Icahn Charter School 2

Grades K-8
Staff Pick

Location

1640 Bronxdale Ave
Bronx NY 10462
Morris Park (District 11)
Trains: 2, 5 to Bronx Park East; 6 to Zerega Ave
Buses: Bx4, Bx21, Bx22, Bx39, Bx40, Bx42

Contact

Phone
718-828-6107
Principal
Brenda Carrasquillo

What’s Special

Unusually small classes and an engaging curriculum.

The Downside

Limited special education services.

Our Review

Icahn Charter 2 is a high performing school with steady leadership and engaging instruction. It’s part of a small network of charter schools opened with the support of billionaire financier Carl Icahn. Like all schools in the network, Icahn 2 features a school day and school year that’s longer than in traditional public schools. Class size is small—just 18 students, even in the upper grades.

Principal Brenda Carrasquillo has led the school since it opened in 2007. Prior to Icahn 2, Carrasquillo worked at the Department of Education in a variety of positions including principal of PS 92 in the Bronx. 

Inside the spacious, contemporary building, hallways are brimming with colorful and imaginative student projects—dioramas, posters and detailed models of human skeletal, circulatory and pulmonary systems. 

Icahn is an orderly place. Children wear uniforms and rules are enforced, but the tone is not harsh or rigid. On our visit, kids were serious and engaged, but also smiling and chatting as they worked. Teachers have the freedom to decide how they want to deliver their lessons. Some rely more heavily on class-wide and independent work, while other encourage students to work in groups.

At the heart of the Icahn model is the use of the Core Knowledge curriculum, which is designed to expose students to a broad range of historical, scientific and cultural topics from an early age. Students do lots of talking and writing about what they are studying, and develop advanced vocabularies from all the content they are expected to learn.

We met kindergartners who discussed in detail animal life in rainforests, oceans and the African Savannah—topics they studied by reading multiple books.  A 2nd-grader created a “working” model of Mt. Vesuvius because it was “one of the most dangerous volcanoes in European History…and it erupted in 79 AD.” In social studies, 7th-graders learn about the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798; in English they discuss symbolism in an essay on the London Blitz of 1940. 

Daily science classes start in kindergarten. Starting in 3rd grade every child gets a Chromebook to use both at school and home.

Sixth grade follows a modified, middle school format. Students have one teacher for math and another for English and social studies. Seventh-and 8th-graders travel to different rooms for different subjects. Regents algebra is offered in the 8th grade. 

The small class sizes allow for teachers to keep close tabs on students. Those needing extra help, including students who are falling behind, English language learners and children with special needs, get support after school, on Saturdays and through the targeted assistance program. A fulltime targeted assistance teacher assesses each child and then works with small groups of children outside their regular classroom.

Classes run from 8:30 am to 3:45 pm. There are a range of free after-school activities run onsite by the New York Junior Tennis League such as tennis, soccer, coding and STEP.

Icahn 2 has a good record of sending graduates to competititve high schools such as Bard High School Early College, Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, and the specialized high schools. Some graduates attend independent and Catholic schools.

The school has its own dedicated space and entrance in a builiding it shares with PS/MS498 and P176, which is run by District 75, the citywide district for children with severe disabilities.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers SETTS and extra support for English language learers through the target assistance program.

ADMISSIONS: Admissions is by lottery and there typically is a long waitlist. Priority is given to siblings of current students and then to District 11 residents. A handful of seats are open in the upper grades. (Laura Zingmond, April 2017)

 

About the students

Enrollment
323
Asian
5.3%
Black
28.2%
Hispanic
62.9%
White
2.2%
Other
1.6%
Free or reduced priced lunch
71%
Students with disabilities
11%
English language learners
7%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with PS/MS 498
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
88%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
17%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
96%
76% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
88% Citywide Average

About the leadership

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
100%
81% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
92%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
86% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
51%
60% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
51%
78% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
64%
82% 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?
75%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
73%
42% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
32%
28% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
67%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

Average math score for SETSS students
2.88
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.62
2.3 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
100%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
88%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
88%
88% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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