Brookline High School

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Brookline High School
Brookline High School, March 2022.JPG
Brookline High School
115 Greenough Street
Brookline, MA 02445
Coordinates 42°20′0″N71°7′48″W / 42.33333°N 71.13000°W / 42.33333; -71.13000 Coordinates: 42°20′0″N71°7′48″W / 42.33333°N 71.13000°W / 42.33333; -71.13000
School type Public, High School
Established1843;179 years ago (1843)
School district Public Schools of Brookline
HeadmasterAnthony Meyer
Teaching staff194.8 (FTE) (2020–21)
Grades Pre-K, 912
Enrollment2,087 (2021–22)
Student to teacher ratio10.4 (2020–21)
Color(s)  Red
MascotSpartan Warrior
Team nameWarriors
NewspaperThe Sagamore

Brookline High School is a four-year public high school in the town of Brookline, Massachusetts. It is a part of Public Schools of Brookline. The Headmaster is Anthony Meyer who holds a Master of Education in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Boston College. [1] [2]


As of the 2021-22 school year, 2087 students were enrolled in the high school, served by 194.8 teachers (on an FTE basis), the student to teacher ratio was approximately 10.4 to 1. [3] As of 2022, the enrolled student body race/ethnicity was self reported as 7.3% African American, 15.1% Asian, 12.7% Hispanic, 54.3% White, and 10.5% Multi-Race Non-Hispanic. [3]

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 was founded in the Spring of 1843. Instruction began on August 17, 1843 on the lower floor of the Town Hall on Walnut Street described by a former student as a "dismal, damp and dark room...not unlike a tomb". [4] Benjamin H. Rhodes a Brown University graduate was the founding Headmaster, serving until 1847. [4] Mr. Rhodes was succeed as Headmaster by Hezekia Shailer who served until 1854. John Emory Horr a Harvard College graduate then served as Headmaster for 33 years until 1888. [4] [5] The second Brookline High School location was a newly constructed two-story building on School Street designed by architect Joseph L. Richard that opened on November 3, 1856. [4] The third and present location of Brookline High School was Shailer Hall a new three and a half story brick structure with a pitched roof designed by architects Andrews, Jaques and Rantoul which opened in Fall, 1895. [6] 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. [7]


The school has Symbolic Panels made by the sculptor John A. Wilson. [8] In May 2018, Brookline voters supported a debt exclusion override to fund the expansion and renovation of Brookline High School. This building project included the construction of a new building at the 111 Cypress Street site, a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) building to replace the building at the corner of Tappan and Greenough Streets, renovations to the 3rd floor of the main building and the Tappan gymnasium, as well as improvements to Cypress Field. [9]


Brookline High School has received the Gold Medal for Best High Schools from U.S. News & World Report . [10] In addition, Boston Magazine has frequently ranked Brookline High School as one of the best high schools in Massachusetts for academic performance; in 2008, it was ranked top in the state. [11] [12] In 2020, Boston Magazine ranked Brookline High School as the 20th best public school in Massachusetts. [13] As of 2021, Brookline High School was ranked #64 nationally for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), according to U.S. News & World Report . [14]

Although the Advanced Placement (AP) program at Brookline High School is smaller than at other high schools, it has grown dramatically over the past 10 years. In 2020-21, 435 students took 797 AP exams, and 91.9% of students scored “3” or above on these exams. [15] In 2019, Brookline High School was ranked in the top 5% of the most challenging public high schools in America (952nd of 22,000). [16] The rank was determined by the Challenge Index defined as the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge tests taken in a year relative to the number of seniors who graduate. [16] [17] In 2020, the 5-year graduation rate was 96.5% with 86% of students planning to attend a 4-Year private or public college. [18] [19]

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 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.


Brookline High School features the largest interscholastic athletics program in New England, with 71 teams in 40 sports. [20] Some of the atypical sports include squash, curling, golf, ultimate disc, crew, sailing, water polo, 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 has played 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, the Brookline High School 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, New York. [21] They went on to place 7th at Nike Team Nationals in Portland, Oregon. [22] In addition to the 2007 campaign, in the 2006 and 2009 seasons the team placed 3rd at the Massachusetts 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 three championships in five years.

In 2005, the Brookline High School 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. [23] [24] In 2014, the boys took a bronze at nationals in the openweight double, only to win another national title in the double in 2015. [25] In 2016, the boys lightweight four won their regional championship, but fell short of a third national title, placing 5th at nationals. [26]

In 2021, the boys volleyball team had the 8th best record (15-5) of the 81 teams in Massachusetts. [27]

School Within A School

School Within A School (SWS) is an alternative, democratic education program based in Brookline High School. [28] 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 Friday. 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 Sagamore

The Sagamore is a school-affiliated publication (newspaper) produced monthly by the students of Brookline High School. The first issue appeared in January, 1895. [7] The newspaper is independent; the production is funded entirely through the means of advertisement. It receives no funding from the high school. [29]

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. [30]

Notable incidents

On September 25, 1936, Shailer Hall the original Brookline High School building constructed in 1895, was destroyed by fire. [31] One hundred and sixty firemen fought the fire with at least fourteen treated for injuries. [32] The cause and origin of the fire was a defective incinerator flue in a chimney. [32] Financial losses amounted to $3 million in 2022 dollars.

Members of Fred Phelps' anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church protested at the 2005 graduation ceremony against Brookline High's strong acceptance of homosexuality. They were met by dozens of supporters and counter-protesters. [33] [ better source needed ] 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 School, the 'silent, not violent' counter-protest (organized by the school's GSA) took place with no altercations between the two groups.[ citation needed ]

In November 2017, Brookline High School students coordinated a walkout concerning the racial climate present through the high school. This event occurred after the spread of student produced videos containing racial slurs. The incident made local news and sparked discussion. [34]

Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic in May 2020, hundreds of Brookline High School teachers were given pink slips due to lack of funding. This was met with criticism on a local level, causing protests and criticisms on the management of the school’s administration. [35]

Notable alumni

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