JBS at Its Core

Burroughs brings the liberal arts model to secondary education, offering a core curriculum that supports a broad base of knowledge and skills in the humanities; STEM; the arts; athletics, health and wellness; global and cultural competency; and service and sustainability.

The atmosphere on campus is informal because it is our experience that when students are comfortable in their environment, they are in a better mind-set for learning, and they put their energies to best use.

Chief among our core values is a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity (DEI). We are committed to a diverse student body and faculty because we are keenly aware that the differences among us are a large part of what makes us a strong and vibrant community. 

We believe all students benefit from a school community that is intentionally diverse and inclusive and equitable. The range of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds brought to the community enriches learning at Burroughs.

Burroughs has moved deliberately from awareness to commitment to action. 

  • In the last 10 years, our percentage of students of color has risen from 28 to 43 percent.
  • In the 2020-2021 school year, 167 students receive tuition assistance, up from 124 in the 2009-2010 school year; as a percentage of the student body receiving tuition aid, this reflects an increase from 21.1 to 25.5 percent. Over that same period, tuition aid as part of the school’s operating budget has risen from 11.6 to 15.6 percent.
  • The curriculum includes a four-year seminar sequence to ensure all students build skills for cultural/global competency.
  • In addition to a Board of Trustees diversity& education committee, a faculty/staff committee was created to focus on curriculum, professional development and the overall campus environment. (About a third of the faculty/staff are directly engaged.)
  • Every faculty and staff member is required to commit to cultural competency training and are offered opportunities for one-on-one coaching.
  • Student affinity and culture groups (African American, Asian, Jewish, LGBTQIA+, Muslim, Christian, LatinX, Alliance for Whites against Racism Everywhere) have been established to give students space to help them engage inter-culturally and contribute to community-wide conversations.
  • Students are surveyed annually using an inclusivity index which we built (and is now used by other schools around the nation) to seek a deeper understanding of the student experience at Burroughs—identifying what we are doing well and areas that require greater attention.
  • The school has received two EE Ford grants to help build and host The Equity Exchange, a summer institute bringing together public and private educators from across the nation to share strategic solutions.
  • Our Community & Equity Partnership engages parents/guardians, faculty/staff and alums in ongoing programming and education.

John Burroughs School's strategic plan for diversity and inclusivity through multicultural and global education enhances its position as a national leader among independent schools. This plan shows the kind of vision and commitment from the board, head of school, diversity practitioner, and entire school community that other independent schools must emulate.

Dr. Gene Batiste