The Center for Artistry and Scholarship Visits Brooke High School!

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Recently, the CAS team took a tour of Brooke High School, in Boston’s Roslindale neighborhood, to learn about the role school design plays in shaping the student experience. The building, which opened in August of 2018, was designed by CAS board member Jonathan Garland, when he was an associate with Arrowstreet, Inc. Mr. Garland is now president and founder of J. Garland Enterprises, an architectural design, real estate investment and development practice focused on urban redevelopment, commercial/residential design, and development projects.

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During the tour, which was led by Brooke High School’s co-director of Operations Jon Clark, we learned not only about the significance of strategically transitioning one type of learning space into another, but also how simple design elements like the width of a hallway or the texture of the floors can impact students’ perspectives on their experience. The cafeteria, for instance, consists of a large open space in addition to smaller rooms for students who wish to eat or work quietly, providing options that allow students to have more control over their experience.

In addition, many of the classrooms are named after universities, such as the Tufts University classroom, or the music room which is named “Berklee College of Music”---a way of enabling the students to envision their future by realizing that they belong in those spaces--- they’ve been walking in them all along. This might be one factor that helps to explain how the school has grown to become one of the highest performing schools in the city and state since its inception in 2002.

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The visit also encouraged us to think about the role of design in creating relationships with the community. Brooke’s gymnasium and auditorium have exits that lead directly outside for external entities that may be looking to book the space. The school also has a fitness center that can be used by community members.

As an organization that strives to be a beacon of innovation within the world of education, the Center for Artistry and Scholarship staff and board members are proud to have not only gained insight on new ways to analyze the student experience, but to have one of our own be instrumental in that process.

The CAS team and Board thank Brooke High School and our board member Jonathan Garland for inviting us to have this impactful visit.

To experience Brooke High School yourself, check out Arrowstreet’s video tour.

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Zakiyyah SuttonComment