Our Commitments
Inclusivity

Burke's Gender Inclusion Statement

Burke’s mission is to educate, encourage, and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.

In fulfillment of our Mission Commitments, we strive to ensure that Burke’s is a school where all our students feel safe and comfortable to express their whole selves, including their gender identity.

As a girls’ school, we believe there are 400 ways to be a Burke’s girl. Burke’s supports, respects, and values each girl’s identity and expression across the gender spectrum. Burke’s is committed to the education of all students who identify as girls, regardless of their biological sex.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Q Why is it important to talk about gender?

    Burke’s mission is to educate, encourage, and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life. In order to help foster a strong sense of self, it is important that we discuss gender identity in a developmentally appropriate manner with our students. 

    In fulfillment of Mission Commitments, we strive to ensure that Burke’s is a school where all our students feel safe and comfortable to express their whole selves, including their gender identity. Therefore as an institution when we talk to our students about gender we encourage and empower a strong sense of self in students' individual identity as well as openness to different gender expressions.
  • Q What was the process of crafting the Burke's Gender Inclusion Statement?

    The Gender Inclusion Subcommittee of the Diversity Task Force was created as part of the 2014-19 Strategic Plan, “Our Community, Our Campus, Our Commitment”. The work of this sub-committee began in 2016 with a great deal of research. Those efforts uncovered informative resources and statements from organizations such as the National Education Association, the International Coalition of Girls Schools, and the National Association of Independent Schools. Guidance from those documents as well as Burke's mission statement and commitments directly influenced our Gender Inclusion Statement. This statement was approved and adopted by the Burke’s Board of Trustees in the spring of 2017.
     
    While Burke's is one of the first independent schools in San Francisco to publish a statement of this kind, we are certainly not the only ones in the Bay Area or the country to do so. The Girls' Middle School in Palo Alto released its own gender inclusion statement and Seattle Girls School similarly accepts students who identify as girls regardless of their biological sex. That school's Outreach Specialist, Rosetta Lee, has led our faculty and staff in several trainings about the gender spectrum. 
  • Q Why should my child learn about gender at school?

    Children typically begin expressing their gender identity between the ages of two and four years old. As an all-girls school, gender is a topic we explore from kindergarten on to empower our students to fully be who they want to be. By teaching them that there are no “girl” things or “boy” things, students are freer to express their likes and dislikes without the pressure of needing to fit into one way of being. By learning more about gender, children have an opportunity to explore a greater range of interests, ideas, and activities. Creating a more inclusive and accepting school environment teaches all children to recognize and resist stereotypes. Learning about gender diversity is part of that work. 
     
    “Understandings of gender continually evolve. In the course of a person’s life, the interests, activities, clothing and professions that are considered the domain of one gender or another evolve in ways both small and large.” - Gender Spectrum

Glossary

List of 3 items.

  • Gender

    Complex relationship between physical traits and one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither (gender identity), as well as one’s outward presentation and behaviors (gender expression).
  • Sex

    In the United States, individuals are assigned “female” or “male” sex at birth, based on physical attributes and characteristics. This assumed physical dichotomy of sex is itself belied by a variety of naturally occurring conditions. Sex in some contexts, such as the law, is also used as an umbrella term that encompasses gender and gender identity. For the purposes of [this] discussion...however, “sex” is being used to convey those physical attributes and characteristics that are used to assign someone as “male” or “female” at birth.
  • Gender Identity

    A personal, deeply-felt sense of being male, female, both or neither. Everyone has a gender identity.

Questions? Contact:

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Renita LiVolsi

    Renita LiVolsi 

    Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
    415.751.0187, ext. 329
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.

Burke’s

An independent K–8 school for girls
7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: 415.751.0177 Fax: 415.666.0535
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