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GreatSchools Rating

Briar Woods High School

Public | 9-12 | 1760 students

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Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 5 ratings

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Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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32 reviews of this school


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Posted September 28, 2014

Briar Woods is the universe. This school has the best academics and athletics. I am so proud to be a Falcon and will always be able to honor that. I wouldn't want to graduate from anywhere else. The reputation this school has made is fabulous. No other high school can compete with this school in any way. Briar Woods was the best, is the best, and will always remain the best. I have given my soul to this school and remember it everyday of my life. I am one of the luckiest people of whom currently go to Briar Woods. Keep the spirit and the excellence up Falcons!!!! Bleed Navy Blue and Orange!!!!!
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 2, 2014

Briar Woods is unfortunately a huge disappointment. The kids are quite disrespectful, using phones in class non-stop, swearing, ignoring the teachers, overall very poor behavior. The teachers are out of touch and one teacher uses foul language in class frequently. Cannot in good faith recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 9, 2013

I moved here from last year and I have found this school to be extremely sub-par. The school itself is nice aesthetically speaking but the academics is poor. AP classes are not set out to challenge you but just to give you rigorous work. They seem to take more pride in sports and clubs than academics, which in my opinion should not be a school's top priority. The teachers are unresponsive, even when I'm seeking extra help and the students have no real sense of motivation to do work. It is frustrating for me because I would have expected the "#1 school" in the "#1 county" to show that they're truly deserving of that title. Unfortunately, I can say that they do not. In fact, every school in Loudoun is terrible. I would recommend moving to Fairfax County where schools like McLean and Oakton offer far superior academics and teacher.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 1, 2013

We moved from Europe and we are so happy that we found this school. Thx
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 12, 2012

I am a former teacher at this school. While I enjoyed my students overall,and had some outstanding well motivated ones, I encountered a huge sense of "entitlement" among parents and students here, more than anywhere I've worked previously. This was regularly reflected in parent/student attitudes about grades throughout the year. Some parents were extremely demanding and refused to accept the fact their child might not get an A or a B - and some tried intimidating/bullying me regarding grades given, or making comments/complaints about their perceptions of being "too hard" a grader. In my opinion there is rampant grade inflation at this school which seems to be the definite expected norm to adapt to, and is fostered by both student/parent and administrative expectations and attitudes. I didn't have behavior issues with students here, but found it discouraging to adapt to this school's overall culture and climate, and lack of administrative support in some respects, even though my students overall were hardworking and respectful, and my immediate colleagues were overall helpful during the year.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted January 10, 2012

Briar Woods is a great school. There dreama, academics and sports are good! how is stonebridge better?
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 14, 2011

I graduated from BW this year and it was the best 4 years of my life. I was on the cheerleading team my freshmen and sophomore year and I did drama freshmen through senior year as well as being a hockey manager. Although some teachers aren't the best, my overall experience at Briar Woods was amazing! It was great to be a part of a class that created traditions as well as having my senior year be the football, cheerleading, and softball state champs year. I wouldn't trade my experience as a falcon for anything. Forever Briar Woods <3
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 3, 2011

I am a Briar Woods alumni. Sure, some of the classes were easy but it was a new school establishing itself, it won't be perfect. I took more than 5 AP classes and felt sufficiently challenged. The AP French class I took was far more challenging than the 300 level French i tested into in college! Loved the art department and the rest of the staff. Everyone was supportive and it was the best three years of high school. I attended Stone Bridge my freshman year and hated it. I felt lost in the crowd and you only got recognition if you were an all star. Sorry, but Briar Woods was way better.


Posted March 29, 2011

I graduated from this school a few years ago. I spent only my senior year at it and it was the worst school year I've ever experienced. No one tried to make friends with me and I spent the school year eating lunch by myself. The academics were not at all challenging and the lectures were off topic, mostly involving movie watching. I was even harassed by teachers which the principal did nothing about. The students were disrespectful and some even used profanities towards the teachers. The school is unorganized. My name never appeared in the year book nor did a picture of me. No matter how many times I asked they did not issue me a student ID. I'm glad I only had to spend one year there. Thank you Briar Woods for making my senior year unforgettable.
—Submitted by a student


Posted March 10, 2011

We love everything about this school! The principal, teachers and coaches are caring and professional. The school environment is very positive and safe. If you suggest that other schools are "better" it should be based on first hand experience. My personal, first hand experience tells me that Briar Woods has the same high standards and quality as other Loudoun County High schools with a very proud and enthusiastic student body.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 26, 2011

Terrible teachers. Regret our decision to move here and would highly recommend avoiding this school. Students are much better off and definitely more prepared at schools like Stonebridge.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 21, 2010

I attend a school consistently ranked in the top 25 universities as listed by US Weekly and know several other former Falcons who attend my college. In general, I found that overall we tend to struggle more academically because we don't know how to study. Briar Woods seems to rubber stamp an A on everything due to a weak grading system plagued with obscenely weighted courses. My graduating class had over 50 students with above a 4.0. There is little challenge presented and relatively little is expected. The math department likes to teach students not how to do math, but how to tell their calculators to do math. This practice crippled many of us who went on to take calculus when we realized we didn't actually learn algebra. Decent school, but there is massive room for improvement.
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 23, 2010

We moved from out of state 2 years ago. Wanted a safe school with great kids and families. We found it here. My second child graduates from it this spring and we feel lucky someone pointed us to this school. Nice new school, friendly staff, great class selection. Very well behaved students, no crime to deal with or bully problems out here. Great for the college bound child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 28, 2010

I am about to be a senior at Briar Woods and have attended since my freshman year. Overall I have found the school extremely disappointing. Teachers are generally apathetic and the leaders at the school seem to not have a clue. The parents of a select group of students are really the ones that make the decisions, and when something doesn't go their way, even if it was best for the school as a whole, they just kick and scream until it changes. My classmates seem to live in a very materialistic, Briar Woods centered world. The teachers continually hand out undeserved grades just because the parents request an A or they just don't feel like grading the papers(and they will tell the class that, in those words). Overall, it has been an bad experience, not equivalent even to other loudoun county high schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 27, 2010

I went to Briar Woods and graduated in 2010. For me, BWHS was an unsatisfactory learning experience. In general, the majority of my teachers were lazy and uninspiring. However, I must say that the social science department at this school is an exception. The worst department in this school is the math department. I continually had irresponsible teachers who did not return tests, fail to give out grades, and often would give false passing grades. The parents run the school more so than the principal which makes it difficult for kids who try to do things the right way. The kids were generally bratty and dependent on their parents kicking and screaming at the administration to make things go their way whether it was beneficial to other students or not. In my opinion the probelms at this school stem from its lack of strong leadership and initiative from the principal.
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 18, 2010

I went to Briar Woods and graduated in 2008. The academics offer a lot of opportunity to excel, but I really didn't care much about that. I was the 'Drama Kid' who wore all black and hung out in the black box in my free time. Marilyn Gilligan, the drama teacher, gave me the freedom to try new things in regards to the productions we put on, and helped inspire me to pursue theatre as a career.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 22, 2010

Disagree with previous post. BWHS has done a great job establishing themselves in the 5 yrs.since they've opened. As a parent who has had two children graduate other loudoun h.s., BW's curriculum is comparable to the more established high schools in the area. I do agree with the poster regarding front office. They do need to make some improvements here. Often times they are talking to one another and not engaged with the students that walk nor the parents. Their athletic dept. continues to improve. Varsity Cheerleaders won state title this year, the band has been recognized/won awards, they have a great basketball program, and their swim team finished top five in states. The football program, like any new program is steadily improving. The games draw big crowds. Remember, that a H.S. is only as good as the parent involvement. So parents that stand on peripheral are generally always disappointed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 25, 2010

I dont feel this school is as strong as some others in loudoun county. We transferred in two years ago and I am very disappointed at the curriculum. Also feel that the staff is not as easy to approach and the Main office staff absolutely cannot be bothered to assist. I have no idea what actual function they perform except to send people to other departments. I have been in loudoun county for over eight years and my kids have been to several high schools and middle schools. I would definately advised someone looking to more to go in and meet the staff before relocating. I feel that my move to this 'school' was actually a losing point in my daughters education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 19, 2009

My daughter is a Senior at Briar Woods High School and my son graduated in 2008! I have been extremely pleased with the leadership at this school, beginning with Mr. Starzenski. I have known him since the school opened in 2005 and he has proved to be a great leader. The school pride is incredible! Go Falcons!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 14, 2009

I graduated from Briar Woods High School this past year and have nothing but good things to say about it. I don't think the athletic program is all that weak especially seeing where we came from. My freshman year was the year the school opened and I was on the soccer team all four years, and I must say for a new school we really have made a name for ourselves. If our team hadn't suffered so many injuries my senior year I feel we really would have dominated our district. Our golf and tennis teams have also done well for themselves, tennis I know for sure has been to states as well as our football team. As the previous post said, our academics and music program are exceptional. We have some of the highest SAT scores in the country.
—Submitted by a student


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
  • In 2009-2010, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".
  • In 2007-2008, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".

About the tests


Virginia school accreditation ratings reflect student achievement on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and other assessments in English, history/social science, math and science. The 2009-2010 ratings are based on passing rates on tests taken during the 2008-2009 school year or on overall achievement during the three most recent years. Schools are identified as either Fully Accredited, Accredited with Warning, Conditionally Accredited or Accreditation Denied.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 76% in 2013.

181 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
83%

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
98%

2010

 
 
97%
Algebra II

The state average for Algebra II was 76% in 2013.

552 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
98%

2010

 
 
93%
Biology

The state average for Biology was 83% in 2013.

525 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
95%
Chemistry

The state average for Chemistry was 86% in 2013.

432 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
95%
Earth Science

The state average for Earth Science was 83% in 2013.

476 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
96%
English: Reading

The state average for English: Reading was 89% in 2013.

494 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
98%

2010

 
 
98%
English: Writing

The state average for English: Writing was 87% in 2013.

496 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
98%

2010

 
 
98%
Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 76% in 2013.

519 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
93%
History and Social Science

The state average for History and Social Science was 77% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a
Science

The state average for Science was 59% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a
Virginia and United States History

The state average for Virginia and United States History was 86% in 2013.

483 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
97%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
98%
World Geography

The state average for World Geography was 85% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
World History I

The state average for World History I was 84% in 2013.

590 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
98%
World History II

The state average for World History II was 85% in 2013.

487 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
97%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) End-of-Course tests to assess students in reading, writing, math, science and history/social science subjects at the end of each course, regardless of the student's grade level. The SOL End-of-Course tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. High school students must pass at least six SOL End-of-Course tests to graduate. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

Algebra I

All Students83%
Female students80%
Male students85%
Black students63%
Asian students100%
Hispanic87%
Multiracialn/a
White students87%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged71%
Not economically disadvantaged84%
Students with disabilities40%
Students without disabilities87%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English82%

Algebra II

All Students91%
Female students93%
Male students89%
Black students89%
Asian students97%
Hispanic80%
Multiracial90%
White students91%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged83%
Not economically disadvantaged92%
Students with disabilities84%
Students without disabilities91%
Limited English proficient students91%
Proficient in English91%

Biology

All Students96%
Female students96%
Male students95%
Black students87%
Asian students96%
Hispanic98%
Multiracial100%
White students97%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged74%
Not economically disadvantaged98%
Students with disabilities74%
Students without disabilities97%
Limited English proficient students64%
Proficient in English97%

Chemistry

All Students94%
Female students94%
Male students93%
Black students92%
Asian students97%
Hispanic81%
Multiracial100%
White students94%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged88%
Not economically disadvantaged94%
Students with disabilities85%
Students without disabilities94%
Limited English proficient students91%
Proficient in English94%

Earth Science

All Students96%
Female students97%
Male students96%
Black students89%
Asian students98%
Hispanic93%
Multiracial100%
White students97%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged84%
Not economically disadvantaged97%
Students with disabilities74%
Students without disabilities98%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English96%

English: Reading

All Students96%
Female students97%
Male students94%
Black students88%
Asian students94%
Hispanic98%
Multiracial100%
White students97%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged83%
Not economically disadvantaged97%
Students with disabilities83%
Students without disabilities97%
Limited English proficient students50%
Proficient in English97%

English: Writing

All Students94%
Female students96%
Male students93%
Black students90%
Asian students97%
Hispanic88%
Multiracial94%
White students95%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged86%
Not economically disadvantaged95%
Students with disabilities73%
Students without disabilities96%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English94%

Geometry

All Students89%
Female students93%
Male students85%
Black students77%
Asian students92%
Hispanic78%
Multiracial95%
White students92%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged71%
Not economically disadvantaged90%
Students with disabilities44%
Students without disabilities93%
Limited English proficient students73%
Proficient in English89%

History and Social Science

All Studentsn/a
Female studentsn/a
Male studentsn/a
White studentsn/a
Students identified as economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a

Math

All Studentsn/a
Female studentsn/a
Male studentsn/a
Black studentsn/a
White studentsn/a
Students identified as economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a

Science

All Studentsn/a
Female studentsn/a
Male studentsn/a
White studentsn/a
Students identified as economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a

Virginia and United States History

All Students97%
Female students97%
Male students98%
Black students91%
Asian students99%
Hispanic92%
Multiracial94%
White students99%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged87%
Not economically disadvantaged98%
Students with disabilities85%
Students without disabilities98%
Limited English proficient students100%
Proficient in English97%

World Geography

All Studentsn/a
Female studentsn/a
Male studentsn/a
Black studentsn/a
Asian studentsn/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
White studentsn/a
Students identified as economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilitiesn/a
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a

World History I

All Students94%
Female students93%
Male students95%
Black students87%
Asian students99%
Hispanic96%
Multiracial94%
White students94%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged86%
Not economically disadvantaged95%
Students with disabilities66%
Students without disabilities97%
Limited English proficient students94%
Proficient in English94%

World History II

All Students94%
Female students92%
Male students96%
Black students85%
Asian students98%
Hispanic87%
Multiracial100%
White students95%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged81%
Not economically disadvantaged95%
Students with disabilities73%
Students without disabilities96%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English94%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) End-of-Course tests to assess students in reading, writing, math, science and history/social science subjects at the end of each course, regardless of the student's grade level. The SOL End-of-Course tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. High school students must pass at least six SOL End-of-Course tests to graduate. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the Virginia Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Oops! We currently do not have any student information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students School social worker/counselors(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
School counslor
Nurse(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
Performing and written arts
  • Dance

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • American sign language
  • French
  • German
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Nurse(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Mr. Edward A. Starzenski

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Standards-based
Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Foreign languages taught
  • American sign language
  • French
  • German
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • School counslor
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Football
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
Performing arts
  • Dance
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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22525 Belmont Ridge Road
Ashburn, VA 20148
Phone: (703) 957-4400

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