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Parent Participation

We believe that children are best served when teachers, parents and students work closely together in partnership. Parents play many important roles in the Burgundy community, both at home and at school. The current role of parents is informed by our history as a parent-founded, progressive cooperative school in which parents participated actively in governance and also in the classrooms, school maintenance and even construction.

Parent involvement remains vitally important today, even as we have let go of the official parent coop aspect of Burgundy and more families have two parents who work, and a larger share of the work of maintaining and running Burgundy is handled by employees. While parent roles have evolved, parents and families remain at the core of what we do and there are many ways to be involved. A list of available parent jobs by grade/class is sent out by teachers at the beginning of each school year. See the page about the Burgundy Parent Association for more about how parents can lend a hand! Below is an overview from teachers regarding the way that involvement of parents evolves over the years a student attends Burgundy.

JK and K: Parents may be involved on any given day, maybe walking their child to class or sending an email to the teacher. Parent volunteers are integral to the life of the classroom and are invited to sign up for volunteer slots on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. Please note that regulations require JK parent volunteers to undergo a background check.

1st grade: Parents volunteer in a variety of ways including helping with events, chaperoning field trips, and sharing areas of expertise with students. All 1st grade parents are invited to attend their child’s first Cove trip in the spring.

2nd-5th: Parents continue to volunteer in a variety of ways including helping with events, chaperoning field trips, helping with conference scheduling, and contributing their expertise. Parents are invited to attend Cove trips and can expect to go on several of the Cove trips during these years.

Middle School: Each homeroom (grades 6, 7 and 8) maintains a list of parent jobs. While these differ from class to class they generally include event coordination, help with theater productions, and community service volunteering. In addition, Middle School teachers sometimes use parents as speakers related to specific projects where they have expertise (special education service project, bridge building, game design, etc.), but parents are otherwise not typically in the classrooms. Parents are invited to attend Cove trips, but usually attend less often in middle school.

Parents can also assist in the library, help run music and art performances, and help coordinate events such as our Fall Fair and fundraising Auction in the spring. They assist in the Advancement Office, serve on the Board and Burgundy Parent Association, and play a huge role in our admission process. There are so many ways to get involved that we hope everyone is able to find a way to take part.

In addition to the many ways parents can support at school, there is also much to do at home as well. Because we see the education of our children as a partnership we ask that parents help in the following ways: making sure students get adequate sleep each night, arriving at school on time, providing the time and space for relaxation and play, providing the time and space for homework, reading newsletters on Power School Learning (formerly Haiku) and Constant Comment on a regular basis, and communicating concerns and questions to the school as they arise.



All school-related purchases by parent volunteers must receive prior approval from the appropriate administrator or faculty member.


Cooper’s Cove

Our curriculum includes an integrative approach to science, outdoor living and social/personal growth at our mountain campus located on over 500 acres near Capon Bridge, West Virginia, two and one-half hours from our main campus. While 1st Grade students attend only in the spring and 8th Grade students attend only in the fall, all students in Grades 2/3 through 7 attend a fall and spring program. Parents who chaperone participate in the program, prepare meals, and help supervise students. In the early years many parents serve as Cove chaperones. In subsequent years, parents are still invited to chaperone at the Cove, but in smaller numbers as children take on more responsibilities for themselves and for housekeeping duties. Parents interested in chaperoning submit requests at the end of each summer via email and are notified of their status by the Assistant Head of School at or near the start of the school year. More information can be found in the Cove Chaperone Policy. Due to space limitations and distractions, siblings, other family members and pets may not attend class Cove trips. Cove activities are included in tuition.


The Burgundy Annual Giving Campaign

Thanks to a generous and dedicated community of parents/guardians, alumni, grandparents, and friends, the school has made considerable improvements in faculty compensation, financial aid, and the physical plant. Voluntary annual financial contributions provide a critical margin of excellence to complement students’ educational experience. Tuition covers approximately 85 percent of the actual cost of educating a child at Burgundy. The remainder comes chiefly from summer programs and from voluntary giving. Annual Giving is Burgundy’s single largest annual fundraising effort. Participation is key; each and every gift matters. We welcome your contribution at the dollar level that is possible for your family. For more information about Annual Giving, contact Michele McCabe at