Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Feb. 11 Frank McCourt Open House and Update

Brandeis Campus Open House including Frank McCourt, Global Learning Collaborative and Green Careers on Thursday, February 11, from 6-7 pm.

The following update was provided by Danielle Salzberg, Project Director

With just one week of recruiting under our belts, there has already been overwhelming interest in the school!

We had more than 100 people at our Open House on February 2

We completed 10 interviews with incredible student candidates

We met several hundred interested families at the DOE sponsored New School fair February 6-7

We already scheduled school visits to interested middle schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn

We have a tentative space in Harlem for an Open House on February 16 (details to follow)

We have tentative space in Harlem for interviews on March 2 and March 4 (details to follow)

We continue to look for students with an interest in communications including creative writing, performance, presentation, journalism, etc. and community service.

Student applicants will be ranked based on 5 criteria. They earn points for each category and students with the most points are ranked first. Criteria include: 7th grade ELA and math exam scores; 7th grade GPA; 7th grade attendance record; Writing task (completed at the interview); Group project (completed at interview). Families and students at every level have been encouraged to apply as the 2 interview tasks can earn students more points than all other criteria combined. We also encourage students with IEP’s and designated as ELL to apply, as we intend to provide any necessary services.

Our school program will include curriculum rich in problem solving and designed with the writing process (drafting, feedback, revision, editing, publication) at its core.

Students in grades 9-10 will take a core set of courses designed around authentic problems they will investigate and learn to communicate solutions about. Many problems will be interdisciplinary so students learn how the skills they need for success after high school are connected.

The writing program includes a core course for all 9th and 10th graders that focuses on the writing process and prepares students to participate in a community of writers- giving and receiving feedback, communicating to varied audiences, exploring genres, etc. 11th and 12th graders will have an opportunity to specialize in either creative communications (more focused genre writing, theater, etc.) or professional communications (journalism, research presentation, grant preparation, etc.). These strands can be pursued through school courses and/or the mandatory action research internship that all students will complete prior to graduation.

All our students will take Regents exams and have the opportunity to explore a rich math and science program. The 9-10 core curriculum includes Regents math and science standards and students in 11th and 12th grade will have a chance for advanced study of particular science and math courses.

We are building relationships with colleges and universities to be able to offer students opportunities to take courses for college credit through College Now and other programs.

Community service is a way to teach communications and provides real experiences that allow students to explore post-secondary interests while still in school. Service projects will take place in Advisory as well as through a mentored independent study we are calling “Action Research Internship”.

Want to Help? If you can help, please email

We are still looking for space to convene additional Open Houses in February and March. We are looking for space to host interviews on March 11, 16, 18, 23, 25.

We are looking for help circulating flyers for upcoming events.

We are looking for volunteers to help greet attendees at Open Houses and interview sessions.

Thank you for all your support to-date! We look forward to celebrating future Frank McCourt High School successes with you!