Frequently Asked Questions
When was I.C.E. born?
The Institute for Secondary Education was founded in 1993 at the site of the former Mabel Dean Bacon HS. We started with one 7th grade & one 9th grade class, gradually adding additional grades. In 1994, we moved to our current site and changed our name to better suit our pedagogical philosophy and practice – The Institute for Collaborative Education. Our first HS class graduated in June 1997. I.C.E. is a proud member of the national Coalition of Essential Schools and its local affiliate, the NYS Performance Standards Consortium.
What is the culture like at I.C.E.? What kind of student does well at I.C.E.?
I.C.E. is a college-bound program; 100% of our graduating seniors are accepted to two or more colleges. We have an amazing record of “Posse” and other full and partial scholarship winners.
I.C.E.’s reputation attracts students who love to learn, have positive in-class decorum, and enjoy working on hands-on, inquiry-based project work both individually and in small groups, in a diverse and nurturing learning community. There is no “cut off” score for admittance to I.C.E. We seek students who have exemplary attendance, punctuality, grades and social skills.
Do you follow NYC or NY State Standardized Curriculum?
Our school is among the few that have successfully fought for waivers against standardized tests for our HS students. Our MS does not currently have a waiver on NY State standardized exams, and we do not provide ‘test prep’ in our classrooms. We design & implement our own teacher-developed Curriculum & Interim Assessment system in all grade levels, correlating with our Departmental Vertical Plans that were designed backward from our HS Graduation Requirements to the 6th Grade and are guided by the I.C.E. Habits of Mind that we seek to cultivate in our students: Use Multiple Perspectives; Use Evidence; Analyze Information; Make Connections; and Take Risks
Does a student have to live in District 2 to apply to I.C.E.?
I.C.E. students come from all 5 NYC boroughs and are selected through our own application process. There is no I.C.E. code for the DOE’s MS Applications. Families are encouraged to also apply to other schools as we have in recent history received many times the number of applications as we have seats available for the sixth grade class.
Can we get a tour of the school?
We do not offer tours. Our 6G Open House events are informational but not required. We do not show any favor to families who attend an Open House. They are an opportunity to hear from our administration, our teachers, and meet some current students. Applicants who are eventually selected for an interview will be able to tour the school during a school day as part of the interview process.
Why are I.C.E. Open House events geared to prospective 6th graders only?
I.C.E. is an intentionally small 6 – 12 Grade school; most of our Middle School students matriculate with us to our High School. There are typically a very small number of spots available for 9th grade admission to I.C.E. In order to be considered you must indicate I.C.E. as your first choice for high school. We do not hold HS Open House Tours – see the NYC DOE website for using the Department of Education HS Placement process through the student’s current school Guidance Counselor.
Regarding the 6th Grade application form... Can page 2 be submitted by the applicant's 4th grade teacher?
Page 2 may be completed by the 4th grade teacher, 5th grade teacher, or guidance counselor.
Do the letters of recommendation need to be in sealed envelopes?
We prefer letters of recommendation to be in sealed envelopes, for authenticity, but we only require that page 2 be in a sealed envelope with the teacher's signature over the seal.