Runkle School

Students in morning meetingSince 1981, the Brookline Education Foundation has partnered with Runkle School teachers to continuously improve the quality of education that Runkle students receive and to foster a greater sense of community among teachers, students, and administrators.

In 2007, Runkle School was the recipient of one of the largest grants ever awarded by the BEF ­- $50,000 over a period of two years. The grant launched "Responsive Classroom," a nationally recognized, social-emotional curriculum designed to improve social interactions, behavior, and learning within classrooms from kindergarten to grade 5. 

In 2012, a follow-up grant for a program in grades 6 to 8 entitled "Developmental Designs," was launched.  This program, featuring a new Student Advisory period, is designed to build upon the Responsive Classroom approach and to help foster stronger connections among students and staff during the difficult middle school years. 



Deborah Levine (English Learner Education, Grades 3-7, Pierce School)
Lauren Carroll (English Learner Education, Grades K-8, Runkle School)
Chinese Cultural Exploration
Ms. Levine and Ms. Carroll will travel to China with China Educational Tours to learn, first-hand, about the culture, history and school-life of students so that they may better understand Brookline students that have emigrated from China. Pierce School houses the Native Language Support Program for Chinese Speakers and Runkle School has also experienced an increase in native Chinese speakers in recent years. Ms. Levine and Ms. Carroll seek to better understand their students’ previous experiences so they can help their students adapt to their new Brookline schools.


Applied Behavior Analysis International Convention 2020
Seven Runkle educators and the Director of Autism Programming will attend the premiere conference in the field of applied behavior analysis to gain insights, best practices and the latest research in the field to better assist students on and off the autism spectrum to improve student learning.  Since very little professional development is offered in this area, the team is eager to learn more on the subject.
Participants: Dr. Emily Leonard, Tracy Paradise, Melissa Devine, and five other educators from Runkle to be determined.

Collaborative Grant for the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference
The entire Occupational Development Department of the Public Schools of Brookline will attend the annual AOTA conference, which conveniently takes place in Boston. This is a rare opportunity for the entire department to participate in professional development that is specifically for their field, and allows the therapists to stay up to date on the latest clinical and educational practices, and evidence-based treatment and evaluation techniques.
Participants from Runkle: Rachel Barber, Joan St. Peter and Priscilla Perry

NCTM Boston Regional Conference—A group of 42 math teachers and specialists from every Brookline school will attend the National Council of Teachers of Math Regional Conference in Boston in the fall. In addition to networking, exchanging ideas, and learning about innovations in the field, this grant will allow math teachers across the District to collaborate with the goals of making the transition from middle school math to high school math more seamless.
Participants from Runkle: Dale Cramer, Eric Lass, Michelle Schweiger, and Pam Wells-Rockhead

Middle and High School Book Clubs
A group of Middle School and High School English teachers will attend the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Institute on Book Clubs, to explore and plan for powerful book club instruction. By having teachers from both the Middle Schools and the High Schools, this will allow for a better transition for students in English, and will improve the level of instruction in this increasingly popular method of teaching close reading and analysis.
Participants: Eric Colburn (BHS), Evan Mousseau (BHS), Rachel Hayashi (Middle School Literacy Coach, Runkle and Heath), Dianne Muendel (Middle School Literacy Coach, Lawrence), Jennifer Redburn (Middle School Literacy Coach, Driscoll), Jennifer Sanders (Middle School Literacy Coach, CCS)

Vice Principals ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership
The District’s Vice Principals will attend the premiere educational leadership conference in the country. This grant will allow the Vice Principals to have concentrated time to gain needed professional development, and have time to work together and collaborate in a way that they have rarely had the opportunity to do. They will attend workshops on subjects relating to wellness, student conduct, discipline, and social/emotional learning, and will bring this learning back to directly help students at Brookline schools.
Participants: Donna Finnegan (Runkle), Joshua Howe (Baker), Isabel Gunter (Lincoln), Kirtan Patel (Heath), David Youkilis (Driscoll), Saeed Ola (CCS), Steve Simolaris (CCS), Peter Cipparone (Lawrence), John Badger (Pierce), Jim Stoddard (Pierce), Jamie Yadoff (Pierce)

Wilson Reading System 4th Edition Institute
This grant will allow Special Educators at Runkle and a Special Education Administrator to be trained in the latest edition of the Wilson Reading System, so that the teachers will have the latest understanding of language concepts taught in all subjects.
Participants: Michiko Hattori (Education Team Facilitator), Anna MacIver (Special Education Teacher), Jessica Tubridy (Special Education Teacher), Melissa Devine (Special Education Administrator)

Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Coaching Institute, 3rd Year
In its third and final year, the District’s remaining literacy coaches will attend the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s “Units of Study” for writing and reading workshop, which has proven to be extremely valuable and immediately useful for literacy coaches in Brookline. Brookline’s adoption of this curriculum has required additional training, and the literacy coaches will now be fully knowledgeable and qualified to coach other teachers and students in this curriculum.
Particpants: Caitlin Paget (CCS), Alyssa Rubenstein (Runkle), Christin Wheeler (Heath), Sarah Maxwell (Lincoln), Dianne Muendel (Lawrence), Jennifer Sanders (CCS), Jennifer Redburn (Driscoll)


Lauren Tavares (Speech and Language/Guidance)
This grant will allow Ms. Tavares to make up sensory boxes for all 4th-grade classrooms to normalize the special education experiences for all students.

Meghan Walsh (Special Education, Grades 1-3)
Ms. Walsh wished to utilize STEM educational tools with her RISE students, so this grant helped her purchase these tools.

John Ferguson (Instrumental Music)
With this grant, Mr. Ferguson will commission a former Brookline and current Berkeley College of Music student to compose a musical piece for the Orchestra students to perform.


Runkle educators will also participate in the following Systemwide Grants:

Educational Excellence and Equity: Seeding, Feeding, and Cultivating Cultural Proficiency in Our Schools
With research that was conducted about course recommendations, transitions between middle and high school, and the desire to increase equitable practices in Brookline, the Office of Teaching and Learning has developed a plan to improve equitability in thought and practice in today’s classrooms. The Senior Director of Educational Equity will design and deliver a twelve-hour Cultural Proficiency course to all PSB teachers, which will be rolled out in several phases over three years, all Public Schools of Brookline principals will be trained, and in the first full year 25 educators will be trained to then teach fellow teachers. The course will address issues such as how to understand racial identity development, cultural mismatch, racial microaggressions, and how stereotype threats can impede learning.

Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) Training
The Senior Director of Educational Equity and the Director of Professional Development will attend the SEED training in Boston so that the Office of Teaching and Learning can better support the growing number of SEED professional learning groups in the schools.

Teacher Learning By Teachers for Teachers
The Brookline School District will engage teachers who have received professional development grants to brainstorm the best ways to share their ideas, gained knowledge, and best practices with one another. District administrators and teachers will work together to create an event that will highlight the positive commitment of the PSB educators, which will potentially culminate in an event that will be open to all educators in the District.

Reading Between the Lines: Equity, Reading and Early Intervention
In its desire to support the increasing number of students with learning disabilities, the District will train a team of teachers at all elementary schools in a variety of reading interventions to support struggling readers specifically with their disabilities. This will increase the number of teachers with specialized literacy knowledge, will help more students, and will allow teachers who are currently employed in the District to be the experts, rather than hire specialists from outside the District for these students.

 Grants for 2018-2019

For a complete list of 2018-2019 Runkle School grants, click here.

Awards Held By Runkle Educators

 Ernest R. Caverly Award Alyssa Rubenstein Schneider   2015
 Charlie Baker Legacy Award Shira Schwartzberg  2015
 Ernest R. Caverly Award  Jay Sugarman  2004

BEF Parent Contacts at Runkle

Catherine Burke email Catherine
Shalini Kasida email Shalini
Devon Powell email Devon
Kristan Singleton email Kristan