Brookline High School Space Study

A. Charge

The School Committee Voted in September 2013 to directed the Superintendent to engage in further study regarding the B-SPACE recommendation to maximize the use, whether by efficiency and/or expansion, of Brookline High School. The charge included beginning a process of analyzing the pedagogical and administrative implications of optimally serving up to 2,500 high school students in Brookline. The recommendation(s) may include new or revamped programs, staffing and administrative structures, and facilities use. The plan and educational program for an expansion of high school capacity should follow a process of engagement and deliberation of options with current BHS faculty and students, the Brookline community, the School Committee, PSB leadership, as well as input from the research on current best practices in curriculum, instruction, and pedagogy for secondary schools. That process will be led by the Superintendent and Headmaster, and will benefit from a consultant to help guide the research and constituent engagement. This process will take into account, but not be limited to, the options presented in the HMFH High School Concept Study.

B. Scope of Work

As a result of a Request for Proposal issued in February 2014 a contract was awarded to Symmes Maini & McKee Associates (SMMA) to lead the further study of Brookline High School space.

Per the Request for Proposal the study should include: 

  1. A review and analysis of the existing documentation including, but not limited to the Facilities Master Plan prepared by MGT of America (both original FY09 and update FY12) and the September 2013 Brookline High School Concept Study Report prepared by HMFH Architects.
  2. Interviews/discussions with the Superintendent, Headmaster, Senior Staff (both Central and High School) to understand the program and pedagogy of their various departments.
  3. A review and analysis of the following questions to inform the Superintendent and Headmaster and the Community.

a. Assuming BHS does not eliminate any of its current offerings for students (ie. Performing arts, athletics, BATV etc.), what additions and alterations would be required to ‘scale up’ the physical plant to serve a population of 2,500 students? What would this cost?
b. Looking across the country at school districts of similar demographics and size to Brookline, what are successful models and best practices in organizing and managing high school populations of approximately 2,500 students? 
c. How do these models compare with our current BHS organization and physical plant at the Tappan Street campus?
d. Having identified one or more attractive models for a high school population of 2,500 students – either based on BHS or on other examples – how do they align with our vision and meet the needs and fit the expectations of our community?  
e. Can the existing Tappan Street physical plant be adapted and reorganized to implement any of these best practice models? What would this entail and how much would it cost?
f. For each model that aligns with our vision and meets the needs and expectations of our community but wouldn’t fit on the Tappan Street campus, how could it successfully be implemented at multiple locations? Are there parts of the program that would benefit from a remote location? How would distance and associated transport times and modalities (walking, shuttle bus, etc.) affect the function and integration of these programs?
g. What are the impacts of a 2,500 student facility at the Tappan Street campus on the surrounding neighborhood and are they tolerable? If not, can they be mitigated?
h. What are the implications for any plan for the High School if enrollments substantially exceed 2,500?