Academic Departments

Catholic Studies

The Catholic Studies Department makes a unique contribution to Kearney's identity as a Catholic school. It offers a value system and an atmosphere of religious inquiry which grows from the foundation established by the families of our students. We begin by looking at God's self-revelation through the Patriarchs, the Sinai Covenant, the prophets and ultimately the Christ. The Scriptural roots of these truths are examined, which lead to the individual's response in a moral life, the result of God's call to love. Finally, we enter into the questions of the demands of a Christian life: marriage, Christian justice, Christian womanhood and faith. 

Today’s world demands that students be articulate, literate and creative problem-solvers. The English Department is designed to meet the needs of all students offering a range of courses for varied abilities, including a strong Honors Program which emphasizes critical thinking and which can culminate in the taking of an Advanced Placement English course. Following the direction of the New York State Board of Regents, students in all courses are challenged to meet the new Common Core Standards of Language Arts. Beginning with a humanities-based program designed in conjunction with the Social Studies Department, students start their course of study reading closely from a wide range of both contemporary and traditional literature. They continue to study World, British and American literatures and are expected to read broadly and write critically throughout their four years. Students complete a variety of curriculum-driven assessments, evidencing mastery of commencement-level skills and take the Common Core ELA Examination in January of their junior year.

  • Students are encouraged to enter many contests to develop and display their writing proficiency.
  • Kearney students participate in Poetry Month, a department run project which culminates in a student run exhibition of original poetry. 
  • In April, students participate in our annual Shakespeare contest. Students compete against each other by memorizing and delivering a soliloquy to a panel of judges.
  • Students have the opportunity to obtain college credit, in addition to Advanced Placement credit, through our Bridge Program. 
  • A goal in each course is to integrate technology with the English curriculum so that students become aware of its uses in many aspects of our courses. 
  • Each course relies heavily on critical thinking skills so that our students are prepared to meet today's challenges. 
  • The English Department believes that writing goes hand-in-hand with reading; therefore, each course incorporates both on a daily basis. 
  • Each teacher is mindful of teaching the whole student. This means that each course is tailed to meet the needs of individual students so that all can excel to the best of her ability.

The Art Department offers a wide variety of artistic experiences. Our three year sequence program is designed to enhance the student's academic experience which works in conjunction with their required courses. The goal of the art program is to cultivate an appreciation and understanding of the art making process as well as the importance of art in the world today. We encourage each student's individual expression and artistic growth through traditional and fundamental techniques. Many of our AP Studio Art students have attended FIT, SVA, RISD, Pratt, and Cooper Union.

Our students have won Art Awards on the local, regional, and national levels winning many prizes and monetary awards of over $4,000 in the last five years. Some of the art contests from the past years include the following.

  • Astoria Federal Photo Contest
  • Coca Cola "The Art of Harmony" 
  • Congressional Art Competition 
  • DEP Conservation of Water Resources 
  • ENT & Allergy Associates and The American Cancer Society "Smoke Out" 
  • NYCOSH Youth Safe Contest 
  • Ralph J. Sansone Foundation Art Contest
  • Second District Dental Society Poster Contest
  • The Tablet/Knights of Columbus, Archbishop John B. Hughes Art Contest, "Keep Christ in Christmas" and "Christ is Risen" 

Through varied musical experiences, students explore music's role and its importance in their lives as well as developing a heightened consciousness of the way the music they engage with, whether as consumers or artists, influence how they define their own personal identities. Students gain and understanding about various musical genres in American society and across the globe, and they consider how music and media influence society, popular culture and the importance of how tradition and national heritage are preserved through music. 

The school's choir and concert band/marching band perform for various events in and out of school including:

  • New York City Columbus Day Parade down Fifth Avenue.
  • St. Patrick's day Parade in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
  • Little League Parades.
  • School assemblies, liturgies, and concerts.

The World Language Department at Bishop Kearney High School affords the students the opportunity to study four years of Spanish or four years of Italian, including college level courses, taught at BKHS, where students may receive 6 college credits from St. Joseph College which are transferable to many colleges and universities.

For the past 45 years, this department has offered a Travel/Study Program. Students get the opportunity to visit different countries in Europe. They are given assignments to complete before and during the trip and earn ½ BK credit. This opportunity is open to Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors in good academic standing.

As an extra- curricular activity, students are invited to join the ITALIAN CLUB to enhance their Italian language skills and explore the culture of Italy through fun activities and outings.

As an extra-curricular activity, students are invited to join the SPANISH CLUB to enhance their Spanish language skills and explore the cultures of Spain, South America and Central America through fun activities and outings.

The department participates in the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the American Ballet Theater Guild. Our students get the opportunity to see the many wonderful productions at the Metropolitan Opera Guild in Lincoln Center. In the past, our students were taken to see The Barber of Seville, Tristan et Isolde, Madame Butterfly, Il Trovatore, Pelleas et Melisande, Il Pagliaccio/La Cavalleria Rusticana, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Quijote and The Nutcracker.

The students of Spanish participate in the National Spanish Examinations and the students of Italian participate in the National Italian Examinations.

The BKHS students march in the Columbus Day Parade down 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

Our students of Italian have been published Il Giornalino, the Italian Journal sponsored by Queens College’s John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.

In October, the department honors Italian Culture Month and Hispanic Heritage Month with various activities and presentations to show our pride.

The newly renovated Library/Media Center focuses on maintaining the most current titles, adding/replacing approximately 200 books per year. Technology available includes nine new MAC desktop computers, as well as Kindle Fire E-Readers. The library circulates Kindles, Macbooks, Chromebooks, Laptops, and Ipads for student use daily. 

The library is physically designed to accommodate quiet study, with a small study room as well as a conference room for group work, complete with a chromecast and monitor. There are traditional seating areas as well as casual seating areas to suit all learning styles. 

We offer a fully automated catalog with remote access for students and faculty. Bishop Kearney circulates EBooks through an EReader app available through our automated library catalog system. Our current EBook catalog includes classics and textbooks as well as new titles recommended by YALSA and the NY Times. Our Library/Media Specialist holds a Master's degree in Instructional Technology, and is a member of the following professional organizations: 

  • American Association of School Librarians 
  • American Library Association
  • Young Adult Library Services Association
  • Catholic Library Association

In addition to library services, the Library/Media Specialist serves as a mentor to students enrolled in online courses. Students enroll in independent online electives for credit and meet with the mentor during one class period each day to do work and update their progress. 

  • Remote access to library catalog for students and teachers
  • Over 60 EBooks, including classics, bestsellers and textbooks
  • Online courses
  • The library is available before and after school for special events and clubs/activities, including the morning news.

A thorough understanding of the science of numbers has never been more in demand than in our society today. A strong foundation in mathematics provides the basis for clear reasoning and problem solving. When students develop their abilities in mathematics they move from using ideas proposed by others to being able to create new approaches for the problems of tomorrow. The math department offers a program that integrates the study of various branches of mathematics which include algebra, geometry, and trigonometry along with the study of functions, probability, statistics, and calculus. As a department we believe that "Math empowers women because women empower math". The department strives to provide an environment that promotes collaboration, respect and desire to learn within our community for all students. 

The Physical Education Department strives to inspire a lifelong commitment to physical activity through a variety of positive experiences in sports, activities, games and dance. Every class will challenge students cognitively, effectively, and physically, ultimately resulting in an enhancement of physical and social skills as well as character.

We strive to instill within each student respect for herself, physical activity, and other individuals through class participation and sport interaction. Each department member is well educated in her field and is determined to transfer this knowledge to all students through an informative, safe, active, and fun experience.  

The Science Department offers a wide variety of courses to engage and prepare students for Regents and medical programs to help ready them for the future. Through extended Lab time and Vernier digital lab equipment and data-collection software, we actively engage all students in intensive hands-on, STEM-focused learning so that they may greet the technological challenges of the 21st Century with skill and confidence. 

We offer several Advanced Placement and college-accredited courses for students who plan to pursue careers in medicine, pharmacy, engineering or scientific research. 

In partnership with Maimonides Medical Center and Calko Medical Center, we now have more opportunities to provide students within the fields of science. 

Courses in the medical program for students interested in pursuing a career in Medicine include:

  • Anatomy & Physiology, bridged through St. John's University
  • Biomedical Professions
  • Additional college level courses such as Biology and Chemistry 
  • Field experience through Maimonides Medical Center and Calko Medical Center including: 
  •     Volunteer and paid internships after school
  •     Summer Women in Science Internship
  •     Shadowing doctors of orthopedics and other select specialties. 

Bishop Kearney is also proud to offer a Biomedical Science Program through Project Lead The Way, the nation's leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math programs. The first course, Principles of Biomedical Sciences, is a STEM course designed to engage students in activities including dissecting a sheep heart and looking at everything from blood spatter to DNA to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person. 

We live in a diverse and challenging world. Our Social Studies Department strives to expose our students to a variety of world cultures through our Global Studies course at the end of which all sophomores will successfully complete the New York State Regents. As our students progress to junior year, their studies will center on our own American History either through an Advanced Placement course or a regents based course. As seniors, the students will continue a more in depth examination of the workings of our government on the local, state and national level, and then tackle the problems of both national and personal finance through our Economics course. 

  • Students have earned up to 16 college credits through the AP US History and AP Psychology courses. 
  • More than 75% of our students were certified by the WISE personal finance program, awarding Bishop Kearney a Blue Certification.