Icahn Charter School 4
Bronx NY 10461
A good track record
Long school day may not be for everyone
Opened in 2009, Icahn Charter School 4 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 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 classes run into July. Children with low skills spend 45 minutes every day in small groups 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 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 following 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.
Students significantly outperform 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 send a note explaining the absence when the child returns.
Special education: Teachers are able to give children personal attention because of the small numbers. Icahn staff pride themselves on their low referral rates to special education.
Admissions: Admission is by lottery. Priority is given to District 11 residents. (Lydie Raschka, May 2013).