The BHS Innovation Fund provides funding for academic initiatives that enrich the culture at BHS for both students and faculty. Funded programs offer all students a diverse array of learning experiences that provide both school-wide support and individual inspiration, and they energize faculty by encouraging new curriculum development and experimentation.
Anthony Meyer describes the Fund’s impact at our Gala-Rama (Goes Virtual!) online event
Our Initiatives Nurture Achievement
The groundbreaking African American and Latino Scholars Program supports self-identifying students of color to achieve academic success while fostering a culture of serious, invigorating scholarship. BHS is proud to have a 0% dropout rate for African-American/Black students at BHS , compared to the statewide dropout rate of 2.6% and the national rate of 6.4%.*
Our Core Curriculum Changes Teach Problem Solving
Experiential Physics for Ninth Grade is a redesigned grade-wide required course that develops scientific, engineering, and entrepreneurial skills to teach students collaborative, real-world approaches to designing solutions to today’s scientific problems. Updated state standards inspired the faculty to reimagine Physics with an approach that is more student-focused, this new methodology teaches students how to work together collaboratively, take risks, and communicate productively.
Our Programs Build Engaged Citizens
The Global Leadership course is designed to engage students in global work and to prepare them to cultivate a global system that promotes peace and prosperity, and works against suffering and dehumanization. Towards that end, students will examine several domains of global work, dig into case studies, hear from global leaders doing important work, and apply critical thinking to simulations and project-based activities.
Our School-Wide Courses Offer Academic Support to All Students
BHS Tutorial is a skills-based class that provides individualized content-based support to students with varying degrees of learning difficulties. Tutorial is a foundational class available for any student in grades 9-12, with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or without, who would benefit from these supports. The Tutorial approach works: the four-year graduation rate for students on IEPs at BHS is 80% whereas the rate state-wide is just 74%.⁺
Our Interdisciplinary Electives Provide Real-World Skills
Brookline Lens combines visual arts, film, and career exposure. The class is a student-run photo and video production house that serves clients inside and outside of BHS. In addition to providing a needed service to the community, the class provides an opportunity for students to create strong portfolios and resumes highlighting advanced skills in photo and video design, as well as gain an understanding of professional project management and business communication.
Our Flexibility Responds to Challenges
The COVID-19 Teaching and Learning Response Grant provided the core Curriculum Coordinators a unique opportunity to collaborate in preparation for the 2020-21 school year with the goal of rethinking educational approaches to teaching and learning during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. More than 30 BHS teachers, administrators, program leaders and specialists met remotely over the course of three weeks during the Summer of 2020 as part of this first-ever, multi-departmental collaborative curriculum programming initiative. The grant enabled faculty to implement a holistic, coordinated approach to remote and hybrid teaching, and successfully begin the school year by sharing best practices with all BHS educators through the creation and use of the BHS Remote Toolbox.
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Your contribution to the BHS Innovation Fund makes a difference
Racial Awareness Seminar
“We had a lot of meetings and conversations about the Black Lives Matter movement. We got to talk as a class and hear from other people about what they’ve been doing and how they’ve been using the things that we learned from this class to contribute to this movement, which was great.”
COVID-19 Teaching and Learning Response Grant
“I am grateful to the Brookline High School Innovation Fund for making this critical work a positive and productive reality and to BHS teachers and staff for working together to identify the gaps and opportunities to strengthen the remote teaching and learning experience as we continue to navigate the changing academic environment.”
Engineering By Design
“Something that stood out to me about the class was the amount of freedom we had because I kind of expected it to be really structured with a lot of rules, but I found that with all of the projects there was a lot of room for our own ideas and a lot of room for creativity, which I liked.”
“Everyone’s open to hearing the perspective of other people who are passionate and I think a lot of that comes from Ms. Leslie because she has so much passion. You can see when she’s teaching that she wants to be there so much. She wants to give us all this knowledge of what is actually happening, and then give us the freedom to talk about what we think. That is unique in a high school class.”
“I think I’ve grown a lot in that I have the knowledge and the power to actually voice my opinion on an issue because I’ve learned about it. Now more than ever I feel like I can help. I have so much more of an understanding of what’s going on, I can try to help other people understand what’s going on too.”
COVID-19 Teaching and Learning Response Grant
“The impact of the Fund’s COVID Response Grant was tremendous for teachers. It gave us the time to do the kind of innovative curriculum building that we always want to do, but rarely have time for during our rigorous teaching schedules. Having the opportunity to work with our colleagues from different departments shook up the kind of thinking and planning we do. It felt so fun to get to be creative in a new way!”
“I think I’ve grown in my abilities to ask for help and to make sure that I have a plan for the week for my assignments and projects and when I should be doing them. I think my experience would be a lot harder, I would be less organized, and I don’t think I would get as much work done without tutorial.”
Drawing for Understanding in Field Science
“Many in the education field talk about interdisciplinary and STEAM [science, technology, engineering, art and math] classes but few receive the kind of support like we got from the Innovation Fund to make it happen. The impact on students has been tremendous as evidenced by the continued popularity of the course and students recommending it to other students.”
Volunteering with the Fund
“Our oldest son took Engineering by Design as a Freshman. He loved the class and it introduced me to the fabulous academic opportunities the BHS Innovation Fund supports. These classes probably wouldn’t exist without the Fund. He is now in college and is studying Mechanical Engineering. The Fund helped plant that seed.”