TRCS Monthly NewsletterMARCH 2012  
A Letter from the Principal
What's On Your Mind?
Featured Article..
Spotlight On....
Renaissance Rocks!
Cluster 1 Updates
Clustes 2 & 3 Updates
TRCS Sports Desk
PTA News
Helpful Hints and Cool LInks

Website Quick Links



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What's New at TRCS!

  We've had great news this month, what with our first ever MacCauley Honors acceptance in our current senior class and several of our high school students being accepted at prestigious programs around the city (see Spotlight On...) and we know that's not just the Luck of the Season!  Our positive student Shout-Out list gets longer and longer every month, and is indicative of moving toward a happier and healthier community.  Read on, to hear the great things our students and staff are doing!  

 A Letter From Our Principal  - CSA Lobby Day 

Council of Supervisors and Administrators Lobby Day in Albany

 By Stacey Gauthier

On March 13th, Victor Motta, Director of Data and Accountability, and I spent the day in Albany meeting with elected officials about issues important to unionized charter schools.  This was the third year that the Council of Supervisors and Administrators has organized a lobby day for us. 


We met with several elected officials and / or their staff including:  Senator John Flanagan, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and staff members from Speaker Silver's, Assemblywoman Nolan's (Chair of the Assembly Education Committee) and Senator Peralta's offices. Unfortunately, because of the many issues going on, we didn't have a chance to see Assemblyman Moya since he was in conference the entire time.


It was quite a busy lobby day that included over 1000 Catholics, 1000 Firefighters and many Home Health Workers.  The streets surrounding the capital building were packed!  Our group included school leaders from unionized charter schools and CSA staff members - small, but strong.


Our "asks" included: facilities' funding for charter schools, controlling the volatility in school pension costs and allowing DoE Administrators to take a two year leave of absence to work in a charter school.  The last item is already built into the law for teachers.  We also discussed the upcoming "State of the Sector" report to be released in the near future by The New York Center for Charter Schools.  I was pleased to be an advisory committee member on this very exciting and relevant project.  We will be sure to share the report and its accompanying data dashboards with you when they are published.


It is critically important to keep our elected officials informed about our issues and garner their support as needed.  Renaissance parents, staff, students and board members have continually worked hard to ensure we have excellent relationships with our representatives on the local, state and federal level.  


What's On Your Mind?

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 Parent Workshops

During the current school year, Renaissance has made plans to host workshops designed for our parents and caregivers on a number of important topics. Some of the topics have come from suggestions made by you, our families, as well as areas the school felt would be helpful to you and your child.  We have held a workshop on Talking to your Teen, led by Ali Rosow, and are currently rescheduling a workshop on children with ADHD that had to be cancelled because of illness.   


Coming up, we have the following two presentations scheduled:

Friday March 23rd, 6-7PM: Susan Slotnick is a teacher, dancer, choreographer, writer, painter  public speaker and activist who has appeared on national talk shows speaking about education and life skills.  She is the recipient of the "greatest women of the day" honor in the Huffington post for her social justice work with youthful offenders and incarcerated men.  We are pleased to have Ms. Slotnick at Renaissance to speak to our parents. She has spoken at colleges, universities, numerous public and private schools on the miraculous subject of attention. Using brain search  and philosophy, she will inspire us to be better parents while teaching us how to help our children achieve in school, and at home.


Wednesday April 4th, 7-8PM:  Special Education Teacher and Response to Intervention Coordinator for 9-12 grades, Liz Perez,  making a presentation for parents on helping their students with organizational and study skills.  Suzanne Arnold, Administrator for School Culture and Student Support, and former kindergarten/first grade teacher, will be aiding Liz in helping to translate these skill ideas for the parents of younger children to help their students with academic endeavors.  


These workshops have been led by our staff members Ali Rostow and Suzanne Arnold, as well as by professionals we have brought in from outside of Renaissance. When space permits, we have opened up our doors to the community at large, in order to reach as many families as possible. We hope that these workshops are helpful and will lead to an experience of greater enrichment for everyone at Renaissance, as well as building bridges within our community.


Please rsvp so we may plan refreshments accordingly.  If you have attended any of these workshops or have an idea for one, we would appreciate hearing from you.  Please contact peggyheeney08@gmail.com to sign up for any of the upcoming workshops and let us know What's on Your Mind!. 


Featured Article: Celebrating Black History Month
Freedom Riders Presentation
The high school Freedom Riders took the teaching reigns on February 14 and 17 as they led middle and high school students through a series of workshops about their trip last spring, and the historic significance of all they saw.  These Renaissance students joined high school students from four other schools around New York to mark the 50th anniversary of an important Civil Rights moment with a bus trip to Jackson, Mississippi.  The trip commemorated when blacks and whites came together for the so-called "Freedom Rides" on buses in the deep south. They challenged segregation at a time when buses and bus stations were separated by color.

Bayard Rustin Documentary Screening

Council Member Daniel Dromm and Renaissance hosted a free film screening of Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, on Tuesday, February 28.   March 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin, a model civil rights leader who did much to advance the causes of the African American, Labor, and LGBT Rights communities within the United States in the 1950's - 1980's.  This film is a commemoration of Rustin's life and legacy, and the screening was an opportunity to educate those who may not be wholly familiar with his human rights work.   Bennett Singer, director of the documentary, and Walter Naegle, surviving partner of Mr. Rustin, were on hand to discuss the history and the making of the film, delighting the audience with anecdotes from Mr. Rustin's life.  Tarik
Coles of Julissa Ferreras office, and the NYS Committeeman for the 35th Assembly District, acted as master of ceremonies and facilitated the Q & A after the film.  For more information on Bayard Rustin, visit:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayard_Rustin.

Bayard Rustin Event
Tarik Coles, Daniel Dromm, Walter Naegle, Bennett Singer and Steven Wong
with Rebekah Oakes and Ali Rosow of Renaissance

Spotlight On...High Schoolers Take on the World
Breaking News from the College Office! 
We are thrilled for senior Eloise McAviney who has been accepted into CUNY MacCaulay Honors College, the very first Renaissance student to receive this extremely competitive and distinguished program placement.  Eloise will get full tuition scholarships and be eligible to receive the academic and cultural resources from multiple CUNY campuses around the city. Congratulations!

We are also very proud of our high schoolers who have been accepted into prestigious extra-curricular programs, in support of their future dreams.  Josue Loyaza, junior, is one of only 20 students citywide who have
been accepted into the Tribeca Film Fellows program.  Tribeca FFProgramming includes a creative project, panel discussions, workshops, mentoring by Festival film directors, screenings, and special events. 

Wagner Mendoza, sophomore, has been accepted into the High5 Teens Critics and Reviewers Program.  The TRaC program is an exceptional opportunity for committed high school students who want to explore and fully immerse themselves in the arts of New York City. Participants see first-hand how artists work and write reviews that are read by teens all over the city.

Manuela Agudelo, freshman, has been accepted into the Young Dancemakers' summer program, a unique summer dance ensemble of NYC teens dedicated to
young dancemakers creating their own original choreography and performing it in free touring concerts city-wide. Company members are selected annually by audition and are drawn from throughout the NYC public high schools. 

We are also proud of the young people who have chosen the challenging noguchiIsamu Noguchi Museum's Learning 2 Look program, for stepping out of their comfort zone.
  Manuela Agudelo, Justine Castro, Gissel Garate, Devin Garcia, George Gregoriou, Tatyana Hincapie, Bridget Lagos, Ayana Vega are viewing and making art, and writing thoughtful commentary.
Renaissance Rocks!

Suzanne wants to thank all our teachers for sending in such wonderful shout-outs again.  They are too numerous to tell every single one, so our editors are being selective and not posting individual names.  To see your name in print, you can read more HERE! 



Kindergarten: John shouts out to all kindergartners for not being afraid to spell words on their own!   

First Grade: Suh Jin shouts out to the South America, North America
and Asia Tables for focus & being responsible for their learning.

Second Grade: Daniela shouts out to the entire grade for not having a single student support incident all year!! 

Third Grade: Janet shouts out 7 students for 100% homework and Rebekah shouts out the entire grade for a creative and productive dance rehearsal.

Fourth Grade: Renay shouts out to entire fourth grade for "eating fractions"; because everyone passed their first fractions test! Also for fourth grade, Rebekah shouts you out for exceptional cooperation and focus, creativity, willingness, and enthusiasm while working on our dance, and for reminding Rebekah how much she just loves her job.

Fifth Grade... Ali shouts out for effort and participation in sharing his writing and effort and participation in editing, to those who shared their beautiful opera voices, and to Ella for making great sacrifices for her family.  Maribel shouts out for Improvement in writing and for wonderful participation during our Metropolitan Opera Guild session.

Sixth Grade: Cristine shouts out for outstanding work on the myth story to several students from both classes, and to two students in particular for showing great progress in tutoring and being a leader to other students. 



Elizabeth 7th grade- all of class 701 for putting the auditorium back together after the poetry slam with special thanks to those who went above and beyond. Rebekah shouts out to the Seventh and Eighth Grade Theatre Students for their exemplary behavior on the bus and at the show this past Wednesday. Great job, guys! I hope you enjoyed the show! Rebekah shouted out several students for being self-directed learners, taking responsibility for their work even in the absence of the teacher. And to their classmates, for apologizing to them for not having done the same.


Alex shouts out to the MS Girls Basketball Team for finishing the season 12-5 and second in two leagues (see article below)!


Ram shouts out to the Peace Patrol, and especially those volunteers who have come forward recently - great work, and keep it up! 



Alex shouts out to HS Boys Basketball Team for a very special  season for making it to the third round of the PSAL B playoffs! Shout outs to the two best team managers in the league, and to the entire team for winning their first ever playoff game in school history and advancing to the third round! Here's to HS Girls for winning a basketball game with only five players! Alex also shouts out his excellent intern.  See Sports article for more info. 


Lisa shouts out to her Global Lab students - Great Work! And to the National Honor Society students who came in last Tuesday on their break to do service work! You know who you are!


Ali R. shouts out to one special senior for taking over all responsibilities for the sophomore feast and running it! What a leader! Janice shouts out to that same senior for caring and courage in standing up for one of her classmates, when no one else did.


Rebekah S. shouts out students for respectful, productive, and powerful attention and participation during the guest artist telling of the story "The Taming of the Shrew..." and some are not even theatre students!


Remember, for names and more details,  read more HERE!  

Cluster Updates - CLUSTER ONE  

KINDERGARTEN...We took our fist trip to Travers Park last Thursday, 3/7.  Great time had by all.  We will begin a math unit on time and measurement very soon, and have just completed a unit on addition and subtraction.  We will also begin learning to spell very simple consonant-vowel-consonant words, and everyone is making progress in learning to read. 

           We have explored our sense of taste, and did a taste test investigation to experience the four basic tastes (salty - salted seaweed; sweet - honey; bitter - unsweetened chocolate; sour - unsweetened pomegranate juice).  We have been writing frequently and the kindergartners have been very brave about spelling words on their own!1stGrade 100 days

FIRST GRADE...is celebrating all of our accomplishments since our 100 day anniversary last month. Come visit our bulletin board, where you can see that 100 days ago "I couldn't swim or dive, now I can!" or "I didn't know what 100+100 was, but now I do!". Now they can count by 2s, draw "like my mom and dad", read chapter books, dance well, subtract and add, do karate and so much more!

SECOND GRADE... has just wrapped up a big unit on fractured fairytales.  It began with a trip to see "The Stinky Cheese Man" and ended with writing our own fractured fairytales.  We are now half way through the book Mr. Popper's Penguins, and are beginning to research penguins to launch our non-fiction study. 

THIRD GRADE... Third grade is engaging in a study of New York State, and they are learning how to prepare powerpoints for their final presentations! The students are investigating all the cool features that a powerpoint has, but before the bells and whistles are allowed in, they are taking careful notes and getting their content just right! 

FOURTH GRADE...Fourth grade sent off letters to our Pen Pals at the Winchester Elementary School in the West Seneca school district in upstate New York, near Buffalo. We were very excited to get our replies last week!

FIFTH GRADE...We are very happy to have started a second semester of Dance 4 peace.We are also applying what we've learned with our Metropolitan Opera Guild Teaching Artist to begin working on our musical-details to come soon. In Math students are mastering using a protractor to measure and draw different types of angles. In Social Studies we are finishing up our unit on Tensions between Great Britain and the colonists.

           We are looking forward to our trip to Greenwich Village Historical Society at the end of the month. We are also preparing for the Annual shop and chomp fundraiser. This year's funds will help cover the costs for our end of year trip.

Cluster Updates - CLUSTER TWO & THREE   

Sixth Grade... Students are studying African Spirituals with Carnegie Hall teaching artists, and the way that music explores social issues and unifies people. Students were given the assignment to create a TWOEM (a Twitter poem of 140 characters) about a social issue that students care about. Karen Sepulveda from class 601 wrote hers on homophobia.

            It's the ones who let their colors shine, their rainbows flow, and their joy show who suffer the most. They who only love supposedly sin.

          The 6th grade is also working with artists from the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and will be creating their own versions of Greek Myths, using drama and music.  In Math & Science the are finishing a project on the Earth's Atmosphere and in math they are learning Circumference of a Circle, Area of a Circle, Surface Area of a Prism,  Sector Circles and will move on to Volume of a Rectangular Prism.  

MS Peace Patrol 2

Middle School - We are proud of the Peace Patrol for showing leadership, initiative, discipline, responsibility and volunteerism. Thanks again to the PTA for donating the awesome hats!

           MS enjoyed an ice-skating trip on February 17, and the very enriching and interactive Freedom Riders Presentation in collaboration with the High School and Alison Rosow as part of Black History Month on Feb. 16.

          Congratulations to Miyo and Elizabeth and all the 7th and 8th grade poets that participated in the Poetry Slam last month. The students came up with fabulous poems that were slices of life from the middle-school point of view, and enjoyed performing them for a very appreciative audience.


High School - Several of our honors students have been invited to attend a college tour, taking advantage of a limited number of seats offered to us by our sister school, Renaissance HS for Innovation in East Harlem. The trip is sponsored and organized by InnovDickinson Collegeation, and our students, along with Ana and Girelle from the College Office, will be visiting several colleges in upstate New York and Pennsylvania. Destinations include Dickinson College, Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh in PA and SUNY Buffalo, Erie Community College in New York. Along the way there will be activities available such as touring the Carnegie Science Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, attending a baseball game in Pittsburgh, a Gospel Choir concert in Fredonia, and riding the Maid of the Mist tour of Niagra Falls!  

           The Advanced Agriculture class is presently trying to hatch chicken and quail eggs. As part of the project they had to build their own incubators, monitor critical climatic parameters and carry out the daily management of the incubators.
It is a very challenging project as the desired humidity is difficult to maintain, besides other management techniques. Various lessons on the eggs and incubators were done with students. When the chickens are hatched, it is expected that we will do lessons on baby chicken management, and then they will be donated. The incubators are in B4 and many students have visited the student's project. Expected hatching is scheduled for next week.


The Agriculture Science as well as the Advanced Agriculture classes are expected to start planting seeds in the greenhouse during the first week of April. With the expanded facilities due to a Con Edison grant we are expecting to have many vegetables and herbs available during the Spring and Summer.

TRCS Sports Desk



Our MS Girls Basketball Team finished the season 13-6 and were runners up in the CSA Region 1 playoffs. They will be playing in the public school league playoffs next, and we wish them good luck.  Sara B. Charelle, Tamia C. represented us in the Middle School Basketball League All SGirlsBBalltar game, Queens vs Brooklyn and helped Queens win!  Tamia C. was voted game MVP!


The HS Boys Basketball Team had a very special  season making it to the third round of the PSAL B playoffs! Shout outs to Carlos Hazoury and Jordan White for being best team manager in the league, and to the entire team for winning their first ever playoff game in school history and advancing to the third round!


Here's to HS Girls Gaveriella, Chantel , Sabrina, Ruilaiha and Michelle for winning a basketball game with only five players.  They finished the season 11-1 and playoffs start next week. Alex also wants to thank Jose Marte for being an excellent intern.


Coming up next will be softball for grades 8-12 and baseball for middle school and high school.  Let's keep the winning season going! 

Upcoming Events:    devil inside poster

The Spring Drama Production will be presenting "A Devil Inside", an edgy comedy by David Lindsay-Abaire, on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 3rd and 4th at both 4:00 PM and 7:30 PM both days.  Please note: This play is rated PG 13 - and contains adult language and themes!  

  • DOE Inspection - March 22, 8:10-4:00 PM 
  • Parent Teacher Evening Conferences - March 22, 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Parent Teacher Afternoon Conferences - March 23, 1:00-3:00 PM
  • Parent Workshop - "Attention on Attention" - March 23, 6:00 PM 
  • CSG Meeting - March 28, 5:00-7:00 PM
  • PTA Meeting - March 28, 7:15-9:00 PM
  • "A Devil Inside" Drama Production - April 3-4, 4:00 and 7:00 PM   
  • Parent Workshop - "Organization Skills for your Child" April 4, 6:00 PM 
  • Spring Break - April 6-13, 2012
  • 3rd-8th Grade NYS ELA Exam - April 17-19
  • 3rd-8th Grade NYS Math Exam - April 25-27
  • Rensizzle Week - May 7-11
PTA News
The PTA Executive Board would like to remind everyone of how important it is to take part in the upcoming elections.  As you might know, most of the current board will be stepping down as they are the proud parents of many of the Class of 2012!   We will be taking nominations for all of the positions, from cluster reps to co-president, so please consider becoming a member of the executive board, or nominating someone you know will do a great job! 

Spring Picture Day is scheduled for March 30th, so look
for forms to be coming home with your child.  

The PTA Arts Com
mittee finished up a very successful paper-folding workshop for parents and students, led by parent and artist Hiromi Niizeki and Sunita Vatuk, mathematician and math educator.       


Next up is the Percussion with Found Objects for grades K-1
2, student, parents and teachers taught by Manhattan New Music Project, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Wednesday evenings 6:3-8 (we will need set up and clean up help from 6-8:30).

Senior graduation date has been set for Monday, June 25th.  Remember, your support helps the PTA to purchase
graduation gifts for our seniors, as well as host a "moving up" breakfast for our middle school. Also coming up at year-end is our annual staff appreciation luncheon, so there are still plenty of opportunities to volunteer or make a donation for a great cause.

Our next meeting will be March 28th at 7:15PM.  Join us!   
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