Briarcliff High School
|Briarcliff High School|
|444 Pleasantville Road
Briarcliff Manor, New York, 10510
|Type||Comprehensive public high school|
|Motto||Community • Service • Excellence • Fulfillment|
|School district||Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District|
|NCES School ID||360534000268|
|Vice principal||Daniel Murphy|
|Faculty||50.31 (on full-time equivalent (FTE) basis) (as of 2010–2011)|
|Student to teacher ratio||10:1|
|Campus size||43 acres|
Blue and orange
|Team name||Briarcliff Bears|
|Rival||Pleasantville High School|
|Accreditations||New York State Board of Regents, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Newspaper||The Briarcliff Bulletin|
|Communities served||Briarcliff Manor|
Briarcliff High School (BHS) is a public secondary school in Briarcliff Manor, New York, serving students in grades 9–12. It is the only high school in the Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District and is co-located with Briarcliff Middle School. The principal is Debora French and the assistant principal is Daniel Murphy.
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. The school has a 10:1 student–teacher ratio, and 100 percent of students have proficiency in mathematics and English.
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.
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.
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.
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. After a bond vote in 2001, the current Briarcliff Middle School was constructed in the early 2000s adjoining to the high school.
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. 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 flat screen televisions, and more. In 2014, the school's fields on the property were remediated due to the use of contaminated fill. The football field is complete with artificial turf; the track will be completed in mid-July and the artificial turf baseball and hockey fields by Labor Day. The lower soccer field will be reconstructed after the fall 2014 soccer season. Work on the softball field was finished in fall 2013. A security plan is to be submitted to the New York State Education Department; it includes plans to upgrade the main entrance doors, construct vestibules and greeter stations.
The high school newspaper The Briarcliff Bulletin was founded in 1948. It has been in print for over 60 years.
|Enrollment in Briarcliff High School since 1952|
|1952-1953 • 2000 to 2006 • 2006-2007 • 2008-2009 • 2010 to 2014|
School productions include the Fall Drama, the Spring Musical, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Camerata, Clifftones, Overtones, Chamber Orchestra, and Garage Orchestra. The school is known for its award-winning annual musicals. The high school produces musicals and dramatic productions, and presents them at the Briarcliff Auditorium, which was built in 1998 and seats 500. In 2010, it was named after former Superintendent Frances Wills. The auditorium has hosted other Briarcliff shows and events, including 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. The school was the first US high school to perform the British musical The Hired Man, from March 7–9, 2014.
|Baseball||V, JV, F, Mod||Spring||Boys|
|Basketball||V, JV, F, Mod||Winter||Boys, Girls|
|Cross country running||V, JV, Mod||Fall||Boys, Girls|
|Field Hockey||V, JV, Mod||Fall||Co-ed|
|Football||V, F, Mod||Fall||Boys|
|Lacrosse||V, JV, Mod||Spring||Boys, Girls|
|Soccer||V, JV, Mod||Fall||Boys, Girls|
|Softball||V, JV, Mod||Spring||Girls|
|Swimming/Diving||V||Fall, Winter||Boys, Girls|
|Tennis||V, JV||Spring, Fall||Boys, Girls|
|Track and field||V, JV, Mod||Winter, Spring||Co-ed|
|Volleyball||V, JV, Mod||Fall||Girls|
Besides intramural sports, Briarcliff High School has junior varsity and varsity teams in sixteen sports, playing under the name Briarcliff Bears. In 2010, the soccer team became nationally ranked by ESPN as a top-50 national team.
The school offers courses in five languages: Spanish, Latin, French, Conversational Italian, and Mandarin Chinese. Electives include:
The school is 31st out of over 1,100 schools on the 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings for New York, and 156th out of over 19,400 schools nationally. In the 2013 U.S. News & World Report, Briarcliff High School was 31st out of 1,100 schools in New York, and 170th out of over 21,000 schools nationally. Newsweek rankings for the school include 42nd nationally in 2000, 96th nationally and 17th in New York in 2005, and 106th nationally, 20th in New York, and 28th in New England in 2013. 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.
Notable alumni of Briarcliff High School include Michael Azerrad, an author; Clifford Carter, a musician; John Hersey, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and journalist who grew up in Briarcliff and attended the public schools; Brice Marden, a minimalist painter who grew up in the village and is a graduate of Briarcliff High School from 1965; and Tom Ortenberg, the CEO of Open Road Films, and the former president of Lionsgate Films.
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