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It is an annual tradition at our charter school to pause and reflect on the sacrifices and contributions made by African Americans in the development of America’s history and throughout the globe. This year, we have partnered with the New York Historical Society to provide targeted lessons to our young scholars during the month of February. This year’s “Teach In” is an intentional presentation of topics connected to our history curriculum on the Slave Trade, the Civil Rights movement, the Jim Crow era, Black Citizenship, and the Underground Railroad. The story of Harriet Tubman has finally made it to the big screen, as a movie that chronicles her life of extraordinary courage and to free as many slaves as she could. Harriet, also known as the Black Moses, was a fearless leader with supernatural strength, who risked her life and paved the way to freedom for thousands of slaves. One of my favorite quotes is “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if only they knew they were slaves.”


The Chinese people usually spend the first day of the Chinese New Year with their family members at home. They usually have dumplings or niangao as the first meal of the New Year. After breakfast, little kids put on new clothes and give New Year greetings to their parents and grandparents. Both the kids and un-married adults may receive monetary red envelopes from seniors in the family. Some people will go to temples in hope of having good luck the whole year. At our charter school the knowledge of the Chinese culture, customs and tradition is valued and respected. The Chinese Mandarin curriculum is an integral part of our program of study. Our Mandarin teachers work with our scholars in their sophomore and junior years, in order to broaden their understanding of this very significant language that has a 5000 year history and has become the number 1 language in the Global Economy. 


Our theme for this academic year is 2020 Vision. We have witnessed the graduation of 10 Cohorts, six of which have already graduated from college and pursuing their dreams. It is my basic belief that all school age children are gifted and talented with the innate potential for doing amazing things and achieving excellence. My journey for creating a public school environment that would harness these talents and promote this potential, began with a sense of urgency, personal belief and educational philosophy that would later be proven successful in the evidence found in our tangible results and data demonstrating out performance of schools throughout the city and state.


The inspiration for our journey to China are the past 13 years where are our high school scholars who are required to complete a two-year Mandarin course and learn the language, and acquire knowledge of Chinese history, culture and art. They prepared presentations for our trip and I looked forward to sharing our experiences with them upon return to NYC. The President of China, Xi Yinping was quoted in an article that appeared in the China Daily where he hailed US high school students’ from an Illinois high school who are learning Mandarin and wrote a letter to Mr. Yingping. In his response to the letter, he encouraged a greater communication between students in the US and those in China calling for a “…a deeper friendship between the people of our two countries.” This further affirmed our decision to continue offering Mandarin as part of the curriculum is intended to teach our scholars to have a better understanding of the Chinese people and to gain more friends across the globe.


Alice WalkerDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - March 2019
March is Women’s History month and it was difficult to choose just one woman to highlight so I have chosen four. I have chosen women who are not often celebrated or taught in our history books. For me, it is always challenge separate Womanhood from Motherhood, so in this edition of News and Notes the theme is the connection between these two nouns. Upon deeper reflection, whether you are a biological or spiritual Mother, a Grandmother, Godmother, or Grand Aunt all women have one common thread and that is the ability to create life, to nurture and protect, as well as, to become trailblazers and visionary leaders, teachers, lawyers, inventors, writers and scientists. That is a powerful role to have in the world we live in.


Harriet TubmanDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - February 2019
Commemorating African-American Heritage & the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora For African American Heritage month, it is a tradition at our charter school to commemorate, as well as, teach about the lives of various civil rights leaders, legislators, educators, scientists and authors. One of my favorite authors is Zora Neale Hurston who wrote the award-winning novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Years after her death, an unpublished written account of interviews that she conducted with an African born man, living in Mobile Alabama in 1928 and 1931 was released. The book titled Baracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo features the first-hand account of Cudjo Lewis, one of the last slaves torn away from his homeland in West Africa and sold into slavery and brought to the United States in 1860.


2018-11-6-CEO-news-notes-1Dr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - November 2018
The Justice Academy for New York young women introduces promising high school students field of law and leadership skills through an intensive legal educational program. Over 400 young women have completed the program with confidence and inspiration to pursue careers in law. Numerous young women at our charter school have participated. This past summer we had five whom were selected. Honorable La Tia W. Martin is the founder of the Justice Academy. A special recognition to our Juniors Leslie Grullon, Ruth Laryea, Stephanie Ortiz and Jailyn Ruiz who participated in the 3 week summer program at Fordham Law School. Great Job!

Changing Lives and Transforming Communities One Scholar at a Time
Cohort IX Graduation

On June 29, 2018 the International Leadership Charter High School held the graduation ceremony for Cohort IX. This annual commencement celebration with all stakeholders in our school community present is always an exciting and extraordinary event. This single day embodies all that we do at our charter high school to support the academic accomplishment and personal success for each scholar.. All efforts are intentional and dedicated toward the 100% graduation of our scholars who are prepared for the next phase of their journey toward the completion college.


Dr. Elaine Ruiz Lopez releases April CEO NEWS and NOTES in honor of the late Maya Angelou
“You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.” - Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (1928–2014) was a modern American poet and writer. Maya Angelou is one of America’s leading female contemporary poets. Maya Angelou also achieved much in the fields of theatre, acting, writing novels and also as a member of the Civil Rights movement.



Dr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - February 2018
“Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That's the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Dr. King’s birthday is celebrated annually at our charter school. This year, the faculty held a teach-in for our scholars, the autobiography “Why We Can’t wait” is required reading for the 9th grade, and the I Have a Dream speech and its significance is studied. We must always remember the vision and honor the dream.



2017-12-College-application-marchDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - December 2017
“It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love is put in the giving.”

― Mother Teresa
College Application March
With bells ringing and banners waving, our students and school staff proudly marched their way to the local post office where our seniors mailed their college personal statements, marking a major milestone in their college prep process. The College March is an inspiring symbol of the idea that every student, regardless of background or circumstance, can be prepared to thrive at a high-quality institution of higher learning. It is a powerful tradition at our charter school that helps establish a college bound culture. The march also works to motivate our freshmen, sophomores and juniors by showing them where we expect them to be in a few years with hard work and dedication.

Dr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - November 2017

“Puerto Rico se Levanta” is the phrase serving as inspiration as the island begins to rebuild, translates to “Puerto Rico rises””

This photo of Puerto Rican mother and child embarking on a dangerous journey across the river in the mountain region to find shelter and safety, is one of thousands of stories of survival that our families, brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico have endured over the past two months. More than 85% of the island is without electricity, clean drinking water and access to food and nutrition.

Dr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - October 2017






Dr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - Summer 2017

Graduation Photo Congratulating Cohort VIII



Dr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - March 2017

“I decided blacks should not have to experience the difficulties I had faced, so I decided to open a flying school and teach other black women to fly.” - Bessie Coleman

Celebrating Inspirational African American Women

In my search to highlight inspirational African American heroes, I found a “Sheroe” named Bessie Coleman who takes her place alongside of other extraordinary aviators and rarely highlighted during the celebrations of Black History Month. Bessie Coleman was the first black woman to earn a pilot's license. Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license from France's well-known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation in just seven months. Coleman specialized in stunt flying and parachuting, earning a living barnstorming and performing aerial tricks. She remains a pioneer of women in the field of aviation.

Happy HolidaysDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - December 2016

Scholars Light the Torch of Inspiration: College Application Walk
Seniors from International Leadership Charter High School in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge section of the Bronx today walked together to Kingsbridge Post Office to mail their college applications in a ceremony to recognize their hard work and achievements. Every student and teacher at the school lined the main hallway and cheered loudly as the seniors exited the school and walked to the post office. At the post office, the students, as well as postal workers and members of the surrounding community, cheered as each student mailed their applications.

Lessons in historyDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - November 2016

Lessons in History, Hope and Resiliency
Since 1920 when women earned the right to vote there have been millions of young women and little girls who have dreamed about becoming the first female President of the United States. In the early 1960’s I was one of them. My father recently reminded me of the Parent Teacher conference that he attended with my mother at P.S. 20 on Simpson Street in the South Bronx. My teacher proudly shared my achievements and informed them that I could become the first woman to become President of the highest office of the land. They have shared this story since I was a child. Last night, I reminisced once again with my father and laughed about how Secretary Clinton was soon to be voted in for what should have been my job, the first Woman of the United States of America! This morning we all woke up to the breaking news that the grand vision to shatter the glass ceiling did not come to pass. The victory that millions of women were ready to celebrate suddenly came to a halt.

photo-ilchs-anniversary-galaDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - May 2016

Our Charter School Celebrates a Decade of Service: Changing Lives and Transforming Communities
The International Leadership Charter High School was established in January of 2006 with doors opening for the first 9th grade class on September 11, 2006. In the past 10 years, we have successfully provided a quality education and service to high school age students throughout the Bronx. As of June 29, 2016 we have educated six cohorts, led six graduations and have prepared six valedictorians & salutatorians for their graduation speeches.

Marking the end of this academic year, there will be approximately 350 students whom have graduated from our charter high school and have enrolled in colleges and universities throughout New York State and the Northeast. Our alumni are being prepared to lead careers in various industries throughout the local community, the state and throughout various parts of the country.

2016-inauguration-new-school-buildingDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - February 2016

The Inauguration of our New School Building
On January 27, 2016 we held our Inauguration and Grand Opening for our new school building. This momentous occasion was celebrated by parents, community leaders, and our school leadership in recognition that our charter school’s vision for a permanent home for teaching and learning was finally realized. In attendance were members of the Board of Trustees, Assemblyman Dinowitz, Councilman Cohen, Honorable Marlene Cintron, President of BOEDC, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, Reverend Ray Rivera and Shin Mitsugi Deputy Executive Director at Build NYC.


Holiday group photoDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - December 11, 2015

AT ILCHS, we seek to prepare every student to become a leader in the global world, and we are truly proud of our success! To build on and maintain this success, however, we need your support. Please consider supporting ILCHS today!As ILCHS is a qualified 501(c)(3) organization, your contribution will be fully tax deductible. Please visit our donations page to make a safe and secure online contribution.


2015 Future Femail Change-MakersDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - November 20, 2015

We learned about gratitude and humility-that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors that kept our school clean…and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.
First Lady Michelle Obama

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

The change of seasons and the autumn leaves is my favorite time of year. The most basic and thoughtful form of gratitude during these changing and uncertain times, is to be thankful for every day that we can breathe and lather in the beauty of nature, and enjoy the breath of life with our friends, family and those we serve. During this season there are two words that are so easy and accessible, yet too often taken for granted. I am grateful for our scholars, parents, school community and team. I am particularly grateful that our new school building has been completed and that we will be moving to our new home very soon. The best part of ourselves is in the expression of gratitude and simply communicated by saying “Thank You.”


Dr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - June 15, 2015
NYS Board of Regents vote on five more Years
The Chancellor recommended that the International Leadership Charter High School be renewed to a full term, 5 year renewal.

The Chancellor has also approved the charter revision to increase your school's maximum authorized enrollment to 440 student.  Reflecting that change, the DOE has revised the renewal report for the International Leadership Charter School, a copy of which can be found publicly on our website.


2015 Future Femail Change-MakersDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - March 13, 2015
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This month we celebrate women of courage from Selma, Alabama to the White House.

Without question, these are heroic women who have sat down so that we can stand up. Throughout the year our scholars learn about women in History. The common thread that connects the women highlighted in this edition of News and Notes is the fact that they have paved the way for all women in this country and across the globe.

Whether leading in Congress or marching in Selma, their names and the content of their character and sacrifices will be remembered. For Women's History Month we highlight a few of these trailblazers.


2015-We-celebrate-school-choiceDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - February 13, 2015
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Our school community celebrates African American Heritage Month with lessons about legendary leaders who paved the way for freedom and equality for all persons of color in this country. Our scholars are actively studying lessons taught by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, as well as viewing video clips of the Civil Rights Movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1964. Historical readings from novels such as Dr. King's "Why We Can't Wait" and Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" provide a framework for the teaching of our history. The top movie pick of the season is Selma, a cinematic depiction of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and it is highly recommended for young people and families to see.


2014-Senior-College-Application.jpgDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - January 13, 2015
Happy New Year! The month of January represents new hopes and dreams. Nationally, we also celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and his role in the historical passing and signing of the Civil Rights legislation and the Voting Rights Act of 1964. As you know, these were very challenging times in our world and our local communities. However, a new year gives us all an opportunity to reflect on ways in which we can make a difference and contribute to social justice and peace in our neighborhoods, the work place, and our schools. We wish you all much peace, success, and prosperity in 2015 and beyond. At ILCHS we have many exciting upcoming events and initiatives that are in development for this year. Please stay tuned! In the meantime, here are some end of year highlights and a celebration of accomplishments.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
In this issue, I bring to you some snapshots of our recent school tour led by our Scholar Ambassadors, our Seventh Annual Rachel’s Challenge event and our Inaugural Health Fair. In addition, as a daughter of the Puerto Rican community at- large, I highlight one of my mentors and role models who led the movement for equal educational opportunities and social change in the South Bronx. With a spirit of gratitude, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! READ MORE

2014-CEO-News-Hispanic-Heritage-Month2.jpgDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - October 6, 2014
“La Raza” Heritage Month Celebration
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The month of October marks the Annual National Celebration of "Hispanic Heritage Month." This celebration is better known at our charter school as "Celebración de La Raza Latina.” This Edition of “News and Notes” is dedicated to the hundreds of immigrant Latino families and students in our school community. At ILCHS 85% the families and students that we serve and educate are primarily of Latino descent. READ MORE

Dr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - September 9, 2014
Press Release
International Leadership Charter High School
Newsweek America’s Top High Schools
Beating the Odds 2014 : Top Schools for Low-Income Students

This year, Newsweek sought to recognize schools that beat the odds and who performed better than statistically expected for the students’ level of poverty. For this list, schools were ranked on how well they prepare their students for college, READ MORE

2014-ilchs-alumni-Miereles-Jenniffer-class-2012Dr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - September 4, 2014
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Welcome back! I hope that you have had a safe, healthy and enjoyable summer break. On behalf of members of our Charter School's Leadership Team and Board of Trustees, we look forward to greeting you this Fall Semester 2014-15. For the past four weeks, our team members have been working diligently to ramp up operations for the first days of instruction. READ MORE
2014-graduation-pres-obama-volunteer-service-awardDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - July 3, 2014
ILCHS Congratulates Cohort Five!
Dr. Elaine Ruiz Lopez congratulates an exceptional group of young scholars on their great achievement as the International Leadership Charter High School (ILCHS) celebrated the Cohort V Graduation on Friday, June 27, 2014. Our highlighted speakers were Cid Wilson, Commissioner Appointee of President Barack Obama National Museum of the American Latino Commission and Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt, Founder of Strategic Destiny and author of "Mentoring from the Inside Out". READ MORE
LeadershipTeamIL_5_14 Dr. Elaine Ruiz LopezDr. Elaine Ruiz López - CEO News & Notes - June 4, 2014
In May we celebrated International Education Week with a food festival and a Tae Kwon Do demonstration by a selected group of our seniors. The highlight of our celebration focused a great deal of attention on raising awareness in our school community on a serious global matter that affects us all very deeply. The kidnapping of the 276 Nigerian Girls has shocked the world and has impacted our students directly. As one of our Nigerian student describes “this hits very close to home.” Our Dollar and a Dream Club scholars participated in creating signs and leading a silent protest throughout the school to raise awareness to the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian girls. One male student writes, “All they wanted was an education.” READ MORE
ceo-news-laura-baker.jpgCEO News & Notes - Special Recognition Laura Baker
We want to recognize Laura Baker for her wonderful work with our students and commitment to our Charter School’s mission and vision. Ms. Baker is completing her second year at the International Leadership Charter High School teaching English I. She is a dedicated teacher who cares for her students and can be relied upon whenever called to assist in their achievement. READ MORE
Our New York State Report Card for 2012-2013 has been released and once again International Leadership Charter High School has received high marks!
DI would like to thank all the members of our charter school community who have contributed to such high marks and positive outcomes on our NYS Report Card that reflects a 95% graduation rate and our outperformance of the city and state on all measures of accountability and performance. READ MORE

Elaine Ruiz Lopez and Scholars from the Graduating Class of 2014 ILCHSILCHS Scholars win third place in the 2014 New York City Science and Engineering Fair
Dr. Elaine Ruiz López congratulates two of our Scholars from the Graduating Class of 2014, Leslee Ramos and Chandani Jagmohan, for placing third in the New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) on March 27, 2014 at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. NYCSEF is the city’s largest competition. Approximately 700 students from around the city submitted applications. READ MORE

The High Costs of a Public Charter School Education: A Commentary
For the past three months, the politics and value of charter schools have been steadily debated in the media and numerous public arenas. The election of a new administration has opened the door for dialogue as well as a healthy dose of controversy surrounding the question of quality public education and much needed reforms, the right to school choice, and the promise of greater educational opportunities for students and the community. READ MORE

Dollar and a Dream ClubFeatured Books & "Dollar and a Dream Club"
As an Elementary and Middle School student, my classmates and I were expected to read at least 25 books per year. My goal was to achieve the Gold and Platinum status, which was an elite club of readers at P.S. 20. I learned to love books and to escape to different worlds as I read. I volunteered in the school library, and my job was to cover the brand new books. This is how I learned to take care of and to treasure books. READ MORE


Women's History MonthAs we celebrate Women's History Month, I have been taking time to reflect on Women of Courage. Throughout my adolescence and adult life, I paid close attention to extraordinary women of courage who fought to abolish slavery & to fight for freedom & for civil & human rights. Among them, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Melba Patillo Beals, & Nettie Hunt stand out. I admired their leadership qualities, unwavering love for humanity, & their steadfast quests for justice & the equal rights of others. READ MORE


chinese-new-year-celebrationCongratulations to our Graduating Class of 2014!
These fine Scholars are almost at the finish line steadily completing their graduation requirements. More than 70% of our Scholars have already received numerous college acceptance letters from CUNY and SUNY as well as from private colleges and universities throughout New York State and out of state.


ilchs_2014_councilman_andrew_cohenNational School Choice Week
Councilman Andrew Cohen meets Scholars at the International Leadership Charter High School for National School Choice Week, the Parent Advisory Council at the International Leadership Charter High School Celebrate National School Choice Week & Dr. Elaine Ruiz López is joined by members of the ILCHS school community as they celebrate National School Choice Week.

Dr. Elaine Ruiz López End of Year Appeal & Highlights
Season’s Greetings and welcome to the launch of our new look and charter school's website. We are very happy to report that the International Leadership Charter High School (ILCHS) has been ranked # 6 out of all NYC public high schools the Top Charter High School in the neighboring community school district in the Bronx for the 2012-2013 Academic Year.



If you are interested in touring our school, please check out our virtual tour and contact our admissions office. This video will show our COVID-19 Safety Protocols we have implemented.