About Us

Mission and Philosophy

Our Mission

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.

About Us

The Burke Story

In 1968, during a time when educational philosophies and practices were being questioned, it became clear to Burke's founders that a more egalitarian, democratic and participatory approach would make for a better school environment and more successful students.

They started with the idea that an important goal of education should be to cultivate a sense of civic responsibility. For inspiration, they looked to British statesman Edmund Burke, who spoke for those whose rights were denied in his support of the American Revolution and his opposition to slavery. The quote attributed to him, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing," is still an inspiration to us today.
Co-ed, progressive, college prep school in Washington, DC featuring a challenging curriculum in an inclusive environment for grades 6-12.