Statement of Philosophy

John Burroughs School seeks to instill the joy of living through active learning, integrity and service to others. Our mission is to foster in our students academic, physical and creative fulfillment, together with strength of character, while helping them become productive members of our school community.

150424_Classrooms_42724-300.jpgBurroughs promotes an atmosphere of understanding, trust, respect and accomplishment among our faculty, staff, students and parents. We embrace democratic ideals, the liberal arts and concern for the environment. We believe that excellence in education goes hand in hand with diversity, which we value and celebrate.



Burroughs encourages students to communicate, to be open to others and to embrace meaningful challenge. Through a personal, active approach to learning, each student pursues his or her potential in all school endeavors—academics, the arts, athletics, and activities.

We teach our students to question, to think for themselves, to imagine, to see, to solve problems, to understand subtleties and to appreciate ambiguity. We discourage the use of rewards, such as prizes and honor rolls, to motivate students; rather, we foster love of learning as an end in itself.



We teach our students the value of service to others, which requires knowledge as well as a deepened sensitivity to the world around them. Our purpose is to enable students to act in effective and positive ways, for the good of all.

The pursuit of excellence at Burroughs takes place within the context of the informal atmosphere of our school. We strive for balance in our students' pursuits—in the various ways they study, play, create and show concern for the world and others. We prepare our students for a lifetime of learning. Our approach to education, reinforced by the ethical and interpersonal ideals we foster, enables our graduates to discover lifetime fulfillment in meaningful work and commitment.

Adopted 2001, Reaffirmed 2007, 2013