Upper School


    • banner


H.E.A.R.T. Overview

H.E.A.R.T. (Health, Emotional Awareness, Responsibility, and Time Management) class is led by an Upper School counselor, a librarian, a resource specialist, and a Makery teacher. The course covers a wide array of topics including:

  • Digital citizenship, study skills, library and research skills, and social-emotional health.

  • Growth mindset, strategies for improvement, and plans to overcome challenges and disappointments.

  • Habits and routines for academic and personal success (ask questions, create and maintain organizing systems, access resources, ask for help).

  • Design thinking and creative maker projects and programming classes.

  • Learning how to communicate honestly and resolve conflict gracefully and effectively.

  • Engaging in literary appreciation in order to better understand themselves and the world around them.

  • Learning how to navigate digital media safely and use technology as a tool to communicate effectively.

E Block

E Block is a six-week class led by Burke’s Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging as part of the H.E.A.R.T. program.

Students explore issues of equity, empowerment, entitlement, race and racial injustice, class, and privilege, and delve further into their own engagement with these topics as future changemakers. Students have an opportunity to explore their own identity, ancestors and the way we are all interconnected, and what matters to us when we express ourselves. 

Students learn about these concepts through guest speaker presentations, written reflections, and a final project that presents a part of their life to their classmates. The Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum, accompanied by work from the book This Book Is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell guide the work in this unit.

Guest speakers who have come to E Block include:

  • American civil rights activist Ruby Bridges visited via Zoom to speak about what it is to be a changemaker. Her visit kicked off a project around designing a ballot proposition to support a cause students identified as important to them.

  • Keenan Webster, a multi-instrumentalist and leader of Talking Wood performed two songs using the Kora, a beautiful West African harp, and gave a hands-on demonstration of various other instruments of African origin.

  • Mary Swope, a beloved former teacher at Burke's for over 30 years discussed her time working with SCOPE, an organization that in 1965 worked to register Black Americans to vote in segregated Georgia. She shared photos and experiences from her book "My Summer Vacation, 1965" and said, "...if you see an injustice and have a chance to right it, you should." 

H.E.A.R.T. Faculty

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Alkmini Hormovas

    Alkmini Hormovas 

    Upper School Counselor
    415.751.0187, ext. 248
  • Photo of Renita LiVolsi

    Renita LiVolsi 

    Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
    415.751.0187, ext. 329
  • Photo of Michelle Loomis

    Michelle Loomis 

    Upper School Library and Digital Media Specialist
    415.751.0187, ext. 337
  • Photo of Ron Malek

    Ron Malek 

    Upper School Learning Specialist
    415.751.0187, ext. 281
  • Photo of Vanessa Miller

    Vanessa Miller 

    US Maker Facilitator & Technology Integration Specialist
    415.751.0187, ext. 316
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 admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.