International Community High School

Grades: 9-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

Innovative program for immigrants who cannot read in their home language

The Downside

Students face huge challenges

The International Community High School (ICHS) serves new immigrants, including many who cannot read or write in their native language. The school is part of the Internationals Network for Public Schools, an organization of schools designed to help newcomers learn English while preparing them to succeed in college. 

While all the schools in the network cater to newcomers, ICHS has a special challenge with students who may never have attended school before they arrived in the United States. The staff has developed an intensive one-year program called Bridges to Academic Success to prepare older teenagers for 9th grade. 

“They are bringing an incredible resilience and willingness to learn, especially kids who have been denied education in their home country,” a teacher said in a video about the program that was produced for the New York State Education Department, adding that the students have unusual skills as well as unusual challenges. For example, they might speak five languages but not be able to read or write in any of them.

In the Bridges program, 10 students are taken out of regular high school classes to work on basic skills with their teachers for one year. In one class depicted in the video, students read a picture book called Nasreen’s Secret School, about an Afghan girl’s struggle to have an education. The text was simple, but the themes of social justice were complex enough to engage older teenagers. 

When students finish the Bridges program, they enter the 9th grade.

Like the other schools in the Internationals Network, ICHS classes are taught mostly in English. Teachers help students in their native languages, including Spanish, French, Bengali and Arabic, but expect tests and projects to be done in English. Classes combine students of different levels, so those who are stronger in English can help new arrivals. All 11th graders participate in internships at 30 locations throughout New York City. .To graduate, students must present a portfolio of projects. 

Students can graduate with more than 12 college credits such as chemistry or composition classes through SUNY Potsdam, math courses through Monroe College, and College Now courses through Hostos Community College. The French Embassy offers AP French. 

The students face significant challenges. Some live in temporary housing; some are pregnant or have children of their own. Some are pressured by their families to leave school to earn income, and still others come from cultures or families that expect them to stop school for early marriage, according to the Comprehensive Education Plan. Nonetheless, about two-thirds graduate within four years.  

ICHS shares a building with two middle schools, PS/IS 224 and the Academy of Applied Mathematics and Technology.

ADMISSIONS: Limited to students who have been in the country for less than four years and who have limited English. (Clara Hemphill, web reports, May 2018; updated August 2020)

School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
624 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

International Community High School

Admissions Method: Screened: Language

Program Description:

Each new student and family attends a comprehensive orientation session during the last week of August.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

French, Spanish

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Outdoor Track, Table Tennis

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


345 Brook Avenue
Bronx NY 10454

Trains: 2 Line, 5 Line to 3rd Ave-149th St; 6 Line to Brook Ave

Buses: Bx1, Bx15, Bx17, Bx19, Bx2, Bx21, Bx32, Bx33, Bx4, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, Bx4A


Principal: Berena Cabarcas

Parent Coordinator: Abdoulaye Balde


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with PS/IS 224 and the Academy of Applied Mathematics and Technology

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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