We are looking for students…

  • who want to be part of a kind, caring community
  • who want to look forward to school each day
  • who want to have a say in their own education
  • who want to work at their own pace
  • who have ideas and want to work on them
  • who want to learn how to communicate and collaborate
  • who can take responsibility for themselves and have respect for others

Joyful learning in a fluid and flexible environment.

  • A stable community of caring teachers and peers
  • Personalized learning plans with options for in-person and at-home learning
  • Frequent support for parents and families in groups and one-on-one
  • Record-keeping, mastery inventories, future planning for career/college

UPDATE: The Birch School will be offering remote options for the 20-21 school year.

Despite all of our research and planning we do not feel we can provide a safe in-person environment for students and our school community yet.

Therefore we have decided to pour our energy and resources into providing the best, most robust and engaging virtual learning program, grounded in research and best practices. We are ready to provide a true “school” experience for all our students in a virtual format. We will meet family needs with flexibility and customized learning plans as well.

Our virtual learning program offers stability and consistency throughout the entire school year. As the existing health situation evolves we will revisit hosting students in-person.

We are developing options for enrolled students to meet at school for shorter afternoon activities and classes, outdoors and socially distanced, occasionally throughout the fall. Stay tuned for more details.

Do you want to learn from home in a community of learners?


Want to keep your kids at home and have help come to you? We can support homeschoolers as well as students participating in their district’s distance learning program.


Do you need assistance with planning, reporting, transcripts? Also available: Individual Goal-setting, personalized learning plans, and customized plan assistance.


Our focus is a holistic approach to learning, supporting families seeking options for their students. Our priority is to support child-led exploration, interests and activities.

We help students become self-directed learners and offer resources to support and guide them. The core of the program is our individualized, customized curriculum, supported by sophisticated, curated learning tools and combined with authentic participation in community life.

The Birch School is now entering its ninth year, and has grown into a lively mixed-age learning community. We enjoy busy days in the sunny “green” building and spend lots of time outdoors in the large schoolyard and woods. Our students are ages 7 to 17.

We have developed a unique educational environment by putting cutting edge learning research into practice. Using 21st century tools and embracing agile attitudes, we promote collaboration and self-organization. Guided by ecological principles, we strive to bridge the gap between nature and technology for young people growing up in times of rapid change and innovation. It is with great excitement that we invite young people to engage in vibrant, creative and connected learning, supported by knowledgeable and caring mentors and teachers.

We strive to inspire children to pursue their interests, we provide targeted resources and structure for them to do so, and we help the child record the experience, in whatever form appropriate, for their portfolio.

Please explore our website to learn more about this new 21st century learning community.

The Birch School is a learning alternative for youngsters in Orange, Ulster, Dutchess and Putnam Counties in New York and the Greater Hudson Valley. We present a nature-based educational program based on democratic process and consensus. We serve students in Elementary, Middle School, and High School. We offer homeschooling support and assistance for homeschool families. We encourage child-led, child-centered, inquiry based and project based learning opportunities. We follow in the tradition of schooling which includes Waldorf, Vigotsky, Montessori, Reggio Emilio and Neill.

The Birch School is part of several international networks of progressive schools: the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO), as well as the International Association of Co-Learning Communities (IACLC – 100 Roads), and Education Reimagined.

Currently serving students from Goshen, Washingtonville, Campbell Hall, New Windsor, Cornwall, Newburgh, Walden, Montgomery, Maybrook, Pine Bush, Middletown, Blooming Grove, Warwick, Florida, Beacon, Haldane, Walkill, Gardiner, Orange County, Dutchess County, Sullivan County, and surrounding areas. Transportation is generally available via home district when student attends full time and resides within 15 miles of school. Inquire for more information.

The Birch School was granted a Provisional Non-Public, Non-Profit Charter by NYS Board of Regents in 2014 and the Charter was renewed in 2018.

Get Relationship-Based, Customized Learning

A 2-12th grade independent micro-school in Rock Tavern, New York.When everything changes, new opportunities emerge.The Birch School is ready with distance ed and personalized learning pathways.Click to discover your child’s customized plan for the new education landscape.

Posted by The Birch School on Wednesday, June 17, 2020