About Our School

  • The John D. Runkle School has a long and illustrious history in Brookline, dating back to its founding in 1897. Runkle School is named for John Daniel Runkle, who was a Chairman of the Brookline School Committee and an early advocate of Mathematics and technical education. He was also a founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as its second president. 

    Runkle is proud of its vibrant community, our rigorous academic program, support for the arts, and a belief in teaching the "whole" child. Runkle embraces its diverse community, and we are deeply committed to the work of Brookline’s Equity Project. Located in the Fisher Hill neighborhood between Route 9 and Beacon Street, Runkle School has a population of 515 students in grades Pre-K through 8. Runkle is host to many of the Spanish English Language Learner students in Brookline and to programs for children on the PDD/Autism Spectrum. This program is called Reaching for Independence Through Structured Education (RISE).

    In the RISE Program, a team approach to service delivery is utilized for students participating. Students receive academic instruction, social skills training, behavioral intervention and related services. Services are provided in range of settings from substantially separate to full inclusion in a general education classroom. A primary focus for all RISE students is to increase independence with a variety of skills including self-help, social skills, behavior management, academics, communication, and executive functioning.

    The Runkle School Council is actively committed to working on the school's annual School Improvement Plan.

    The Runkle School PTO is a very active organization that helps build community at Runkle through our Family Picnic and annual Halloween Fair in the fall, Ice-skating Night, Square-Dancing Night, BINGO Night in the winter, the gala International Night, and the annual Music and Arts Festival in the spring. The PTO supports school activities by supplementing teacher supplies, underwriting class field trips, providing scholarships, and raising school spirit. 

Main Office

  • Main Office: 617-879-4650

    Absence Line: 617-879-4249

    Donna Finnegan, Principal

    Chad Pelton, Vice Principal

    Tracey Legendre, Secretary

    Linda Delvecchio, Building Aide

    Janet Campbell, Nurse

Contact Us

School Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:00-2:30

    Friday: 8:00-1:40

Brookline Thrives Weekend Food Program

  • Brookline Thrives is back, starting Friday, September 16! Thrives is a FREE weekend food program for any and all school families who may benefit from additional food options for their children over the weekend. No qualification is necessary, but students must be registered to receive Thrives bags at schoolRegister Here.
    To learn more about Brookline Thrives, please visit or email
  • The Public Schools of Brookline do not discriminate in its programs, facilities, employment or educational opportunities on the basis of race, color, age, disability, pregnancy, homelessness, sex/gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, genetics or military status, and does not tolerate any form of retaliation, or bias-based intimidation, threat or harassment that demeans individuals’ dignity or interferes with their ability to learn or work.

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