Since entering Birches, my grandson is a changed child - moving quickly back to the core of who he is. He has rediscovered in a few short months that he loves learning! He has found a group of kids who reinforce his intellect and curiosity as opposed to being in an environment where those attributes are disregarded. He has teachers who see his strengths as well as his weaknesses. Our wish is that all children might be educated in such a wonderful place.
— ~Birches Grandparent, 4th grade
I just wanted you to know that your new ship exploration unit is an amazing hit in our household! My children talk non-stop amongst themselves about who had scurvy, what the navigator was up to, what each ship was going to be named, etc. etc. They told how Queen Isabella suddenly appeared on board to settle a debate (and, what, was she hiding on the lower deck—how did she get on their ship when they were so far out to sea?). The discussion takes up all of dinner through to bed… Truly, they are loving this so much! They are both so excited. Every unit you do is amazing, but this one has an element that sparks much endless, fun talk about every detail of what is going on! So great!
— Birches Parent, 3rd and 5th grade
Birches is a truly special school. The teachers have a tremendous amount of ownership of the curriculum development, and their pride and investment in it shows. In addition to designing creative and exciting inquiry-based projects, teachers devote significant attention to kids’ social and emotional development. Core academic skills are integrated seamlessly into daily activities so that learning happens the way it’s meant to — organically and in context. (In fact, my son recently told me that he’s not learning math, even though recent Kindergarten projects included making graphs of the answers to questions the kids asked each other; counting and adding up the numbers of letters in each others’ names; and measuring students’ heights with unifix cubes.) In addition to all of this, the Birches schedule includes long blocks of unstructured time outdoors in nature — a much-needed antidote to the truncated recess time now common at so many schools. Birches students are vibrant, joyful, curious, and confident, as kids should be! Our son is absolutely thriving and we are so happy to have found this school for him.
— Birches Parent, Kindergarten
I love Birches because it’s fun and exciting. Every year we study new things like our corn congress, the ocean, the Silk Road, and insects. The teachers are great and the kids are quite cool once you get to know them. Music is awesome. So is Spanish. We go for nature walks in the woods even when it raining and snowing! We also write in the woods and read in the woods. Everything about school is awesome.
— Birches Student, 3rd grade
“It is so amazingly wonderful to see how Birches is growing and flourishing and to see our children doing the same day in and day out. I know I repeat myself when I tell you how much both of our children love school and what a gift that is to all of us. The care that all your teachers put into the work they do is what sets the school apart. I can’t even imagine the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes. What we see, though, is the joy in learning that is passed on and which inspires our children! Again, it is with true sincerity that I say this, because we are so grateful for the school and don’t know where we would have been without it—Birches school gives our children joy in learning!
— Birches Parent, 2nd and 4th grades
Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for all the love and patience that you poured into our son this year. We owe you his love for school, which is one of the most precious things money can’t buy. We are so very grateful that you are his teachers. Looking forward to next year!
— Birches Parent, 1st grade
I really like this school. 2nd grade feels good!
— Birches Student, 2nd grade
Our daughter had a fantastic year at Birches School. Our sincere thanks to each of you for creating a positive and thriving learning environment. Her light had been snuffed out [at her previous school] and through the course of this year [at Birches], we have seen her illuminate! Her academic growth has been tremendous. Her social and emotional growth have been equally uplifting. She has learned how a community can work together. She has learned that she can talk to her classmates about her own feelings as well as advocate for her needs (huge!) and still be a good friend and person... .
Music fills our house once again! She sings, plays her recorder, and has even penned a few songs of her own. We have been so impressed by how the visual arts have tied directly into the rest of the curriculum in meaningful ways. While our daughter has always created art, it has been fantastic to see her knowledge about what constitutes art expand... .
We had a fantastic year at Birches, too! Thank you for welcoming us into the community. Thank you for always being accessible and responsive to our questions and concerns. We are so grateful.
— Birches Parent, 4th grade