The Frank McCourt High School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is being hailed as a great success after sending 97% of its first graduating class to college.
There is no doubt the late Frank McCourt would be pleased.
The small, innovative public high school was founded in 2010 and named in memory of Brooklyn-born, Limerick-raised McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes.
Before his writing career exploded, with a Pulitzer for “Angela’s Ashes,” McCourt spend decades teaching in New York City’s schools – an experience lovingly detailed in his 2005 book “Teacher Man. “
Earlier this month, DNAinfo reported that the 67 out of the 69 seniors in the school’s first graduating class were accepted to colleges including “UPenn, Fordham University, Hampshire College, Howard University, Ithaca College, Lafayette College, Pace University, Penn State and Sarah Lawrence, among others.”
This is significantly higher than the 2012 – 2013 city-wide average, which saw 72% of high school graduates go on to college.
The high school’s unconventional application process consists of an interview, an group project, and an essay – all of which are valued far higher than the applicants' standardized test scores or grades. It shares a building that was previously home to a failing high school with three other recently-established schools.
Frank McCourt HS’ student body is diverse, and its curriculum places special emphasis on subjects that would make its name-sake proud – writing and communication.
A grade has been added each year since the school's opening in 2010. This coming fall will mark the first year the school teaches freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. The graduating class leaves behind an inspiring standard to uplond.
“Everybody here is celebrating,” school principal Danielle Slazberg told DNAinfo.