McCourt News Wins Big in Journalism Awards

To our readers:

McCourt News has been named Best New Newspaper in the 2014 Newsies awards, sponsored by the NYC High School Journalism Collaborative, based at Baruch College.  It’s the only citywide journalism competition. Judges are working journalists and journalism professors at colleges and universities in New York City. Reporter Emily Ren was runner up for Best Feature for her reports on the Kaplan test prep company.

Congratulations to all the students who worked on our paper for the past two years! Full details are available on the Journalists in Schools website.  Click here to read more.

— Leslie Seifert, McCourt News advisor, 2012-2014, and director, Journalists in Schools


Kaplan: ‘We Take Our Students’ and Parents’ Concerns Seriously’

Kaplan test prep logo Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 12.27.21 AM


Kaplan company officials replied to questions on June 12, which was past the deadline for the print newspaper article about the  test-prep refunds  that Kaplan has offered to McCourt families (“Kaplan Test Prep Problems Lead to Refunds at FMHS”). The e-mail interview with Russell Schaffer, Kaplan’s senior communications manager, is published in full below. Continue reading

Kaplan Test Prep Problems Lead to Refunds at FMHS


After experiencing a number of problems with SAT prep classes taught by Kaplan this spring, the PTA has negotiated a resolution with Kaplan: families will receive a full refund and the PTA will not be charged! Kaplan, being one of the biggest test prep programs, is offering a full refund to everyone who took the prep classes, rather than just those who registered complaints. Continue reading

Lockers Get a Graffiti Makeover

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The Community Cares club decorated lockers in rooms that won the Penny Harvest.


What is the first thing you think of when someone mentions classrooms? Probably “ew,” right? When you look at Frank McCourt classrooms, a majority of them look really dull. Some teachers attempt to make it look more bright by putting posters and completed work on the walls, but what about the lockers?  The lockers in most classrooms were blank, which made it the perfect area to use as an art canvas.

Using the money they raised during the Penny Wars, Community Cares decided to decorate lockers in their mission to beautify the school and make it a more inviting place for students.  With Community Cares’ completion of the graffiti in the media room (403) and U.S. History room (305), there are now four classrooms with decorated lockers. Continue reading