TRCS Monthly NewsletterJUNE 2012 
Rooftop Garden Project
End of Year Performances
Spotlight On...
Career Day 2012
Renaissance Rocks!
Featured Article..
Renaissance Pride
Cluster Updates
TRCS Sports Desk
PTA News
Alumni Corner
Helpful Hints and Cool LInks

Website Quick Links




 Visit our Partner!

 Visit our Partner!
Visit our Partner! 
Visit our Sponsor
Visit our Partner!  



Join Our Mailing List
What's New at TRCS!

        The last day of school is fast approaching.  We want to wish all of our families a wonderful summer, filled with relaxation, fun, and new learning experiences to refresh tired brains!  But we still have a couple of weeks to go--and they are jam-packed with showcasing end-of-year projects, trips and celebrations.  Read on to see what we've been doing, and how our staff will be spending their time and learning new things this summer.     


        Remember to have your child READ every day!  The public library has a wonderful reading program, full of fun on-line activities and incentives.  Check it out at http://www.summerreading.org/.  

Urban Roof Top Farming!

by Riaad Etheridge, Agriculture and Living Environment Teacher 


The Green House was finally completed last month, with drip irrigation pipes installed into the boxes on the roof garden. Future projects will include an irrigation system for the green house itself and increasing the planting space vertically on the roof garden. The Agriculture classes of 11th  and 12th grade students were relieved to have a greater surface area to plant their seeds and transplant their germinated seedlings into the boxes on the roof garden. There are well over 16 varieties of crops planted and growing in the green house, including collard greens, tomatoes, Swiss chard, lettuce, eggplant, cilantro, beets, carrots etc. This type of work helps students to gain experiences in their Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) projects which is an important component of the Agriculture Course. These crops are all grown organically and there have been a lot of challenges already with pests and nutrient availability to the plants.    


Students researched how to plant and grow their crop organically and how to prevent pests and diseases from attacking the plants. Students are presently building pest traps to catch pests that are attempting to invade their crops. Some of the plants like cucumbers and summer beans are flowering and many students are awaiting the moment when their plants will be harvested or produce fruit. Congratulation to all the students who made this year the biggest crop ever produced in the Greenhouse! Many thanks to Con Edison who provided the grant for the extension of the greenhouse.


We also want to thank our Board of Trustees, and the members, staff, students and parents who came on Saturday, June 2nd for the Board Day of Service.   Flowers were planted, weeds were pulled and the space was spruced up and cleaned.  This was all done in preparation for the Renaissance garden being a part of the Jackson Heights historical garden tour this year.  All of our Jackson Heights neighbors were very impressed and excited by the work of our students in the organic garden, so be sure to check it out! 


Our garden fundraising campaign is off and running as well.  Be part of a lasting legacy by sponsoring a brick, bench or planter.  The form can be found on our website at: http://www.renaissancecharter.org/support/campaigns


End of Year Celebrations of Talent

Third graders

worked all year with artists from our partner Arts for All on an original theatre piece. Anansi and the Liar's Game was presented to parents and peers on Wednesday, June 30 to great acclaim! Congratulations Third Graders for working together to make a wonderful play!




The fifth grade, whose teachers are members of the Metropolitan Opera Guild's Opera Learning Network professional development program, will be presenting their mini-operas on Thursday, June 21 (Class 501) and Friday, June 22nd (class 502) to parents and peers.


501 went on a journey exploring what life was like during the Civil War.  Students each chose a character from the Civil War, from generals, soldiers, slaves or President Lincoln, and grouped together to reenact scenes that could have happened during the war, where these characters were forced to make a sacrifice.  They turned these scenes into the mini-musicals with the help of artists from The Metropolitan Opera Guild.


502 students created 3 different mini-musicals, all set in a different historical period. Students have worked hard and are very proud of this production.

One of the plays covers tensions between the colonists and Great Britain, another portrays the dilemmas and challenges of slaves, and the third highlights the rise and fall of Abraham Lincoln.  Students wrote all the plays and composed music for them as well. They also applied what they learned from Ana, Karlan and Rob from MOG.

The Middle School Arts Exhibition
was held on May 24th, with 7th and 8th grade performances in Instrumental Music, Drama and a slide presentation of Middle School Art. 

10th and 11th grade Theatre majors
presented their scenes and monologues on the evening of May 31st, including work on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew that was the result of workshops with artists of Theatre for a New Audience, that integrated their HS English class with Drama.  On June 1, 9th grade Theatre majors and 9th-11th grade Music and Art students presented their work to parents and peers. 

and their parents will hold their annual awards ceremony on Tuesday, June 12th.  HS Honors students are celebrated at the Honors Breakfast on
 the morning of June 22d, followed by the High School Internship Program's presentation of their accomplishments to their peers. The 9th grade Humanities class is hurriedly finishing up the new mural in the cafeteria. 

Spotlight On...  New Teachers at Renaissance  

Leah Shanahan and Megan Bagoyo have recently joined our staff to finish out this year, and will be welcome additions next September.  Leah writes:

I am very excited to join Renaissance
after 3 years as a building substitute at an elementary school on Long Island. I graduated from Adelphi University in 2009 with my Master's Degree in Childhood Education. After being in different classrooms and seeing how many students struggle with reading at all grade levels, I went back to Adelphi to get certified in Literacy. Literacy is my passion, and I am looking forward to sharing my love of reading with our students.

Megan will be covering Elizabeth Huston's middle school ELA program while Elizabeth takes maternity and child-care leave.  Megan writes:

I recently moved to New York from San Diego, where I taught 8th grade English and US History at a creative and performing arts school.  I am looking forward to working with the 7th and 8th grade ELA classes here at Renaissance Charter School!


Career Day and Leadership Fair 2012 

The Junior Class plans and coordinates Career Day every year, and this year the class of 2013 brought in guest speakers from an impressive array of professionals who took time out of their busy schedules, including 
Assemblyman Francisco Moya, Senator Jose Peralta , Lucy Benedetto, Event Planner , Mary Beth Anderson, Social Worker/Attorney, Liliana Rios, Financial Advisor, Thiago Silva, Pastry Chef, and Jerry Goldman, Chef/Manager at BR Guest Restaurants.

In addition, for the first time, a Leadership Fair was presented at the end of the event in the auditorium, where 9th - 11th grade students could meet with representatives of many of our non-profit partners about internship, volunteerism and community service opportunities open to them next year.  A few examples include:
  • Students met and spoke with people from the Queens Library to find out about their tutoring positions available through the 2012-2013 READ program, where teens can earn wages to provide homework assistance for children in grades K-8 after receiving professional development and training.    
  • Our Museum partners took part: Children's Museum of the Arts, Noguchi Museum and El Museo del Barrio spoke to students about their teen programming. 
  • The High 5-Take 5 Program in cooperation with Arts Connection gives teens the opportunity to attend hundreds of free or low cost performing arts and cultural events all over the city, write reviews on the organization's blog, and participate in outreach efforts to introduce NYC under-served youth to the arts.
  •  Youth Justice Board is a new organization working to reduce rates of truancy and help teens see first-hand how government works and how they can make a difference in the Juvenile Justice system.
  • SAYA! (South Asian Youth Action) is the nation's only secular youth development organization dedicated to South Asian youth.  Their mission is to create social change and opportunities for South Asian youth to realize their fullest potential.
  • Law Enforcement Explorers is a community service, career-oriented program designed to educate young men and women, ages 14-20, about Law Enforcement. One of our Alums,  Angelica Topete, class of 2010, was on hand to talk to students about the program.  Kudos, Ana, Carol and Girelle and the Junior class  for a smooth and successful event, and thanks to all the wonderful professionals who gave their time. 
Renaissance Rocks!
Renaissance participated in a charitable giving campaign sponsored by Pearl Vision, to collect eyeglasses that are no longer needed, and get them to people in need.  Through OneSight, Pearle Vision employees and many others volunteer to deliver eyewear and eye care in Global Eye Care Clinics, Regional and Vision Van Clinics, and in our stores. OneSight has helped more than six million people see more clearly by providing free eye exams and glasses. OneSight also funds research focused on vision preservation, and scholarships to students pursuing a degree in optometry.  Our collection campaign, according to Anthony Presti of the Pearl Vision Store at located at 75-37 31st Street in Jackson Heights,  was one of the largest amounts they've collected! Over 300 pairs!  Renaissance ROCKS!

We also want to thank Peggy Heeney for putting together another wonderful art auction to benefit Renaissance's art program.  Artists from around the neighborhood donated artwork, along side student artwork showcasing some of our talented in-house artists.  Our thanks go out to all who donated, all the local businesses who bought ad-space, and board members Monte Joffee, Sandra Geyer and Stacey Gauthier for coming out to support the event.  Check out the Auction Catalogue; there are a few pieces left that will be shown at the PTA Garden Party.  You still have a chance to get a one-of-a-kind piece of art!  trcs_spring_art_auction.pdf
Featured Article  - Summer Learning and Playing
What are you doing on your summer vacation? Summer tends to be a time for professional and personal growth, curriculum work and in-depth investigations of particular areas of interest for teachers, and how a teacher spends the summer is often an indicator of focus for the coming year.  But vacation is also a time for fun and relaxation, and we heard some interesting plans!
Stacey will be participating in a two week Cahn Fellow Summer Leadership Institute through Teachers' College. She will be joined by her Cahn Ally, Middle School Co-Coordinator and Science Teacher Dan Fanelli, as they begin working on their "leadership challenge".  They look forward to sharing their year-long work with the school community. Following the institute, Stacey and her family will head to Seattle, Washington and Alaska for a nature-filled vacation. 


Helen & Dennis will be attending the second session of Lincoln Center Institute's International Educators Workshops in July.  Helen, Dennis, Lisjane & Megan will also attend the Opera Learning Network Summer Institute at the Metropolitan Opera Guild in August.  


Rebekah S. will be hiking in the Smoky Mountains and laying on  Florida beaches. She is also considering teaching theatre for a week at SuperKickers Summer Camp here in Jackson Heights. 


Ali R. will be traveling in Eastern Europe for one month. As usual, she will go with a backpack, a guidebook, and minimal plans. Her adventure begins in Berlin, probably followed by Poland, Prague, maybe Austria, definitely Slovenia, and Croatia.  If time allows, she will also visit Montenegro. Says Ali "In order to finance my trip I will be subletting my apartment. I hope to learn a lot, experience beauty, meet people, eat good foods, and visit beaches."



Yaacov is taking his rabbinical ordination test in August; the culmination of a four year program. Congratulations! 

Renaissance at the Queens Pride Parade
 Renaissance students were invited by Councilman Daniel Dromm to participate in a special way in the annual Jackson Heights Queens Pride Parade, in honor of our school's support of the LGBT community.  Ali Rosow, Renaissance social worker and adult leader of our LGBTS Alliance invited Councilman Dromm to meet the group, and the councilman in turn put the group in touch with other LGBT support groups.  The organizers of one of the floats in the parade, featuring the Broadway cast of "Wicked",
Pride Parade &  Wicked
Renaissance LGBTS Alliance with Councilman Daniel Dromm and cast of Wicked
asked our kids to help with the float and participate in the parade.  Our kids created hundreds of paper flowers and blew up balloons to decorate the float and got a chance to meet the cast.  Thanks to Ali, and to Peggy Heeney who coordinated the parade-goers on the day of the parade, for rallying our students for this exciting event!

Cluster Updates

During Rensizzle Week K-4th graders worked with Architect Howard Stern on built-environment projects.  The second graders created famous NYC buildings, and in the weeks following Rensizzle have created their own expanded city using those buildings as a starting point.  Daniela wrote to Howard that "The kids were upset because they needed a bridge to connect to the Puck building and were fortunate enough to have Renay lend us one that her class made with you!"   Junior city planners are learning early the art of collaboration and cooperation!











Second and Third graders enjoyed themselves at the Big Apple Circus at Cunningham Park on May 31st, and Third and Fourth graders are looking forward to visiting the Queens Zoo at Flushing Meadow Park on June 8.  2nd through 4th graders will be working with instructors from the NYC Hall of Science on June 11 and 12, learning about light and electricity in fun, hands-on experiments.  Third grade will also be going on a trip on June 18 to meet Dr. Lou Sorkin, arachnologist at the American Museum of Natural History, to investigate spiders as a follow-up to their unit on the novel Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White.    


Congratulations to the 4th Grade who collected over 89 pairs of eye-glasses as part of Pearle Vision's charitable giving program: Helping The World See.  They won the pizza party for the class who collected the most!   


501 students are finishing up their Civil War exploration through music, drama and journalism--becoming newspaper reporters who created news articles from the perspective of a northerner or southerner.  In math they are preparing themselves for 6th grade by conducting math experiments investigating negative numbers, and creating their own science experiments based on their own inquiry questions.  


The 6th graders who attended Nature's Classroom had a fabulous time, enjoying good weather and the beautiful Adirondack scenery around Lake George at the Silver Bay YMCA camp facility.   


 are now looking forward to the Annual 6th Grade Broadway Play and Sleepover! They will be seeing "GODSPELL" and returning to the school for that all important bonding event that is looked forward to all year!  


The Middle School recently concluded their End-of-the-Year trip at Boston, Massachusetts.  It was a mix of educational/historical (Salem Witch Museum and at Boston Freedom Trail) and recreational (Six Flags New England) activities enjoyed by the 54 students and facilitated by 7 chaperones. This is is a cycle of trips being offered as part of the middle school experience. Next year's trip will be more geared towards nature, adventure, and teamwork.    

The 7th & 8th graders who stayed behind enjoyed day-trips and a field day.   


 In 7th grade ELA, students are wrapping up a writing unit on feature articles. For this writing cycle, students did research and conducted interviews on topics they were interested in, ranging from how to take down your opponent in Judo (thanks to Rensizzle!)  to the best place to get lunch in Jackson Heights.  Students will finish this year by selecting the two pieces that represent their best work as writers and the two pieces that reflect their best work as readers and will create a portfolio that will follow them to 8th grade.  


The high school AP Human Geography class is planning a NYC walking trip to analyze how the concepts they learned in class apply in the real world.  Like real geographers, they will be conducting fieldwork to look at NYC's industrial past in Long Island City, see the ramifications of income and geographic transition on the Upper West Side, investigate recent Mexican Migration to NYC while enjoying marvelous food at  El Paso Taqueria in the Bronx, and observe experiments in housing redevelopment at West Farms, and finish up with Taiwanese migration in Flushing.  What a great trip!

TRCS Sports Desk


After a six year absence Lady Knights Softball is back! Alumni Jessica Lydon and Daisy Pena coached this team.  They finished the season in the top six of thirteen teams.


In Middle School Baseball, the following students received the honors at the MSBL Awards Ceremony which was held at Columbia University Baker Stadium on June 9, 2012. 

David Rodriguez ( 8th Grade ) - Team MVP / City Allstar Participant 
Steve Szewejkowski ( 8th ) - Team MVP/ City AllStar Participant 
Joseph Hur ( 7th Grade) - Scholar - Athlete  

Representing us in the Queens Borough All - Star Game @ 4:00pm on Tuesday, June 12th at St. Michael's Park will be 7th graders Damian Mendoza, Glenn Tyler, and Brennan Rogan. 

Awesome performance Renaissance Knights! 

Upcoming Events:   

PTA News
" Renaissance Teachers and Staff want to send a huge THANK YOU to all parents and PTA Leaders who brought food for the Staff Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday, June 6.  It was delicious and very much appreciated! "
The Annual PTA Roof Top Garden Party is on June 20th from 6-8pm. This year we are featuring a performance from the Percussion with Found Objects Workshop participants, scheduled for 6:30pm. 
The PTA Garden Party is a pot luck event and everyone can come and join the party. Please bring a dish to share and come join the fun!
Looking forward to seeing everyone on June 20th!
Alumni Corner
We were thrilled to get a visit from class of 2008 alumni Samantha Aaron, who has just finished up the first year of a master's program in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health.  Samantha was a Posse Scholar at Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate work, gaining a BA in Medicine, Health and Society.  What wonderful work to delve into, Samantha!

We also got word from Claudia Martinez, class of 2003, who is starting a Master's in Education from Harvard University in the fall!

Claudia began her commitment to youth social justice and empowerment more than 10 years ago, as a passionate 15 year old Renaissance. She was a Posse Scholar at Brandeis University, graduating Cum Laude in 2007 with a degree in Women and Gender Studies and Sociology. Her work has focused on supporting the development, empowerment and self-actualization of youth through mentoring, organizing and education. Her graduate work in Education at Harvard will complement her grassroots skills, increasing her expertise in building programs that focus on the holistic development of young people. 

We are so proud of our young leaders, living the mission of Renaissance out in the world.  Congratulations Samantha and Claudia!  Enjoy your summers!
Upcoming EVENTS
  Please make note of the following special events and calendar changes:
  • June 13: Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:45 PM 
  • June 14: K-2 and 4 Dance Presentation (daytime)
  • June 14: Clerical Half-Day, K-8, 11:40 AM Dismissal 
  • June 15: K-2, and 4 Dance Presentation (evening)    
  • June 15: PTA Carnival, 6-8 PM
  • June 18: Senior Graduation Rehearsal at IS 145, 9:00 AM 
  • June 20: Middle School Articulation for 6th Graders
  • June 20: PTA Garden Party, 6-8 PM
  • June 21: 8th Grade Prom at Bruno's; HS  
  • June 22: Last Day of School for HS Students: 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
  • June 25: Senior Graduation, IS 227 - 9:30 AM 
  • June 26: 8th Grade Stepping Up Ceremony, 10:00 AM
  • June 26: Last Day of School for K-8 Students, 8:10-3:10 PM 
Be on the look-out for our summer mailing and summer newsletters.

  • MONDAY   September 10      First Day of School for all students

  • Monday-Tuesday,  September 17-18  Rosh Hashanah, No School
  • Wednesday, Sepember 26     Yom Kippur, No School

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