Brookline High School has received the Gold Medal for Best High Schools from U.S. News & World Report. In addition, Boston Magazine has frequently ranked BHS as one of the best high schools in Massachusetts for academic performance; in 2008, it was ranked top in the state.
As of the 2011–12 school year, 1,804 students were enrolled in the high school, served by 150 teachers (on an FTE basis), the student to teacher ratio was approximately 11.6 to 1, and students represented 76 nations and spoke 31 different languages.
All students at Brookline High School must complete three credits' worth of electives, with the intent of fostering student creativity. A newly opened film program, facilitated through Brookline Access Television (BATV), enables students to produce their own films with state-of-the-art technology.
|Brookline High School|
115 Greenough Street
Brookline, MA 02445
|School type||Public, High School|
|Teaching staff||166.65 (FTE) (2016–17)|
|Student to teacher ratio||12.06:1 (2016–17)|
The school was founded in Spring, 1843 on the lower floor of the Town Hall on Walnut Street with one teacher. The school met here until 1856. The second location was a small, new, two-story building on School Street that opened on November 3, 1856 next to the Pierce School. The third and present location was purchased, and a new three-story building opened in Fall, 1895. The Manual Arts building was built at a cost of $100,000 on Tappan Street, and opened in September, 1903. The ninth grade moved from the School of Practical Arts in the elementary schools to the high school in September 1921. An addition to the main building was finished at that time to increase the capacity to 1500 students. The main building was expanded and remodeled in 1965 with a budget of $1.5 million.
In 2010, Boston Magazine ranked Brookline High as the 7th best public school in the state. The magazine ranked Brookline High School the number one Massachusetts public school in 2008. As of 2016, BHS was ranked #32 nationally for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), according to US News.
Although the Advanced Placement (AP) program at BHS is smaller than at other high schools, it has grown dramatically over the past 10 years. In 2009, 370 students took 679 AP exams, and 93% of students scored “3” or above on these exams.
Brookline High School does not calculate a weighted GPA for its students. Students receive only an unweighted GPA out of 4.0, so grades in Advanced Placement classes do not contribute any more to a student's GPA than grades in Honors and Standard level classes. Furthermore, grades from freshmen year are not calculated in one's GPA, as students are still making the transition from elementary school.
Most Advanced Placement classes are only available to juniors and seniors. Honors level classes are considered rigorous, and students who excel in these classes often receive top scores on SAT Subject Tests. Students who decide to take AP level classes are encouraged not to take more than 2 or 3 of them at one time, as these classes feature difficult research projects and labs in addition to standardized material.
Brookline High School features the largest interscholastic athletics program in New England, with 71 teams in 40 sports. Some of the atypical sports include curling, golf, Ultimate disc, crew, sailing and rugby.
The most popular athletics program at Brookline High School is Ultimate Disc with participation of over 110 students in 2017.
Since 1894, the Brookline High football team plays rival Newton North High School in the traditional Thanksgiving Day game. This is one of the oldest high school football rivalries in Massachusetts and on the List of high school football rivalries (100 years+).
In 2007, Brookline's boys cross country team made history by winning the first ever Nike Team Nationals northeast regional meet by just one point over Danbury High School at Bowdin Park, NY. They went on to place 7th at Nike Team Nationals in Portland, OR. In addition to the 2007 campaign, in the 2006 and 2009 seasons the team placed 3rd at the Massachusett's Division 1 State Meet, in 2005 they finished 2nd, and on November 20, 2010, won their second state championship giving them their fifth top 3 finish in six years and second 1st-place finish in four. On November 19, 2011, they won their third state championship, for a run of 3 championships in five years.
In 2005, Brookline High School's Rugby team captured the DI New England Championship, its first since 1987. In 2009, the team captured the DII title in the NERFU tournament in Pembroke, New Hampshire. The rugby players defeated Belmont 29-0 to win the New England title for the second time in five years (first in DII). In 2014, the rugby team again won the DII rugby state championship against Milton High School under head coach Craig Mackenzie. The rugby team again had successful seasons in 2015 and 2016 making it to the finals and semi finals in both years.
In 2014, Brookline High School rebranded their athletics program's identity. The new logo featured a Spartan Warrior's helmet, successor to the arrowhead logo. A new color scheme was introduced as well, as navy blue replaced royal blue.
In 2013, the boys crew team took home their first national championship; the winning lightweight double featured athletes who would later go on to row on the Cornell and Princeton lightweight teams. In 2014, the boys took a bronze at nationals in the openweight double, only to win another national title in the double in 2015. In 2016, the boys lightweight four won their regional championship, but fell short of a third national title, placing 5th at nationals.
School Within A School (SWS) is an alternative, democratic education program based in Brookline High School. It was created in the school year of 1969/70. Made up of about 120 students, SWS promotes democratic education in the form of a Town Meeting every Wednesday. All classes are for honors credit. English classes, chosen by students, are mixed grade level. They are usually discussion based and papers are the main form of assessment. Furthermore, students refer to all SWS staff on a first name basis. A number of committees, created during Town Meeting or outside of class, convene during the student's free blocks. The program governs itself during Town Meeting, and teachers and students participate in a fair and equal democratic community. Admission to SWS is done via lottery with affirmative action during a student's freshman year. Students in SWS are responsible for their own attendance.
The newspaper is independent; the production is funded entirely through the means of advertisement. It receives no funding from the high school.
Over the past few years, the paper has publicized and discussed issues in and around the school, including racism and teenage pregnancy. The school is noted for its tradition of high tolerance of sensitive topics discussed in the newspaper. In 2011, New England Scholastic Press Association awarded The Sagamore "Highest Achievement" in Newspaper Class I category.
Members of Fred Phelps' anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church protested at the 2005 graduation ceremony against Brookline High's strong tolerance of homosexuality. They were met by dozens of supporters and counter-protesters. Members from the Westboro Baptist Church protested again in 2009. They were met with about 2,000 counter-protesters, including students and members of Brookline High School's staff and PTO, and various other groups from surrounding areas. Surrounded and barricaded by police and deans of Brookline High, the 'silent, not violent' counter-protest (organized by the school's GSA) took place with no altercations between the two groups.
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The 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), 180 lb (82 kg) Newman, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, was originally signed by the Red Sox as an amateur free agent after he graduated from neighboring Brookline High School in 1960. Newman spent that season at the Class D level in the New York–Penn League, winning only four of 14 decisions with an earned run average of 4.08, and the Red Sox left the 18-year-old off their protected list for the 1960 Major League Baseball expansion draft. The Angels then selected Newman with the 53rd overall pick.
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Massachusetts public high schools
Italics indicates closed schools