"We are best known for acedemic success and student individualized attention ."
Students enrolled 180
Hours 8:15 AM - 3:15 AM
School leader Charles W. Debelak
Transportation options Yes
Type no info
Preschool capacity no info
Before school Yes
After school Yes

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Contact this school

4400 West 140th Street
Cleveland, OH 44135

School website
(216) 251-2321
(216) 251-2787
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Birchwood School address.

4 stars
Based on 15 ratings

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think about this school

October 22, 2013
My kids are in the BWS preschool and Kindergarten. We have been very happy. The teachers collaborate with the parents. The small class sizes mean that they know my children well and they focus on each child as an individual. I've been very happy with both the communal feel as well as the academics. I was worred at first that it would be too competitive or that somehow my children, who are capable but not gifted, would feel left behind. The exact opposite has been the case. My daughter is thrilled by her accomplishments and since her teachers praise each individual child for where (s)he is at, my daughter doesn't feel the difference between her successes and those of more "gifted" children. Instead, she's really flourishing, challenged and yet loved. Motivated and yet filled with a sense of accomplishment. The school is also phenomenally diverse! We had tried other preschools and were really disappointed. BWS' community and responsiveness has been phenomenal. I have never been asked to get a tutor or even had it suggested. Homework is entirely optional and is meant for those parents who want it. We do it when we can and otherwise we don't worry about it. All said, we are thrilled!

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2012
I am very pleased with Birchwood. My son has been there since first grade and enjoys the school. I have always been impressed that although most of the teachers are from the same church, it is not brought to the classroom. The school is multi-cultural and I am glad my son can learn about other nationalities and religions by being friends with those families. The school makes a point of pushing kids to their own potential. Students don't sit in class waiting for the others to catch up, but are given work for their own level. Is it a perfect school? No, but what school is. It has been a very good environment for my son and I know that the skills and character traits he has learned will serve him well.

- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2012
Birchwood School is a daycare with an occasional lice problem. Very little learning is taking place there; the kids are simply handed down back to their parents to be homeschooled at the end of the day with enormous amount of homework. By the way the quality of the materials provided for homeschooling is poor and lacks consistency. Teachers are incompetent and rude to children and on occasion to their parents as well, which is not surprising considering the school hiring practices as indicated in previous posts. A particular group of parents and children is preferred over the others. Since very little learning is taking place at school parents are pressured by the school officials to take their children to private math tutors, so the kids could win prices for the school at competitions. The overall atmosphere at the school is very competitive in a negative way. Kids are not kind to each other. The school does not promote cooperation, but stepping over heads attitude in advanced students. The curriculum is mediocre, provincial mix suited to fit schools (not children) needs for filling up blanks during competitions.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2012
Great school, and I love going here... Although it's my last year here, I can tell you that going to this school has really built up my foundation for high school, and I feel really prepared. I recommend anyone who's looking for a great academic and social career to come here. There are always negatives and positives, but you will get the best treatment by the teachers, and there are so many opportunities available at this school!

- submitted by a community member
June 22, 2012
The education provided at Birchwood School is exceptional. Based on a review that I read, it may be true that the teachers are from a similar background. However, I think this is to be expected as the school was started by a small group of concerned parents and has grown within this same structure. I do not see favoritism though. I see education tailored to current strengths and children from various backgrounds prospering within this framework. The educational environment is challenging and it is a large departure from the educational climate at most public schools. The school utilizes a number of competitions but these are selected well by the staff. The students can focus on key studies and also participate in the contests which I view as fostering a sense of real world competitiveness and a sense of personal accomplishment. The competitions are recognized programs that complement the students skills in terms of problem solving, research and essay writing. This school promotes a caring environment with a exceptional teachers and an excellent curriculum.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2012
It is rather hypocritical of the school officials to claim that it is a secular institution since most of the teachers at Birchwood School are members of the same church. Hence the quality of the teachers is poor. One has to join the right church to be a teacher at the school, apparently having a proper training and experience is not a priority. Moreover, the children of the church members are favored over other kids. Academically the school provides enrichment not foundation. The kids frequently perform mathematical operations without understanding what the operations mean. Understanding and thinking it not promoted at this school. Constant competition entries are very disruptive to the continuity of the education. The competitions serve as a promotion for the school, however the competition at the contests is poor performing public schools in the area and elsewhere. That is why no other independent school in Cleveland is involved in such activity. The overall common courtesy traits and the way kids behave at the Birchwood School are far more inferior to the way kids conduct themselves at the Rocky River public school.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2010
Very diverse environment, students are friendly for the most part. The quality of the teachers is very uneven, so it's better for some subjects than others.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2009
I am a student at Birchwood School. I had to quit Kindergarten at a public school because it was not challenging enough--but Birchwood School is currently giving me the best education I think is possible in Cleveland. I have visited Hawken and the Ratner School but they just don't compare. Even though the homework is intense, I feel it prepares me for High School and College like no other school can.

- submitted by a student
July 20, 2008
Birchwood is a wonderful school. The students are pushed to excel, all within a very nurturing environment. The staff is wonderful and creative -- they enable the children to acheive every success. Birchwood puts a lot of emphasis on learning good study habits that they hope will stay with the kids through high school and college. Our son is thriving and happy there.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2007
Ascension Elementary is a pretty decent school. Although students can't enter extra activities like sports or cheerleading until they reach the 4th grade, which is not fun. The teachers there have not gave much homework assignments. Ascension does have reading and math tutors working during school hours.

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2007
I love the school. Everybody is really nice, Sister Laura, the principal is the best always there to help. The teachers are excellent. I have two kids there, and I'm very happy with the progress that they have. I really recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2006
The academics are first rate, and the focus of the school. Students work on average 1-2 grade levels above the public schools, and in certain subjects even higher, depending on the child. The school is small enough to personalize a child's education. The extracurricular offerings are slim; there is no band or orchestra, and no sports teams. There are academically oriented extracurriculars, such as chess club and math club. Birchwood students enter and often win several local and national competitions, and all students are required to enter several. There is quite a lot of homework, and their expectations are quite high. Parent involvement is substantial. There is a wonderful community of parents. This is a great place for an academically inclined child. Birchwood offers one of the best elementary educations available anywhere.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2006
A lot of individual attention and spiritual help.

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2003
Birchwood School offers great education for today's youngsters. The sharp teachers push the students, giving them constructive criticism, until their academic skills are above average. This school ranks high in achievement,learning and successful futures.

- submitted by a community member
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About this school

It is important to us that our claims of academic excellence be validated by objective criteria. To this end, we administer national standardized tests to all students. Next we benchmark our academic standards against those of the best schools in Ohio and the country. In addition, our students participate in a broad range of academic competitions which compare their achievements to the top students statewide and nationally. Finally, we maintain a close watch concerning the caliber of high schools and high school programs for which our students qualify and how these students perform in their respective schools.

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Birchwood School
4400 West 140th Street, Cleveland, OH  44135
(216) 251-2321
Last modified Birchwood School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
Birchwood School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 16 reviews.