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Student Support

Learning Support

Learning Support assists students in meeting the demands of our challenging academic program. Our full-time learning specialists provide support with:

Organization and Note-Taking | Memory and Test-Taking Strategy | Self-Advocacy

List of 3 items.

  • Best Practices

    The Learning Support department advises our faculty on best practices for teaching students with learning differences, provides outside referrals for tutoring and psychoeducational testing, and consults with any family who may have academic concerns.
  • Recurring Meetings

    Our middle school specialist may have recurring meetings with students during lunch or after-school, while our high school specialist more often works with students on an as-needed basis – encouraging them to seek out support as necessary and to build self-advocacy. Ultimately, our goal is to provide students with the tools and resources to become independent, confident learners.
  • Testing Review

    Our learning specialists review all neuropsychological testing reports and monitor the use and implementation of accommodations at Burke (e.g.: extended time or designated seating). The high school specialist also applies for College Board and ACT accommodations based on recommendations from the neuropsychological report.

    *For families who request Burke accommodations, we prefer to review neuropsychological testing conducted at least three years prior to admission. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Debbie Ballard

    Debbie Ballard 

    HS Learning Specialist
    California Lutheran University - MS
    California Lutheran University - BA
  • Photo of Ellie Dooling

    Ellie Dooling 

    Learning Support Department Chair / MS Learning Specialist
    Boston University - BA
    George Washington University - MA
  • Photo of Julia Hiemstra

    Julia Hiemstra 

    Learning Support Tutor / Cross Country Coach
    202-362-8882 x633
    University of Vermont - BA
    American University - MA
    Read Bio
  • Photo of Alan Kellogg

    Alan Kellogg 

    MS Language Arts
    Mount Holyoke College - Master's in Teaching
    University at Buffalo - BA

Counseling & Advising

At Burke, advisors typically have 5-7 advisees, ensuring individualized attention for each student. In addition, advisors meet with their advisory group in homeroom, providing a warm and friendly respite from the busy academic day. Our full-time school counselor works one-on-one with students to assess and address social-emotional needs and mental health crises as they arise.

List of 3 items.

  • Advisory Program

    Each student is connected to a faculty or staff member who is trained to listen deeply and to support students as they navigate the challenges of our academic program and the complexities of adolescence. Throughout the year, students meet with their advisors on a regular basis, sometimes checking in about the events of the day and sometimes preparing for an upcoming project.

    Advisors typically have 5-7 advisees, ensuring individualized attention for each student. In addition, advisors meet with their advisory group in homeroom, providing a warm and friendly respite from the busy academic day.
  • Counseling Services

    Our full-time school counselor works directly with students to assess and address social-emotional needs, and mental health crises as they arise. She consults with parents, teachers, advisors, and administrators about how best to support students, and participates in the development of programs and workshops for students, families, and teachers on topics related to pre-adolescent and adolescent development.

    On a day-to-day basis, the School Counselor provides:
    • Short-term counseling to students
    • Consultation to parents
    • Emergency mental health assessments for students 
    • Ongoing support and coaching to students
    • Consultation to faculty, staff and mental health professionals
    • Referrals to community mental health resources
  • Family Conferences

    Our signature, student-led conference format enables young people at Burke to evaluate their own performance, lead the conversation, and take responsibility for their learning. Families also meet with their child's advisor to review progress in coursework and participation in extracurriculars, and to discuss any questions or concerns.

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Yvette Cuenco

    Yvette Cuenco 

    School Counselor
    202-362-8882 x607
    New York University - M.S.W.
    University of California Los Angeles - B.A.


Our Student Information System allows a teacher to send a quick message if an assignment is missing, a grade is slipping or rising, or a student has excelled at a project or made a terrific contribution in class. Sometimes a teacher will simply write that they have noticed a student’s extra effort, creativity, or kindness. Comments are shared with parents and advisors so that everyone stays informed, and no student “flies under the radar.”
Co-ed, progressive, college prep school in Washington, DC featuring a challenging curriculum in an inclusive environment for grades 6-12.
4101 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC 20008    |    Phone: 202-362-8882    |    Fax: 202-362-1914