Sending our son to school used to be incredibly stressful. He struggles quite a bit with self-regulation and with the intensity of his emotions. At the same time, he has many gifts in both sports and academics. We struggled to find a place that could both help him and at the same time notice and nurture his gifts. The Burkard School is the first place that has been able to recognize both sides of him. The staff is there to teach him, use his gifts, and help him grow, and they’re there to help him when he’s having a hard day. We’ve learned so much from working with the staff and, most importantly, our son feels understood and loves going to school. We feel incredibly lucky to have found this amazing school.
Parents of a 3rd grader

Our son Wesley was student number three at the Burkard School.  Our path to the school started when we realized that our bright child would not succeed in a traditional school, we were worried that we might not find the right social and academic setting for him. Our doctor referred us to the Burkard School and right away we found that the teachers and staff understood Wesley and his needs. When he displayed unexpected behaviors, he was not shamed but supported. In just one year, he has grown leaps and bounds in his social and emotional skills, which has made him a happier child and reduced our family’s stress significantly. Best of all, I now feel confident that Wesley will reach his full potential as a student, friend, and later as a happy member of society.
Parents of a 1st grader

Our son is flourishing at The Burkard School. We have watched him transform into a more confident, self assured, and happy child who enjoys going to school now. He has learned new tools to help himself understand what his body needs and given the freedom to flex those options throughout the day. He seems more comfortable now with verbal expression of his feelings and shows a new sense of empathy for others. The teachers and staff at TBS have been extremely organized, positive, thoughtful and compassionate. We are watching our son unfold academically now that he is in place that truly sees him and understands his inherent strengths, as well as, his challenges. We are so grateful to have found such a great school for our son!
C. Nelson, Parent of 1st grader

Our now-first-grader had a rough start to kindergarten; we got a phone call almost every day that he was having behavioral troubles of one kind or another. We had no idea a school like TBS existed; fortunately, we heard about it and decided to give it a try. Within 2 days our son made a 180 and his anxiety lessened. He started learning how to cope with his anxiety and manage his regulation. His teacher and classroom behavioralists bent over backward to teach him the skills he needs to not only function in the world but thrive. Which is exactly what he is learning how to do. At age 6, even he knows that he is at a special place.

Best of all? No more phone calls!
Parents of a 1st grader

We struggled with the decision to send our son to The Burkard School.  He was previously at a Montessori school and he was getting by in his first grade class, but he would come home and say things like he wasn’t good at math and was refusing participate in some of the class activities. We also heard stories from his younger brother about the negative exchanges with other kids on the playground.  For a child that needs extra help and guidance on how to interact with his peers in a more cooperative way, it was very difficult to have him at a school that didn’t provide much supervision at recess and lunch times.

At the open house at The Burkard School last spring, we heard so many difficult yet familiar stories from other parents. Immediately afterward, we decided to have our son do a few “shadow days” at the school.  The first day he came home he told us how much he loved the new school and promptly asked us when he could go back.  By the end of his “shadow days” he said he said he didn’t want to return to his old school at all.   Instead of waiting to switch schools in the fall, we joined TBS last March. 

Now, instead of merely doing the bare minimum at school, our son is thriving. He is learning how to be resilient and stick with challenging tasks with the help of his supportive teachers and behaviorists.  If he works hard he knows that he will be rewarded with an opportunity to engage in his interests in dinosaurs and animals.   He tells me that even when he had a difficult time during the day he is always able to turn it around, complete his work, and leave feeling good about his day.  Our son loves his teachers and he has made some nice friends with the other kids in his class.  He loves going to school so much that he was upset the last time he was sick and had to stay home.  The next morning, the first thing he asked was if he was able to go back to school!  Honestly, I can’t think of a better recommendation for a school than a second grader that can’t wait to go back to school.

We feel extremely fortunate to have discovered this wonderful school and its supportive community.

Parents of a 2nd grader

My son is the epitome of joy, has a huge imagination and heart, a passion for dinosaurs, Legos, the outdoors, and his pets and family. He was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) when he was 3 years old. He is very bright and social, but struggles in a classroom environment since it is extremely difficult for him to focus and regulate himself for an extended time.

He spent three years at a very nurturing preschool and did fairly well since it was mainly a play based program and he had a lot of freedom of movement. But when he started kindergarten at the same school, things changed. Despite his best efforts, the traditional classroom standards for behavior and attention frustrated both him and his teachers. I was determined that my son’s academic environment would be a positive experience and that he would continue to expand on his love of learning and not start to think of school in a negative way. I knew he could excel in a learning environment that was supportive, understanding, and challenging.

I was very anxious about my son changing schools, but I also knew it was necessary. Then I found The Burkard School, an absolute treasure! When I visited TBS and my son did his shadow days, I knew! I knew that this school would be the right environment for my son and I didn’t need to look any further. What made me even happier was when my son told me that he loved TBS and didn’t want to go back to his old school! TBS provides a safe, supportive, caring, and challenging school environment for uniquely talented children. Their ability to attend to the individual needs of each child yet cultivate a sense of community is truly incredible and what every parent wants for their child.

The program at TBS offers exceptional children the opportunity to discover and fully develop their strengths and overcome challenges that keep them from excelling in a traditional classroom setting. Instead of being the class troublemakers, these children are celebrated! I feel so fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have my son attend this gem of a school. Every child will thrive if they are truly understood and in the right environment!

Parent of a Kindergartener

Our deeply feeling, passionate 2e son thrived at his former private school in his kindergarten year because he was understood, loved and supported when he struggled, and we had hoped that he would be able to remain there despite the fact that he was not feeling challenged academically. Unfortunately, his first grade year was a disaster. It threw our family into a tailspin, and ended with a sad, angry child whose self-esteem had tanked.

Having cast a wide net across San Francisco, the East Bay, the Peninsula and the South Bay, we knew there were only a handful of schools that might be a good fit for his unique constellation of strengths and challenges. In the spring of last year, we toured The Burkard School, spoke with a number of current and former families, and were hopeful that it would offer the “just right” balance of academics and social emotional support. As a child who is 3+ years ahead in math, and an advanced reader, who did not love writing, finding the right school environment that could actually challenge him, and provide a safe and warm place to strengthen his emotional regulation skills felt like an impossible ask. As any family of a 2e child can understand, we were cautiously optimistic when the school year started.

We’ve now been a part of the Burkard family for 6 months, and we couldn’t be happier! The school was able to meet his academic needs, particularly in math, and they have inspired him to become an eager writer, propelling him a year ahead of grade level expectations. He also needed support with the social emotional aspect of keeping friendships, and we see remarkable growth there, as well. He is more flexible, takes perspective with greater ease, is more emotionally regulated, and takes less time to return to a calm state. When he gets upset by someone or unexpected change now, he is able to share what upset him, how it made him feel, and sometimes also suggests an alternative action he (or the other person) could have taken. The daily SEL lessons, along with the support throughout the day have made a tremendous impact in his ability to see himself as a problem solver, and not a problem maker. He is also joyful in his learning, and in his friendships. He often comes home talking about a project he’s working on, new mythology he has learned about, or a fun game his teacher has introduced to his class. Much of this remarkable change, all in a short 6 months, can be largely attributed to the school and the collaborative team effort to support our child.

The communication with the school, whether with the Administrative team or his teaching team, has been timely, organized and thorough. Most of all, we know he is known and loved, and his contribution to the school is valued. We are big fans of the Burkard School, and are happy to be part of this wonderful community.

Parent of a 2nd grader

A small independent K-8 school for bright children who need extra support with self-regulation, executive functioning, and/or social-emotional learning in the classroom.

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