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Meeting of the Board of Regents | December 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 9:00am

sed seal                                                                                                 







John B. King, Jr.


Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School


December 8, 2009


Goals 1 and 2




Issue for Decision

Should the Regents approve and issue the proposed charter for Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School (New York City)?

Background Information

We have received a proposed charter from the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York for the establishment of Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School (DRIHSCS or “the School”). The School will open on September 7, 2010.  Initially, the School will serve 100 students in grades six and grow to serve 500 students in grades 6-10 in its fifth year of operation.  The School's mission is “to provide our students with a nurturing and challenging educational experience to achieve their fullest potential and address the health and economic disparities in our communities. Upon graduation our students will be prepared for numerous pathways to post-secondary success, including: the highest levels of college achievement, gainful employment as certified health care professionals, and a commitment to serve others as they pursue rewarding lives and respected careers for themselves.”  

              The School does not have a management partner but has contracted with Urban Health Plan, Inc. as its institutional partner.  The School will provide instruction from 7:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. for 200 instructional days per academic year. The School will offer a college preparatory curriculum, which includes Career and Technical Education classes and cultural enrichment.

The New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) held a public hearing in Community School District 12 on August 12, 2009 regarding this proposed charter application.  NYC DOE reported that no comments were made or received.  

Additional information concerning this initial application may also be found on the Board of Regents website at


              VOTED: That the Board of Regents approves and issues the charter of the Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York and issues a provisional charter to it for a term of five years, up through and including December 14, 2014.

Reasons for Recommendation

               (1) The charter school described in the proposed charter meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules, and regulations; (2) the applicant can demonstrate the ability to operate the school in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; and (3) approving and issuing the proposed charter is likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purposes set out in subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty of Article 56 of the Education Law. 

Timetable for Implementation

The Regents action for the Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School is effective immediately.










New York State Education Department

Summary of Proposed Charter

Name of Proposed Charter School: Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School (DRIHSCS or “the School”)

Address: TBD

Applicant: Dr. Richard Izquierdo

Anticipated Opening Date: September 7, 2010

District of Location: New York City Community School District 12, the Bronx


Charter Entity: Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York

Institutional Partner(s): Urban Health Plan, Inc.

Management Partner(s): N/A

Grades Served:                      2010-2011: 6

2011-2012: 6-7

2012-2013: 6-8

2013-2014: 6-9

2014-2015: 6-10


Projected Enrollment:         2010-2011: 100

2011-2012: 200

2012-2013: 300

2013-2014: 400

2014-2015: 500


Proposed Charter Highlights


              Dr. Richard Izquierdo is the founder and Medical Director Emeritus of Urban Health Plan, Inc. (UHP) and the creator of the initial plan to establish the School.  He has provided health care services for children and adults in the South Bronx since he interned at Fordham Hospital, and opened his first medical practice in 1962.  He has been in the South Bronx for over 45 years.  He has served as Vice President of the Bronx Chapter of the American Cancer Association; Vice Chairman and board member of the Lincoln Community Mental Health Center; and founder of the First Puerto Rican Blood Bank in New York City for United Bronx Organization.  Dr. Izquierdo has received many acknowledgements and awards for professional excellence and community service, including the Bronx YMCA Man of the Year, the Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Institute of Puerto Rico and the Surgeon General’s Medallion.  Under his leadership, UHP grew from a small medical practice to a full-service community medical and health care organization providing medical and health education services to more than 255,000 residents of the South Bronx.  His vision and leadership guided the organization in expanding to include school-based health clinics and partnerships with hospitals and universities.  Dr. Izquierdo earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Long Island University, attended medical school at the University of Madrid and earned his Ph.D. in Medicine from University of Lausanne.  Further, he completed post-graduate medical school at New York University, where he was certified in Comprehensive Medicine. 

Institutional Partner

Urban Health Plan, Inc. (UHP) is a not-for-profit network of comprehensive community based health clinics.  Its mission is to be recognized as the premier community health center in the country, with a data-driven culture of continuous quality improvement.  UHP will provide support and professional development in the form of resources and opportunities to enhance the health and science curriculum and create an effective Career and Technical Education (CTE) model.  UHP will leverage its own resources and connections to the local, state and national health care community to enable the School to provide students with rigorous career-aligned academics and relevant career and cultural opportunities.  The School will have access to UHP’s human resources in order to draw highly qualified CTE instructors and mentors from a workforce that includes nearly 400 employees and nearly 80 medical professionals.  UHP will collaborate with and support the School in assuring that the students are well informed and exposed to the diversity of occupations that constitute the science and health care workforce. UHP will also develop and operate a School Based Health Clinic; and provide a Health Career Coordinator as the School grows to capacity.   UHP does not anticipate charging fees for the services it may provide the School.  However, UHP may be reimbursed for any expenses it incurs on behalf of the School.  The key components of the UHP partnership will be to:

  • Provide professional and academic opportunities to students through seminars, site visits, health career counseling, an internship program and summer and part-time job opportunities. 
  • Support fundraising efforts by providing grant-writing expertise and find sponsors for after-school programs
  • Provide expertise in developing and financing a permanent site for the School. 
  • Work with the School’s personnel to develop health and wellness objectives for students and their families and developing relationships with colleges and universities, health care training programs and other potential employers.


Management Partner





  • The School will offer a college preparatory curriculum, which includes CTE classes and cultural enrichment.
  • The School’s instructional model will provide (1) engagement — awareness, interest, motivation; (2) capacity — knowledge and skills needed to advance in a content area; and (3) continuity — institutional & programmatic support, material resources and guidance.
  • CTE classes will include a hands-on application of health science concepts aligned with the courses students will be taking in math, science and the humanities.  The alignment will ensure that a clear focus is maintained on career outcomes and the practical application of the knowledge students develop in academic subjects.  The School will provide guidance through health industry professionals and highly qualified counselors.  
  • Opportunities will be provided through seminars conducted by visiting instructors with expertise in medicine and science, work-based-learning, internships and field study trips.    Travel opportunities will be offered starting locally and developing to international travel. 
  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses will become a consequence of the academic rigor and supplemental work the students will be engaged in from the sixth grade onward. 
  • The School intends to have 20 percent of its eighth graders take two New York State Regents examinations— science and mathematics. 
  • Each student will have a Student Success Plan (SSP), which will be developed by his or her instructional team of teachers, under the supervision of the principal and vice principals.  The SSP will serve as a blueprint for the student’s personal, academic and career objectives.
  • The students will be taught to take the initiative towards their post-secondary goals through the maintenance of the SSP, Case conferences, on-one-one student teacher conferences, professional seminars, work-based learning opportunities, and cross-curricular CTE instruction.
  • The School’s teacher-designed assessments will be created to ensure that students are progressing towards mastery of the competencies required for New York State (NYS) health care certifications – within the minimum age requirements – Certified First Responder (CFR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and/or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
  • The School will provide instruction in each subject in the seven general curriculum areas and the proposed curriculum is aligned to all 28 NYS learning standards.
  • The School is committed to provide an educational environment for all special populations, including the often overlooked gifted and talented learners.  The instructional program will employ a Gifted and Talented Education (GATE), which will be the same level of instruction clarity that will be expected from all teachers of all students at all grade and skill levels. 
  • The School will use the backward design framework described by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe in Understanding by Design as the instructional curriculum design tool.  Data-driven instruction will be the essential feature that will allow the teachers to address the individual needs of each student in meeting those curriculum objectives.
  • The School will also implement the GATE best practices that include: acceleration, differentiation, critical and creative thinking, choice, content complexity, interdisciplinary learning, student interaction and parent involvement. 
  • In addition to mandated state exams, the School intends to administer a series of benchmarks and assessments specifically aligned to measure its ability to prepare students for the requirements of NYS health care certification as CFR, EMT, LPN or other pertinent license area.
  • The School asserts it will use assessment data to inform teaching and learning.  The plan includes tracking the mastery of individual students; tracking the progress of classes; assessing teacher effectiveness by instructional topic; and conducting overall evaluations of the School curriculum.
  • The School reported that CSD 12 has some of the lowest performing middle schools in the Bronx, from which it will recruit its 6-8 grade general education students, English language learners (ELL) and students with disabilities (SWD).  The School reported that in 2008, a high percentage of the students in grades 3-8 were designated as students with special needs, in Community School District (CSD) 12.  In addition, only 35 percent of general education students achieved levels 3 or 4 on the English language arts assessment and 51 percent performed at these levels on the Math assessment.
  • The School will employ a structured immersion strategy to help ELL students achieve proficiency in the English language.  The extended instructional day will offer additional opportunities for ELL students to acquire proficiency.   
  • The School proposes a 200-day school year.
  • The School will provide instruction from 7:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. on Monday through Friday. 
  • Incoming students will have an additional five days of orientation during the summer.
  • The School will offer a voluntary Saturday and after school program contingent upon funding and staffing availability.




  • The number of Trustees shall not be fewer than seven and shall not exceed 15.
  • Trustees will be elected to serve two term(s) for a maximum of six years.  Parent Trustees are appointed for only one-year terms.
  • No more than 40 percent of trustees will be affiliated with the School as a compensated employee or contractor; or will be affiliated with Urban Health Plan, Inc. or any other single entity; and such persons will not serve as chair or treasurer of the Board.
  • Regular meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be held 10 times throughout the year.
  • The initial committees of the Board of Trustees shall be the executive, finance, education and accountability.
  • The officers of the board of trustees are chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer.




  • The School will serve 100 students in grade six in Year One and will grow to 500 students in grades 6-10 in Year Five.   
  • The School will enroll 100 students per grade in Year One. 
  • The School anticipates a class size of 25 students.  Each class will have one full-time teacher and one part-time teacher per class.  The student to teacher ratio will be 16:1. 
  • The School will post flyers and place notices in local newspapers, supermarkets, community centers, and apartment complexes; conduct open houses at after-school programs and youth centers; visit local organizations such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club and others programs in surrounding neighborhoods; and canvass neighborhoods to further reach interested families.
  • The School’s recruitment plan includes strategies to advertise widely to families from the community school district, including families with students identified as ELL and SWD.  Applications will be translated in English and Spanish (and other languages as needed).
  • The School anticipates the ages of students enrolled will range between 11 and 16 years old.
  • In Year One, the School will only enroll new students in sixth grade.  In each subsequent year, admissions will be limited to grade six. 
  • To address student attrition in grades 6-8 only, the School will admit students from the waiting list. 
  • The School expects the student body to reflect the population of the target community, which in 2007-2008 was: 66 percent Hispanic, 31 percent African-American, two percent Other, one percent White, and one percent American-Indian or Alaska Native.  Eighty-one percent of the area public school children participated in the federal free lunch program and four percent were reduced lunch.  Eighteen percent were identified as limited English proficient and 19 percent were identified as SWD. 
  • The School anticipates the students will possess both the academic and professional skills to pursue advanced degrees not only in the health sciences but also the physical sciences, mathematics and humanities fields.




  • The School is pursuing alternatives to conventional lease/purchase arrangements through securing underutilized New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) space. 
  • The School will pursue alternative plans if NYC DOE space is unavailable.  
  • If the School utilizes commercial space, the proposed construction plans include an on-site community health clinic, which would be a satellite of UHP’s existing network and become a fundamental resource for student instruction.
  • The School’s Year One revenue is $2,277,548 and will grow to $7,824,590 in Year Five. 
  • The School anticipates fundraising revenues in the amount of $700,000 in Year One and $200,000 each year in Year Two through Year Five.
  • The School expects to carry forward a zero cash balance from the start-up budget.
  • The Year One budget anticipates total expenses of $1,525,831 and by Year Five to equal $5,103,362.
  • The School anticipates an ending fund balance of $678,616 at the end of Year One and $2,721,228 at the end of Year Five.
  • The School intends to create a dissolution fund of $75,000, to be funded within the first three years.
  • The School estimates receiving a City of New York Start-Up Grant in the amount of $95,300 based on its projected enrollment.
  • The School reported it has been pre-authorized to receive a start-up grant of $250,000 from the Walton Family Foundation.  The School has already received $30,000 of this grant.
  • The School ensures that it will perform all programmatic and fiscal audits annually as required by the New York State Charter Schools Act, in accordance with auditing standards and Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States.
  • The potential fiscal impact upon the District is represented below.  Please note that these projections are based upon several assumptions, which may or may not occur: that all existing charter schools will also exist in the next five years and serve the same grade levels as they do now; that the charter schools will be able to meet their projected maximum enrollment; that all students will come from NYC and no other districts; that all students will attend everyday for a 1.0 FTE; that the District’s budget will increase at the projected rate; that the per pupil payment will increase (and not decrease); and that the per pupil payment will increase at the projected rate.





Projected Fiscal Impact of

Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School

(New York City – CSD 12 – the Bronx)

20010-11 through 2014-15

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact



$           1,281,600




$           2,640,096




$           4,078,948




$           5,601,756




$           7,212,260


* Assumes a 3 percent annual increase in the District’s budget from the base of $18.035 billion in 2010-2011; and a 3 percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil per year from the 2010-2011 rate of $12,819.



  • The School will be led by a principal (proposed to be John Xavier – former Assistant Principal of Frederick Douglass Academy). 
  • The work of the principal will be supported by a vice principal of operations, an administrative assistant and an office manager.  In addition, by Year Three the School will employ a vice principal of finance and a vice principal of instruction.
  • The School will employ the following staff in its first year of instruction: seven classroom teachers (35 in Year Five); one special education coordinator/teacher (one in Year Five).
  • In addition, the School will employ a full-time social worker.
  • The School will identify faculty members with the qualifications (preferably additional certification in Gifted Education) to lead the GATE initiative.
  • Staff will receive 15 days of professional development (PD) in the summer prior to school opening. In addition, teachers will receive 10 days of PD throughout the school year.
  • Each teacher will have a Teacher Success Plan (TSP), which will be developed with the support and supervision of the Principal and Vice Principals.  The TSP will serve as a blueprint for the teacher’s informal and formal professional objectives.  In addition, the TSP will be used in the formal evaluations.
  • Targeted PD will be in data-driven decision-making and health care to share UHP’s “culture of data driven improvement and develop cross-curricular integration.”
  • The School will develop and foster the existing relationships of the prospective principal and Board members with colleges and universities to provide students with ample exposure to a college environment as well as the opportunity to take post-secondary classes during the high school grades.
  • The School will conduct staff recruitment in a variety of methods including: advertisements in newspapers, targeted media and educational journals, relationships with colleges and graduate Schools of Education, teacher recruitment fairs and general job fairs, email and phone networks, networking and communication with charter school organizations, educational organizations, colleges and universities, Teach for America, Math for America  and referrals through the New York City Charter School Center, CEI-PEA and similar organizations.


Community Support


  • The School provided 103 signatures of parents with children eligible for enrollment to satisfy its target enrollment.
  • The School has received support from the following community leaders, foundations, and community organizations: Ruben Diaz, Jr. – Bronx Borough President, Community Board 2 – Chairperson Roberto S. Garcia, José E. Serrano – 16th Congressional District, Deputy Majority Leader Jeffrey D. Klein – 34th Senate District, Carmen Arroyo – 84th Assembly District, Peter M. Rivera – 76th Assembly District, Maria C. Arroyo – 17th City Council District, Nick Lugo – New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Bronx County Medical Society, Spanish American Medical Dental Society of New York, Boricua College, South Bronx Mental Health Council, Inc., AHRC New York City and two personal letters from Alan Lambert and Estella Natal.


Public Opinion


  • The NYC DOE sent a letter and posted the notice on its website, notifying the public and independent schools in CSD 12 of the proposed application for Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School and inviting comments for the public hearing. 
  • The NYC DOE held a public hearing in CSD 12 on Wednesday, August 12, 2009, concerning the application.  No public comments were made or received.