Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health & Science Charter School is a 6th – 12th grade community charter school, now in its 7th year. Next year we will be fully enrolled with the addition of a 12th grade class. We welcome scholars with IEPs and have a 22% SPED population which is higher than our district average. We have 12% ELLs and we are actively working on expanding this number and developing a dual-language program that will begin in September of 2016.
Our school is located in the South Bronx and shares a DOE building with two public schools. DRIHSCS's institutional partner is the Urban Health Plan, which is the 22nd largest community health plan in the United States. Dr. Izquierdo, who founded the Urban Health Plan and the charter school, is a pillar of the community and a much-loved figure in the Bronx.
Seven years ago Dr. Izquierdo dreamed of opening a school for local Latino and African American youth that would not only prepare them for college but also certify them as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) so they could have good jobs. We are the only school in New York that certifies their students as EMTs. They leave fully employable, with job opportunities at the Fire Department or ambulance companies. They are prepared for and applying to college. This was Dr. Izquierdo’s dream: to help level the playing field for the South Bronx. Now it is a reality.
Our school is an amazing place of learning and excellence, educating the whole child. Urban Health Plan has partnered with us to provide a full-service clinic that services all the students in our building. This includes medical, dental, and psychological services. Our curriculum is centered on college preparation and discover/project based learning.
We have a full art and music program that includes our partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is the location of our first PD session this year. We also have partnerships with Carnegie Hall, Berklee College of Music in Boston, and Arts & Music Foundation.
Our students have been taking credit-bearing college courses through the "College Now" program at Hostos Community College, and many have been involved with internships that have helped prepare them for college and beyond. Our students have internships at Urban Health Plan and at City College's Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. In addition, they have internships at STEM and Leadership programs in Colorado, Washington DC, and Boston. We are partnered with Teach for America, St. John's University School of Education, Bloomfield College International Teacher Program (Korea), Fordham University, Columbia University’s Community Impact, Korea Taekwondo, Lehman College School of Social Work, Long Island University School of Social Work, Boricua College, Inwood House After School Program, and the Charter School Athletic Association in order to provide every student with broad opportunities for success.
Each year around 70% of our incoming 6th graders arrive two to four years behind academically, which means that the school spends almost the entirety of the middle school years bringing the students up to grade level. Our Regents scores show we do just that. We have Regents Exam pass rates that are better than our district and the city.
We welcome visitors at any time and would love to show you our school!
by Richard Burke, Head of School at Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health & Science Charter School