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Our Mission

An independent, coeducational college preparatory school in New York City, Birch Wathen Lenox has forged a singular mission. The School is committed to a rigorous, traditional academic program. At the same time, it is open to adapting innovation, consistent with its traditional values. The School strives to develop the unique potential of each student by cultivating intellectual, aesthetic and ethical excellence.

As preparation for social responsibility, BWL instills the values of integrity, loyalty and civility in the Kindergarten through Grade 12 experience. In addition, the BWL tradition is to build character through an abiding regard for educational inquiry, mutual respect and personal renewal.

Our Motto

Integrity, Loyalty, Civility

Based on a foundation of dedicated leadership, ethical achievement and earned respect, the BWL motto, "Integrity, Loyalty, Civility," represents the heart and soul of The Birch Wathen Lenox School.

The Birch Wathen Lenox School approaches academics, athletics and social issues with the utmost sensitivity at all times. The same diversity that enriches the School socially and culturally also offers young people a clear perspective on the various faiths, beliefs and behaviors that define and shape our world. Ethical values are interwoven into daily life at BWL. Our peer leadership program, service learning program, and student government in all three divisions promote responsible citizenship. 

The environment at BWL incorporates personal diligence, devotion and determination, allowing each individual student to feel a sense of pride within the community. Students in Lower, Middle and Upper School contribute to BWL and foster a sense of fellowship by working together. As the students and faculty at BWL take on new challenges, the significance of “Integrity, Loyalty and Civility” is reflected in all of their daily pursuits.

The Statement of Social Values

Every year, a group of our Upper School students and faculty review and revise The Statement of Social Values to formally declare what we as a community value and the standards to which we hold ourselves. As a living document, The Statement of Social Values is meant to spark conversation, promote reflection, and allow every voice in our community to be heard. 

2023-2024 Statement of Social Values

This document was created by students, faculty, and administrators with a desire to address and explicitly state what we in The Birch Wathen Lenox School community value collectively. This document is malleable and ever-changing to fit the world’s time and climate and properly articulate the School’s social principles each year. 

We hold ourselves accountable for the impact of our words, ideas, and actions, whether in the classroom, hallways, Student Lounge, or elsewhere in our communal space. 

We build and celebrate an intentionally diverse community that honors and affirms all identities including racial, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnic. We accept and recognize all. 

We embrace difficult conversations that faithfully promote intellectual and emotional risk-taking, bringing empathy and an open-minded approach to challenges in our lives. We are not against conflict; we resolve it.

We create an accepting environment by respectfully listening to, accepting, and appreciating others. We strive to make people feel that they have a place in the school community and  promote unity in our educational and social environments. 

We uplift each other by acknowledging our daily experiences can be lonely and painful. We reach out when we see someone in pain and treat all community members with care and kindness. We cultivate a safe haven on this foundation, where we can thoughtfully and constructively reflect upon, explore, and process societal conflicts within our smaller community. 

We always make a good faith effort to be culturally literate and learn when we make mistakes. 

We support unity within our community by ensuring every voice must be heard and every person is worthy of attention. 

We work together to actively stand up against discrimination, cruelty, and exclusion.
Individually, we have various perspectives;  together, we are on the same team, on the same side, in the same community. 

The class of 2024 affirms the following values: INCLUSIVITY, FUN, and PRIDE

We will all use whatever power is available to us to uphold the values of this statement.

"As preparation for social responsibility, BWL instills the values of integrity, loyalty and civility in the Kindergarten through Grade 12 experience."