Burgundy Farm Country Day School
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Coordinates: Burgundy Farm Country Day School is a progressive independent school on a 25-acre (100,000 m2) campus in the Alexandria neighborhood of Fairfax County, Virginia, and 500 acres (2.0 km2) in West Virginia. It serves nearly 300 students in grades Junior Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. The school's primary campus is located on a former dairy farm just outside the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia beltway.
The school was founded in 1946 by a group of concerned parents, which included some Quakers and also included noted CBS broadcast journalist Eric Sevareid and his wife Lois. In 1950, Burgundy became the first school in the Commonwealth of Virginia to racially integrate.
In the spirit of its parent-cooperative roots, Burgundy provides an innovative, collaborative, diverse, and hands-on learning environment in which teachers, students, and parents engage together as partners. Burgundy's nurturing creative school culture cultivates a love of learning and teaches students how to learn. The school instills respect for diversity and teaches responsibility for self, for other people, and for the natural world.
Burgundy's philosophy of education honors the individual student by honoring the whole child – social, emotional, and physical aspects, as well as the academic. Burgundy's approach to learning rarely relies exclusively on the traditional text book; instead learning is an active, student-centered, and usually cooperative enterprise. The Burgundy teachers aim to facilitate learning using an integrated curriculum that emphasizes the relationship of ideas and encourages students to construct their own understanding and solutions to real-life questions.
Burgundy teachers strive to differentiate instruction and assessment in order to respect and nurture each student, while helping students to begin to understand themselves as learners. Burgundy teachers and students are fortunate to have a 25-acre (10 ha) Alexandria campus that includes a barn with goats, sheep, and chickens, a pond, woods and trails, extensive arts spaces, a large field, an outdoor pool, and classrooms that open to the outdoors.
Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies at Cooper's Cove
Burgundy's second campus, a 524-acre (212 ha) wildlife preserve in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia called the Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies, is commonly referred to as "the Cove." All classes, beginning with first grade, visit the Cove for intensive study in science and natural history biannually.
The Cove recently acquired another 24 acres (9.7 ha), from landowners surrounding the property. The funding for the purchase of these extra 24 acres came from "The Big Hike", in which a Burgundy teacher, sometimes accompanied by students, hiked from his home in Alexandria to The Cove.
The Center also hosts nature-oriented summer camp programs for children ages 8–15 and for adults.
- Alex Albrecht, television personality, actor and podcaster
- Robert C. Michelson '65, Principal Research Engineer Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology; Recipient of the 2001 Pirelli Award and the first €25,000 Top Pirelli Prize; progenitor of the field of aerial robotics
- Jim Sanborn '59, sculptor best known for creating the Kryptos sculpture at the CIA headquarters
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