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Frank McCourt High School

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
145 West 84th Street
Manhattan NY 10024
Phone: 212-362-2015

Our Insights

What’s Special

A nicely integrated mix of students, and lots of group work and projects

The Downside

Metal detectors, no music, limited art instruction

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. 

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 participate in dance or guitar clubs according to a list of clubs on the website. 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; updated 2018)

Read more

School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2019-20 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Frank McCourt High School
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description:

Our school is a member of the Mastery Collaborative and committed to using cooperative groups to teach students skills and content. We focus on developing college and career readiness skills.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Seminar


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 NYCDOE’s MySchools
NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


Upper West Side (District 3)
Trains: 1 Line to 86th St; B Line, C Line to 81st St-Museum of Natural History
Buses: BxM2, M10, M104, M11, M5, M7, M79-SBS, M86-SBS


Danielle Salzberg
Parent Coordinator
Caren Austen

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Louis D. Brandeis Educational Campus with four other schools
Metal detectors?

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