We moved here 2 years ago, specifically targeting Briarcliff. After extensive research, I was very impressed by their ability to get kids from all racial and socioeconomic statuses to perform well. Not only was this important to me as the father of biracial children, having been a teacher myself for several years, I know that's a good sign of good teaching that is accessible and engaging. They didn't let us down. My oldest son had untreated ADHD throughout first grade and the teachers performed admirably and with great care and love for him. It was a tough move for him but this was definitely the right place. After only 2 years and finally getting treatment, he's performing a bit above grade level after being a year down last year. The events they have are great community builders. The teaching staff seems to have a very high ratio of great teachers.
I was interviewed on a local news station recently about the school. Although it was edited down to one sentence that sounded disparaging of the school, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Briarcliff is great! From the gentleman that keeps it beautiful and clean to the bright faces in the office and cafeteria.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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!