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Admission FAQs

We've collected some of the questions we've heard most often from families interested in Burgundy. Did we miss your question? Please get in touch with Director of Admission Lori Adams.

What does progressive education mean at Burgundy?

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.

What does cooperative education mean at Burgundy?

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.

Why do we combine grades in our elementary program?

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, language arts, and science.

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

Students in 4th through 7th grades take the CTP 4, a norm-referenced test covering math and language arts. The CTP 4, 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 to students in grades 4-7 each spring. Burgundy students typically perform at or above the independent school norm. At the same time, we emphasize that testing and assessment is only one of many ways to think about a student's progress. Our primary reason for administering the CTP 4 is to help students develop test-taking skills.

Does Burgundy have an age cut-off for applicants?

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.

Why do we use intellectual testing in our admission process?

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.

Does Burgundy offer any student support services?

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.

What makes for a good match at Burgundy?

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.