I'm so glad people feel the need to share their negative opinions of this school because it reveals who deals with their problems and who runs away from them. The only way one could even remotely fun if possible to have a bad experience at Birch is if he/she refused to at least try to fix his/her own problems. Another possibility is the parent(s) refuse to accept that their child may have their own issues. If the teachers are as incompetent as some say, please explain why they have made it this far in life without collapsing under their own weight. As for the bullying, as unfair as it may seem, no school can expel a child due to alleged reports of bullying. The schools can request the child or children in question to attend counseling, and (not defending the bully here) bullying on an individual can sometimes be increased when the aforementioned individual handles the situation incorrectly. There is little anyone can do to fully stop bullying without separating the people entirely, and oftentimes that is difficult to achieve for bullying is everywhere, and that is not is not likely to change anytime soon. The expectation that a staff member will be able to snap his/her fingers and make issues disappear is unreasonable and quite disrespectful of one's abilities. BWL is an amazingly supportive community. The opportunity for one on one learning is displayed frequently, and the school offers aid for those with learning disabilities. The school does anything and everything in its power to help and encourage greatness in every student while instilling valuable life lessons in staff/faculty and students alike. Don't put a bad review on a school simply because it wasn't the right place for you or your child. Until you take a step back and actually look at what you're doing, only then can you make a judgement call that is as substantial as a school review that impacts its overall review and possibly its success or failure.
This school is awful. The teachers and staff were unhelpful and incompetent. The students are mean and ruthlessly bullied my daughter (and the staff did not even try to rectify the situation). Just simply a horrendous school and I'm glad she's out of there now.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.