Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE)

Grades 6-12
Staff Pick
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Location

345 East 15th Street
Manhattan NY 10003
Gramercy (District 2)
Trains: 4, 5, 6, N, Q, R, W to 14th St-Union Square; L to 1st Ave
Buses: M1, M2, M3, M14A, M14D, M15, M15-SBS, M101, M102, M103

Contact

Phone
212-475-7972
Principal
Peter Karp
Parent Coordinator
Justin White

What’s Special

School promotes love of learning--not test prep

The Downside

Limited upper level course offerings, especially in high school

Our Review

The Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE) is a small, progressive secondary school that strives to teach children to love learning, not just to take standardized tests. Children may act out scenes from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar as part of their study of Ancient Rome, use earthquake data to map fault lines on their computers, or even travel to Europe with the middle school's award winning jazz band.

ICE belongs to a consortium of 30 New York state high schools whose students are exempt from taking most state-mandated Regents exams. (Middle school students must take the state English and math tests, and high school student must take the English Regents.) Children are evaluated based on their written essays and oral presentations called portfolios.

It's an informal place. Students call teachers by their first names and sometimes use slang when speaking to adults. Blue jeans are the rule, on adults as well as kids. Kids can be boisterous during class changes. But there is real learning going on, and kids seem happy and engaged. There are some non-traditional activitieslike testing the water quality of the Bronx River in a biology class--as well as tried-and-true reading assignments like Macbeth or The Great Gatsby. Teachers stay after school to help kids with their homework and often eat lunch with them.

ICE is a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, a national network of schools founded by education professor Theodore Sizer, who believes that small schools that concentrate on teaching a few subjects well are more effective than large schools that attempt to teach a wide array of subjects.

Peter Karp, a former science teacher at the school who most recently was a curriculum designer at New Visions for Public Schools, became principal in January 2012, replacing founding principal John Pettinato who retired after 20 years at ICE.

Karp introduced an integrated math/science curriculum in the 7th grade called "smath," where kids build models of roller coasters and catapults; 11th graders may take statistics and an introduction to neuroscience course that's so popular that a few graduates have gone on to study neuroscience in college. Students have won awards from the NYC Science and Engineering Fair for projects such as one on the effect of transracial adoptions.

"We've really ramped up our math and science," a teacher told us on one of our visits.

The Institute for Collaborative Education occupies the 5th floor and part of the 4th floor of the former Stuyvesant High School, which it shares with Health Professions and Human Services High School and a District 75 program for autistic children. Large papier-mache sculptures, which the kids made and painted themselves, sit on top of lockers in the hall. Students' science projects are visible everywhere: towers made of straws, bridges made of popsicle sticks to test loads, and posters about earthquakes, avalanches, and pollution in the city's Newtown Creek.

One downside: the small size of the school means course offerings are limited. For example, only three years of high school Spanish are offered. There are no Advanced Placement courses. (Students who want to take advanced courses may arrange to take them at nearby colleges.)

Seniors have internships, rather than regular academic coursework, for their entire second semester, working at architects' offices, law firms, art galleries and a science research labs at local universities.

Parents say that the college counselor, Jennifer Wells, is unusually helpful and accessible. College acceptances include Brown, Colby, Sarah Lawrence, Yale, the University of Chicago, Cornell, Penn State, Middlebury College, Hampshire College, Bard, Bucknell, and College of the Atlantic.

Special education: A full-time special education teacher offers individual help to children with special needs.

After school: The school has girls and boys basketball, soccer, and track teams.

Admissions: The school accepts children from all five boroughs, and kids travel from Brooklyn and even Staten Island to attend. There are 60 seats in the 6th grade, and the number of applications is far greater than the number of seats. Tours are held in October and November.  The school typically has a handful of open seats in the 9th grade and occasionally has seats in other grades, although space was tight in 2014. In keeping with its philosophy, the school does not consider standardized test scores in admission. Children submit a writing sample and visit the school for a day. (Clara Hemphill, February 2014)

About the students

Enrollment
486
Asian
6.8%
Black
17.5%
Hispanic
17.1%
White
51.9%
Other
6.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
20%
Students with disabilities
9%
English language learners
0%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the former Stuyvesant Campus with two other schools
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
127%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
11%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
86%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
20%
45% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
90%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
79%
49% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
4.4
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
90%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
90%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
90%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
67%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
90%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
48%
29% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
41%
38% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Music, Theater, and Visual arts
This school has 3 licensed arts teacher in Music, Theater, and Visual arts

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
85%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
72%
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
83%
69% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
3%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
97%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Institute for Collaborative Education
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
93%
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
0%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
1%
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
85%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
100%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
71%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
72%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
91%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
100%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
75%
67% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Institute for Collaborative Education
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Humanities (History & Literature), Mathematics, Applied Sciences, Spanish, Arts & Electives.

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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