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Icahn Charter School 5

Grades: K-8
Staff Pick
1500 Pelham Parkway South
Bronx NY 10461
Phone: 718-828-0034

Our Insights

What’s Special

Unusually small classes and an engaging curriculum

The Downside

Limited special education services

Icahn Charter 5 is a high-performing school with steady leadership and engaging instruction. Its part of a small network of charter schools opened with the support of billionaire financier Carl Icahn. Like all schools in the network, Icahn 5s school day and school year are longer than in traditional public schools. Class size is smalljust 18 students, even in the upper grades--and there are only two classes per grade.

Located in a quiet and leafy section of Morris Park in the Bronx, three Icahn schools3, 4, and 5share a large, renovated building that was once home to the Mother Butler Memorial High School for Girls. The three schools have separate administration and teaching staffs, but their classrooms are mixed throughout the building. Floors are organized by grade, not by school so, for instance, you will find 3rd grade classrooms for all three schools clustered together on the same hallway.

Icahn 5 has a calm and orderly environment. Children wear uniforms and rules are enforced, but the tone is not harsh or rigid. Classrooms in the younger graders are cheerful. Children sit in groups at tables but also can stretch out on colorful rugs and sit on beanbags to read a book. During lessons we observed, kids were serious and engaged, but also smiling and chatting as they worked.

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 subject matter they are expected to learn.

While curriculum is standardized across the network, 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.

Principals have flexibility too. For instance, Icahn 5 Founding Principal Lawford Cunningham, who has worked in the Icahn network since 2001, introduced ballroom dancing and a mock trial program. During our visit, we found a strong emphasis on writing, particularly in the upper grades where students are expected to write lengthy and detailed pieces, such as research papers on underwater exploration or essays on a prominent females ranging from Malala Yousafzai to Mary Wollstonecraft.

Daily science classes start in kindergarten. Starting in 3rd grade every child gets a Chromebook to use both at school and home, but we saw use of technology in the younger grades too. 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. Spanish instruction starts in the 7th grade.

The small class sizes allow for teachers to keep close tabs on students. Those needing extra help get support after school, on Saturdays, or in small groups during the regular school day.

Classes run from 8:30 am to 3:45 pm. There are free after-school activities run onsite.

Icahn 5 opened in 2011 and graduates its first class of 8th-graders in 2018.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers SETTS and extra support for English language learners 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)

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0%
2% Citywide Average
Teacher turnover rate
15%
34% Citywide Average

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
73%
54% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
63%
50% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
80%
46% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
85%
51% Citywide Average

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
27%
32% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
322
Asian
5%
Black
57%
Hispanic
31%
White
5%
Other
1%
Free or reduced priced lunch
69%
Students with disabilities
7%
English language learners
1%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
95%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
12%
23% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location

Location

Morris Park (District 11)
Trains: 5 Line to Pelham Pkwy; 6 Line to Pelham Bay Park
Buses: Bx5, Bx8, Bx12, Bx12-SBS, Bx23, Bx24, Bx29, Bx31, Q50

Contact

Principal
Danielle Masi

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with Icahn Charter Schools 3 and 4
Metal detectors?
No

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