Frequently Asked Questions

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Q

What does progressive education mean at Burgundy?

A

We believe that the educational process is essential to the product. Progressive education at Burgundy is a child-centered educational philosophy. Burgundy teachers focus on the development of the whole child, not merely the academic. The social development of each child is the foundation for the academic because a child who is happy, confident, and able to work with his or her peers is ready to learn. At Burgundy, this approach can be seen in our small class sizes, group- and project-oriented class work, hands-on experiential learning, differentiated instruction according to developmental readiness, and integrated curriculum that emphasizes the relationship and inter-dependence of diverse people, places, and ideas.

Q

What does cooperative education mean at Burgundy?

A

The fundamental concepts of a cooperative community are established in Early Childhood and re-emphasized throughout the program. At Burgundy our small classes, integrated curriculum, frequent group and project-based work, emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning and team work encourage students' innate enthusiasm for learning. Burgundy's curriculum emphasizes the relationship and interdependence of people/cultures, places, and ideas across centuries and through the world. At Burgundy, the educational process is collaborative, with teachers, students, and parents working in close partnerships.

Q

Why do we combine grades in our elementary program?

A

Combining 2nd and 3rd grades and also 4th and 5th grades provides students with unique opportunities to work in a collaborative environment. Combining grades in social studies enables teachers to organize group work so that students develop cooperative social skills and learn to serve in leadership and supporting roles. Students are grouped by grade for Math, English and Science.

Q

Do our students take standardized tests? How do they perform?

A

Students in 4th through 7th Grade take the CTP 4, a norm-referenced test covering math and language arts. The CTP4, published by the Educational Records Bureau, was designed specifically for independent schools. The independent school norms present an opportunity to compare a student’s reasoning and skill development with students in comparable schools nationwide. It is administered annually through the student’s seventh grade year. Burgundy students typically perform at or above the independent school norm.

Q

What is the makeup of the faculty and staff?

A

44 Teachers Total: 35 full-time, 9 part-time

38 Female and 6 Male

23 percent represent ethnic or cultural diversity

23 hold Master's Degrees

Q

Does Burgundy have an age cut-off for applicants?

A

Yes. Applicants for our Junior Kindergarten must be 4 years of age by September 30 of the year of enrollment; applicants for Kindergarten must be 5 years old by September 30, and so on.

Q

What kind of sports and extracurricular activities does Burgundy offer?

A

After school sports are offered for students in fifth through eighth grades and include coed soccer and cross-country, girls' softball and volleyball, boys' lacrosse, and girls' and boys' basketball. Fifth-graders may participate on Burgundy's soccer, basketball, and softball teams when space is available. Most sports include varsity and junior varsity teams. Burgundy competes in a league of similarly sized area independent schools. Seventh- and eighth-graders may participate in Model UN. Lower School students may participate in Destination Imagination, a parent-sponsored, team-based, creative problem-solving educational/recreation program that emphasizes 21st century learning skills. Through our Extended Day program, a number of activities are offered at every grade level. These activities vary based on an annual parent/student interest survey completed at the start of the academic year. Teachers and parents may also offer after school clubs in the areas of their own interest. In the past, these have included gardening, Spanish, chess, barn, cooking, and sewing. Additionally, Burgundy students may participate in a variety of community service activities after school. Private voice and instrument lessons can also be arranged on campus after the school day.

Q

Does Burgundy offer instruction in foreign language?

A

Yes. Students in Early Childhood (Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten) begin the study of French and Spanish. In 1st Grade, students choose the language they will study through 8th Grade. Our comprehensive foreign language program covers history, government, and all aspects of the related cultures. Completion of our foreign language program typically prepares graduates to enter a second- or third-year level of the world language upon entering high school.

Q

How does Burgundy incorporate environmental education?

A

Burgundy has long been known for its emphasis on environmental education and commitment to sustainability in all aspects of its operation. We seek to provide a direct experience with nature that supports our students' growth as scientists, students, individuals, and responsible stewards of the planet. These experiences are integrated into our science curriculum at both our Alexandria campus as well as our West Virginia campus wherein our students are completely immersed in nature.

Among the myriad science activities in which our students are engaged, Burgundy students also help care for our barnyard animals; plant, water, and watch crops grow in the Burgundy garden; create compost for fertilizer; see rain collected in our rain barrels; learn why our salt-water pool is environmentally friendly; observe and explore the flora and fauna at both campuses; and utilize scientific methodology to test and record the water quality of our pond. This hands-on approach connects our students to the natural world, making it relevant and keenly important in their everyday lives.

Q

Does Burgundy offer financial aid?

A

Parents in need of tuition assistance can request financial aid information from the Admission Office. The application for financial aid, the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS), is completed online with the School and Student Services by NAIS (SSS). SSS analyzes the information and makes an assessment of financial need and ability to pay tuition. Burgundy offers funds to support as many families as possible within its limited annual funding. Limited funding each year means that grants rarely exceed 50% of tuition. For more information on funding a Burgundy education, please visit our Financing Your Education page.

Q

Why do we use intellectual testing in our admission process?

A

Intellectual testing offers insight into how well suited our academic program and environment is for a child by identifying a student’s strengths and possible areas in need of support. In our efforts to promote success for our students, it is essential that our program be able to challenge each child in areas of personal strength and to offer them support where needed. Although test scores offer merely a glimpse into a child’s assets, these measurement instruments have proven to be a fairly reliable predictor of students’ success.

Q

Does Burgundy offer any student support services?

A

Burgundy has a school counselor, a Lower School reading specialist, a Lower School learning resource teacher, and a Middle School learning specialist, along with a health coordinator (RN).

The school is not staffed to support serious learning disabilities or learning or emotional issues that generally would require specialized services.

Through our selective admission process, Burgundy seeks to admit students who will be successful in our challenging, collaborative, hands-on academic environment. We recognize that each child develops at a unique pace and has his/her own individual learning style. Within the classroom, teachers incorporate a variety of teaching methodologies to make sure that all of our students are challenged and meet their potential as learners.

Our Lower School reading specialist assists students who may need additional support in their reading skill development. Our learning resource teacher supports our classroom teachers and provides support for children in Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Sixth- through eighth-graders are supported by our Middle School's learning specialist. The school counselor provides social and emotional support for Lower and Middle School students.

Our full-time registered nurse (health coordinator) provides health care and administers authorized medications to Burgundy students. All new and any referred students are screened by an independent speech/language pathologist in the fall. Parents may also hire specialists for speech/language or occupational therapy or tutors that may provide their services at the Burgundy campus.

Q

What makes for a good match at Burgundy?

A

At Burgundy, students, parents, and teachers work in partnership to provide the most successful educational outcome for each child. Students who are a good match for Burgundy typically exhibit the following qualities:

- a genuine curiosity and enthusiasm for learning
- joy in discovery and exploring the natural world
- creativity, excitement in searching for answers to problems
- a preference to be actively engaged in learning by doing and through collaboration
- a desire to contribute to their communities
- a peaceful demeanor and an appreciation of diverse people and perspectives
- the ability to self-regulate and handle numerous transitions throughout the day
- independence and intrinsic motivation.

Students who thrive at Burgundy respond well to the balance of freedom and structure the school provides.

Parents who relish the opportunity to partner and be involved with the school in myriad ways, who appreciate Burgundy's emphasis on inquiry-based learning, learning by doing, and environmental education, who are open to a developmental, less frantic and less competitive approach to education that preserves children's innate interest in and love of learning, and who value diversity will be a good fit as Burgundy parents.

Q

Where do Burgundy graduates go to high school? College?

A

Visit the Our Graduates page to view a list of high schools and colleges recently attended.