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Lohud Article: Volleyball player of the week (Oct. 16) - Juliana Arroyo, Briarcliff

Briarcliff setter Juliana Arroyo was named the lohud volleyball player of the week on Oct. 16 after spearheading the Bears to a pair of massive wins last week. Read the full story here.



5th Graders "Step Up" and Learn About Aztec, Inca, and Mayan civilizations

5th grade teacher Jen Case took advantage of the beautiful fall weather and moved her Social Studies lesson on the differences among Aztec, Inca, and Mayan civilizations outside to the athletic field at Todd. The day before, Mrs. Case led the class in research on each of the civilizations using a combination of laptops and Kids Discover magazines. Mrs. Case explained, “I like to bring them outside when I can to add movement and motivation to my lessons. We played the “step-up” game during which students used cards - one for each civilization - to show the answers to various questions posed to them. We were able to review the differences among the three groups and students got to “step up” if their answer was correct. The team that moved the farthest by the end of the game was the winner and everyone had fun!”

2007 State Champion Varsity Girls Soccer "come home" to celebrate 10th anniversary!

In 2007 BHS Varsity Girls Soccer were undefeated all season and went on to become State Champions. The team was honored last week before the Girls Varsity Home game against Croton-Harmon. As Dr. Kaishian said, "Great achievement, wonderful memories & extraordinary young women!" Once a bear, always a bear!

Everything you ever wanted to know about social media, texting and your kids – but were afraid to ask!


An evening with Dr. Elizabeth Englander on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the MS Theater

Parenting modern-day children on the issues of screen time, social conflict, bullying, cyberbullying, and the use and over use of social media can be challenging.  This presentation will give parents concrete tips and new perspectives about how to address and educate their children about using social media and how to maximize their social success in school and online. The goal is to help parents and their children feel more in control of digital technology and social dynamics. Learn about research on the most effective ways that parents can address common digital struggles while helping their children socially.  

In preparation for this evening, please click here to submit anonymous questions to Dr. Englander.

Thanks to the generosity of the PTA, we are pleased to bring Dr. Elizabeth Englander to our district to work with middle school students and parents across grade levels on social media use, bullying and cyberbullying.  Dr. Englander is a psychologist and founder of MARC (Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center) and an expert in this area. 

Learn more about Dr. Englander at her website.


7th Graders Apply Scientific Reasoning to Texting & Driving


The Loprieno/Iovino 7th grade science team designed a hands-on lesson about texting and driving called “Attention Drivers: FOCUS!” Using some of the techniques they studied and practiced during the Briarcliff Summer Institute (read the Journal News coverage of the program here), these innovative teachers allowed students to literally take texting and driving into their own hands using the AT&T Texting and Driving Simulator: It Can Wait.   This activity covered topics spanning several instructional units including: scientific reasoning, components of controlled experiments, experimental design, and presentation of findings. The directions were: Think about how often you are riding as a passenger in a school bus or car. Then think about how you might feel if you notice the driver becoming distracted with his or her cell phone. Most people understand that doing something like texting which driving is a risky activity, and yet the National Safety Council reports that 1 in 4 car accidents is now caused by cellphone use. When a driver glances down at a phone to read or type a text message, their reaction time increases. The lag time can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining the vehicle in the correct lane or hitting the brakes in time to avoid a pedestrian crossing the street. How can we design controlled experiments to collect data that shows how well one can drive when texting versus not texting. How can we then share our information with loved ones and community members to urge them to take action to spread the word that cell phone use and driving don’t mix.  Next step: students will make posters for BHS using the data they collected to remind everyone not to text & drive. Check out a video of the students doing an actual simulation on our Facebook page!


Briarcliff Celebrates National Merit Commended Students


Congratulations to Farhaanah Mohideen, Jane Tilles, Matthew Tu, Andrew Agriantonis and Dustin Qian - Briarcliff's National Merit Commended Students!

In late September, more than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Briarcliff's Talented Instrumentalists and Vocalists Recognized by NYSSMA and ACDA

Briarcliff's talented instrumentalists and vocalists are receiving recognition far beyond our District! NYSSMA: All State String Orchestra Junior Josh Kupka (viola) and All State Wind Ensemble Senior Dustin Qian (flute)
American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)Eastern Division: Freshman Harrison Beckler (bass, junior high honor choir) and Junior Juliet Freedman (alto, high school honor choir)and 30 Briarcliff elementary and middle school students have been named to the 2018 Honor Choir: Fourth Graders: Julia Baker, Jasmine Behr, Madeline Chu, Madeline Cohen, Leah Falah, Yael Falah, Lauren Jaffee, Georgina Janos, Hailey Merker, Sasha Plitt, Gisele Prechtl, Ariana Thomas, and Ava Wu. Fifth Graders: C. C. Anderson, Meena Chrzanowski, Abigail Chung, Caitlin Lee, Drew Packer, Matthew Seim, Eli Snider, and Mia Willey. Sixth Graders: Gordon Beckler, Allison Chu, Lily Hager, Jillian Mauro, Samantha Nemeroff, Yasmin Parandian, Tristan Rutman, Alexand. Congratulations to all!

Do you know an exceptional BHS graduate? Nominate him or her for the Distinguished Alumni Award!

A true measure of a school’s success can be found in the actions, achievements and contributions of its alumni and alumnae. Briarcliff High School graduates have many outstanding accomplishments and contributions as well as having provided service to their communities and our country through government and/or military service and volunteer activities.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is intended to recognize an alumni/alumnae for his/her outstanding achievements, service to their communities and/or service/support of the Briarcliff School district. The honor is intended to be granted annually as part of the annual High School Awards assembly although multiple awards may be granted in a year and in some years no award need be granted. 

For more information or to nominate a graduate, CLICK HERE.

Briarcliff schools make history - first K-12 district in Westchester to go 1 to 1

Todd students K-2 have their own personal iPads with age appropriate apps that allow them to learn through personalized plans. Older students district-wide have laptops which facilitate their ability to collaborate, create, and access not only state-of-the-art resources, but a continuous learning environment. In other words, this is a portable makerspace for each student. Much more information on this initiative as the year progresses...

Briarcliff Welcomes New Director of Facilities: George Hula


Briarcliff Welcomes New Director of Facilities: George Hula

In his welcome back communications, Superintendent Dr. Kaishian reiterated the District’s commitment to clean, safe, well-maintained buildings and classrooms and announced that the process for hiring a new Director of Facilities was underway. Today we are pleased to announce that. Mr. George Hula has joined the Briarcliff team from the Cooperstown Central School District. His office will be located in the District Office. Be sure to say hi and welcome him to Briarcliff when you see him around the District!


Briarcliff HS English Teacher Julia Fernandez: NYS Educator of Excellence.

Briarcliff HS English Teacher Julia Fernandez was one of only seventeen educators across the state to be named a New York State Educator of Excellence by the New York State English Council (NYSEC).
Briarcliff HS English Teacher Julia Fernandez was one of only seventeen educators across the state to be named a New York State Educator of Excellence by the New York State English Council (NYSEC).

Briarcliff HS English Teacher Julia Fernandez was one of only seventeen educators across the state to be named a New York State Educator of Excellence by the New York State English Council (NYSEC). As described on their website, each year the NYSEC recognizes excellence in teaching by presenting Awards at its annual conference to English Language Arts educators nominated by their schools and then selected by the Council.

Jamie Mandel, English Department Coordinator at the HS and her colleagues coordinated the award submission. She said, “Ms. Fernandez, a teacher of fifteen years, demonstrates expertise and a wide breadth of knowledge. She has a keen mind that asks the right question – the thought-provoking question that penetrates to the heart of the matter. She also infuses her classroom with her love of reading, be it the classics, the newest graphic novel, or the latest poetry.  The classroom atmosphere she creates, challenging yet supportive, culminates in well-read, thoughtful, and critically aware students. She pushes our students, who are already high achieving, to new levels. 

When asked how she felt about the award, Ms. Fernandez beamed and said, “Being nominated for New York State Educator of Excellence is an honor. Literature has always been an important aspect in my life, so becoming part of the English department at Briarcliff sixteen years ago was a gift. Discussing the art of the craft—and hopefully inspiring my students to appreciate the artistry—is a constant motivator.  Every afternoon, I leave the building smiling over something that happened during my day. I am fortunate that I love what I do and that I am surrounded by supportive and passionate professionals.


Congratulations Julia!!

Congratulations to National Merit Semifinalist Madison Hennessy!


(from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation website) 

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest- scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record through- out high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February 2018 they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Winners will be announced in March 2018.


Author James Howe Visits 7th Grade, Discusses Friendship and Bullying


Each year 7th grade students read "The Misfits" by James Howe over the summer. The theme of the book is friendship and bullying. Mr. Howe has come to speak with the 7th graders for several years now. He talks to them about fitting in, or not fitting in, and what that means or if it even matters. The main characters in the book are all sort of "outsiders" and they "find each other" and once you have friends, you're really not an outsider anymore - you're your own group. 


The kids have the chance to ask questions about the characters and how and why he wrote the book. 

Bears Volleyball Goes Undefeated to Capture Booster Club's Invitational HS Tournament


Todd MakerSpaces are Buzzing with Building!

Second graders competed in the Todd School MakerSpace Challenge to see who could build the tallest free standing structure!

Starting the year off right at Todd Elementary with a Principal Read Aloud

Mrs. McDermott read “The Golden Rule” to all kindergarten and 1st grade classes at the first Principal Read Aloud of the year! There are three more scheduled for the 2017-18 school year and each one will support one of the habits of mind. The first focused on empathy, the second: remaining open to continues learning, the third: thinking flexibly, and the fourth: striving for accuracy. Such a wonderful Todd tradition - be sure to ask your child about it!!

Lohud Article: Briarcliff Schools, U.S. Supreme Court Have Rare Bond

"The Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District has a relationship with the U.S. Supreme Court like perhaps no other school district in the country." Read the full story here!

2017 Graduate Leaves Her Mark!

2017 Graduate Eliana Perez is leaving her mark at the Briarcliff Schools - literally! She was chosen to design the cover of the MacBooks and iPads that will be used by students this year. Thank you Eliana and good luck Champlain College studying video game design!

Planning for the first day!

District and building administrators gathered to discuss the upcoming school year earlier this week. It's been a busy summer in the Briarcliff Schools - we can't wait to welcome Freshman, 6th graders, and Kindergarteners on 9/5, and all students on 9/6! 

Apple Certified Mac Technicians in Training!


Once again this year, Briarcliff's student tech gurus can attend summer training to become Apple Certified Mac Technicians. This program enables us to provide more efficient service to both faculty and students when hardware-related issues arise! Lohud did a story on this unique program last year (read it here!)


Sunday, October 22, 2017