TRCS Monthly NewsletterDECEMBER 2011 
Renaissance Helps Out
The Angel Event
82SA Parent Night
What's On Your Mind?
Renaissance Rocks!
Featured Article..
Spotlight On...
Cluster Updates
PTA News
Sports Update
Helpful Hints and Cool LInks

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What's New at TRCS!

  We at Renaissance are wrapping up fall units, planning holiday parties, celebrations and trips, and planning for next semester's teaching and learning. Our hope is for all our parents, students, alumni, supporters and friends to enjoy a wonderful holiday season, and a new year filled with blessings, happiness, and fulfillment..   

The Giving Generation

The 11th grade Student Government organized a food drive for families in need during Thanksgiving. It just ended last week, and they personally delivered the cans to the "head quarters" at St.Joan of Arc Parish (which will be distributed to the larger Queens community).


In addition, one of our new Wednesday afternoon classes is the TRCS Book Club, led by Dr. Regina Bernard of Baruch College.  The TRCS Book Club brings together TRCS females who are passionate about reading and want to share their thoughts about books through social media.  The book club also encourages the girls to get involved in their community in a positive way.  They decided to sponsor a can drive as part of a national anti-hunger initiative organized by  DoSomething.org, and will donate the goods to a local food pantry.


Our K-4 after-school students helped Marlene and Maria decorate the bulletin boards for the holidays.


Our 7th & 8th graders are participating in a special kind of "Secret Santa" celebration; instead of buying gifts they will be doing secret random acts of kindness to their "reindeer".  


And finally, some of our 12th graders are taking leadership in raising money for our own Angel Fund, by helping with the various sales and participating in the "Trim-A-Tree Angel Event" on Friday, December 9th.  Thank you, Eloise, Sabrina, Daisy, Danisha, Fiordaliz, Marcella, and Nicholas, and to Brianna and Erica for singing carols at the event!

The "Trim-A-Tree" Angel Event
Thanks to all of our angels who turned out to support The Angel Fund and enjoyed hot chocolate, desserts, crafts and the PTA Holiday Market for a little advance Holiday shopping! 
All proceeds benefit our Angel Fund, whose mission is to help needy children pay for a trip with their classmates, or to get through an 

emergency at home.   


Julie paints our junior angels 
Thank you Peggy & Marlen! 

Over the years we have been able to donate much needed emergency funds to many of our Renaissance family members.  We have expanded the mission of the Angel Fund to include efforts to meet the needs of every child at Renaissance: the child with disabilities struggling to meet and exceed standards, the child who has taken all the science we have to offer, but has dreams of being an engineer, the child who has won a prestigious internship but doesn't have the transit fare to get there.


You, the staff, family and friends of The Renaissance Charter School, are the keystone that holds our school together.  If you missed our event, consider each individual child that will benefit from a gift to our school.  Your donation will make a difference.  


Please visit http://www.renaissancecharter.org/support/campaigns to download the form and find out more about our mission.

 82SA After School at TRCS Welcomes CM Dromm 

82nd Street Academics After-School at Renaissance will be welcoming parents on Wednesday, December 21st at 6:00 PM for a dinner and celebration of our 5th - 10th grade after school classes.  We will be honoring our city councilman Daniel Dromm for his support of education in general and Renaissance and 82nd Street Academics in particular!  Please come support your child as they present their accomplishments, bring a dish to share, and tell our councilman what having a free after-school program means to you!

What's On Your Mind?

thought bubble
 "Oh, the weather outside is frightful..."
The lyrics to "Let it Snow" are appropriate to this time of year, even if so far our winter has been quite mild!  If we do get snow or other severe weather, here are the procedures you need to keep in mind:



In case of bad weather, we may decide to do one of the following things:

  • close school for the entire day
  • delay the start of school, or
  • dismiss students at an earlier time.

Please read this notice and refer to it throughout the winter season.  You can download the document from our website at http://www.renaissancecharter.org/parents.html/pta.com/notices.  


Renaissance will generally follow the decision made by the Chancellor of the New York City department of Education.  The Chancellor will make his decision by 6:00 AM.  Information will be broadcast on the following radio/television stations and by calling the NYC Help Line, 311.


RADIO: WINS (1010 AM), WCBS (880 AM), WABC (770 AM), WLIB (1190 AM, WADO (1280 AM), WBLS (107.5 FM), WNYE (91.5 FM). 

TELEVISION: WCBS (Channel 2), WNBC (Channel 4), WNYW (FOX, Channel 5), WABC (Channel 7), UNIVISION (Channel 41), and NY 1 (Channel 1 on Time Warner Cable). 


Major radio news stations, such as 1010 WINS (1010 AM) and WCBS (880 AM), should be listened to on portable radios in the event of a major blackout.


If schools open late our start time will be at 10:30 AM.


School buses will operate, but the arrival times will be delayed by two hours to accommodate the delayed schedule.

Renaissance Rocks!
Suzanne welcomes our alums

Holiday Greetings to all!  Shout Outs continue to be a great moment for our community.  Teachers are coming up with excellent, creative categories.   


Shout Out to our teachers!  Students are excited to be noticed and enjoy the moment of fame.  I look forward to continuing to share this positive news with you every month.   This months' shout outs for students is a short list, since the Newsletter is being published this week.  Look for the remaining December shout outs in the January Newsletter.  


Kindergarten: Matthew Napoles and Hannah Angulo service to the classroom community...

2nd Grade: Mimi Toomey for excellent work habits...

3rd Grade: Brad for improving his grades, Colin for helping his classmates during writing time, and Lilly for helping her classmates in math...

4th Grade: Jazib Abbas for improving behavior and exhibiting maturity!

5th Grade: Faith Moyo and Cesar Rodriguez for effort and participation;

6th Grade: 601 for doing an outstanding job on their Mespotamia empire songs! Kilala Vincent in 602 for working hard to organize her group for the empire songs.

7th Grade: Giorvani  Domond & Sakib Sakib for helpfulness in Ram's class; Brian Williams and Sakib Sakib for helpfulness in cleaning up after the feast and Asalli Valentine for Leadership at practice;

8th Grade: 801 for being my awesome homeroom;

9th Grade: Saul Cortina for community leadership, Michael Gallego for community service, Tabassum Alam received the Confucius Award for diligence and hard work in Humanities; Taine received the Ashoka Award in Humanities for outstanding group work; Ariel Y. received the Alexander the Great Award for Most enthusiastic learner of the week; Annemarie Guerrero received the  Socrates Award for most analytical thinker of the week in Humanities; Nicholas C received the Tao of Humanities for "things are looking up".  

10th Grade: Alina Benedetto in the 10th grade for an outstanding essay on the Inca Empire; Humza Mahmood for being a great intern; 

11th Grade: Cooper Johnson for talent, the entire class for class spirit, and Sharece Mackall-Alvarez, Ashley House for being great interns. 

12th Grade: Brianna Falconer, Sabrina Yap, CJ Joseph, Fernanda R., Marcella, Jessica Tello,  Eloise M., Daisy,Sara Romano, Nicholas Maniace, Fior G., Danisha B.,and James Jeffries for their continued support of their school community; and Brianna Falconer for speaking her mind.

Featured Article - Ninth Grade Humanities Share-Out
The 9th grade humanities classes have finished up the first rotation of the arts integration, central to the hands-on approach we use to teach Global History & Geography and English Language Arts during Freshman year.  Jose Mane teaches the course aided by theater coach Curtis Anderson and artist Jamie Kelty of the Children's Museum of the Arts, thanks to a grant from Queens Council on the Arts.  Every Friday the class splits three ways for a double period of art-making: creating artifacts with Jamie, making theater with Curtis, and turning current events into poetry and music with Jose. 

Much as the careful choice of English Language Arts reading material supports the subject matter covered in Global, each art-lab seeks to give students visceral connections
to the history they are studying with Jose during the week.  At the end of the rotation they gather together to share what they've created, and what they've learned.  This coming Friday they rotate to another art-lab so each student gets to experience each art form during the year.

sarcophagusThis past Friday we saw Egyptian sarcophagai made of cardboard, decorated with personally-inspired hyroglyphics, and beautiful clay markers decorated with unique pictografs created in homage to ancient Sumerian cuneiform symbols. Jamie encourages each student to bring their own identities, desires, belief systems and daily lives to the creation of the artifacts, much as the ancients did to honor their beliefs. 

The theater groups studied several creation myths and then wrote their creation mythown versions of the creation story.  Class 901 decided to dramatize a myth from Japan and one from the Seneca Nation of Native Americans. Class 902 worked together and wrote an original skit using elements inspired by all the creation myths they studied.

Jose's current events group focused on news articles from the popular uprisings fomenting in Liberia, Lybia and Egypt as a way to understand the aspect of civilization that involves governmental power and tyranny. Each student wrote poetry and essays that were shared in a recorded spoken-word piece. Students responded to the child-soldiers and culture of violence that inspired three extraordinary women to rise up against their persecutors and win the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.  These women,
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee from Liberia and Tawakkol Karman from Yemen, mobilised and organised women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in West Africa, and to ensure women's participation in elections.

As Muzahid frclass 902om 902 told us, the students like the artmaking labs; "we appreciate you giving us the opportunity to do stuff that we're interested in" as part of their Global History class.

Check out the students' work on Jose's Humanities website:  www.trcshumanities.org.
Spotlight On...GLOBAL TEENS
 YMCA Global Teens is a leadership development and service learning program that engages teenagers (ages 14-18 for overseas & ages 12-14 for domestic programs) in a year-long international experience culminating with a 10 day to 2 1/2 week service abroad experience during July/August.  Over the years we have had several students from Renaissance take part in the program.  Last June we profiled Vilma Gamarra, now a senior, who traveled to South Africa with the program in July.  This year we are excited to announce that 6 of our teens, including Vilma, will be traveling the world, becoming true global citizens!

Through Global Teens, seniors Marcela Rodriguez will be going to Brazil, Daisy Garate to Peru, Erica Cawthon and Danisha Brown to South Africa, and Vilma will be traveling to Thailand.  All participants have to submit an essay with their application, answering several questions such as "What are the characteristics of a good Global Teen or Citizen?" or "What do you hope to gain from the Global Teen experience, and how will you apply that to your local community when you return?"  holding globe

In addition, 11th grader Tenzing Lhanzo Ukyab applied and was accepted to Project Bridge, and will be going to South Korea this summer.  Sponsored by The Korea Society in conjunction with the Los Angeles-based Pacific Century Institute, Project Bridge has coordinated an annual year-long intercultural outreach program for high-school juniors and seniors. The program selects 16 student Youth Ambassadors and two adult group leaders from New York City and Los Angeles to take part in a year-long series of bi-weekly meetings, a weekend retreat, and a fully subsidized 10-day study tour to Korea. The program aims to raise future leaders in communities and introduce them to U.S.- Korea relations with an emphasis on cultural and racial sensitivity.

These are values that Renaissance tries to instill in all of our students, that of leadership, responsibility to the global community and reaching across cultural and ethnic differences to learn and experience the world.  Congratulations to all!  We look forward to hearing about these trips from our student ambassadors this summer.  (This is a hint, travelers!) 

Cluster Updates

KINDERGARTEN students are having a multicultural holiday celebration with parents in December.


In FIRST GRADE, they are having a Publishing Party to celebrate their writing!


In SECOND GRADE, the Flat Stanleys have left the building!  Everyone is patiently, yet excitedly awaiting their return.


THIRD GRADE students have just completed their second writing piece - a personal narrative.  They are now moving on to persuasive writing.  They are beginning their multiplication facts.  They are showing more responsibility in caring for their environment.


In FOURTH GRADE, they are welcoming in class pets, and learning to manage money.


FIFTH GRADE students just had their Dance for Peace performance where they demonstrated the sev

5th Grade Dance 4 Peace 

en strategies for conflict resolution.  They are looking forward to going to Hansel and Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera this week!


In DANCE, the third graders are working with an Arts for All artist on a collaborative theater piece to be incorporated into their dance performance.


In MIDDLE SCHOOL the Core Value of the Month of December is: INITIATIVE.  Last month it was Honesty.  Students who exemplified that behavior throughout November will be chosen by the cluster teachers this coming Tuesday, and will be given a shout-out in next month's newsletter.


In HIGH SCHOOL students are finishing up unit projects and papers and are planning Social Justice Day on December 23rd, and are preparing for a day of workshops to teach their peers about the historic Freedom Ride on February 17th.  Ninth graders shared their unit art projects in Humanities--see the article above! 

PTA News
Renaissance would like to thank Geri and Theresa, your PTA Co-Presidents, and Peggy, parent and our Development Associate, for all the hard work that went into planning and implementing the Holiday Sale and Angel "Trim-A-Tree" event to benefit our Angel Fund.  You can still take advantage of the Holiday Sale, by sending your student elves to shop for you during lunch this week, or by coming a little early to the PTA Meeting and Potluck this coming Wednesday, 12/14.  The meeting will start at 7:15, but we will be set up by 7:00 PM.  You can download the meeting agenda on our website at  http://www.renaissancecharter.org/parents.html/pta.com/agendas.

Hope to see you there!
Sports Update
MVP Scholar Athlete
Congratulations to senior James Jeffries, who has been chosen as a New Era Pinstripe Bowl 2011 MVP Scholar Athlete by Renaissance and the city-wide PSAL.  The New York Tankees are hosting an awards ceremony on Tuesday, December 20th, which unfortunately James will have to miss because he has a game! However, we are extremely proud of James for being recognized for his prowess in the classroom as well as on the field.

Upcoming Events:    

  • 12/14 - "Talking to Your Teen" parent workshop - 6:00 PM 
  • 12/14 - PTA Meeting and Holiday Potluck - 7:00 PM
  • 12/16 - Fall Picture Retake Day
  • 12/21 - 82SA After-School Parent Night honoring City Council Member Daniel Dromm! 
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.

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