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TRCS Monthly Newsletter
September 2012
Articles
Cluster Updates
What's On Your Mind?
Featured Article..
Spotlight On....
TRCS Sports Desk
PTA News
Helpful Hints and Cool LInks

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We would like to extend a warm welcome back to all of our students, faculty, staff and families.  Whether you are returning to Renaissance, or just starting out with us, we hope that you will have a wonderful and prosperous year! We have a busy year ahead, so please see the important Upcoming Dates & Events listed below so as not to miss out on anything!
State Exams Update
Renaissance students did very well this year on the New York State tests, especially in mathematics.  Overall, 80% of 3rd-8th graders scored at or above grade level, outperforming other district schools by as much as 20% or more.  A whopping 57% of our 6th graders performed at Level 4 - Exceeding Proficiency !

ELA test scores were up more than 6%  from last year.  Overall, 61% of our students scored at or above grade level.   Shout outs to 3rd grade - 80% scored at or above grade level, and 6th grade, with 78% at or above grade level. 

This past year we had the largest number of students ever take the Earth Science Regents.  Of the number of students that took it, we had 93% pass.  Earth science is an advanced science class for 8th graders; most other schools do Earth Science in 10th grade.  Also, 100% of the chemistry students who took exams, passed.

For those of you you have been inquiring about your child's individual exam results, know that as a charter school we are not included in the online ARIS system that allows you to access the results online.  Our reports are given on paper only, which delays the process somewhat. We are preparing the reports that were recently sent to us and will be sending these home in a sealed envelope by the end of next week - 4th grade (last year's 3rd grade) have already been sent.

In order to address the need of helping our students to better understand the required material and attain more success on exams, we have also added additional staff to Renaissance this year (see the Featured Article below).
Fuel Up to Play 60!
This year we are putting extra focus on nutrition and  physical activity to help teach our students how to make healthier lifestyle choices.  To assist us in this goal, we are participating in the Fuel Up to Play 60! program.  This program will involve teams of students meeting with our physical education teachers, school nutrition staff and school nurse to find out what we are doing at Renaissance to be healthy and what changes we can make in order to become even more informed.

Fuel Up to Play 60!
is sponsored by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The program encourages students to "get up and play" for 60 minutes a day and "fuel-up" with foods such as low-fat dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Students who want to participate, can "pledge" to follow the program and can get help from many resources on the
Fuel Up website and monthly eNewsletters.  Renaissance is helping by offering more selections of fresh fruit and vegetables.

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Students always do better if they are getting support from home and this is a great program for the whole family to participate in together. This link will take you to the parent support page where you can find great information on healthy choices and learn how to make Renaissance an even better school!

 

Yoga For Adults

                      

In keeping with our support for healthier lifestyles, Yoga Classes for Adults at TRCS, will begin September 25th and be held every Tuesday from 6:30pm-8:00pm. 

 

Gretchen Sherman will again be teaching a basic Yoga and Meditation class for adults and mature teens. She is a certified Kripalu teacher and LifeForce Yoga for Depression and Anxiety Practitioner. These classes are open to the community.

 

Her classes emphasize stress relief through meditative coordination of movement with breath. She is particularly concerned with providing a safe, noncompetitive environment for those who feel, for whatever reason, that they cannot practice yoga, i.e. inflexible, older, overweight, uncoordinated, self-conscious, etc. Her classes move at a mindful pace, and offer many variations to allow each student to determine the appropriate degree of challenge she or he seeks. 

 

There is a suggested donation of $15 per class, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Proceeds are shared with TRCS's Angel Fund, used to aid families in crisis.

 

No previous experience with yoga is necessary. Yoga mats have been donated to the school, or you can bring your own. There is no need to register in advance. Come to the auditorium, wear comfortable clothing, and please e-mail Gretchen with any questions at Gretchen@GretchenSherman.com.

 

No childcare will be provided during yoga class. 

Summer Memories
Summer is not yet officially over, and as we head back to school our vacation memories help to keep summer alive a little longer....

Dance and drama teacher Rebekah and her son Dante (now entering kindergarten) had some big adventures: 
"Dante and I spent time in Chimney Rock, NC, where we hiked to a waterfall and toured Lake Lure. We drove from NC to FL, stopping at a race car museum.  We spent time with family, then visited the Miami Zoo, the Miami Seaquarium, the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Science and Discovery, lion country safari, and of course, the beaches, beaches, beaches. We kayaked through and rode a surrey up and down the intercoastal waterways of the Palm Beaches. Dante attended a gymnastics camp and a pizza-making class for kids." 

Dante on Juno Beach, Jupiter, Florida.
 
Fran Smith took a road trip and visited Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. One of her favorite sites was the memorial to  Crazy Horse, the famous Sioux leader.  When completed, the granite sculpture will be the largest in the world, dwarfing the nearby presidents on Mt. Rushmore.

What's On Your Mind? 

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What's an ICT Teacher?  Renaissance has hired several new "ICT" Teachers.  Just what does that mean, and what will they be doing?

(The following definition of the ICT Teaching Model is taken from the UFT website):

"Students with disabilities who receive Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) services are educated with age appropriate peers in the general education classroom. ICT provides students the opportunity to be educated alongside their peers with the full-time support of a special education teacher throughout the day to assist in adapting and modifying instruction.

 

As described in the NYC Continuum of Services for Students with Disabilities, Integrated Co-Teaching "ensures that students master specific skills and concepts in the general education curriculum, as well as ensuring that their special education needs are being met, including meeting alternate curriculum goals."

 

According to the state, school personnel assigned to each Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) class must minimally include a special education teacher and a general education teacher. In New York City, the special education teacher must be certified/licensed in special education and the general education teacher must be certified/licensed under a general education or content area license. The general education or content area teacher has primary responsibility for delivery of content area instruction in an ICT class."

 

At Renaissance our ICT teachers will be collaborating with the general ed teachers to deliver instruction in a variety of different ways.  At any given time they may be using one of these ICT teaching models:
  • "team teaching" where both teachers will be delivering instruction to the whole group at the same time;
  • "one teach-one observe" where one teacher delivers the lesson and the other gathers specific data about the students;
  • "station teaching" where  teachers divide content and students. Groups of students rotate through stations in which they work on specific activities;
  • "parallel teaching" where the co-teachers teach the same content to separate groups simultaneously.  

We feel strongly that this model will bring a rich learning experience to all of our students and are excited to have our new teachers on board.  

Featured Article  

New Staff and New Teaching Assignments  

We are excited to be welcoming several new teachers to our Renaissance family.  Over the next few newsletters we will be running profiles of our new staff, but here's a quick preview of what is in place for your children. 

 

Renay Moran will be moving to teach 2nd grade, and two new fourth grade teachers will be joining forces in the fall: Sarah Berenstain and Kelly Bourgal will be team-teaching this ICT class in September.    

Leah Shanahan and Megan Bagoyo were profiled in our June, 2012 newsletter, having joined our staff late in the spring.  Leah is one of our new reading specialists, and Megan will be teaching 7th and 8th grade ELA while

Elizabeth Huston is on child-care leave.  Michael Cabrera is moving to the middle school and will be teaching literacy skills and will give ICT services in Social Studies and ELA.  Amanda Scott is our other new reading specialist, and Ellie Shrier, known to our students when she was one of our MGI tutors, will be joining our 7-12 ELA department as the ICT ELA Teacher.  Miyo Tubridy will be moving to the high school, teaching 10th and 12th grade ELA.

 

Our Math and Science departments are getting reinforcements, with Athena Angerhauser teaching ICT Math, and Danielle Randone teaching ICT Earth Science; both will be on hand to teach Skills classes in their disciplines.  Yianna Vasiliou will be concentrating her teaching in the middle school, teaching 8th grade Algebra and several skills classes.

 

Janet Jefferson will be teaching K-5 Cluster  

Science,  using the FOSS Science learning curriculum.  Yaacov Levy will continue to teach HS Chemistry, but will be taking over 7th Grade Science and AP Human Geography.   

   

We are adding AP English Composition, taught by Sandra Fritz, to add to our existing AP courses, which now include:

  • AP Human Geography   
  • AP English Composition 
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Spanish Language
  • AP Spanish Literature
  • AP World History
  • AP Biology 

We look forward to an exciting year as we continue to add rigor and excitement to our courses, with a talented staff who will meet the needs of all our students and their learning styles. 

Spotlight On...Danielle Randone, Science ICT Teacher
We welcome Danielle Randone to our Science Department.  Danielle will be working with our middle and high school students.

Danielle writes
"I am excited to be a part of the Danielle Randone Renaissance Charter School and begin the 2012-2013 school year.  I graduated Dowling College
Summa  Cum Laude in 2010 with my Bachelors in Earth Science and Education.  Currently, I am completing my Masters at Queens College in Special Education.  I look forward to working with the middle school/high school science students and ICT classes!"    
TRCS Sports Desk

sports

 

This  Summer was very busy for  Knights Sports .

  

Student David Rodriquez  represented Renaissance at a luncheon at the Pinnacle Realty Company  in Manhattan. There the kids from the Middle School Baseball League met some city  officials and gave thanks to the sponsors of the league.  State Senator Jose Peralta was one of the attendees at this event, and presented the league with NY Mets Tickets. 

  

 

In August ,  Ruilaha and Nyesha played in the Three on Three event called Hoop It Up which was a two-day event that was held in the parking lot of Citi Field . They got to play against kids from Ohio.    Softball Coach Jessica Lydon was able to get 50  NY Mets Tickets for  members of our MS Baseball and HS Girls Softball teams.

  

During the summer , some of our student athletes had the opportunity to attend basketball clinics with the  WNBA NY Liberty Team .  The following were some of the activities: 

  

Attending games (even sitting court side!) , attending practice at their training facility in Tarrytown, and participating in clinics where they were able to meet some of the players . Also Coach Alex got the opportunity to lace up his sneakers and attended Liberty Fantasy Camp. 

  

Finally, some of our students got to  participate in a basketball event in East Harlem organized by Renaissance's own George.  We are glad so many of our students kept active over the summer.  Coming up soon - High School boys and girls soccer!   

  

PTA News
PTA
Our first PTA meeting will be combined with Curriculum Night.  We will welcome K-8th grade families on Wednesday, September 19th, and 9th-12th grade families on Thursday, September 20th. We will be voting on two positions:

1) Parent Rep for the Board of Trustees - Chester Hicks has been nominated for the position, if anyone else is interested in running for the position please email Lillian Chen (PTA Co-President 7-12) at chenlil@nyc.rr.com as soon as possible to be added to the agenda

2) We will be taking nominations and voting for a Recording Secretary for the PTA Executive Board

As we have some new fundraisers and events on the calendar this year, please make sure to check the school website and date listings in the newsletters to stay aware of  what's coming up.

Upcoming Dates & Events:    

 

September
10th - First
Day of Class
17th-18th - Rosh Hashanah, No School
19th - K-8 Curriculum Night
20th - 9-12 Curriculum Night & Orientation
26th - Yom Kippur, No School

October
3rd  - BOT Meeting, 6:45 pm
8th -  Columbus Day, No School
17th - Half-day K-12, 11:40 Dismissal
          PTA Meeting 6:30 pm
22nd-26th - Scholastic Book Fair
26th - Picture Day Grades K-11
29th-2nd - Spirit Week K-12
30th - MS Halloween Dance
31st - Afternoon Haunted House & Costume Parade
Helpful Hints and Cool Links

Check out the new link on the Parents page of our website called "Supporting Your Child."

(http://www.renaissancecharter.org/parents.html/support_child.com) 

 

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.

 

Check our this link to find free or low admittance cost to many NYC cultural events.

 

http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.6a3b6e0c54cc5afac634761056a09da0/  

 

Information to help you get your kids ready for Fuel-UP to Go 60!

http://community.educationworld.com/content/time-move-0 

 

http://community.educationworld.com/content/time-move-resource-packet

 

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!

Sincerely,

The Renaissance Charter School