First print, and now the web
The pilot program at the Brandeis High School Campus began in September, 2012.
At Frank McCourt High School, we are offering a credit-level, elective English class for about 15 11th grade students. The group meets three days a week. Since the unexpected week-long break for Hurricane Sandy the staff has been producing a print newspaper that appears weekly and is beginning to catch on. We no longer spot newspapers tossed on the floors, as we did with the first few issues. Every student and staff member gets one delivered during an extended advisory (homeroom) period.
Mentors. Students have been working with director Leslie Seifert and mentors Flora Lee Peir, an editor on the international desk of The New York Times, and Ruth Ford, writer for City Limits magazine. Another mentor, Cheryl M. Mann, a business marketing consultant, worked with the group on preparing a marketing plan for the rollout of the school’s news website.
Early work. Much of the early work focused on profiles of teachers new to the school, as in the issue below at the left. (click cover to see it full size).
Later work. The reporting is growing more sophisticated and harder-edged. More recent papers have covered a canceled dance, the school’s unpopular decision to close a study room, and its policy on PSAT preparation (click on the covers below).
In just a few months, the reporting has grown more sophisticated. Students are thinking more critically, and the writing generally has improved. Click cover to see full issue.
The McCourt news website was launched in April. In the months to come, we will be taking full advantage of its interactive potential, adding video, audio, photography, graphics, animation, and public forums, to build an active civic conversation in the McCourt community. Follow progress here and in our blog. Click the graphic to see the live home page.