"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
Burke's founders envisioned a school where along with academics, arts and athletics, students would learn how to be active citizens who were committed to social justice. Not only is civic engagement a pillar of our school, it is also a fundamental component to the philosophy of progressive education.
We impart a civic education rooted in social justice. Our goal is to integrate service learning into the academic curriculum and develop students’ capacity to contribute to the communities in which they live.
Burke students in grades 6 to 8 engage in service learning where classroom learning connects directly to learning in the DC community alongside nonprofits addressing systemic social issues. In grades 9 to 12, students have an individual service and civic engagement requirement of a minimum of 15 hours each year for a minimum of 60 hours by graduation. Throughout high school, the Director of Service Learning and Civic Engagement works directly with high school advisors and students to identify service opportunities across a wide variety of causes and disciplines that fulfill the requirement.
Burke also offers several immersive overnight trips
that engage students in service while also expanding their awareness of other cultures and perspectives within the United States.