At Briarcliff High School, Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) day in late October broadened beyond a day of testing for juniors (and some sophomores).
“By administering the test on a regular school day, we level the playing field for all students by removing the barriers that weekends present, such as jobs or transportation challenges,” Principal Debora French explained. “All our students were given the opportunity to make wise use of their time to either get ahead, catch up, or receive some help from counselors.”
French, along with Briarcliff High School Assistant Principals Diana Blank and Daniel Goldberg, assembled a day of special learning activities for all students, including those not taking the test, on October 16.
Freshmen attended six sessions that fulfilled a graduation requirement or provided valuable information for success at Briarcliff High School, a continuation of orientation activities started in September.
- Representing the Physical Education department, Brendan Coxen, Al Meola, and AJ Thau, administered CPR instruction, fulfilling the New York State graduation requirement.
- BHS Class of 1985 graduate Dr. Rob Williams spoke to students about the positives and negatives of social media.
- Library Media Specialist Kathleen McCabe and English teacher Lindsay Fleming gave an interactive talk called “What is Plagiarism?” to help students avoid pitfalls in writing and research in high school and beyond.
- Blank and Guidance Counselor Tim Pellegrin introduced “Compassion It,” a global movement to inspire daily compassionate actions and attitudes.
- Jackie O’Connor, a respiratory therapist at Phelps Hospital, presented information and answered questions about “Vaping & Health Consequences” in a presentation now seen by every student at BHS.
- BHS Cafeteria Director Candida Canfield provided a “mindful snack” and led a discussion about making smart food choices that provide energy and nutritional value for the brain and body of the high school student.
Sophomores either took the PSAT, accomplished some of their community service graduation requirement, or worked on a grade-wide history project. Seniors honed their college essays with English teachers and guidance staff.
French thanked the PTA for funding various activities of the day.