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.
We moved from Europe and we are so happy that we found this school. Thx
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.
Briar Woods is a great school. There dreama, academics and sports are good! how is stonebridge better?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
The school is very strong academically and the music program is stellar. The marching band is a tremendous source of pride. The athletic department is extremely weak and the leadership here is lacking. The sports programs are not developing and growing like they should given the excellent talent. Improvement here is desperately needed and would make the school a perfect 10
My two boys previously attended an elite private school in another state. We were not sure whether or not their experience at Briar Woods would measure up to their incredible experience in the other school. After one year at BWHS, I can affirm that this school lacks nothing in overall educational quality from the boys' previous school. The teachers are all highly-qualified and professional, the administration and guidance counselors are very helpful and responsive. And something very unusual for northern Virginia, the school is very safe. My only concern is that a small handful of teachers at the school are from other countries and have thick accents which some students say they have a hard time understanding. But if multi-culturalism isn't your cup of tea, don't move to the DC area!!
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