Briarcliff High School

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Briarcliff High School
Address
444 Pleasantville Road
Briarcliff Manor, New York, 10510
United States
Coordinates41°08′03″N 73°48′45″W / 41.13417°N 73.81250°W / 41.13417; -73.81250Coordinates: 41°08′03″N 73°48′45″W / 41.13417°N 73.81250°W / 41.13417; -73.81250
Information
TypePublic High School
Established1928[1]
School districtBriarcliff Manor Union Free School District
PrincipalDeborah French
Vice principalDaniel Murphy
Grades912
GenderCo-ed
Enrollment587[2]  (2013-14)
Student to teacher ratio10:1[3]
LanguageEnglish
Campus size43 acres[4]
Campus typeSuburban[4]
Color(s)Blue and orange          
AthleticsYes
MascotBears
Team nameBriarcliff Bears
RivalPleasantville High School
NewspaperThe Briarcliff Bulletin
Communities servedBriarcliff Manor
Website
 
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Briarcliff High School
Address
444 Pleasantville Road
Briarcliff Manor, New York, 10510
United States
Coordinates41°08′03″N 73°48′45″W / 41.13417°N 73.81250°W / 41.13417; -73.81250Coordinates: 41°08′03″N 73°48′45″W / 41.13417°N 73.81250°W / 41.13417; -73.81250
Information
TypePublic High School
Established1928[1]
School districtBriarcliff Manor Union Free School District
PrincipalDeborah French
Vice principalDaniel Murphy
Grades912
GenderCo-ed
Enrollment587[2]  (2013-14)
Student to teacher ratio10:1[3]
LanguageEnglish
Campus size43 acres[4]
Campus typeSuburban[4]
Color(s)Blue and orange          
AthleticsYes
MascotBears
Team nameBriarcliff Bears
RivalPleasantville High School
NewspaperThe Briarcliff Bulletin
Communities servedBriarcliff Manor
Website
Logo of Briarcliff High School

Briarcliff High School is a public school in Briarcliff Manor, in Westchester County, New York. The school serves students in the ninth to twelfth grades. It is the sole high school for the Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District and is co-located with Briarcliff Middle School. The principal is Mrs. Debora French and the assistant principal is Mr. Daniel Murphy.[5]

Briarcliff is noted for outstanding student achievement, testing scores and accomplishments, including a highly-regarded science research program, world language and performing arts programs, University in the High School and Advanced Placement courses, and graduation and college attendance rates.[6] The school has a 10:1 student–teacher ratio, and 100 percent of students have proficiency in mathematics and English.[3]

The student body primarily consists of incoming graduates of Briarcliff Middle School. Additionally, students graduating from Pocantico Hills Central School have the option to attend high schools either at Briarcliff High School, Pleasantville High School, or Sleepy Hollow High School.

History[edit]

Briarcliff Manor had served students up to the ninth grade from 1865 until 1918. Before 1918, Briarcliff students who wanted to proceed to high school would attend the nearby Ossining High School. At that point, Briarcliff introduced an advanced curriculum for high school students. In 1923, four students were the first in a Briarcliff school to receive high school diplomas. In 1928, with the income of more high school students, an extension was built to the Spanish Renaissance-style Grade School for use as Briarcliff High School. The building was located adjacent to the Walter W. Law Memorial Park. The enlarged school accepted students from Croton, Hawthorne, North White Plains, Valhalla, and as far as Granite Springs.[4]

As Briarcliff's student population expanded, the Law Park location did. In 1950, students from kindergarten to fifth grade were moved to the new Todd Elementary School. Even though the high school thus had more room at the Grade School, the population grew enough for the necessity of a new building. Plans were delayed until the 1960s, when Briarcliff had plans to purchase 55 acres of the Choate Estate. Pace University meanwhile purchased the entire estate, and it remains as Pace Pleasantville. The Briarcliff Manor Board of Education took the matter to court and succeeded, and Pace sold 35 acres to Briarcliff. Briarcliff bought eight further acres, and the site was completed in 1968.[4]

The current high school building opened in 1971. In the 1980s, as school enrollment declined and costs increased, the Grade School building was leased to Pace University and the remaining students (grades six through eight) occupied a portion of the new High School building. In 1988, a plan for a larger village and school meeting and performance area was initiated. The new auditorium was completed in 1998.[4] After a bond vote in 2001, the current Briarcliff Middle School was constructed in the early 2000s adjoining to the high school.[7]

In the summer and fall of 2011, several renovations took place, affecting primarily the High School on the property. All front-facing windows of the high school were replaced with energy-efficient windows, and a permanent-storage building was constructed on the northeast side to store auditorium and maintenance supplies. As well, many of the computers in the school have been replaced with thin client computers.[8] As of 2013, the High School's track and grass football field are being replaced with a new track and a football field of artificial turf. In 2013, the school's cardiovascular and weight lifting center was improved with more machines and equipment, increased space, new flatscreen televisions, and more.[9] In 2014, the community approved a Briarcliff school board plan to remediate the contaminated practice field on the property.[10]

The high school newspaper, the Briarcliff Bulletin, was founded in 1948. It has been in print for over 60 years.[11]

Enrollment in Briarcliff High School since 1952
Year1952-19532000-20012001-20022002-20032003-20042004-20052005-20062006-20072007-20082008-20092009-20102010-20112011-20122012-20132013-2014
Enrollment224448489534560601679657N/A654N/A591606552587
1952-1953[12]  • 2000 to 2006[13]  • 2006-2007[14]  • 2008-2009[15]  • 2010 to 2014[2]

Theater[edit]

School productions include the Fall Drama, the Spring Musical, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Camerata, Clifftones, Overtones, Chamber Orchestra, and Garage Orchestra.[15] The school is known for its award-winning annual musicals.[16] The high school produces musicals and dramatic productions, and presents them at the Briarcliff Auditorium, which was built in 1998. In 2010, it was named after former Superintendent Frances Wills. The auditorium has hosted other Briarcliff shows and events, including the The Centennial Variety Show, which was performed in a sold-out two-night run from April 26 to 27, 2002. The Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society arranged the show for the village’s 2002 centennial celebration.[1][7]

Courses[edit]

The school offers courses in five languages: Spanish, Latin, French, Conversational Italian, and Mandarin Chinese. Electives include:[15]

  • Drama
  • TV Production
  • Creative Writing
  • Public Speaking
  • Short Fiction
  • Conversational Italian I and II
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Statistics
  • Computer Applications
  • Business and Finance
  • Finite Mathematics
  • Calculus
  • Marine Biology
  • Forensics
  • Environmental Science
  • Topics in Chemistry
  • Law in America
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Global Interaction
  • Band
  • Choral Music
  • Orchestra
  • Dance
  • Music Theory
  • Photo I, II, and III
  • Digital Photography
  • Ceramics
  • Sculpture
  • Introduction to Java I and II
  • Principles of Engineering

School ranking[edit]

The school is 31st out of over 1,100 schools on the 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings for New York, and 170th out of over 21,000 schools nationally.[17] As well, Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District is rated as the fifth-wealthiest school district in the United States, and the third-wealthiest in New York. Briarcliff High School students greatly exceed averages on New York State Assessment tests, with almost 100% of Briarcliff students having recorded passing grades.[18]

Newsweek Rankings of Briarcliff High School
YearNational RankState RankIndexNotesSources
200042[19]
20031262.212
2004N/AN/AN/ANo rankings published[20]
200596172.829[21]
2006953.205
20072252.581
20083012.468
2009
2010N/AN/AN/ADid not make the list
2011N/AN/AN/ADid not make the list
2012N/AN/AN/ADid not make the list[22]
2013106203.55Ranked 28th in New England[23]

Sports[edit]

Athletic Teams at Briarcliff High School[24]V = Varsity, VB = Varsity B, JV = Junior VarsityF = Freshmen, Mod = Modified
SportLevelSeasonGender
BaseballV, JV, F, ModSpringBoys
BasketballV, JV, F, ModWinterBoys, Girls
BowlingVWinterBoys, Girls
CheerleadingVFall, WinterGirls
Cross country runningV, JV, ModFallBoys, Girls
Field HockeyV, JV, ModFallCo-ed
FootballV, F, ModFallBoys
GolfV, JVSpringCo-ed
Ice hockeyVWinterCo-ed
LacrosseV, JV, ModSpringBoys, Girls
SoccerV, JV, ModFallBoys, Girls
SoftballV, JV, ModSpringGirls
Swimming/DivingVFall, WinterBoys, Girls
TennisV, JVSpring, FallBoys, Girls
Track and fieldV, JV, ModWinter, SpringCo-ed
VolleyballV, JV, ModFallGirls

Besides intramural sports, Briarcliff High School has junior varsity and varsity teams in sixteen sports, playing under the name Briarcliff Bears.[25] In 2010, the soccer team became nationally ranked by ESPN as a top-50 national team.[26]

Alumni[edit]

John Hersey

Notable alumni of Briarcliff High School include Michael Azerrad, an author; Clifford Carter, a musician;[27] John Hersey, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and journalist who grew up in Briarcliff and attended the public schools;[4][28][29] Brice Marden, a minimalist painter who grew up in the village and is a graduate of Briarcliff High School from 1965;[30][31] and Tom Ortenberg, the CEO of Open Road Films, and the former president of Lionsgate Films.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Briarcliff Manor: The First 100 Years – The Centennial Variety Show. Village of Briarcliff Manor. 2002. 
  2. ^ a b "Briarcliff High School Program Review and Longitudinal Achievement Results for Pocantico Students". Briarcliff High School. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Briarcliff High School -Overview". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Cheever, Mary (1990). The Changing Landscape: A History of Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough. Maine: Phoenix Publishing. ISBN 0-914659-49-9. 
  5. ^ "High School - Briarcliff Manor UFSD". Briarcliff Manor School District. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Facilitators - Center for Educational Leadership". Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Briarcliff Manor Centennial Committee (2002). The Briarcliff Manor Family Album: Celebrating a Century. Cornwall N.Y: Village of Briarcliff Manor. 
  8. ^ Lee, Tien-Shun (September 3, 2011). "Lots of Summer Renovations at Briarcliff Schools". Briarcliff Daily Voice. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Briarcliff Improving Its School Facilities". Pleasantville-Briarcliff Manor Patch. September 24, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  10. ^ Nocella, Michael (January 22, 2014). "Briarcliff Schools Bond Vote Passes 363-42". Pleasantville-Briarcliff Manor Patch. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Briarcliff Bulletin Goes Online". The Briarcliff Bulletin. September 27, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  12. ^ Our Village: Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. 1902 to 1952. Historical Committee of the Semi–Centennial. 1952. 
  13. ^ "Comprehensive Plan - Village of Briarcliff Manor". Village of Briarcliff Manor. November 2007. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Similar School Groupings for the New York State School Report Card for 2006-07 Outcomes - Group 52". New York State Education Department. August 22, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c Kaishan, James. "Briarcliff High School - Pocantico Hills Report". Briarcliff Manor School District. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  16. ^ Gross, Jane (May 4, 2003). "In High School, Putting on a Show Means Broadway Dazzle". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  17. ^ "New York High Schools". U.S. News & World Report LP. 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  18. ^ "America’s Richest School Districts". Fox Business. 24/7 Wall St. June 8, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  19. ^ Tuinstra, Rachel (March 12, 2000). "In Brief; Top High Schools". The New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Newsweek: 4 Bellevue schools rank among top 100 in nation". The Seattle Times. May 3, 2006. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  21. ^ "The Complete List of the 1,000 Top U.S. Schools". Microsoft Corporation. Archived from the original on May 10, 2005. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Dripping Sprinds Independent School District - Newsweek America's Best High Schools Report 2012". DSID School Board. June 21, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  23. ^ "2013 America's Best High Schools". IBT Media, Inc. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Briarcliff Manor UFSD 2013-2014 Athletics". Briarcliff Manor School District. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Briarcliff High School Football". MSG Varsity. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Girls Soccer". ESPN Internet Ventures. Archived from the original on January 22, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  27. ^ Lee, Tien-Shun (September 29, 2011). "Briarcliff Teen a Musical Superstar". Briarcliff Daily Voice. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  28. ^ Weingarten, Marc (2010). The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, and the New Journalism Revolution. Random House LLC. ISBN 978-1-4000-4914-1. 
  29. ^ Dee, Jonathan. "John Hersey, The Art of Fiction No. 92". The Paris Review. The Paris Review. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  30. ^ Marden, Brice (October 3, 1972). Oral history interview with Brice Marden, 1972 Oct. 3. Tape-recorded with Paul Cummings. Smithsonian Institution. Archives of American Art. http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-brice-marden-11908. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  31. ^ Vincent, Tom (June 24, 2011). "Briarcliff High Honors Notable Past Grads". River Journal. River Journal Inc. Retrieved January 22, 2014.