Katherine Delmar Burke School

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Katherine Delmar Burke School or Burkes, is an independent girls' school for kindergarten through eighth grade, located in the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco, California, USA, near Lincoln Park. Until 1975 it also included a high school. It was founded in 1908 by Katherine Delmar Burke and was named Miss Burke's School.

Burke's is one of three all-girl K-8 schools in San Francisco. Burke's celebrated its centennial during the 2007–2008 school year. The school is a member of the California Association of Independent Schools.


Burke's first location in 1908 was at Steiner and Pacific Streets in Pacific Heights. It then relocated to a house at 2310 Broderick Street. In 1918 the growing school moved to a new building designed by architect Julia Morgan (a friend of Katherine Burke), located at 3065 Jackson Street. The school began acquiring property in Sea Cliff in 1929, and moved its lower school there.

The high school remained in the Broderick Street building until 1975, when Burke's high school closed and the building was acquired by San Francisco University High School.[1][2][3]


  • School size: 400
  • Grade size 44-46 (average)
  • Student-teacher ratio 7:1

Head of school[edit]

Michele Williams, July 2012 – present


  • Soccer (Club, Varsity and JV)
  • Futsal (just JV teams)
  • Cross country
  • Softball (7th and 8th only)
  • Volleyball (Club, Varsity and JV)
  • Basketball (Club, Varsity, JV)

Mascot and colors[edit]

Mascot: trees

School colors: green and gold


A healthy, organic lunch and snack is provided daily by Acre Gourmet, and is included in student tuition.

The cafeteria also doubles as an auditorium and assembly hall.

Assemblies happen once a week for lower school and once every 6-day rotation for upper school.


3½ acres, including:

  • Athletic field
  • Playground
  • Lower School classrooms
  • Lower School courtyards
  • Library and Technology Resource Center
  • Upper School courtyard
  • Upper School classrooms
  • Art, Music and Drama Studios
  • Gymnasium/auditorium
  • Grace Magill Arts and Science Building

Youth Voice[edit]

The Youth Voice is the student council. The officers consist of 1-2 moderators (Elle and Isabel), 1-3 green officers (Olivia, Maddie, and Skylar), 1-2 community service officers (Linden, Ambika, and Piper), and 1-2 spirit officers (Sylvie and Sara). There are also four representatives for each grade, one from each homeroom/advisory, that are elected each semester. The officers and reps meet once a rotation, and the officers meet once a rotation. There are also two teachers who supervise the meeting. The meetings are every 6-day rotation.

Each year, near the beginning of the first trimester, 7th and 8th graders write speeches and present them in front of the Upper School. Then, there is a vote to see who will be the officers for the year.

Moderator responsibilities include planning and running weekly assemblies, planning Upper School lunches such as the Holiday Lunch and the Halloween Lunch, and run the Youth Voice lunch meetings.

The community service and green chairs help to choose and communicate with charitable organizations outside of school. They then plan and run fundraisers (like bakesales) at school to raise money for the chosen organizations. They also plan and run food drives.

The spirit chairs help to plan spirit days, such as fake an injury day and the very popular Generation Day. They encourage people to attend sports events at school, and help to make the school community more spirited.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Tricia O'Brien, San Francisco's Pacific Heights And Peridio Heights (Arcadia Publishing, 2008), ISBN 978-0738559803, pp. 76-77. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  2. ^ Mark Anthony Wilson, Julia Morgan: Architect of Beauty (Gibbs Smith, 2012), ISBN 978-1423636540, pp. 65-66. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  3. ^ "History" at Katherine Delmar Burke School official website (accessed 29-11-2012).
  4. ^ Staff (April 23, 1986). "Marjorie Eaton, Veteran Actress of Stage and Screen, P.A. Resident" (PAYMENT REQUIRED). San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Obituary -- Elizabeth Charleston", San Francisco Chronicle, April 11, 1997.
  6. ^ "Burke's Alumna Jennifer Egan Wins Pulitzer", Katherine Delmar Burke School official website, April 6, 2011.
  7. ^ Julian Guthrie, "Vendela Vida wraps trilogy on women in crisis", San Francisco Chronicle, July 6, 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°47′1″N 122°29′33″W / 37.78361°N 122.49250°W / 37.78361; -122.49250