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Birch Wathen Lenox School

Private | K-12 | 576 students


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Living in New York

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $818,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $2,020.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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21 reviews of this school

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Posted June 7, 2014

It is a wonderful school. Nurturing and supportive of each child individual needs. My son is going to be a third grader and has loved every minute he has been at school. Great parents community. Great teacher/child ratios. Excellent art and extracurricular programs. We have loved the experience.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 28, 2013

As a student that wound up trapped at Birch, I can clearly state my experience and observation. Birch is a school of last resort. They take the kids that can't hack it anywhere else, even if an "official" special needs school is a better fit. The only positive feedback you will ever read, is that which is left by the parents of kids that are thankful to have spot in an UES private school that tries to give the illusion of a regular coed but, this is so far from the truth. Many of my fellow students were not interested in studying or learning at all and, the faculty just lets them slide along.

Posted December 18, 2013

Birch is a wonderful school. They develop social skills and the work is very challenging. The teachers meet student goals and create new ones to achieve. Some parents write negative reviews because it's not the right fit for their child. Whether you were asked to leave, or left on your own, people should not bash this school. Would you believe students dissect a sheep s brain in the fourth grade?
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 11, 2013

I am shocked and surprised by the positive reviews. Birch has placed our child in a tenuous situation. The administration has created a toxic learning environment for many of the children. Many of the kids have social; behavioral; emotional; academic; and maturation issues and, by mixing them in with the very few kids without such issues, the classroom has become a harmful habitat. Beware, as the school does not deny that this occurs and, they do nothing to address it. And, as Birch increases the number of enrolled students in the upper classes, they fill these seats with more kids with more issues, primarily with kids whom have been counseled out of other schools.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 16, 2013

Speaking as a graduate of the high school, coming to Birch was one of the best decisions I ever made. I transferred after spending freshman and sophomore years elsewhere. Over my time there, the best thing that Birch gave me was a nurturing, understanding environment where the teachers cared and where I could excel. In particular, they're great with college prep-- Mr. March, the head of the upper school, will personally screen and edit your application essay until it's perfect, no matter how many drafts you have to do. As a whole, Birch was just an extremely positive, tightly knit environment. I was friends with all of my teachers and am always happy to visit them whenever I'm in the city. Having such a small class size makes it much easier to meet the needs of every kid. I suppose my experience only matters if your child is in or is entering high school, but I don't understand all these negative reviews. Birch offers advanced classes for those who want to challenge themselves. The academics are rigorous, and the people are friendly to a fault. They will deal with any problem, no matter how big or small. Honestly, by the time I left BWL felt like a family to me.

Posted February 27, 2013

It is incredible that there are people who write reviews that only serve the purpose to denegrate the children and parents of a school. There apparently is no other motivation in these infrequent reviews on this site. Really all those bad words could be targeted at any of the elite schools in NYC. But really, the environment of academic rigor and of character building that defines BWL is genuine. We are thrilled to be sending out child to this school. Call me all the names you like.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 14, 2013

I am a parent of a 6th grader and my daughter has been attending the school since first grade. I would like to mention that BWL is a great school and a very nurturing environment. Frank J. Carnabuci is the headmaster and truly loves the kids and cares deeply about the school. Children are his first priority and they are well respected, loved and properly educated. It is a small school where everybody is very supportive. My daughter is extremely happy and thriving. Great school and not enough good words about the headmaster. He is the BEST.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 20, 2012

We are thrilled with this school. My daughter is just finishing her 7th year there and we are thrilled with her progress.When she started she was unsure of herself and was academically average. They consisently engaged her and allowed her to develop at her own rate. They also are very communicative with parents, and generally very nurturing to the students. I read the previous review and was shocked by it- it is not at all the experience I have had or anyone I know there has had. It's almost as if they were talking about the wrong school. My daughter will be moving on to boarding school next year- a top notch school- and the credit for her success really goes to Birch Wathen Lenox. They have done an amazing job with her and I will forever be a huge fan.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 27, 2012

All of these reviews are such lies, it makes me sick as a parent. This school is so horrible. The teachers are irresponsible and show up late to class. The kids picked on my daughter every day that she'd come home in tears. It is a snobby, disturbing reck of a school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 26, 2011

Our daughter is in her 6th year here. The co-ed atmosphere works well, providing a healthy environment in which to learn. She has been happy here. The ratio in her lower- school reading and math classes has been excellent. Four years she had 4 students to one teacher ratio in math or reading classes. That is hard to beat. She has had some of the same reading or math teachers for two, three or four years in a row, which provides for an amazing opportunity to track her progress.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 15, 2010

Great school, excellent teaching staff. Many departments at the school are just outstanding and compare very favorably with any top school in the city. Students respond to the excellent instruction, and go on to the highest ranked colleges.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 7, 2010

We are parents of a high school student. We are very pleased with the level and quality of the course offerings (which include a very good range of AP courses with excellent teachers), the healthy atmosphere of the school, and the values of the student body. Our child is doing exceedingly well and is very happy.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 24, 2009

the kids are divided in levels for math and reading, so each child gets challenged to his or her maximum (hopefully). I only wish that lessons in science and social studies were also divided into academic levels depending on the kids abilities, so bright kids dont sit in too easy, slow moving classes.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 22, 2009

I thnk that BWL is a wonderful school. Your child wil feel right at home here. This is a great place for your child to get an education.
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 28, 2008

This school is great. The headmaster is so loving and the school is so orginized.
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 22, 2006

Safe environment with good stident to teacher ratios.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 5, 2005

A great independent school with strong programs
—Submitted by an administrator

Posted May 10, 2005

We have 2 boys at the Birch Wathen Lenox School. Our older son has attended the school since kindergarten. He is entering the Middle School next fall. We have been very happy with the school, especially with their ability to focus on each child as an individual. The teachers truly understand the children, and offer academic support and enrichment where appropriate.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 1, 2004

BWL has been a great experience for my daughter as well as for myself. Kindergarten was a true delight, her teachers were the best any parent can ask for. My daughter is extremly happy and confident at Birch and that makes me extremely satisfied. We look forward to first grade and another exciting year.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 22, 2004

I transfered my daughter in 5th grade from another private school. I can not say enough wonderful things. The teachers and so involoved. There is tutoring offered by the students own teacher almost every day of the week. No more private tutors! My daughter is happier than I have ever seen her and her self esteem if great. This is the most nuturing enviormnet for any student who wants to learn.
—Submitted by a parent

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 83% 52%
Asian 10% N/A
Black 4% 21%
Hispanic 3% 21%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Two or more races 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Frank J. Carnabuci Iii
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian
  • NAIS


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
School leaders can update this information here.

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210 East 77th Street
New York, NY 10075
Phone: (212) 861-0404


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