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  • Welcome to Burke!

    Burke consciously brings together students who are different from one another in many ways, actively engages them in their own education, holds them to high expectations, gives them power and responsibility, and supports and advances their growth as skilled and independent thinkers who step forward to make positive contributions to the world in which they live.

Our Commitment To Equity & Inclusion

Burke respects the dignity and humanity of our students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and trustees, as well as our broader community. We embrace a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. We strive to cultivate understanding and appreciation of diversity that includes, but is not limited to, age, ability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, gender identity, political perspectives, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. We acknowledge and encourage differences of opinions, ideas, and interests, and we expect thoughtful discussion and civil engagement.

Burke affirms the individual worth of all community members, and we challenge behaviors that demean, marginalize, or exclude others. Our goal is to maintain a diverse school community that exemplifies these values and to fulfill our commitment to equity and inclusion consistently in all areas of school and community life.

You don't have to leave any part of yourself outside on the sidewalk when you enter Burke.

Our Educational Philosophy

Burke places the intellectual, physical and creative lives of our students at the center of all our efforts. Our teachers know, respect and appreciate their students as individual, unique learners, and nurture their social and emotional well-being. Burke encourages students to engage actively in critical thinking and informed and open discussion. We are committed to developing their intrinsic motivation for lifelong learning.

Our faculty and staff inspire students by emphasizing the value of student ideas and the confidence that comes from overcoming challenges. We support the growth and development of our students’ skills, interests and abilities in a responsive teaching environment that fosters autonomy, curiosity, creativity, experimentation, discovery and collaboration.

We are committed to creating a safe, equitable and inclusive learning environment and to teaching in ways that cultivate integrity, moral reasoning, and social responsibility. We help students become advocates for themselves and others. We provide students with developmentally appropriate opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills to make our community—and the wider world—a more just place.

Ultimately, we are here to teach every student to be a better human being.

The Burke Story

In 1968, students and educators alike were calling the well-established philosophies and practices of education into question. The school's founders, Jean Mooskin and Richard Roth, determined that a more egalitarian, democratic, and participatory approach would make for a better school environment and foster more curious, creative students. Drawing inspiration from the writings of British statesman Edmund Burke, they began with the idea that education should first cultivate a sense of civic responsibility.

Two centuries earlier, in 1770, Burke wrote, "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one." These words are often cited as the inspiration for the phrase, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
"Revolutions make for strange bedfellows. That is perhaps why there is a statue of 18th century British parliamentarian Edmund Burke at the junction of 11th Street NW and Massachusetts Avenue. This Enlightenment era philosopher was America’s main ally in Great Britain. He defended our call for liberty from within the British Parliament. As a sign of esteem for his support Burke is now honored in the American capital city." - National Park Service (Oct. 6 2021)
Co-ed, progressive, college prep school in Washington, DC featuring a challenging curriculum in an inclusive environment for grades 6-12.