The school district is located in an agricultural community of 2000 residents and provides services for more than 800 students. The school facilities, with the largest portion of the buildings constructed during the 1988-89 academic year, provide a comfortable, safe, and positive environment for education.
The high school staff, numbering more than 25, provides an extensive array of educational services and experiences while blending a team of veteran instructors with young professionals. In total, the staff offers more than 500 years of teaching experience and service to the community.
The school offers an academic program of a traditional core curriculum with a variety of specialized elective offerings. Students are required to complete 26 credits of coursework during their freshman through senior years for graduation. The requirements include four credits of English, three credits of Mathematics, three credits of Science, three credits of Social Studies, and two credits of Physical Education/Health/Typing. The other credits may be selected from elective courses.
Post-secondary preparation is a key component of the basic curriculum. Studies in English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Foreign Language are geared toward students who intend to pursue educational careers following graduation. The English courses feature instruction in literature, writing, and grammar. The Mathematics courses include options in Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry and Calculus.
Biology, Advanced Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and other natural sciences are featured in the Science Department curriculum. American History, American Government, Economics, Practical Law, Social Problems, Senior Geography, and Current Issues comprise the studies in Social Science. The Language Department offers Spanish and German at a variety of levels.
The coursework offered in the Barnesville Schools includes a number of program options. The district maintains an extensive Vocation Education program with coursework in the areas of Agriculture, Business/Occupation Training, Personal Life Skills and Family Sciences. Also available for the students are programs in the fine arts such as Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, and Media Productions.
Beyond the academic offerings at the Barnesville Schools, students are able to participate in a wide range of co-curricular activities. For females, the athletic programs at the school include volleyball, basketball, track, golf and cheerleading. Male students have football, wrestling, basketball, track and golf. These athletic teams are members of the powerful Heart O’Lakes Conference.
Co-curricular activities are also offered, both in the fine arts and academics. A high percentage of Barnesville students are enrolled in arts programs: Swing Choir, Jazz Band, Debate, Speech, school musicals and the National Forensic League. Academically, students are involved in Knowledge Bowl, regional Math Track Meets, the National Geographic Society Geography Bee, the Scripps Howard Spelling Bee, the Citizen Bee, Language Club, Arts Club, and American Field Services (AFS).
The Barnesville School system has a proud history of participation in the AFS international student exchange program. Numerous students and teachers from around the world have visited the Barnesville schools. In recent years, the Barnesville community has hosted as many as four students from around the world as well as a visiting teacher during the same time period. Many Barnesville students themselves have attended schools in other countries as a part of the exchange program.
In the areas of vocational skills, Barnesville students are active in Family Career Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), in Future Farmers of America (FFA), as editors of the Yearbook/Annual, and as contributors to the school newspaper.
Students in the Barnesville Schools partake in a number of standardized testing procedures during their academic career. The test structure includes the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, Pre-Act (PLAN), the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), MN Basic Standards Tests in reading, math and writing, MN Comprehensive Assessments in reading and math and other instruments that are available within the district testing program as well.
A large number of Barnesville students participate in the American College Testing (ACT) and/or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) programs. The overall test results indicate that Barnesville students have been offered effective instruction in preparation for a post-secondary career.
Most of the graduates from the Barnesville schools attend some form of post-secondary educational institution. Approximately 1/3 of a graduating class will enroll in a four-year college or university degree program. More than 3/4 of the graduating class is likely to enter some form of higher education institution. Traditionally a percentage of Barnesville students enter the Armed Forces immediately following high school and the remainder typically enter the work force.
Barnesville High School, with a long history of academic, artistic, and athletic achievement, is proud of the programs and educational environment offered. With a desire for excellence, the Barnesville Schools continue to serve the Red River Valley community preparing students for leadership, direction, and a vision for the future.