- Performing Arts
- Physical Education and Health
- Social Studies
- Special Education
- Visual Arts
- World Languages
The Briarcliff High School English Program seeks to develop students' reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills well beyond the required New York State Common Core Standards in those areas. Collectively, we focus on the writing process and public speaking skills, while applying the latest theory in regard to reading and writing, to ensure college readiness and to prepare our students for the future. Additionally, the Department strives to develop visual literacy and 21st Century media and publication skills through our elective program. Our overarching goal is to foster lifelong intellectual curiosity as students cultivate a broad range of literacies as capable, discriminating readers, competent and fluent writers, articulate speakers, active listeners, and critical thinkers.
The Briarcliff High School Mathematics Department believes that a strong mathematical foundation is increasingly essential for opportunity and success in the 21st Century. All students must, therefore, engage in challenging and meaningful mathematics that align with the Common Core Standards. This curriculum is focused on developing deep understanding, coherence, fluency, modeling and application of multiple problem-solving approaches. This process is best supported by a home/school partnership that recognizes the crucial role of good thinking and study habits in cultivating lifelong learners.
The Briarcliff Performing Arts program offers a variety of arts learning and performing experiences.
Recent graduates of our Arts programs, majors and non-majors alike, have gone on to prestigious colleges and conservatories to continue creating and performing. Several of our graduates pursue careers in Dance, Film, Theater, Music Education, Jazz Studies, Music Performance, Music Composition and Song Writing.
Each school year, Briarcliff High School Arts students present winter and spring concerts, a fall drama production, a spring musical production, staged readings, and a spring dance concert. Many of our Arts students also participate in other community, county, state and national opportunities for exploration, creation and performance in the Arts.
The Physical Education Program (K-12) adheres to the Common Core Standards. The program offers an opportunity for continuous development for each student's physical, mental, social, and emotional capabilities in order to promote lifelong wellness. The Physical Education Department provides a quality, instructional curriculum that allows all students to develop skills that will serve as the foundation for an active and healthy lifestyle.
Physical Education is required for all students in Grades 9 through 12. In addition,
(SUNY-ACE) Sports Management AED/CPR/First Responders is optional for all students in Grades 9 through 12. This course satisfies Physical Education graduation requirement.
One Semester ½ HS Credit
Description: This mandated course is one half year and is designed to create a strong understanding regarding healthy decision-making and creating a life time of optimum wellness. The course is holistic in approach; the student will gain a strong understanding of how his/her decisions affect him/her mentally, physically, and socially. Within this concept, students gain knowledge of sexual responsibility, chemical abuse, and mental awareness. Throughout the course students will be responsible for learning parenting skills, child rearing practices, injury/disease prevention, including how to work a defibrillator. Also offered are lectures from guests, field trips, and activities such as stress management (breathing and yoga postures), bringing home the computerized babies, monthly awareness education (i.e., October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month, December – AIDS Awareness Month), cooking for wellness, building a sustainable garden on school grounds, and other proactive wellness activities.
Full Year ½ HS Credit
The Physical Education program is part of the total educational curriculum at BHS. Mandated by New York State, all students must successfully complete four years of physical education to be eligible to graduate and is in compliance with the New York State Learning Standards for Physical Education. In addition, our objectives are:
• To motivate students to make beneficial health related decisions and to value being physically active as a lifestyle.
• To promote the physical, emotional and social growth of the student.
• To promote the concept of fun and enjoyment through participation in physical activities.
• To meet the needs of a variety of student interests and learning styles.
Units of Instruction included but not limited to:
Badminton; Basketball; Cross Country; Floor Hockey; Football (Ultimate/Arena); Frisbee (Ultimate/Golf); Pickleball; Soccer; Speedball; Strength and Conditioning (FITT Principle); Table Tennis; Tennis; Softball; Volleyball.
COLLEGE PRINCIPLES OF SPORT MANAGEMENT/FIRST AID/CPR/AED FIRST RESPONDER
Full Year ½ HS Credit
ACE Program: First Responder (3 SUNY Credits)
Prerequisite: This class will fulfill Physical Education requirement for the year. Any student may register for this course as an elective (with credit) in addition to their regular Physical Education class.
Description: An introduction to the professional area of sport management discusses basic philosophy and principles of sport at all levels. The term sport refers to all recreational competitive sports, exercise and fitness activities. Management encompasses the activities associated with administration, supervision and leadership. The second component of this class will be Red Cross training and certification in First Aid, CPR and AED.
The Certified First Responder introduces students to the basics of pre-hospital emergency care. The students will learn the skills necessary to begin assessing and caring for patients at the scene of an injury or illness.
Description and Procedures for Application
The Senior Alternative Program is designed to give seniors the option to fulfill their Physical Education requirement outside the regular school program. It is available to seniors with the hope of encouraging them to seek a special interest in physical education and encourage them to employ the lifelong learning and health standards that have been imparted to them through the Briarcliff K-12 PE Program. Each student must complete the following program information data, obtain the required signatures and submit the application form to his/her Physical Education teacher. A student may apply for the PE Senior Alternative Program for one semester only and is graded on a pass/fail basis.
The senior must be in good physical education standing.
The senior involved must complete the following application and submit the application to his or her PE teacher. A copy of a membership card must be attached.
The student will be required to submit a printout of their attendance log to their physical education teacher every five weeks (Progress Report and Report Card).
At the completion of the PE alternative program, the student must complete the Senior Alternative Reflection Questionnaire related to their personal goals and growth.
This privilege is open to 11th and 12th graders who are members of a Varsity athletic team. This exemption excuses students from participation in their scheduled Physical Education class during the student’s varsity season only. Varsity/Athletic exemption will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.
The following criteria must be accomplished before a student receives this exemption:
Be a student in good standing in physical education class and on their varsity team.
Receive a passing score as determined by the Physical Education Department on the Presidential Physical Fitness test, which includes agility, strength, speed, flexibility and endurance. Student/athletes will have two attempts to successfully complete each component. Students must score in the 50th percentile on this fitness test. If the student participates in athletics for more than one season, he/she does not have to retake the fitness test during the same academic year.
Complete the following Athletic Exemption Form and submit to the student’s PE instructor with signatures from parent/guardian.
Upon completion of the athletic season, the student must return to his/her regularly scheduled physical education class.
IMPORTANT: This exemption is a privilege that can be revoked for academic or disciplinary reasons.
Physical Education is another important part of the high school experience. Students in grades 9-12 must successfully complete sixteen (16) quarters of Physical Education to be eligible to graduate.
The New York State Education Department has enacted curriculum mandates that are now incorporated into all areas of “Student Life”. A major emphasis in Physical Education will be focused on fitness, wellness, and life skills.
Our Physical Education program provides physical fitness, individual, dual and team sports, and a wide variety of lifetime activities.
In the event of an absence of more than eight (8) classes, that student will be required to repeat the quarter.
Each student must have the following to be considered prepared for class: T-shirt or sweatshirt, shorts or sweat pants, and sneakers. Students may not wear the same clothes to class that they wore that day for school nor their athletic uniforms. They must change into proper Physical Education attire.
- Students may not be in violation of the school dress code found in the Student Handbook.
- Students unable to participate in Physical Education due to injury or illness must report to their scheduled class for attendance purposes.
- Students who are feeling ill on the day of their PE class must report to their class first. If it is appropriate, the instructor may refer the student to the school nurse.
If a student is medically excused from Physical Education, he/she cannot participate in any after school athletic events that day.
Participation in after school programs is not a legal excuse from participation in class.
Athletic Exemption Program
This is an option open to junior and senior students who play a Varsity sport. In order to qualify, one must successfully pass the New York State Physical Fitness exam. If a student passes this exam, the student/athlete is excused from their Physical Education class during that Varsity season only. Excused students do not have to report to class. However, they must conduct themselves responsibly and conform to all school rules (behavior, signing in and out of the building, punctuality etc.) while on Athletic Exemption. If a student does not conform to the school rules, they will forfeit this privilege immediately and return to their regularly scheduled Physical Education class. For the specifics of the NYS Physical Fitness Standards, please visit our website.
Senior Alternative Program
This program is an option for seniors only. Only seniors in good standing, who participates in an outside physical fitness activity, will be permitted to participate in an alternative program. An application must be signed by a parent or guardian and approved by their teacher and Department Chairperson before beginning. The program must be instructional and supervised by a qualified adult. The program is for one semester only. Please visit our website for further information.
Final quarter grades are determined by the number of points accumulated over the course of one (1) quarter. The following rubric will be used:
Punctuality: 1 Point
(Being ready for class on time)
Attire: 1 Point
(Clean, modest, appropriate - i.e. sneakers, shorts, t-shirt)
Participation: 2 Points
(Active involvement in the class for the entire class)
Contributes to a Positive Learning Environment: 1 Point
(Trustworthiness, responsibility, fairness, respect for others, caring, citizenship)
The Briarcliff High School science teachers endeavor to inspire students by making a wide array of science courses interesting and relevant. The faculty members have advanced degrees in science and extensive industrial and real-world experience, which enables them to enrich the curriculum far beyond what is required by state and national standards. A measure of the success of the BHS science program is the frequency with which students make connections among science courses and between science and other disciplines in the school including mathematics, English, and the social sciences.
“The farther backward you look, the farther forward you are likely to see”. - Winston Churchill
As a Department, we strive to engage all students in fostering the growth of historical knowledge, global awareness and civic responsibility in an effort to become highly functioning members of a diverse and democratic society in the 21st Century.
The philosophy of the Special Education Department at Briarcliff High School is best illustrated by Carl Jung’s words of wisdom:
An understanding heart is everything in a teacher and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One can look back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child. Carl Jung (1875-1961)
Briarcliff High School Special Education Coordinator, Michelle McNeight
Subcommitte Chair, grades 9-12 Dr. Randi Brown
BHS, School Social Worker, Timothy Pellegrin
BHS, School Psychologist and District-Wide Assessor, Dr. Randi Brown
BHS, Speech and Language Pathologist, Sondra Dolmin
The curriculum is designed to promote technological and information literacy as well as critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills necessary for all individuals to compete in our ever-changing global economy. The curriculum will enhance students’ conceptual understanding, procedural knowledge, and problem solving skills in technology including its nature, impact, and social, ethical, and human aspects.
One of the key indicators of a civilization’s greatness can be found in its contribution and commitment to the Arts. Where art flourishes, we find an active, vital and potent society. Where it is ignored and suppressed, we find a society in decline.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the Arts in regard to society is its capacity to extract the joy, sorrow, hilarity and trauma of everyday life and represent it synthetically, as a model for our contemplation. To be able to contemplate the human condition through the abstraction of its recreation in the Arts enables us to reconsider the circumstances of our lives in ways unlike any other.
Quite apart from the pleasure and fulfillment that we get from the Arts as entertainment, there is a powerful intellectual component to the making of art which empowers us in very real, but sometimes unforeseeable ways. Paths through thought and ideation are uncovered by the mental activity engaged in the technical process of art making. Navigation of these paths creates a familiarity with “speculative constructs” which is the key to abstract thought. We study higher mathematics, complaining all along that we will never use the knowledge in real life, nor ever become mathematicians and yet the value of this exercise of the mind’s logical facilities is never doubted. Art, particularly, its technical study incorporating application of methods and manipulation to thought, is every bit as vital to the developing mind. And, although we are not all destined to become artists and are not equally coordinated in regard to manual dexterity, none of us should be deprived of the navigational tools essential to a life rich with unexpected challenges. As Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind”.
The World Language Department of the Briarcliff Manor School District is committed to preparing our students for today’s increasingly global society. It is essential to be able to communicate in more than one language as well as to develop an understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures. To achieve this goal, our language courses focus on the four essential skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Common Core standards are integrated into our curriculum through the utilization of authentic sources and technology in order to enable the success of our students across all disciplines.
Our World Language Program provides the opportunity for students to select the study of French or Spanish beginning in the 6th grade. The Briarcliff High School Program continues these sequences with a variety of courses for students of all abilities and interests. In addition, we offer a full sequence in Latin and courses in conversational Mandarin Chinese. We prepare students to become life-long language learners and to be able to compete in the 21st Century in the United States and abroad.