Community Update from the BHS Innovation Fund • November 2018
The 2018-2019 year is in full swing and we at the Innovation Fund couldn't be more excited! Teachers and students are engaged all across BHS, and parent volunteers with the Fund are hard at work supporting this learning. We kicked off our 20th anniversary with an inspiring community event, and now we are ready to celebrate at our annual fundraiser to support BHS. Below is a snapshot of our Fall. We hope you will join us at Gala-Rama on Thursday, November 15th!
On Friday, October 16th, our Programs Committee hosted the first of two drop-in coffees for BHS faculty to come, chat, and learn more about the Innovation Fund. We brought in Espresso Dave to make cappuccinos and lattes for the teachers, and we had a steady stream of faculty coming to the MLK room to relax over coffee at the end of the workweek, and to share some ideas that are bubbling for new programs. It was a fun and casual time for the Fund to connect with teachers and to hear what they are thinking about for the classroom.  

Some of the exciting ideas we heard about involve new ways to teach science, new ways to teach our students to understand the complex media environment, and ways to expand our engineering offerings. We are very excited about the kinds of programs proposals we will see this year, and we look forward to continuing this conversation with our BHS faculty. We will hold another coffee in November, before the program proposals are due in December. All BHS faculty members are welcome to stop by for a latte and a hello!
Celebrating 20 Years of Innovation
Come celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the BHS Innovation Fund at our annual GALA-RAMA on Thursday, November 15 from 7:00-10:00 pm. Help the Innovation Fund raise funds to invest in new academic programs at BHS. Join BHS staff, teachers, parents, alumni and community members for a fun night out and a worthy cause at the Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co ., 3 Landsdowne Street, Boston.

The evening’s festivities include: open bar, cross-cultural street food, ping-pong, billiards and shuffleboard, and a silent auction. The event is adults-only, age 21+. Attire is casual. Mix and mingle with teachers and learn about their creative approach to teaching and the exciting courses being launched through the Innovation Fund.

Tickets are $200 per person. Your gift is tax-deductible, less $50 per ticket. Proceeds go to support the Innovation Fund. Don’t miss the BHS party of the year and the chance to support academic innovation at Brookline High!

First, came a tragedy. In 1980, Andrew Warren Lurie, a Brookline High School graduate in his freshman year at the University of Chicago, died of an infection at school. Years later, his parents, Bob and Syrul Lurie, came to Bob Weintraub, the headmaster of the high school, and explained that they wanted to create a memorial space at the high school in Andrew’s honor. They offered to pay to construct and furnish a beautiful library – named for Andrew in School Within a School (SWS), which Andrew had attended.

The question was: could a public school use private money to do this kind of project? The Luries and Weintraub cited endowments for public colleges and universities as examples of spending private money for public institutions. The superintendent of schools, James Walsh, and the school committee supported the idea. The Andrew Lurie Library exists to this day. And the project had an added effect: it sparked an idea. Weintraub recalls Andrew’s father, the late Bob Lurie, saying, “You know, if we can raise money for a room, we can probably raise private money for other stuff you need, Bob.”

In September, the BHS Innovation Fund hosted a conversation with Author and Innovation Expert  Ted Dintersmith   to discuss his new book  What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers Across America . Moderated by WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti , the thought-provoking conversation with Mr. Dintersmith delved into how teachers can change the education system in creative, compelling and practical ways to positively impact students and better prepare them to succeed in the innovation economy.