The Benefits of a 7-12 School
Burroughs enjoys a sense of unity possible only in a small school. To this end, we have capped our enrollment at 600 students, and the student body functions as one community, grades 7 through 12.
There are strong academic and personal benefits to a 7 – 12 school. More than 75 percent of our faculty teaches at both the middle and upper school levels which means they know our students, their stages of development and their educational needs and capacities.
We begin each morning with assembly. Here our youngest students begin to sense and appreciate that they are part of a larger community, and our older student demonstrate their responsibility for that same community. Here school spirit brings 600 students to their feet. Here we celebrate our individual and community accomplishments. Here our students perform the classic composers, share their original rock music, speak to issues that concern them and make us laugh. Assembly is our common denominator.
Family-style lunch is another way in which our community is cemented. We have three lunch periods, one for 7th and 8th grades, one for 9th and 10th grades and one for 11th and 12th grades. Teachers join students for a sit-down hot meal (although our food service also provides lots of other options!). This structured pause in our day facilitates students, especially new ones, getting to know other classmates and faculty.
Our campus—its size, its architecture, its feel—reflects our preference for simplicity and informality. This is not, however, at the expense of state-of-the-art facilities that undergo constant improvement to meet the needs and talents of our students, faculty and coaches.
In one classroom the same faculty member instructs math 7 one hour and pre-calculus honors the next. Next door to one another, an eighth grader hones his grammar skills, a sophomore emulates romantic poetry and a junior analyzes The Scarlet Letter. Even on the playing fields, proximity fosters community as the “C” football team experiences the adrenaline surge when its nearby neighbor, the varsity soccer team, scores a late game goal, and the baseball team senses the excitement of hurdlers bursting from their starting blocks at the sound of the gun.
The Parent Connection
A group of parents founded Burroughs, and ever since parents have played an integral role in the life of our school. A full calendar of student performances, parent meetings and athletic contests provides the opportunity for parents to develop relationships with their children’s teachers, principals, coaches, counselors, friends and friends’ parents. Communication between school and home is a priority and is facilitated via the head’s and principals’ open-door policies, an advisory system which kicks in from the get-go, formal and informal reporting from classroom faculty and a personal counseling department.
For those who are interested in broader involvement, volunteer opportunities abound within the context of an active Parents Council, which sponsors student, parent and community events, provides a variety of services and raises funds for the school. Unlike most independent schools, our parents also hold a majority of the seats on the school’s governing body, the Board of Trustees, which manages the school’s finances and facilities and sets policy with the head of school.