Sunday, November 22, 2009

Draft McCourt Mission Statement

The Frank McCourt High School

Francis "Frank" McCourt (19 August 1930 – 19 July 2009) was a teacher and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, best known for Angela’s Ashes. He taught English at McKee Career and Technical High School in Staten Island, Stuyvesant High School in New York City and in the English department of the New York City Technical College of the City University of New York. Frank McCourt strongly believed that all students could learn to write and think creatively.

Mission Statement

The Frank McCourt High School invites applications from a broad range of students with a desire to write – journalism, poetry, creative fiction, non-fiction, drama, science writing, biography, business documents, and/or graphic novels. All courses across the curriculum will be writing intensive and will encourage youth to engage with various modes of written communication. The rich curriculum will include substantial writing in world languages (Spanish and/or French) as well as an exploration of the arts and literature of Spanish and French speaking countries. There will be writers in residence at the school and opportunities for students to be engaged in a variety of writing projects, both in English and in other languages. Community-based organizations, such as Symphony Space, will be partners in furthering the curriculum.


The Frank McCourt High School is committed to total inclusion and to diversity by race/ethnicity, social class, language background, and learning styles. The school is committed to both excellence and equity – which go hand in hand, creating a community of students, educators, and families who reflect the rich diversity of NYC and are eager to join and help create a vibrant, creative school environment. The Frank McCourt High School will offer a range of opportunities in English writing and literature for English Language Learners, as well as for students who have advanced knowledge of Spanish and/or French.

The admissions process will be designed to cultivate a broad range of applicants with a passion for writing. The Frank McCourt High School will be a screened program, which means that students will be assessed based on: an interview, on-site writing sample, middle school transcripts, and test scores. The on-site writing activity will be judged using a culturally sensitive rubric. No single criterion will automatically exclude any student.

The admissions committee will include a wide range of diverse members of the school community, including administrators, teachers, students, and others committed to the mission and vision of the school. The school’s advisory board members may also be part of the admissions committee.

Student Recruitment

There will be outreach to middle schools, after-school programs, houses of worship, and community organizations in order to inform the widest possible group of students about the school and how to apply.

Advisory Board

An advisory board will be established that reflects the diversity of the school community and includes representatives of various media and cultural traditions.

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