I took the Orange Line downtown on a crisp fall day to visit Snowden International High School. Classes are held in two buildings near Copley Square, the main one being an impressive brownstone on Newbury Street built in the mid-19th century. Inside, an elegant staircase leads from the main entrance to the second floor.
Assistant Director Vicky Magaletta escorted me through a maze of classrooms in this former mansion, some with huge windows overlooking Dartmouth Street, others with no windows at all. Students were reading textbooks or novels, solving algebraic equations, and using laptops to research topics of personal interest. On the door to Jaclyn Snell‘s class was a poster-sized graphic that caught my interest by highlighting a variety of ways that mathematics is used: from reports on how many Americans have allergies (50 million!) to evidence that people have been blowing kisses since 3000 B.C.
We then walked to the former YWCA, where several other classes are held in the basement. It was fun watching ELA teacher Seth Peterson‘s 11th grade World Literature students, who were planning and enacting scenes from The Alchemist