Katherine Delmar Burke School

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Katherine Delmar Burke School
7070 California Street
San Francisco, California, San Francisco County 94121
United States
Type Private
Motto Educate, Encourage & Empower Girls
Established 1908
Founder Katherine Delmar Burke
Head of school Michele Williams
Grades Kindergarten-8
Gender Girls
Enrollment 400 (2014-2015)
Color(s) Green and Gold         
Mascot Tree
Yearbook Works & Days
Tuition $29,100 (Lower School)
$30,200 (Upper School)
Director of Upper School Rebekah Wolman
Director of Lower School Alice Moore
Director of Admissions Sheika Luc
Athletic Director Ashling Bryant

Katherine Delmar Burke School or Burke's, is an independent girls' school for kindergarten through eighth grade, located in the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco, California, United States, 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. At first only the Kindergarten and First grade were located there. The rest of the property was used as a sports venue for the upper classes. There was a large grass sports field, basketball courts, and 5 tennis courts. In 1949, grades 2 through 6 were moved there after the completion of new classrooms.

The high school and grades 7 and 8 remained at the Jackson St. 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
  • Volleyball (Club, Varsity and JV)
  • Basketball (Club, Varsity, JV)

Mascot and colors[edit]

Mascot: Pine Tree

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, 1-3 green officers, 1-3 community service officers, and 1-2 spirit officers. There are also four advisory representatives (reps) for each grade, one from each homeroom/advisory, that are elected each semester. The officers and reps meet once a six-day rotation, and the officers meet separately once a rotation. There are also two teachers who supervise the meeting.

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 Presidio 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