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Public district
Cary, NC
Students enrolled: 599

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1220 Pond Street
Cary, NC 27511

School website
(919) 460-3443
(919) 460-3420
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Map of Briarcliff Elementary address.

July 02, 2015
Our son went to Briarcliff the year we moved to Cary because it is the school assigned to our address. We moved to a year round school the next year to spread vacation time out throughout the year and to be able to travel at off-peak times. That said we really liked Briarcliff for its great sense of community. There are frequent carnivals, movie nights, and fun events that are well attended. Our son liked showing us around his school and introducing us to his teachers and friends. His teacher was not a veteran, but ran a great class despite a couple of challenging students (I volunteered for an hour or so most weeks and so observed this firsthand). She will likely be a teacher of the year before long. I appreciated that both the principal and vice principal lead tours for new families in person and allow ample time for any and all questions. Our son didn't have any problems, but if he had, we would have felt comfortable approaching either one of them for help. The school is around 50 years old so some of the infrastructure looks a bit dated, but it's clean and it works. The campus consists of several buildings connected by courtyards and covered walkways, which gives it a nice, open, natural feel. Seeing as Briarcliff is decades older than many schools in Cary, there seem to be a greater proportion of veteran teachers here than elsewhere. The student population is diverse in terms of race, culture, and class, none of which were issues for anyone we knew there. If not for the attractiveness of a year round calendar (to our family, of course), we would still be smiling at Briarcliff.

- submitted by a parent

June 11, 2015
Well, I guess they didn't like my truthful review so they took it down. To sum it up: no communication from teacher to parents. No communication from principal to teacher. Highly disorganized. The worst is the school principal is not truthful. From the comment below, MANY issues at this school are swept under the rug.

- submitted by a parent

June 07, 2015
This school was (a few years ago) a dream come true. Then it turned into a nightmare. Teachers do not communicate, high turn over rate as well. I will agree with the post below in those regards. This school has an administration problem!! The principal and vice principal have NO idea how to handle special needs children! They are rude, dishonest and hypocrites. I've never seen anything like this in my life. I had other parents of special needs children contacting me in hopes of finding help for their student. As for being a blue ribbon school... HA .. It's easy to see there are many problems here. They just sweep the concerns under the rug. We were glad this year was over! And won't be returning

- submitted by a parent

November 06, 2014
Briarcliff is like The Little Engine That Could. It's a small school, tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, that no one has heard of. However, it is a gem. Each child is taught to the level he or she needs to be appropriately challenged. The teachers have full control over their classrooms, and student behavior is outstanding. The administration is attentive, effective, and caring. The PTA is very active. There is a huge amount of parental support and involvement, including many parent-run before and after school clubs and activities, and an entirely parent-run tutoring and enrichment program. Do not let the school's Title 1 status mislead you. This school is excellent for all children lucky enough to attend.

- submitted by a parent

December 18, 2013
Wow what an amazing school with a good mix of kids from different backgrounds. My son is in first grade and there isn't much he can't read, it is almost hard to believe how well he reads. He is already adding three digit numbers and carrying the tens. We have several neighbors who attend the school and they all seem to love their teachers. Haven't heard of a bad teacher yet and the (wonderful trilingual) art teacher's classroom is like a museum. The new principal is also amazing and she is really engaged. Amazing teachers, great leadership and a very active PTA make this small (by wake county standards) a great school. Did I mention over a third of the School attends the running club.

- submitted by a parent

May 17, 2013
my daughters went to Briarcliff elementary school from 1997-2002( 2 daughters), i actually loved the school. i was very disappointed that my son wasn't able to go there! i still know some of the teachers! it was so easy to be involved in the school when it virtually sat in my back yard, compared to the fact that my son has to travel more than 10 miles to attend school in apex nc

- submitted by a parent

January 02, 2012
I have 3 children that attend Briarcliff and it the most AMAZING school. I LOVE this school!!!! The teachers and staff are friendly, outgoing, and extremely supportive. The principal is fantastic and always open to talking. This school is unbelievably family oriented and the teachers are always willing to donate their time. Someone else mentioned that this school is one of the best kept secrtets and they could not have said it better. Briarcliff is small but to me that is a huge plus...the kids get so much individualized attention and it seems like every teacher and staff member know all the kids. If you have a choice, you would not be making a wrong one, if you chose Briarcliff!

- submitted by a parent

April 04, 2011
I have worked at the front desk at Briarcliff Elementary since 1999. Briarcliff is impressive, inviting, genuine, warm. A HAPPY, loving school! The teaching staff is just amazing & first rate! EVERY SINGLE person who works here is sensational! The ENTIRE staff the best there is! Encouraging, kind, supportive, nurturing, going above & beyond. We ALL truly CARE about our students and their families, we care about each other. Our students are incredible! We are SO BLESSED to have wonderful parents & families. I feel so fortunate to work w/such a strong, respectful, inspiring and caring administration. It takes a WHOLE school to educate a child. You will hear me I say "You will love this school!" Our kids are so amazing! I love coming to work here each and every day. It is a PLEASURE to work with such great people and have such remarkable students/families, an honor and privilege and I can not thank you enough. I am so proud of this school & our outstanding students. Briarcliff is a lovely and much LOVED school. We all are family here, when you attend Briarcliff, consider yourself our FAMILY.

- submitted by a teacher

April 03, 2011
Briarcliff is an excellent school - one of the best kept secrets around, and hope to keep it that way. Wonderful principal and vice principal. Caring, responsive staff. Enriching extracurriculars like chess, french and sports club. My kids love it here!

- submitted by a parent

March 23, 2011
Briarcliff is awesome. I have been very impressed with both administration and teachers. They are always finding ways to involve the families and have clubs even for my first grader.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
October 12, 2010
Briarcliff is a warm inviting place. There are so many activities that support learning and social skills. From German and French clubs to the Running Club - there is something for everyone.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating
October 15, 2008
I have three kids there. While the school misses Mr. Regan, Joy, the new Principal is awesome. Great caring teachers who work hard to form bonds with the kids and reinforcing relationships with the parents. I am a parent and former student ( a long time ago).

- submitted by a parent

April 15, 2008
Briarcliff is a great school. I continue to be amazed at the amount of growth our son has made this year. The first grade team is doing such a wonderful job of teaching to children's ability levels. They run the grade like a mini-high school, everyone switchs for both math and reading groups. Great job ! I wish we could do more to recognize our teachers!

- submitted by a parent

February 09, 2008
i love briarcliff so much!coming from ive been here since kindergarten! I'm now in the 5 grade and is in almost every extra activities. that is one thing i love about briarcliff, they have so many options for you to choose from. i also love it because all the teachers care about you and you can tell! They treat all the kids the same and are always there to awnser! all in al it is a great school

- submitted by a student
no rating
February 06, 2008
Briarcliff is a wonderful school with caring staff and teachers. As soon as you walk into the front office, you are warmly greeted by the always-smiling front desk receptionist, then you go on into the classrooms where the teachers are the very best! They truly care and have a great interest in doing the best for your child. The administration is simply wonderful beyond words! Genuine care and they address any issues quickly. No one hides behind doors here. They are out for the parents and students. The PTA is great also. I have never been at a school where I (and my child ) feel so welcomed and loved. Braircliff is one big 'family' as we are treated as one. It is a smaller school and I feel that is ideal. Briarcliff is the World's Best Kept Secret! We are family, my child and I can not be nay happier!

- submitted by a parent

May 25, 2007
I have 2 children at Briarcliff currently and have been an involved parent both in the classroom and the PTA. After 4 years experience with the school, I can tell you that it is a wonderful school for any child. It is old but is kept clean. The administration is very caring about each individual child. It could use more parent involvement so they always are very welcoming when parents come into the school -- which feels great. They have challenged my children academically and have provided very fun clubs like the jump rope team and chess club. The school is one of the very few smaller schools in the area and the class room sizes are kept smaller than most schools. Briarcliff definitely feels like a well-kept secret in the area and we hope it stays that way!

- submitted by a parent

April 15, 2007
We love this school! We have a first grader here and couldn't be happier with the teachers, principal, and environment for our child. He is accelerated, and is given every challenge he needs. They even have a chess club that is full with a waiting list!

- submitted by a parent

March 05, 2007
All public schools face tremendous challenges in this era of under-funding and 'No Child Left Behind'. Briarcliff has found a way to overcome these challenges through a friendly, understanding, and parent-inclusive environment. Briarcliff has proven to be a caring and nurturing school for my child through the leadership of the prinicple (who takes an interest in the well-being of each and every kid), the administrative staff, and wonderful teachers who consistently have shown a personal interest in the success of my child. The parent community is highly involved in Briarcliff, fostering extra-curricular activites, tutoring at need, and enrichment opportunites seldom encoutered outside a Magnet school.

- submitted by a parent

March 02, 2007
I have been a part of 2 schools in Wake County. Now that I am at Briarcliff, I wouldn't trade back for anything. The adminstration really determines the quality of a school and Briarcliff's is second to none. Mr. Regan interacts with the kids on a daily basis and calls them by name. Mr. Regan and Mrs. Gorman are both quick to respond to any concerns that are voiced. The teachers are extremely patient, caring, and kind. They are enthusiastic about teaching and put the needs of the kids as top priority. As a parent, I have always felt welcome in the classroom and the school. Honestly, I wouldn't move anywhere that would require me to put my kids in a different school!

- submitted by a parent

March 01, 2007
I have had a very positive experience at Briarcliff. The teachers truly care about the children and provide academics in a loving, family atmosphere. Mike Regan, principal promotes character and friendship among students. Many extra curricular activities are available now, such as chess club, drama, and chorus. The PTA always welcomes new faces to join their team offering a variety of fun events such as Fall Fest, Sock Hop, Spring Fling and Spirit Week.

- submitted by a parent

March 01, 2007
I was apprehensive about my son attending because I knew nothing about Briarcliff, but after 1-1/2 years at Briarcliff I have to say it is a WONDERFUL school! Mr. Regan, the principal, is very attentive and knows all the kids by name. Parent involvement is highly encouraged and there are many great parents who make the PTA an integral part of Briarcliff. There are many extra-cirricular activities (most for grades 3-5) as well. The school is old but was renovated in 2001 and is kept very clean! All the teachers I have encountered are friendly and love being at Briarcliff and one of the main reasons is the administration. There are few discipline problems, which is a huge plus! My son loves the school, I love the school and I have yet to meet anyone dissatisfied with Briarcliff. It is UNDERPOPULATED and I consider it a 'hidden jewel'.

- submitted by a parent

March 01, 2007
My child has been a part of 3 different schools in Wake County in the past 18 months. I heard great things about this school and they have all been proven true. The principal, Mr. Regan, is an awesome leader. He is not only visible to the students, he knows and calls each of them by their name. The teachers are impressive as well. My child has thrived under their instruction this year. The teachers are not only kind, understanding, and compassionate, they are class act--A #1. They have been willing to meet with me when I have had questions and gladly involve me in the classroom. I feel that the safety of my child is of utmost importance to the faculty and administration. I could not be more thrilled to have transferred from another school to this one.

- submitted by a parent

December 18, 2006
I am a new parent to the area. Sadly I am very disapointed with Briarcliff. We had heard that Wake counties schools are great but Briarcliff certainly does not meet that claim. Just taking my son to school and picking him up is an ordeal. I have seen teachers be rude and unkind to kids and at least one has been rude to me. When I go in to have lunch with my son or to volunteer I feel like I am visiting him at a 'kid prison'. There is no joy just people making sure the kids dont laugh or step out of line (literally). The teachers are young but act like burnt out teachers. The lunches are bad and the courtyard unapealling with full dirty garbage cans. Overall I look foward to getting my son out of there as soon as possible.

- submitted by a parent

January 26, 2005
Briarcliff is the best kept secret in Cary!! My hats off to the teachers for doing what seems like the impossible.

- submitted by a parent

December 26, 2004
I have been very impressed with the new leadership of Mr. Regan. He has allowed for numerous new extracurricular activities this year. We still have our wonderful jump rope team, but now there is a drama group and a chess club starting in January. This allows our children to explore other interests in a safe enviroment.

- submitted by a parent

December 14, 2004
I really don't know what to say about Briarcliff. There are a couple of parents that really try hard to make this school successful. However, their efforts can't make up for the lack of communication, funding, parent involvement, and discipline problems arising from this state's ridiculous idea of 'busing in' from other areas. Why in the world is it so bad to have an official 'neighborhood school' in NC? If it were such, surely it would be better for the children whose parents have worked hard to buy a home in Cary. That's not the case, and you can't fight it. Someone on these school boards decided that our teachers should deal with the attitudes and lack of respect that comes with this busing in program. Our teachers appear to be tired, frustrated and all but given up. Our family with three children has now decided to move or private school.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: July 02, 2015

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Briarcliff Elementary
1220 Pond Street, Cary, NC  27511
(919) 460-3443
Last modified Briarcliff Elementary is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Briarcliff Elementary Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 34 reviews. Top