Briarwood School

In 1967, Yvonne and Dave Streit founded The Briarwood School after their search for an institution capable of educating their severely handicapped daughter proved futile.  Ms. Streit sampled special needs programs across the country, including Purdue and UCLA, and compiled her own program based on the information she had researched.  Ms. Streit enlisted the aid of a special education teacher, an art teacher, and a physical therapist and began instructing six students in her backyard.  Briarwood School has since moved to west Houston and over 9,000 students have attended Briarwood School since its inception.

Briarwood School

11207 Whittington Dr., Houston, TX 77077               Ms. Carole C. Wills, Head of School

281-493-1070                                               Ms. Priscilla Mitchell, Director of Admissions

www.BriarwoodSchool.org

Religious Affiliation

None.

Location and Facilities

Briarwood School is located between Dairy Ashford, Westheimer, Kirkwood, and Briarforest Drive on 9.2 acres of land.  The 80,000 square foot school building contains modern athletics facilities, nine computer labs, and a Media Center.

Admissions

Parents must complete the Enrollment Application and submit recent (within 2 years) testing information.  The Briarwood School staff will review the submitted material, conduct an assessment session with the student, and interview the parent.  After the assessment session, if the school’s enrollment status permits, the student will be offered the opportunity to enroll with Briarwood School.

Testing information includes an intelligence test (WISC IV or WJ III NU Test of Cognitive Abilities), academic testing (Woodcock-Johnson or Wechsler Individual Achievement Test), and the student’s current school’s achievement tests.  The Enrollment Application requires parents to submit information regarding their student’s developmental history, therapy and counseling history, and all educational evaluations.  The Briarwood School will not contact the parent for an interview until all information is sent to the school by the mentioned professionals on the Enrollment Application.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

Briarwood School prides itself on its ability to create prescriptive curriculum for each student’s needs.   The Lower School features classrooms of 8-10 students (according to age, socialization, and academic abilities) that are self-contained.  The Middle and Upper Schools also include students diagnosed with learning differences and emphasize self-advocacy in order to ensure that the student’s needs are being met.  The Tuttle School is designed for students, age 5 to 21, who are developmentally delayed.  The classrooms are capped at 8 students with a teacher and teacher’s aide at the helm.  The Tuttle School emphasizes motor and living skills and provides students with pre-vocational and vocational experiences.

Special Needs

Briarwood School’s focus since its founding has been the support of students with average to superior intelligence who are not necessarily accommodated by the traditional classroom setting, as well as supporting students who are developmentally delayed.  Briarwood School’s curriculum and programs are designed to cater to each student’s personal educational needs.

Foreign Languages

The school does not offer any foreign languages.

Arts

As part of Briarwood School’s curriculum, students are offered the chance to participate in the theatre arts as an elective.  The Middle and Upper Schools feature a Drama Class, which focuses on developing the students’ acting abilities.  Students in the Upper School are also given the opportunity to join the Company Class, a course which exposes students to all aspects of theatre arts production.

Technology

Briarwood School’s facilities and classrooms include 170 computers, which are a mixture of PC and MAC platforms.  Briarwood School utilizes special education software packages in order to help individualize each student’s instruction and determine the student’s progress, such as CornerStone, SkillsBank, and Essential Learning Systems (ELS).

Extracurricular Activities

Students attending the Briarwood School are given the option to participate in a number of electives and activities as part of the curriculum.  Students may join the student council, prepare for the job market in a business skills course, and/or design the school’s yearbook.

Athletics

Students attending the Tuttle School are given the opportunity to participate in the Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) as early as age 8.  To compete on the state level, students must be at least 12 years of age.  Students in grades 7 through 12 are eligible to participate in the school’s interscholastic sports program.  The school fields teams in eight sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, Track, Volleyball, and Winter Sports.  The school is a member of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

Parent Involvement

All parents are automatically members of Briarwood’s parent organization, The Friends of Briarwood; no dues are required.  The organization’s biggest fundraising event of the year is the Annual Briarwood School Benefit.

Briarwood School Fast Facts

Overview  
School Type Special Needs
Religious Affiliation

Uniforms

None

Yes

Date Founded 1967
Endowment N/A
Grades Served K-12
Enrollment 458
     Grade 12 45
     Grade 11 31
     Grade 10 20
     Grade 9 24
     Grade 8 26
     Grade 7 34
     Grade 6 21
     Grade 5 35
     Grade 4 31
     Grade 3 23
     Grade 2 12
     Grade 1 8
     Tuttle School (age 5-21) 145
Student to Teacher Ratio 7:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%) N/A
Minorities in Student Body 12%
   
Curriculum  
Academic Tracks Offered On Track, Learning Differences, Delayed Development
Advanced Placement Courses Offered None
Languages Offered None
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs 8
   
Graduating Seniors  
National Merit Semi-Finalists (#/%) None
Average SAT Scores (Class of 2010) N/A
     Mathematics N/A
     Critical Reading N/A
     Writing N/A
% Students Admitted to 4 Year University 85%
   
Admissions  
Prime Entry Points K, 1, 7, 9
Lower School (K-6) $18,320
Middle School (7-8) $18,665
Upper School (9-12) $18,665
Tuttle School $19,000
Returning Student Fee $225-$350
New Student Fee $650
Books and Supplies $120-400
Activity Fee $50-$400
Students on Financial Aid N/A

 

Excerpted from General Academic’s publication, “Houston Private & Select Public Schools: Survey, Analysis, and Research, 3rd Edition.”

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