At the core of School Families are the relationships between Big Sisters and Little Sisters, a long-standing tradition at Burke’s that promotes bonding and unique friendships with girls across grades.
The School Families also allow Burke’s students to connect with faculty and staff members they may not ordinarily get to know, helping to strengthen and grow community for each student. Each member of Burke’s faculty and staff co-parents one of 38 School Families with a colleague or two, gathering with a dozen or so students from all grades at several events over the course of the school year. These gatherings can include Thanksgiving-related games, the traditional “Simple Gifts” circle dance and song, watching the Maypole and Eighth-Grade Musical together in May, and making valentines for their “sisters” who have moved on to high school.
Last week, the fourth graders were paired off with their Little Sister kindergarteners, the newest members of the Burke’s community. The fourth grade Big Sisters will take the youngsters under their wings and help them learn how to navigate their new environment. At the end of the year, the Little Sisters present the fourth graders with homemade gifts at the Stepping Up Ceremony as they prepare to make the leap to the Upper School. On Pansy Day, departing eighth graders present their green and gold ribbons to the fourth graders, who have become Big Sisters themselves by then.
For many, it’s the beginning of a friendship that will last for years! Click here for photos of this year’s first meeting!
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.