Award Year: 2022

Icahn Charter School 2

1640 Bronxdale Avenue
Bronx, NY, 10462-3302

(718) 828-6107

Ms. Brenda Carrasquillo, Principal at time of Nomination

Charter School, Title I School

Icahn Charter School 2

School Website

Mission

Carl C. Icahn Charter School #2, using the Core Knowledge curriculum developed by E.D. Hirsch, will provide students with a rigorous academic program offered in an extended day/year setting. Students will graduate armed with the skills and knowledge to participate successfully in the most rigorous academic environments and will have a sense of personal and community responsibility.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 33%
  • White: 4%
  • Hispanic: 55%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Asian: 4%
  • Native American: 2%
  • Two or more races: 1%
Application
This collage represents various components of school life at ICS2.

This collage represents various components of school life at ICS2.

We have successfully integrated Project-Based Learning (PBL) modules into the core curriculum and are part of the school culture. Topic units are set within a five-to-six-week period for completion. All students, K-8 participate in three in-depth modules per year. Students choose their topic based on a driving question. The teacher's role is to get students excited, and ready to learn while ensuring project alignment to our state's standards by connecting the student-centered project to activities and assessments that mirror the targeted learning.

Schools can replicate this initiative by engaging limited grade levels in the beginning, wherein the school administration can provide targeted support. As faculty become more experienced with the process, they can turnkey to the rest of the faculty. We do a PBL Fair in the school's gymnasium, similar to a Science Fair. Students' ability to present their project to an audience ensuring the wealth of knowledge required to answer questions from the audience can be challenging. A research paper and artifact are required to fulfill the project requirements before the oral presentation. All students have a Chromebook to research their topic; in the upper grades, students research independently. The teachers conference with the students, provide feedback and act as facilitators.

Continued professional development is afforded to new staff while extending the learning for more seasoned faculty is a challenge. Therefore, we organize teacher-to-teacher inter-visitations. Teachers sit in on 1:1 teacher /student conferences. Professional development focuses on training teachers on the standards against which they are to assess performance. Faculty meetings and grade conferences allow for sharing successes becoming another venue that spurs dialogue amongst faculty.

Soliciting support from families is paramount to establishing a PBL culture. Family members need to be motivated, therefore, their questions need to be addressed throughout the year. We begin in September with open houses, continue with parent workshops, and ongoing contact.A few questions that commonly arise: Why, PBL's?How is the school engaging students?What does a PBL look like?And most important of all - How can the family support their child throughout the process?This is the main vehicle used to develop a community of learners.