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About BWL

Since 1916, Birch Wathen Lenox, a K-12, coeducational, college preparatory independent school, has stood out on the Upper East Side of Manhattan as one of the most close-knit institutions the big city has to offer its most promising young people.

Inside our unassuming brownstone building is a beyond-supportive community of experienced educators and devoted families that are committed to a mission of fostering growth and celebrating individual differences of every student.

BWL's School Pillars

In each classroom across every grade, through our curriculum, programming, and community, you will see a commitment to our school pillars that support the BWL student experience:

Classic Yet Innovative Curriculum

The academic mission of the Birch Wathen Lenox School is to stimulate and challenge each student's growth in a rigorous, structured college-preparatory educational program within a caring and encouraging community.

Across all grades, the compelling classroom curriculum ranges from interdisciplinary studies to students' extracurricular activities, often utilizing the New York City community as a springboard for learning. The result of BWL's nurturing and rigorous program is a platform from which students rise to extraordinary academic heights.

Commitment to Exploration

At BWL we believe in not only preparing our students for the future, but also preparing them to make an impact in the world, right at this moment. That is where our commitment to exploration comes in, offering every student unique opportunities to explore their academic interests beyond the classroom.

This can be seen in much of our signature programming, from our Entrepreneurship Program in the Upper School to the Let Grow Project in the Lower School.


Focus on Building Lifelong Relationships

At BWL, school leadership, faculty, and staff know each and every student by name, grade, and interest. That’s because everyone at BWL possesses the proactive and interventional skills to create lifelong relationships that build confidence in our students.

Each division has a mentorship structure that ensures every student succeeds. And, because everyone at BWL teaches, including school leadership, we are able to foster a close-knit, supportive community of learners where every child can thrive.


Embracing Constructive Dialogue

Our current climate of discourse favors talking points over actually talking, and the temptation is to reduce others to their most disagreeable opinions. This severely limits students’ ability to engage with challenging ideas and discourages students from speaking their mind.

To that end, partnering with the Constructive Dialogue Institute, we place a specific focus on developing the critical skills necessary to participate in constructive, thoughtful, and challenging dialogue.


Ready to Join the BWL Family?

Click on the button below to learn more about our admissions process.

Apply to bwl