TRCS Monthly NewsletterMAY 2011 
Fabulous Trips
Carnegie Hall
What's On Your Mind?
This Month
What Are YOU Up To This Summer?
Featured Article "Green Rooftop"
Stacey's Blog
Cluster Updates
TRCS Sports Desk
Spotlight On...
Alumni Corner

Website Quick Links







Join Our Mailing List
What's New at TRCS!


Dear Friends and Families,


    May and June are very busy months here at Renaissance, when your K-8 students take the NYS ELA and Math exams, your 9-12 students prepare for Regents and AP tests, and clusters are preparing all the wonderful end-of-year trips and exhibitions of theater, art, music, dance and academic success stories to share.  Read on!

Fabulous Trips

freedom ridersAs we reported last month, plans are full speed ahead for the group of Renaissance students participating in the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Ride!  There is still time to donate to support the Ride.  Check out the NY 1 video taken at the kick-off event at Innovation - 


The school year is about to end but we still continue to provide unique learning experiences for your 4th-8th grade children. 

silver bayThe 4th-6th grade students have been fundraising all year for Nature's Classroom at beautiful Silver Lake, NY--an outstanding place to experience a week of science exploration and outdoor activities, with terrific accommodations, a beautiful lake and the awesome hills of the Adirondack Mountains.  They leave Monday, June 6 right after the 4th grade Science test, and return on Thursday, June 9.


 The 7th-8th graders will be traveling to Camp Quinipet and Retreat Center in Long Island (www.quinipet.org).  This nature camp is centered around a beautiful outdoor learning facility that will help students discover and understand ecosystems and geology.  lake quinipetTheir program consists of a series of problem-solving activities designed to involve a group physically, mentally, and emotionally. There will be low ropes course, rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, talent show, and science labs related to the ecosystem. All these are aimed to realize individual potential through teamwork.  They will leave Tuesday,  June 7 and return Thursday, June 9.

 How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? 

You know the old joke, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" The answer is always "Practice, practice, practice!"  Well, Cristine & Andrea's 6th grade students did just that, and several of our students found themselves on the stage of the famed concert hall on Tuesday, May 10th.  Asali Valentine, Nooa Kuusisto, Joseph Hur, Emilia Pirro, Pablo Rios, and Dewi Sihaloho were selected by Carnegie Hall's American Roots program to perform their original spiritual at the annual concert on Tuesday, May 10th. The sixth grade students engaged in a year long study of African Spirituals exploring its history and music. Students engaged in musical and movement activities with teaching artist Nathan Botts. Students worked in small groups to create original spirituals based on the issues that were important in their lives. Students learned through this curriculum how music and singing have united people and cultures throughout history. They also witnessed through this study and through their own music how songs can be a powerful catalyst for social change.The students from Renaissance were one of four school groups that were selected to perform at Carnegie Hall. In addition to this, our sixth grade students were the youngest group to ever perform at the annual concert!

What's On Your Mind?

At our Art Auction last month, we announced that all proceeds will go to support Arts Education here at Renaissance.  The question came up, quite naturally, as to what exactly that money will be supporting.  thought bubbleThe money raised at the art auction and donations designated for the arts in the annual appeal (the letter that comes home in the summer mailing and again in December) all go toward supporting the following arts experiences at Renaissance:


* K-5 Visual Arts with teaching artist Izumi Vincent - curriculum based art projects developed in collaboration with all K-5 teachers...izumi art

* 5th-6th grade professional development and arts residencies with The Metropolitan Opera Guild and Carnegie Hall (see above article.)

* Repairs to musical instruments and various extra-curricular Supplies for art room.


In addition, we are the recipients of several grants that are supporting arts experiences:

  • Queens Council on the Arts is supporting part of the arts residency with Children's Museum of the Arts for our 9th grade humanities projects
  • An anonymous family foundation, for the ninth year in a row, supports the production costs for our Spring Drama Production
  • An after school city council CASA grant supports the Media Arts program as part of our 5th-6th grade after-school enrichments
Mother's Day Dinner & Dance

The 11th grade class hosted a Pasta Dinner & Dance for moms (and other special ladies!) Friday, May 6th at TRCS.  The students decorated the cafeteria with beautiful white lights, and not only prepared a wonderful dinner, they put together personal tributes to all the mothers who attended.  It was a very special event, well attended and very well appreciated by our Renaissance Moms!

What Are YOU Up To This Summer?
japanese gardensServing as park rangers, working as camp counselors, traveling to far off places to volunteer or just explore,  our students and teachers often have great plans for their summer vacations.  We want to hear about yours!  Let us know what you're up to and we can share the news with everyone over the summer.  Email Peggy Heeney at peggyheeney08@gmail.com, and keep reading all summer to keep in touch!  
Featured Article  "The Roof is Turning Green!"

Urban Farmers in Jackson Heights, Queens

Agriculture and Advanced Agriculture classes have planned their crops for the spring, and okra, beans, lettuce and much more is germinating in the green house.   


 okraOur Agriculture program started as a component of our Living Environment course, taught by Riaad Etheridge, a former Agronomist on a sugar plantation in Guyana.  Riaad was determined to develop a full-fledged agriculture science elective at Renaissance, and has been building the class and curriculum over the last few years.  The course objectives are to enable students to become aware of the important role of Agriculture in our community, our country and our world.  The course is designed to emphasize conservation and the use of sustainable methods in Agricultural production.  Students take what they have learned in the classroom to our roof-top greenhouse and garden for Supervised Agriculture Experiences in the field, and at the end of the course will be able to develop and recommend a series of sustainable agricultural methods to farmers.  In addition, Renaissance Agriculture students are now active members of the local Future Farmers of America chapter, a unique experience for our inner-city students.


 Stacey's Blog

Deepening the Dialogue
Stacey Gauthier, our Principal, and Marc Waxman, who is opening a charter school in Denver, have been carrying on a fascinating cross-country discussion about school policy and education reform on the online newspaper "Gotham Schools". Read their entire exchange at Stacey's Blog.

Cluster Updates
Arts Cluster - SpringProd2011

The Wednesday Theater elective produced 3 Comic One-Acts by Jonathan Rand on Thursday and Friday, May 12 & 13.  Directed by Curtis Anderson, produced by Rebekah Slotnick, and starring 8th-12th grade actors, the plays were wonderfully funny, giving our students a wealth of characters to delve into, and giving the audience a delightful, laugh-filled evening!  On Friday night we were all excited to welcome the playwright Jonathan Rand to our school (pictured above), who came with his family  and spent time with the actors after the production talking about his life in the theater.  The audience also included Renaissance theater alums who came back to enjoy and support--well done ALL!  


Cluster One -  
     Kindergarteners are becoming experts on the continents as they create paper mache globes with Carol G. and the ninth grade interns. 
     Second Graders just visited their penpals and had lots of fun meeting them!  They are busy learning about communities, and are now working on a "Price is Right" game.
     Third Graders are relieved that the state tests are over, and are now busy helping Ali and the high schoolers take their freedom ride!  They are selling carnations to help raise money for the trip.
     Fourth Graders are writing letters to the incoming 5th Graders to welcome them into their classroom!
     Fifth Graders are getting excited for Nature's Classroom!


TRCS Sports Desk


Congratulations are in order for the Middle School Girls' Basketball Team for finishing out the 2010-2011 year with a combined record of 15W - 4L, as well as the following accomplishments: 

  • Second Place in Middle School Basketball League Queens Division
  • Second Place in Charter School Athletic Association Region One
  • City Finalist in Charter School Athletic Association

The following students represented Renaissance in the Charter School Athletic Association's MS Basketball League All-Star Game :

Ashley Bryant, Melissa Fellin , Gavriella Arias , Sara Bradley and Tamia Cutignola. Melissa Fellin was named game's MVP

Once again, congratulations to all the ladies for a great job!


 The MiddleCCAAchamps2011 School Boys' Basketball Team has placed Second in the Charter School Athletic Association (Region One) for the second year in a row, with a 8-3 record.  Renaissance had two students representing us in the CSAA Boys Basketball All-Star Game - Muzahid Abdullah and Quashawn Davis.  Congratulations to everyone for a great season!  


High School Baseball finished the season with a  record of 8-8.  Recent wins which helped pull up their stats were against August Martin and Far Rockaway/FDA VI .

The Middle School Co-Ed  Baseball Team still has two games left on their schedule, so please try to come out and show your support.  Schedule is as follows:  Wednesday, 5/18 TRCS vs. IS 61 and Tuesday 5/24 TRCS vs. IS 10. Both games are being played at 4 pm at St. Mike's Park.

Our 4-6th Co-Ed Basketball Team also has two more games remaining in this season.  Both games are being played at Promise Academy at 5:45 p.m. and the team would love to have you there:

Friday, May 20th TRCS vs. Bronx Excellence 

Tuesday, May 24th TRCS vs. Harriet Tubman            

The Girls Volleyball Club is meeting every Thursday and Friday from 4-5:30 p.m. in the gym.  They will be playing for the next three weeks and it is open to all girls in the 7-12th grades.


Don't forget to sign up early next year to be involved in all the great sports going on at Renaissance!

Spotlight On......... New Board Members

Renaissance would like to introduce you all to two new members who have joined our Board of Trustees.



Justin Ginsburgh is an Associate at Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group.

Justin graduated from Harvard Business School in the top 5% of his class in 2009.  At Goldman Sachs, he works on investing the firm's capital in affordable housing, community facilities and small businesses in low-income communities in New York City.   He is a volunteer with Urban Plan, a program to teach high school students about urban development and has served on the Excel Academy Charter School's Director's Council in East Boston from 2008-2010.  


dennis agostinoDennis Agostino is the parent of 2 children, one of whom attends Renaissance. Dennis has been an active parent with the PTA and has taken a special interest in charter school politics and parent advocacy.  He works as the Supervisor of Plasterers for the NYC Department of Education, and has been with the DOE since 1994.


We welcome both of our new board members and thank them for their dedication, time and energy!  

Alumni Corner

Check out the Alumni Corner each month for updates about the exciting things our graduates have been up to since leaving Renaissance.  We can hardly believe it, but the The Renaissance Charter School Class of 2001 is holding their Ten Year Reunion Celebration on Friday, June 17 at 7:00 PM in the evening, at Palo de Mango Restaurant and Lounge, 80-10 Northern Boulevard, Jackson Heights, NY 11372.


For more information, please contact Martha Bolivar, 718-536-8774.

Helpful Hints and Cool Links
Check out the new link on the Parents page of our website called "Supporting Your Child."



This page includes many helpful documents and resources to support your child both academically and emotionally, from experts in the field and our own staff. Currently, there are several documents (a few linked here) that will help you help your child, by understanding our discipline code, our commitment to an anti-bullying culture, and by understanding what our communication protocols and our philosophy of student counseling.





Regents Prep - Remember to help your HS student prepare for regents examinations.  Having a conversation with your child about all the tools available to her/him, such as review books, encouraging kids to attend regents review classes, studying throughout regents week, etc. will do much more to motivate our students than all the reminders teachers give. 


Homework Help - As you may know, Renaissance provides an online tutoring service accessed at www.tutor.com/trcs.   Check your child's homework wiki sites for the password. 


Your Phones Just Got Smarter with Tutor.com To Go™  It seems that we can do just about everything from our phones these days. But, until now you couldn't work with a tutor to finish a homework assignment or polish a resume. Now Renaissance students can do that and a whole lot more. Tutor.com To Go empowers students to connect to a professional academic or career tutor right from their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. This exciting new service is available to Renaissance for free as part of our subscription to the Tutor.com Learning Suite.  Just use the same log-in.

Upcoming Events:
  • May 18 - CSG and PTA Meeting, 5:30 and 7:15 PM 
  • May 20 - HS Career Day  
  • May 20-28 - Freedom Ride! 
  • May 21 - TRCS Annual Spring Flea Market
  • May 21 - Robotics Competition in NJ 
  • May 26 - HS Arts Presentations 
  • May 30 - Memorial Day, NO SCHOOL 

Make an investment in children, education and the future of our world.  Safer, better-educated communities are great for business; they improve the quality of life for everyone. Renaissance's hard-working, high-achieving students strive to make that happen and with your help that goal is closer to being a reality:  Please visit our website for more information, and lick on the red DONATE button on the bottom of each page: http://www.renaissancecharter.org/.  Thank you!


The Renaissance Charter School