Frank McCourt High School

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
Marquee homepage

Location

145 West 84 Street
Manhattan NY 10024
Upper West Side (District 3)

Contact

Phone
212-362-2015
Principal
Danielle Salzberg

What’s Special

A nice racial mix with lots of group work and projects

The Downside

Metal detectors, no music, limited art instruction

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 Conrads 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 traditionalsuch as a course in Shakespeareto 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 websitefor details. (Clara Hemphill, April 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
411
Asian
5.4%
Black
17.3%
Hispanic
43.6%
White
29.9%
Other
3.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
52%
Students with disabilities
20%
English language learners
1%
Male
44%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the Louis D. Brandeis Educational Campus with four other schools
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
Yes
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
88%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
92%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
26%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
70%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
10%
18% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
73%
56% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
6.0
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
85%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
82%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
89%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
82%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
93%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
96%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 4 dedicated spaces for Dance, Theater, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 1 licensed arts teacher in Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
63%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
55%
49% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
54%
70% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
90%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
7%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
2%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
57%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
38%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
90%
63% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
0% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
69%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
46%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
75%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
62%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
75%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Frank McCourt High School
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

French, Spanish

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't).
  • Criticism is fine, but no profanity, racist or ethnic slurs, or personal attacks.
  • All users must comply with our Terms of Use.