Icahn Charter School 2
Bronx NY 10462
A good track record
Long school day may not be for everyone
Opened in 2007, Icahn Charter School 2 offers small classes, a longer school day and lots of lessons in history, geography and science starting in the youngest grades. The school is modeled on the original school of the same name, which opened in 2003 in the Tremont neighborhood of the Bronx and is supported by billionaire financier Carl Icahn.
The days are long, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and run to mid-July. Children with low skills spend 45 minutes every day in small groups outside of class and must spend Saturday mornings at the school. Classes have only 18 students, much smaller than a typical public school, and attendance and test scores are high.
In class, children must work hard, but they get an opportunity to move around as they engage in artsy, hands-on lessons, particularly in history, geography and science, areas in which the school excels and offers to even the very youngest kids. Teachers follow the work of educator E.D. Hirsch, who wrote books outlining a base of core knowledge he believes every well-educated person needs to know. A recent theme was about the impact of human activity on the environment, followed by a trip to the Bronx Zoo.
Students significantly outperform the neighborhood schools on state tests and parents and teachers report a high level of satisfaction on the Learning Environment Survey in all areas. Parents receive a progress report six times a year and are held accountable for attendance and homework. They are called by 9 a.m. if children are absent and must provide a note upon the childs return.
Founding Principal Brenda Carrasquillo is a long-time Department of Education employee who was principal at CS 92 in the Bronx.
Special education: Teachers are able to give children personal attention because of the small numbers. Icahn schools pride themselves on their low referral rates to special education.
Admissions: Admission is by lottery and the waiting list is long. Priority is given to District 11 residents. (Lydie Raschka, May 2013).