Tri-State Consortium Executive Debrief Praises Briarcliff’s Pandemic Response

Briarcliff Manor School District Superintendent Dr. James Kaishian.

The Briarcliff Manor School District’s response to the global pandemic has been a success. The Tri-State Consortium recently acknowledged that the District did an incredible job handling the unprecedented health crisis.

The Tri-State Consortium is an alliance of high-performing school districts in the tri-state area. Public schools in the United States have to undergo an accreditation process every five years and the Consortium provides an opportunity to undergo that process. In the program, each school’s administration gathers information and evidence about specific school-related issues. The Tri-State Consortium uses the “Critical Friends” model, which enables teachers, administrators and board of education members from area schools to visit other schools to have an in-depth look at an area of interest and report their findings.

“These visits are usually done in person, but this year it was all held virtually,” said Briarcliff Manor School District Superintendent Dr. James Kaishian.

The K-12 Technology Program and the K-12 Social Studies Program were the focus in past years. This year, the main focus was the school’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There were 37 virtual meetings that involved all of our administrators, 70 faculty members, 20 parents and 35 students, several Board of Education Trustees and the entire administrative staff,” Dr. Kaishian said. “During the meetings, regional experts asked us questions such as what are our thoughts on our response to the pandemic? Did you feel you had the technical support? What could have been done better?” What are the takeaways?

The results of the meetings were affirming. Stakeholders, as well as our Tri-State visitors, agreed unequivocally that what Briarcliff had accomplished was no small feat.

Dr. Kaishian acknowledged that the success did not come easily and that it required a united effort from staff, students, and families to make this such a successful school year.

Todd Principal Colleen O’Neill-Mangan and Assistant Principal Anne Marie Foley.

Todd Principal Colleen O’Neill-Mangan and Assistant Principal Anne Marie Foley agreed.

“We had a lot of great feedback from the students who participated in this. We had fourth and fifth graders who shared their experience, and it was interesting to hear about it and view this year’s experience through the eyes of a child,” Ms. Foley said.

“The students shared that they are very happy to be in-person at school with their friends and they especially love being outdoors more,” Ms. O’Neill-Mangan said.

“The Tri-State process provided an opportunity for us to reflect back on the past year,” Ms. Foley said. “It was not an easy year, but thinking back we are proud of our accomplishments. We were able to recreate school during a global pandemic. We made school a safe and joyful place for students to learn and to be successful. We also reflected on what we learned from the process and what we would do differently if faced with difficult challenges moving forward.”

The District awaits the formal written report from the Tri-State Consortium. Dr. Kaishian said that he looks forward to sharing that written report with the community and celebrating the success of the Briarcliff Manor School District in the weeks to come.

“I am simply overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for what students, staff and families have accomplished since March of 2020,” he said.

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