christian High School Band Festival for numerous consecutive years, most recently in 2012. The 8 o'clock jazz band won 1st place in the small school division at the Reno Jazz Festival in April 2007, first place in the advanced division of the Fullerton College Jazz Festival in 2010, first place in the intermediate division of the Fullerton College Jazz Festival on April 2, 2011, and first place in the intermediate division of the Irvine Jazz Festival in 2012. The 8 o'clock jazz band was selected from among nearly thirty Orange County, California high schools to be the featured band at the 2011 Music and Arts Commendations for Youth (MACY) Awards program but declined due to other commitments. The band was named Best Student Jazz Band at the 41st Annual MACY Awards. In spring 2012, the band received 3 unanimous superior designations in competitions including the Biola University Invitational Christian High School Band Festival, the Irvine Jazz Festival, and the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association Regional Festival.

Since 2011, the Jazz Combo, a select group of students representing the 8 o'clock Jazz Band, have participated in the annual Huntington Beach, California, 4th of July parade. For four consecutive years, the band has received the John Philip Sousa Award trophy, given to the group who demonstrates best use of music on a float.

Brethren Christian has been recognized as a leader in drama. Winner of the prestigious Music and Arts Commendations for Youth (MACY) Childress Award in 2010, their musical production of Fiddler on the Roof also received 22 individual commendations. The school also participates in "The Cappies", the Critics and Awards Program for High School Students as well as the ComedySportz High School League.

Athletics[edit]

The Brethren Christian Warriors compete in the Academy League. Other teams include St. Margaret's Episcopal School, Oxford Academy, Whitney High School, Crean Lutheran High School, and Sage Hill School. BCHS has over 40 CIF-SS (California Interscholastic Federation) championships.

Jon Bahnsen is currently the Athletic Director. He also coaches the high school varsity basketball team. During the 2010 - 2011 school year, notable athletic accomplishments include the 16th consecutive playoff berth in the Southern Section of the California Interscholastic Federation for Girls Basketball and a share of the Academy League Varsity Boys Basketball title. Girls Volleyball defeated several higher ranked schools to compete in the Southern Section California Interscholastic Federation Championship game.

It was announced in February 2011 that Brethren Christian had hired a new varsity football coach: former NFL punter and wide receiver, Pat McInally. Coach McInally has expanded the coaching staff to include other high profile athletes including 15-year National Football League player Jesse Sapolu as Offensive Line Coach.

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°39′19″N 117°57′30″W / 33.655337°N 117.958462°W / 33.655337; -117.958462