At Burke's, a love of learning lasts a lifetime! As a school, Burke's continuously evaluates and incorporates key elements of the latest research on the intellectual, physical, and social-emotional development of girls into the day-to-day practice of teaching. Parent Education events give the parent community an opportunity to stay up-to-date on the latest thinking as well, and to join the discussion. 
Each year, Burke's Parent Education committee, in partnership with the Head of School and administration, invites local and national thought leaders in a range of fields to share their ideas through the Burke's Speaker Series. In addition, Burke's is an integral part of the SPEAK consortium of Bay Area schools and Challenge Success, both of which coordinate thought-provoking, high-profile events throughout the Bay Area. The Children's Health Council (previously the Parent Education Network) provides events for parents who have children with learning and behavioral differences throughout the Bay Area.

Parent Education Events

Rachel Simmons and Pandemic Parenting: The Road Back
Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 10 a.m.
As parents prepare to send their children back to some version of school, students are understandably anxious about the coming transitions. How can we best support kids who are worried about leaving home and adjusting to an uncertain future? In this talk, Rachel will answer parents’ questions and teach strategies to support your family’s transition into the next chapter of pandemic parenting.
Encouraging Mathematical Thinking
Angelique Downes, Lower School Math Specialist and Jessica Goldstein, Upper School Math Specialist
Friday, October 16, 2020, 9 a.m.
Join us to hear from Burke’s Math Specialists to learn tips and strategies for supporting your child’s math education.

SPEAK Event: Chip Fletcher and Climate Change
Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 7 p.m. 
This SPEAK event will feature Chip Fletcher, author of “Climate Change: What the Science Tells Us” (J. Wiley, 2019). He is currently the Associate Dean of the School of Ocean, Earth Science, and Technology; Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Hawaii Manoa; and vice-chair of the Honolulu Climate Change Commission. Special focus on the impact of climate change and current global events. 

Event by Plinkit: Are You Raising an Anti-Racist?
Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 6:30 p.m.
Interview-style discussion featuring facilitator Charmaine Pattinson, Founder of Plinkit, a leading child development resource, and panelist Misasha Suzuki Graham, co-founder and co-host of the award-winning podcast, Dear White Women. How do parents know if they’re raising an anti-racist? Together, Charmaine and Misasha will share the fundamental questions parents should be asking on an ongoing basis at home that will encourage children to be critical thinkers about what they are learning and how they are learning it.

The Self-Driven Child: William Stixrud, Ph.D. and Ned Johnson
Monday, January 11, 2021, 10 a.m.
Join us for this special talk featuring William Stixrud, Ph.D. and Ned Johnson as they discuss their book, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. Their book explores how fostering children's autonomy can help solve two challenges endemic to kids today: facing anxiety and developing intrinsic motivation. 

Michele’s Book Club
Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 6:30 p.m. 
Join Head of School Michele Williams for a discussion on her selected reading, This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons to Wake Up, Take Action, And Do the Work. Author Tiffany M. Jewell says "It is the book I wished I had when I was 9 and it is the book my children will read to help them understand systemic racism, to stand-up, and to resist. This book is for everyone." Gain a deeper understanding of your antiracist self as you progress through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism that we are still experiencing, and give you the courage and power to undo it. 

SPEAK Event: Valarie Kaur
Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 10-11:15 a.m. | REGISTER HERE
SPEAK is excited to host Valarie Kaur – renowned Sikh activist, filmmaker, and civil rights lawyer  “at the forefront of progressive change” (Center for American Progress) -- on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 from 10am-11:15am.  In conversation with Virgina Paik (Live Oak’s Head of School), Ms. Kaur will discuss the fact that we are in an era of transition; we each have a role to play; and we’ve got to bring about change with the ethic of love.  

Ms. Kaur burst into American consciousness in the wake of the 2016 election when her speech at the Watch Night Service went viral with 30+ million views worldwide.  Her question, “Is this the darkness of the tomb or the darkness of the womb?” reframed the political moment and became a mantra for people fighting for change.  Valarie now leads the Revolutionary Love Project to reclaim love as a force for justice in America.

Parenting with Compassion: James Doty, M.D.
Thursday, February 11, 2021, 6:00 p.m. | REGISTER HERE
James R. Doty, M.D., is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor. He works with scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural bases for compassion and altruism. Additionally, Dr. Doty is an inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author. He is the senior editor of the recently released Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science, along with the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discovery the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart, now translated into 31 languages.

Brenda Conlan
Friday, February 26, 2021 

SPEAK Event: Screens During Covid: A Balanced Approach to Kids' Technology Use
Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 5:30-6:45 p.m. | REGISTER HERE
For the first time ever, experts on technology and youth -- Catherine Steiner-Adair, Dr. Michael Rich, and Danielle Ramo-Larios -- come together to discuss the current state of youth as it relates to their screen time usage. These experts will share the latest neurobiology research about screentime and why some youth become addicted to screens while others do not. They will also help us to better prepare for our children’s screentime use during the summer  -- whether we are in shelter in place or not. 

Symposium: Dan Siegel
Parent Presentation: Presence, Parenting, and the Planet
Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 6-7 p.m. | REGISTER HERE

In this presentation, we will explore three key aspects of our children’s future that can help create the structure for effective parenting in our contemporary times. The field of attachment research reveals that parental presence—how a parent or other caregiver is open to and focused on the inner life of the child—is the best predictor of how emotionally and socially resilient a child will be as they develop into young adults. This parent-child relationship helps foster a secure attachment by providing the four S’s of being seen, soothed, and safe to cultivate security.  

Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. An award-winning educator, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of several honorary fellowships. Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization, which offers online learning and in-person seminars that focus on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes. His psychotherapy practice includes children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families.

Dr. Siegel's unique ability to make complicated scientific concepts exciting and accessible has led him to be invited to address diverse local, national and international groups including mental health professionals, neuroscientists, corporate leaders, educators, parents, public administrators, healthcare providers, policy-makers, mediators, judges, and clergy.

Parenting with Compassion, Part Two: Susan Pollak, MTS. Ed.D.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Join us for the second and final talk of our mini-series, Parenting with Compassion. Susan M. Pollak, MTS, Ed.D., is a clinical psychologist at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance, where she has taught and supervised since the mid-1990s. She is a co-founder of the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Harvard Medical School, and a psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A longtime student of meditation and yoga, Dr. Pollak teaches about mindfulness and compassion in psychotherapy and has been integrating the practice of meditation into psychotherapy since the 1980s. Her book, Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy, with Thomas Pedulla and Ronald D. Siegel, is the first hands-on guide to bringing meditation into psychotherapy. Pollak is a co-editor of The Cultural Transition; and a contributing author of Mapping the Moral DomainEvocative Objects; and Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, 2nd Edition. Her newest book isSelf-Compassion for Parents: Nurture Your Child by Caring for Yourself.

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  • Photo of Renita LiVolsi

    Renita LiVolsi 

    Director of Inclusivity & Community Building
    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.


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7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
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