Life at Burke's

Environmental Sustainability

As we face increasing environmental concerns on both the local and global levels, it is important to effectively educate our children on these issues to best prepare them for the challenges of their future. At Burke's, we are committed to environmental education, sustainability and stewardship as an integral part of a 21st-century education. With a campus that sits on 3.5 acres of open space adjacent to National Parks Conservancy land, our physical setting provides an unmatched opportunity for outdoor learning and deeper connections with nature. Classrooms imbued with natural light and sustainable practices integrated into the daily routines of the school reflect our ongoing commitment to a greener Burke's. In 2008, the school developed and adopted a formal Policy Statement on Environmental Sustainability, which continues to guide our efforts. Together with the administration, faculty and staff, students, families, Parents' Association and Board of Trustees, we are all working to further our sustainability goals.

Here are a few examples of the many ways that we teach and practice sustainability at Burke's

  • Sustainability curriculum, including both Upper and Lower School "Reduce, reuse and recycle" units as well as a school-wide recycling and composting program, led by our third graders;

  • Waste reduction program that significantly lowers landfill waste from our campus and community events, including Family Festival, thanks in large part to our sixth grade Green Team;

  • Learning Garden and Native Plant Garden that provide hands-on learning for our Lower School students;

  • New facilities that are highly energy efficient, as well as ongoing efforts to shrink our carbon footprint, such as the addition of motion-sensitive light monitors in all kindergarten classrooms;

  • Reduced paper usage throughout the school, from our paperless electronic annual report and strategic use of online educational resources to recycled materials for arts and crafts;

  • Waste-free lunches and class parties as a school ethos;

  • A comprehensive energy audit to serve as a roadmap for further efficiency improvements to our facilities.

We look forward to our continued work as a community to strengthen our school's commitment to sustainability and encourage everyone at Burke's to join us in this important effort! Learn more about all the Ways to be Green at Burke's.

Policy Statement on Environmental Sustainability

The Katherine Delmar Burke School is committed to nurturing lifelong values of environmental responsibility and stewardship in our students through the education and practices of sustainability at our school, and to fostering in students a strong connection with nature in order to prepare them for meaningful engagement with environmental issues throughout their lives. Our commitment to sustainability also reflects the responsibility we recognize to lead by example in our broader community.

The school will support this commitment by:

  • Encouraging and supporting the integration of environmental literacy, values and practices into the school's curriculum and programs;
  • Optimizing the use of our unique outdoor campus and proximity to open space to connect our students with nature through hands-on, place-based learning that supports their cognitive, emotional and aesthetic development, and furthers their understanding of the natural world;
  • Integrating environmental sustainability into everyday decisions and practices affecting the school's culture and physical plant.
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.

Katherine Delmar Burke School

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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