Dear Members of the BWL Community:
For over a century, the generosity of you, The Birch Wathen Lenox School community, has been critical to the success of our mission. Indeed, your donations enable BWL to continue to educate tomorrow’s leaders meaningfully and holistically. Guided by its pillars of Integrity, Loyalty, and Civility, BWL creates an environment for students to develop and grow both academically and socially, so that they become well-rounded, are able reach their greatest academic potential, and will be wholly prepared for college and beyond. Academic excellence in a traditional, structured and nurturing environment have long laid the foundation of a strong BWL education. The importance of the mission and the need for your financial support are best understood by explaining what BWL means when it refers to a hallmark of its educational underpinning as nurturing.
The mission undertaken by BWL is no small feat. The BWL journey begins where most educational programs end. Like many schools, BWL begins by teaching a core curriculum. At our school, however, regardless of natural aptitude in a particular subject, small class size and a strong student-faculty bond ensure that every BWL graduate leaves the schoolhouse confidently and with mastery of core subjects including innovative programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Humanities, the Visual and Performing Arts, World Languages, and Mathematics. But the focus on encouraging every student to master the curriculum only touches upon the surface of BWL’s unique brand of academic excellence in a nurturing environment. Indeed, it is just the beginning.
The favorable teacher to student ratio perfectly positions our beloved faculty to identify and cultivate a student’ passions early into the journey so as to develop a love of learning and a passion for excellence. Whether the passion be rooted in academics, athletics, robotics, the arts, extracurriculars or community service, the BWL faculty consistently identifies that interest early in a student’s career and then nurtures that interest until the student achieves success. The student’s passion alone is enough to warrant exploring and developing the aptitude. Unlike other so-called pressure-cooker schools, BWL encourages and provides students with the confidence necessary to take calculated risks so that they can achieve greatness. BWL teaches students how to think, not what to think. Our school rejects the more common approach to learning found in other New York City independent schools by consciously choosing not to devote all resources to strengths alone, but to individual passions as well. The school strives to nurture the unique potential in each student by cultivating intellectual, aesthetic and ethical excellence borne of individual passion. In this regard, a student’s opportunities at BWL are truly limitless.
Although this differentiated mission uniquely positions BWL in the New York City independent school community, it is not without cost. In order for our students to master an innovative core curriculum, including by students who do not have a natural aptitude in a particular subject, individualized attention and a longstanding dedicated faculty are required. To identify a student’s passions and create programing likewise requires a small student body, a strong bond with faculty and an ever-changing inventory of equipment and materials. Countless stories fill the BWL halls of programs created merely because a student dreamt it. BWL must therefore be purposefully nimble in order to pivot when and where needed based on a student’s own initiative and leadership. It is far less costly to simply teach a core curriculum and to lavish accolades only on those students in a class who have an aptitude for the subject matter, but that is neither the BWL way, nor the reason that our student body thrives. BWL nurtures both intellect and passion.
To continue its mission and to be able to provide an excellent education to our students in the socially and intellectually significant ways described above, BWL depends on resources that exceed the cost of tuition and relies on financial donations from the Parents, Alumni, Grandparents, Foundations, Faculty, Staff and Friends. The goal of our Annual Fund is to surpass $2,000,000 with the participation of the entire BWL community. We hope that you will help us achieve this goal by sending in your contribution today. It cannot be done without your support.
To donate to the Annual Fund, you may click on Support BWL and select Annual Fund from the drop-down menu.
In a final word, BWL is your school. When you support BWL, you invest in your children. You help them to create wonderful possibilities for themselves and for others; to communicate effectively; to think critically; to reason logically; to practice honesty, kindness, and loyalty; and to therefore leave BWL as the best versions of themselves, well-positioned for higher education, ready to tackle tomorrow’s challenges and make the world a better place.
Interim Head of School
Philip S. Sassower
Chairman of the Board of Trustees