About Birchwood

Birchwood School of Hawken is a preschool through eighth grade private, independent school for students of all abilities. Our focus is academic. We provide a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes habits of industry within small classrooms, offering individual attention to each student. In addition, Birchwood provides programs for gifted and profoundly gifted students endorsed by the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. Parents exploring education options for their children will want to be familiar with the five distinguishing features that make Birchwood School of Hawken unique:

Highest Academic Standards for Primary, Elementary and Middle Schools

At Birchwood, parents will find academic standards that are benchmarked at state, national and, where appropriate, international levels. The impact on student achievement is evident. Birchwood students consistently gain local, state, and national recognition for their academic achievements. In addition, graduates are considered some of the “best prepared” for high school in Northeast Ohio. Our school environment nurtures, supports, and honors high academic achievement. At Birchwood, it is “cool” to study hard and excel.

Exceptional Education for Gifted Learners

High academic standards extend to gifted students. For over 30 years Birchwood has been working with this special population to meet their cognitive, affective, and social needs. While some schools offer “gifted” programs, Birchwood relies on teaching specialists in each subject so that gifted learners may advance as far their intellect and interest allows. There are no academic ceilings, hence, we do not merely implement a gifted program, we develop talent. Such a challenging and rigorous environment simultaneously develops sturdy work habits and productive attitudes toward academics enabling gifted learners to reach their highest potential.

Teaching & Training the Habits of Industry

Knowing that work habits and achievement ethics are just as important to success as a strong intellect, Birchwood has developed a systematic approach to teaching and training good habits. Birchwood presents a detailed training program that compliments teaching and empowers lessons so that they become habits. This effort runs throughout grade levels and is reinforced with special classes and supplementary programs that focus specifically on the development of good habits.

Individual Attention from Subject Specialists

At Birchwood individual attention has unique meaning. Since classes are departmentalized beginning in the first grade, our teachers are responsible for only one subject (sometimes two in the primary grades) and they teach that subject at several grade levels. Consequently individual attention from these specialists not only meets affective needs, but their personal efforts translate into robust, content-specific, timely guidance and instruction for each student.

A Globally Diverse Environment

The Birchwood community is one of the most diverse in Northeast Ohio. Seventy percent of our students are children of immigrants from around the world. Each day our students live and study with Asians, Middle Easterners, Europeans, South Americans, and Americans of all races. Their daily experience enables them to connect and learn about diversity and multiculturalism, and they discover, embrace, and learn to appreciate the common threads in all humanity.
“Birchwood is a school that trains ordinary kids to be great people.” 
Pheby Liu –
Birchwood Graduate