A selective enrollment high school located in Chicago’s far south side community of Roseland, Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy (also known as Brooks) first opened in 1998. It is named in honor of the famous African American poet, former U.S. Poet Laureate, and former resident of Chicago’s south side, Gwendolyn Brooks. Brooks is ranked as the 8th best public school in the state of Illinois and 186th in the nation. Their total enrollment is 859 with a student to teacher ratio of 22:1. Of their total enrollment, 99% of students are people of color and 74% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch. Brooks’s graduation rate is 99%.
Classes offered at Brooks include a wide range of standard and specialized classes in all subjects. In math, science, and technology students can take more specialized classes such as IT, AB or BC calculus, engineering design, inquiry science, and robotics. In English and social studies students can choose to take African American literature, film study, microeconomics, psychology, modern world, entrepreneurship, and law. Languages offered include French, Spanish, and American Sign Language. Fine arts offered encompass visual art (sculpture, graphic design, and photography) and performing arts (choir, band, and orchestra). For health and PE, students can take sports-based classes as well as aquatics, or a more standard style of PE. Most uniquely, Brooks has seminar courses for “adulting,” gardening, poetry, food and culture, and more.
If a student is interested in athletics, they can choose from a wide range including but not limited to football, cheerleading, baseball, bowling, soccer, swimming, water polo, volleyball, and track and field. Outside of the school itself, Brooks also provides students who are interested with “enrichment opportunities.” These are “life-changing, career-inspiring opportunities” that take place during the summer or after school. Fields incorporated in the program are agriculture and urban gardening, computer science, entrepreneurship, law and law enforcement, leadership, media arts, medicine and medical sciences, STEM, and volunteerism.
For more information about Brooks’s courses, athletics, or enrichment opportunities, visit their website at http://www.brookscollegeprep.org/.
Lauren Lynch, Tutoring Coordinator