Frank McCourt High School

An Insideschools pick
145 WEST 84 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10024 Map
Phone: (212) 362-2015
Website: Click here
Admissions: Selective, citywide
Principal: Danielle Salzberg
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
District: 3
Grade range: 9-12
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
New School
Citywide

Buses: M10, M104, M5, M7, M79, M86

What's special:

A nice racial mix with lots of group work and projects

The downside:

Metal detectors, no music, limited art instruction

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Frank McCourt High School, founded in 2010, offers an interdisciplinary curriculum with lots of group work; classes that mix math and science; and elective courses with titles like Genocide and Human Rights, American Capitalism, and Literature of the Post-Colonial World.

Housed in the Brandeis Educational Campus, the small school has a nice racial mix, with students from all five boroughs. Students may participate in campus-wide PSAL sports teams.

Instead of English, 9th- and 10th-graders take a double period of humanities, which combines literature and history. In a 9th-grade humanities class, students learned about world religions by reading books like the graphic novel Persepolis, the novel Siddhartha, and the play "My Name is Asher Lev." They invited community members to discuss Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism. In a 10th-grade humanities class, students read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness as part of a discussion of European colonialism in Africa. Writing is taught as a separate class.

In 11th and 12th grade, students choose humanities electives that range from the traditional—such as a course in Shakespeare—to the off-beat, like a course in “participatory budgeting” in which students nominate projects to be funded by the City Council.

Math and science are combined into one course called ISM (integrated math and science). The idea is to show the practical applications of math and science lessons. For example, 9th-graders pretended they were advising a pharmaceutical company on what type of enzyme would be most marketable to treat lactose intolerance. In the science lesson, they tested how enzymes break down food at different temperatures. Then, in the math lesson, they plotted the data on a graph using the quadratic equation in algebra. Math teacher Evan Smith said the new Common Core Standards put more emphasis on real-world applications of math, and this approach to math and science is in line with that.

Ninth grade ISM combines living environment and algebra (with some geometry) and 10th grade combines chemistry and algebra II. Three days each week students take separate classes for math and science. Instruction on the remaining two days merges the subjects. Math and science electives for 11th- and 12th-graders range from the traditional, like calculus, to the unusual, like a course that teaches chemistry through cooking.

Courses in the arts are limited. There is no music instruction, but students may take digital photography. Students must pass through metal detectors to enter the building.

Frank McCourt graduated its first class in 2014. The guidance counselor for the 11th and 12th grades serves as a college counselor. College acceptances include Vassar, University of Pennsylvania, Rochester Institute of Technology and a wide range of CUNY, SUNY and small private colleges.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes and SETTS.

ADMISSIONS: Open to students citywide. Applicants must write an online essay and are interviewed. Although the school looks at test scores, students with a range of scores are admitted. See the school website for details. (Clara Hemphill, April 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Louis D. Brandeis Educational Campus

Number of Students 387

Average Daily Attendance 93%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
9%

Black

  
16%

Hispanic

  
40%

White

  
32%

Free Lunch

  
50%

Special ed

  
17%

English Language Learners

  
1%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.74 2.40 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

56% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

96% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

80% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

96% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

16% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

95% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

NA 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

NA 10% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

1%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

30%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

33%

Are students ready for college?

How many students graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

43% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

501
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

NA 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

467
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

68% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

NA 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

97% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

87% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Frank McCourt High School

Screened

Selection Criteria

  • English (80-100) , Math (80-100) , Science (80-100) , Social Studies (80-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 2-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 2-4

There may be additional selection criteria, see the High School Directory for more information

Academics

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Asian Cultures, Community Cares, Model UN, Newspaper, Outdoors, Peer Tutoring, Student Government, Dance, Music, Running, Film; Each year we solicit club ideas from students

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball & JV Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Volleyball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Bowling, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Other schools sports: As we expand, we plan to offer intramural sports based on student interest

Source: High school directory

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