There is no one way to be a Burke's girl. She may try out for a sports team or run for an elected office or find refuge in the arts (or all three!), but however she chooses to spend her time, she is surrounded by girls who support and uplift her. She may wear a jumper or skirt, or she may choose instead to wear pants, but she finds joy both in the classroom and on the playground.

When we say that there are 400 ways to be a Burke's girl, we mean that every student who sets foot on our campus belongs here, no matter her interests or background. As a school, we are shaped and powered not only by the unique experiences that each girl brings to class, but also by what she discovers about herself as she grows and learns over her nine years on our campus.

At a very young age, children begin to notice similarities and differences in the people around them as well as what comprises their own identities. At Burke's, we place a high priority on helping our students navigate these sensitive and often confusing years as they figure out who they are going to be and how they fit into the world. (See examples of classroom work from throughout all nine years of the Burke's experience in the sidebar.) Doing this work also helps children develop the kind of multidimensional thinking that's necessary for the development of compassion and empathy toward others — something that is especially important for today's learner.
"Human beings are meaning-seekers. Our actions are completely driven by our own set of values, beliefs, and sense of identity."
-National Equity Project
In May 2018, Burke's released its new Gender Inclusion Statement, which affirms that as an institution, we are committed to educating any student that identifies as a girl. To learn more, visit our Gender Inclusion page.

Exploring Identity

List of 5 items.

  • Kindergarten

    In Kindergarten, girls study gender stereotypes by analyzing their preferences. They challenge the notions of “girl things” and “boy things” and come to the understanding that both girls and boys can like the same things.
  • Second Grade

    In the Girls Who Make a Difference unit, which transitions into the Women Who Make a Difference unit, girls ponder the following questions:

    • Who am I and who are we?
    • How does my identity change over time?
    • How do I make change?
  • Third Grade

    In the Me to We unit, which is about community building, students attempt to answer the question “Who am I?” and begin to understand that identity is so much deeper than what we look like. They identify three things for their peers that people can not tell by looking at them.
  • Fourth Grade

    In fourth grade, students will explore identity more broadly and deeply, examining their memberships in multiple identity groups — such as by race, gender, family structure, likes/dislikes, etc.
  • Seventh Grade

    In the Full of Ourselves unit, seventh graders examine media representations of women and girls and analyze how those representations do and do not reflect their own lived reality.
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.


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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