Programs and Courses

Below are all the courses and programs funded by the Innovation Fund over its lifetime. Programs are listed beginning with the current school year, then in descending order.

Click here to see the all the Fund’s programs and courses listed by category.

Click here to see our active programs and courses listed by grade.

KEY

* — Denotes a 2019-2020 school year new program, a one-time event, or a fellowship

(YEAR) — Denotes the school year in which the program or event was launched

ACTIVE — Denotes those programs or courses that have completed their multi-year trial and have been chosen to be integrated into the high school curriculum, with ongoing costs provided by the Town of Brookline

HUB* (2019)

Updated Advisory — A Whole School Initiative

The new BHS Advisory HUB will emphasize the goal of forming community among students, offering space in the day from the normal academic routine. It will integrate aspects of new curriculum and initiatives, like the Fund’s existing programs Finding Yourself in the Curriculum and Mindfulness practices; and the Brookline Public Schools’ embrace of Restorative Justice Practices. These revamped HUB communities will offer every student a voice and a chance to be known by students and adults, and will be responsive to the always-changing needs and concerns of the entire high school. The Advisory Program that has been in place previously was originally supported by the BHS Innovations Fund at its inception in 2008, and we are pleased to be able to support the current faculty as they are reimagining this important student scaffolding for a new generation of students as HUB.

Brookline Lens* (2019)

New experiential, project-based learning in the professions of Photography and Videography

In the new, team-taught Brookline Lens course, a production house will be created where students will not only learn and use technical skills, but also learn about business communication, conduct and management. A fully-functioning, student-run business will be developed, where members of the community can make requests for promotional materials, or products for their personal use.

Experiential Physics* (2019)

A new department-wide initiative for Ninth Grade Science

With this approach, BHS will offer a robust new physics course for every 9th grade student. The course will intentionally and sequentially build the scientific skills needed to understand the world and the engineering and entrepreneurial skills to design solutions to today’s problems. The plan is to develop a 9th grade physic classroom that looks, functions, and feels like the best scientific collaborations in the real world. With the planned expansion of the Brookline High School campus, which will include an new STEM wing and renovated labs, the Fund is excited to support the Science faculty in this effort to impact students positively in their learning experience.

Finding Yourself in the Curriculum* (2018)

Creating and implementing curriculum that represents all of BHS’ demographic diversities

A school-wide initiative that serves as a vehicle for learning about self-identity; building empathy; promoting awareness regarding power and privilege; inspiring action; and embedding course-specific curriculum, with emphasis on the “Big 8” social identities (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, religion/spirituality, nationality, and socio-economic status). This program will craft inclusive curriculum, will cultivate student and faculty understanding, and will provide a pedagogical structure responsive to the needs of our community. Read more…

What School Could Be* (2018)

The Innovation Fund brought author and innovation expert Ted Dintersmith to engage with the BHS and Brookline communities around the meaning of innovation in an academic setting

This one-day program brought Ted Dintersmith together with faculty, students, administrators, and Brookline Public Schools district leadership in a series of round table discussions where participants were challenged to exchange ideas about what academic innovation means now and what it might look like in the future, both in Brookline and beyond. The day culminated in a conversation held in the BHS Auditorium, free and open to the public and moderated by WBUR anchor Meghna Chakrabarti. Read more…

Mindfulness Initiative (2018 & 2015) ACTIVE

Cultivating a healthy school culture that supports the well being of BHS students, faculty and parents

Through partnerships with Mindful Schools and with Mass General Hospital’s Benson-Henry Institute, this initiative brings formal training in mindfulness and stress-response relaxation methods to BHS faculty, students, and parents. This creates an opportunity to integrate these practices into the community’s ways of teaching, learning, and collaborating Program goals: (1) help BHS faculty and students develop strategies for identifying and managing stress and building resiliency; (2) educate the school community on the impacts of stress, techniques for managing it, and implementing mindfulness—healthy habits of mind—as an approach to teaching and learning; and (3) develop practical skills in the BHS community for healthy stress responses that will help students find the “sweet spot” of stress that nourishes intellectual and emotional resilience and growth.

This program, which began in 2015, ran for three years as granted, and then received a fourth (single) year of funding in 2018 to develop and execute an integration plan in the BHS curriculum. Read more…

Engineering Innovation and Design (2016) ACTIVE

Bringing BHS into the “Maker Movement” and integrating principles of engineering and aesthetics into student projects

This class provides opportunities for students to move beyond 2-D drafting and into the creation of real, three dimensional products. The student-centered, multidisciplinary curriculum integrates principles of engineering and aesthetics and utilizes a makerspace, a collaborative setting where students share their various skills and perspectives to conceptualize, design, test, refine and actualize their products. The addition of this course contributes to the development of a cohesive Engineering pathway at BHS. Read more…

Racial Awareness Seminar (2016) ACTIVE

Fostering a learning community empowered by the rich diversity of identities and perspectives at BHS

This sophomore elective explores the complexities of race within our national, local, and high school communities. Students meet in a seminar-style class designed to foster their capacity to speak effectively about their own identities and to listen carefully and thoughtfully as others reflect on and speak about theirs. The class requires students to articulate their own experiences, to learn from their classmates’ experiences, and to develop a greater understanding across racial identification lines. Students engage in experiential learning activities and group discussions and are challenged to think of ways to share their new understandings with the greater community. Read more…

Film as History/History as Film (2016) ACTIVE

Exploring how history and documentary film intersect

In this interdisciplinary Social Studies/Visual Arts course, students explore how history is recorded in written form, and they engage with one of the most powerful ways in which history is created and disseminated – documentary film. Students engage in developing critical thinking skills as collaborative learners from multiple disciplines, perspectives and understandings. Through the lens of presenting historical information in film, the students address issues of academic research, writing, media literacy, and perspective. Decision-making and ethics are a central theme of the intersection of the written and filmed presentation of historical events. Final projects are screened at a BHS Film Festival. Read more…

Innovation Fellow* (2015)

Catalyzing innovation within and among the BHS faculty

The Innovation Fellow serves as a catalyst for innovation in the BHS community by sparking interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration among faculty, seeking out examples of innovation that could be adapted for BHS, and working with BHS administration and the Fund to support innovation projects and ideas at the high school. Read more…

This is a one year fellowship program reviewed annually and, if funded, awarded by joint decision of the Innovation Fund and BHS Headmaster.

EPIC (Experiential, Project-based, Innovative, Capstone) (2015) ACTIVE

Introducing a capstone project to senior year

EPIC provides students with a high quality, hands-on, project-based senior year experience. With the support and guidance of BHS teachers, as well as experts and mentors outside of the school, students design, execute and present their own personal passion projects. Through reading and research, engagement with experts in the field, experimentation, revision and collaboration, students develop a project of their own design and immerse themselves in the process of creation. Read more…

Mindfulness (2014)

This one year grant provided time for a teacher team to research and establish the local relationships that would contribute to a successful proposal for the Mindfulness Initiative the following year.

This was a one year program not intended for integration.

Senior Year Alternative (2014)

This one year grant provided time for a teacher team to lay the groundwork for an alternative senior year curriculum allowing seniors the chance to design, drive, and direct their own capstone project. The result of grant was a successful proposal for the current EPIC program.

This was a one year program not intended for integration.

Global Leadership Academy Curriculum Review (2014)

A one year grant allowed this successful Innovation Fund course, launched in 2010, to conduct curriculum review during its first year after incorporation into the BHS budget.

This was a one year program not intended for integration.

Innovation Summit (2014)

A two day Summit in July, 2014 giving teachers the time and space to reflect on the possibilities of innovation in the classroom and explore their best and new ideas.

This was a two day event not intended for integration.

Drawing for Understanding in Field Science (2013) ACTIVE

Dissolving the artificial boundary between arts and science

In this interdisciplinary course, students build scientific knowledge about their immediate environment through observational drawing and field research. Using the principles of visual design and the scientific investigation, students communicate their scientific knowledge to others through visually powerful images and forms. Read more…

Headmaster Action Plan (2013)

Supporting the Headmaster’s new plan to take BHS into the future

This program spurs collaborative faculty inquiry and research into innovative educational practices. This program had one year of seed funding from the Innovation Fund in partnership with other organizations, and continued to be partially funded by others.

This was a one year program not intended for integration.

Content Reading Initiative (2012)

Energizing and training teachers across all disciplines to engage in the urgent issue of improving students’ literacy skills in all content areas

The goal of the BHS Content Reading Initiative (CRI) is to provide intensive professional development to teachers so that they, in turn, become more effective at teaching the gateway skills of content literacy. The integration of literacy instruction into all disciplines’ instruction ensures that every student who graduates from BHS can read and write independently in all subjects. This program has a four year seed funding period.

This was a four-year program designed to permeate the BHS culture during its funding period. It was not intended for integration. Read more…

Perspectives of a Mathematical Mind (2012) ACTIVE

Broadening students’ ideas about what math is, and how it is used in the world today

This course is a full year senior elective math course for students interested in a new look at math, exposing them to opportunities to use math after high school, both at the university level and in future career endeavors. By year end, students demonstrate a fuller appreciation and awareness of mathematics, and its relevance in today’s society, through discussion, reflection, and experience.

This program runs when enrollment allows. Running 2018-2019. Read more…

Medical Interpretation and Translation (2012) ACTIVE

Providing real-life application of interpretation and translation skills for accomplished Spanish speakers

Offered through the BHS the World Languages Department, this course trains students to become Spanish/English medical interpreters and includes shadowing opportunities at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and at Beth Israel Hospital. Credit earned through World Language or Career Ed. Read more…

Innovation Summit (2011)

A two day summit in July, 2014 inviting teachers to share ideas around academic innovation, and how they might be implemented at BHS. Teachers imagined how they could address issues around teaching that interest them.

This was a two day event not intended for integration.

BHS Writes/The Writing Center (2010) ACTIVE

Cultivating a culture in which writing is an integral part of who we are, how we interact, and how we contribute to society

This initiative includes the establishment of a student-staffed writing center where BHS seniors are trained to be compassionate and effective coaches for other students who are less confident writers. Read more…

Global Leadership Academy (2010) ACTIVE

Preparing students to be compassionate, resourceful and effective leaders in a rapidly globalizing and interdependent world

This year-long course teaches students important theories and skills of effective leadership in a global context and guides students in their efforts to research, plan, and acquire resources for applied service learning experiences. The class requires students to learn from texts, scholarly articles, and case studies about theories of global leadership. Read more…

Arts Infusion Lab (ACE/Winthrop House/CBC) (2008) ACTIVE

Building confidence and expressive capacity through art activities

This project draws students who have been under-represented in BHS’s arts program into more active participation in expressive art activities. Students in programs like Winthrop House, ACE (Alternative Choices in Education) and CBC (Community Based Classroom) often miss out on BHS arts offerings due to geographic isolation from the main campus or extreme self-consciousness within larger classes of their peers. The Arts Infusion Lab provides these students with a variety of arts-oriented opportunities tailored to be delivered within their existing specialized programs. Read more…

Political Literacy (2008)

Tackling political disengagement and igniting the interest of young people in the 2008 U.S. presidential elections

The Political Literacy program was a speaker series comprised primarily of Boston area political leaders and thinkers for both school-based and community-wide events. The BHS Social Studies Department coordinated their ’08 election curriculum with the speaker series.

This was a one year program not intended for integration.

The Ithaka Advisory Program (2008) ACTIVE

Personalizing education and helping students take ownership of their learning

Through the vehicle of a consistent home room across a student’s four year experience, Advisory creates a way for every student to learn more about BHS and his/her role in the community; to explore diversity within a group of peers; to connect with peer leaders at the High School; and to reflect on their academic and social goals as they journey through high school. Read more…

Family Partnership Program (2007)

Increasing the academic performance of struggling students by developing a supportive parental partnership between home and school

This program aimed to help families fully engage in their children’s education through a student, teacher-mentor, and family community that supported underachieving students and worked towards narrowing the achievement gap. Learning from this program was compiled and shared with BHS Guidance Department.

The program was not integrated after a three year funding period.

Social Justice Leadership Program (2007) ACTIVE

Training a youth corps of social justice advocates through group activities and internships in local social justice organizations, aiming to nurture life-long leaders for social change

This program seeks to distinguish between community service and social justice, emphasizing collective rather than individual responses to injustice, and transformative rather than temporary relief from social problems. Social Justice Leadership aims to fill a void, creating a novel program offering students an experience that is student-defined and action-oriented. This program had a four year seed funding period. Read more…

Engineering By Design (2006) ACTIVE

Inspiring student interest in the field of engineering through a hands-on, project-based curriculum

This course was developed by teachers from all areas of the BHS Science Department in collaboration with the Tufts University School of Engineering. Together, they created a curriculum challenging students to identify problems, design, build, and test their solutions. This program had a four-year seed funding period. Read more…

African-American and Latino Scholars Program (2003) ACTIVE

Supporting students of color to achieve academic success and fostering a culture of serious, invigorating scholarship

This program addresses the issue of minority student isolation that impedes academic performance. AALSP has nurtured a body of academically excellent African-American and Latino students who have become role models in the BHS community, and it has greatly raised the bar for academic and personal achievement among African-American and Latino BHS students. Students in all four grades, each with a GPA of 2.7 or higher, participate in the program and have become part of a culture of achievement. This program had a four year seed funding period, and an additional two years of funding in 2009/2010 to allow further programmatic development. Read more…

Tripod Project / Critical Friends (2003)

Harvesting and sharing teachers’ best ideas for achieving high levels of social and intellectual engagement in the classroom
This initiative under the direction of Prof. Ronald Ferguson of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government included BHS as one of twelve public high schools examining how teacher practices and student engagement could improve learning outcomes.

Program was not integrated after its two year funding period.

BHS Tutorial (2002) ACTIVE

Individualized content-based support to enhance the academic performance of students with mild learning difficulties

In collaboration with their Tutorial teachers, students identify specific focus areas for improving academic performance and receive individual content-based tutoring. Class time is divided between personalized consultation in content areas and independent practice (where the student implements recommended strategies). Subsequent additions to include Freshman Tutorial and Enhanced Tutorial (integrating Special Education professional development for Tutorial teachers, as well as some direct Special Education instruction in Tutorial classes) extended the funding to create a comprehensive Tutorial program supported for a total of eight years. Read more…

CyberCitizens (2001)

Accelerating technological implementation and integration at the high school

This program enabled the creation of BHS teacher websites, providing hardware, teacher training, and paid opportunities for technology students to assist teachers in the technical aspects of maintaining their websites. 

This program was not integrated after its three year funding period.

Good Citizen in a Good Society (2001)

Fostering greater awareness of social justice and the responsibilities of democratic citizenship

This interdisciplinary course — intersecting English and Social Studies — was offered to BHS seniors. Its curriculum included units on social identity and membership, eugenics, genocide, the politics of power and social activism, and the issues and challenges of education. GCGS students studied history, literature, art, and public policy in order to understand controversial issues and society’s responses. This course was a successful elective through three iterations of Program Leaders. Good Citizen’s curriculum supported the development of subsequent Fund courses (Social Justice, Global Leadership), and the course was eventually phased out of the BHS course offerings. The program was integrated and ran through school year 2008/2009. Read more…

Teachers Mentoring Teachers (2000) ACTIVE

Supporting and retaining a world-class faculty at Brookline High School
This program was designed to address the major challenge of high turnover among new teachers. National research shows that 50% of teachers leave the profession within five years of signing their first contract. TMT is the Innovation Fund’s solution to this major challenge through a comprehensive induction and mentoring program for new staff. Read more…

SCHOOL-WIDE

Finding Yourself in the Curriculum

HUB

Ithaka Advisory Program

Mindfulness Initiative

9TH GRADE

African-American and Latino Scholars Program

Arts Infusion Lab (ACE, Winthrop House, CBC)

BHS Tutorial

BHS Writes/The Writing Center

Drawing for Understanding in Field Science

Experiential Physics

10TH GRADE

African-American and Latino Scholars Program

Arts Infusion Lab (ACE, Winthrop House, CBC)

BHS Tutorial

BHS Writes/The Writing Center

Brookline Lens

Drawing for Understanding in Field Science

Engineering by Design

Global Leadership

Racial Awareness Seminar

Social Justice Leadership Program

11TH GRADE

African-American and Latino Scholars Program

Arts Infusion Lab (ACE, Winthrop House, CBC)

BHS Tutorial

BHS Writes/The Writing Center

Brookline Lens

Drawing for Understanding in Field Science

Engineering by Design

Global Leadership

Social Justice Leadership Program

12TH GRADE

African-American and Latino Scholars Program

Arts Infusion Lab (ACE, Winthrop House, CBC)

BHS Tutorial

BHS Writes/The Writing Center

Brookline Lens

Drawing for Understanding in Field Science

Engineering by Design

Engineering Innovation & Design

EPIC (Experiential Project-based Innovative Capstone)

Film as History/History as Film

Global Leadership

Medical Interpretation and Translation

Perspectives of a Mathematical Mind

Social Justice Leadership Program