TRCS Monthly NewsletterDATE
Hurrican Relief Efforts
"Angel" Trim-a-Tree
Rensizzle Update
Renaissance Rocks!
Featured Article..
Spotlight On....
Cluster Updates
TRCS Sports Desk
PTA News
Helpful Hints and Cool LInks

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This is not the usual image we see when we look at the NYC skyline.  But nothing was usual about the storm we suffered two weeks ago when Hurricane Sandy hit our area.  We hope you and all your loved ones are safe and we feel very lucky that we were able to resume classes after just one week.  We are busier than ever at Renaissance trying to get back on schedule with all our activities, including our relief efforts for the victims of the storm.  Read on to find out more.... 
TRCS Participates in Hurricane Relief Efforts
As part of our annual Spirit Week, Renaissance students, families and staff showed the true spirit of New York by pitching in to collect much needed supplies for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

  This effort was spearheaded by our Middle School.  Each day of Spirit Week, we asked that different items be brought in, and we collected boxes and boxes of clothing, food, toiletries and cleaning supplies. 

$500 was collected, to be donated to the Red Cross and our wonderful school aides collected over $800 from bake sales.  This money will go to aid charter schools which suffered severe damages during the storm.  We thank you one and all for your generosity and caring.
Spirt Week
Delayed by the storm and interrupted by Veteran's Day, we still managed to hold Spirit Week at Renaissance.   One of the favorite days was Costume Day, giving kids an opportunity (or a second chance!) to  dress up and trick or treat.

  Another perennial favorite is Pajama Day.  This one was especially popular among the staff and parents probably like that it takes the kids no time to get ready for school that morning!


The week ended with Heritage Day, and many students wore the colors or traditional clothing of their family's culture.

Thanks to everyone for showing the Spirit of Renaissance! 

 Annual "Angel" Trim-A-Tree Celebration 

This year we will be holding our second annual tree trimming party and holiday shoppe on Friday December 14th, 6-8PM.  Everyone who made a donation to the Angel Fund will receive a personalized angel to hang on our tree.  This is the perfect time of year to share with your Renaissance community.  Monies donated to the Angel Fund are used to help families in crisis and to help students participate in special events that they might otherwise not be able to attend, including class trips and the prom.

The celebration is open to all, with holiday treats for sale, as well as gift
items, holiday music, face-
painting and games for the kids.  The PTA will be sponsoring a pot-luck supper and we will be welcoming back Jonathan Kruk, our favorite story-teller, to regale us with a favorite holiday tale.  So stop by and join in the festivities.  If you would like to make a donation to the Angel Fund, please do so through the main office or you can donate that evening. 
Rensizzle Update
This year we are trying something new and holding Rensizzle Week early in the year, to allow our students more time to reflect and expand upon what they have experienced.  During the year they will be able to integrate their Rensizzle activities with their curriculum work, and will be given various forums to present their investigations.  For example, the group studying the African American experience in NYC will present during Black History Month.  The Culinary Careers group would like to present a career fair, and other groups are interested in showing their presentations to parents in an evening presentation. All of the segments that are being offered this year relate directly to the study of New York CIty's culture, geography and history, including architecture, bridges, music, culinary arts and more.  Next month we will bring you more details on our students experiences, along with photos and video!
Renaissance Rocks!
by Suzanne Arnold
Happy November! What a month we've had!  Our Halloween Spirit Week was extended into this week, due to Hurricane Sandy.  That caused a lot of shuffling to reschedule events, keeping our celebration and learning goals in place.  We were able to reschedule with Activated Story Theatre, who performed two fun shows for our kindergarten through fifth grade students.  The students participated in a performance of the original poem, "Mu Lan", known to many through the Disney movie, of the same name.  They also enjoyed the performance of "The Hat Seller and the Monkey," an African folktale, known to many from the use of this tale in early reading acquisition. 

We would like to send a big shout out to Assembly Member Francisco Moya's office for scrambling to obtain rescheduled parking passes from the 115 precinct.  This allowed our performers to park close to our doors without risking tickets or tows.  Moya's assistant, Aridia Espinal, spent the week in the Rockaways helping out, then ran to the 115th Precinct Friday morning and over to TRCS with those passes.  Thank you, Aridia!

Speaking of Shout Outs, I am happy to say that, due to enthusiastic demand, Shout Outs will return this month.  I am sending our first shout out to all the students and families who donated money, goods, time, and spirit to our friends who suffered from the affects of Sandy.  Thank you all for your caring and concern.  I am sure your attention and generosity are will be felt warmly by all who receive it.

Unfortunately, we were not able to reschedule with storyteller, Jonathan Kruk, who was to perform "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" for our fifth through eighth grades.  We will ask him back next year.  Jonathan will return during Rensizzle week to work with second through fourth grades, both through a performance and follow up workshops with those individual classes.  We are also asking Jonathan to do an evening event for families around the holidays.  I look forward to sharing that with you next month.

Featured Article ....Student Council
     by Wagner Mendoza 

This month we are beginning a new feature by our "man in the field" High School student Wagner Mendoza.  Each month he will bring us the news from a student point of view.  This month he talks about the Student Council:

"A new year and a new beginning" is the common cliche thrown around at the commencement of a new year. As a representative of our school's Student Government, however, I can confidently say that this year will be a "new beginning." As elected officials, we hope to fulfill the students' wishes on ways to becoming a more productive school, and a more unified community.

damaged bathroom doors and locks, and added air fresheners to the bathrooms. Every room in the school now has recycle bins placed next to the garbage containers. The Student Council asks that any students with questions, concerns, or suggestions please speak to your grade's elected officials.

This year, the Student Council has made three goals clear; leadership, academic achievement, and community involvement. Our council's goals can only be achieved through the involvement of the entire student population. Each and every one of the elected officials- ranging from grades 10 to 12- agree that student and teacher/staff cooperation is needed to create a finer school and community. We aim to be the voice of our fellow students and we aim to please.

 Spotlight On... Professional Development,
 Janet Jefferson 

Just like our students, our teachers and other staff members are always learning.  When your child has off because of a professional development day, our teachers are still going to school!  We also held many professional development days over the summer.  The purpose of these days is to train teachers in new curriculum, new technology and new assessment tools that they will be using this year in the classroom. 

We are pleased to announce that Janet Jefferson, our K-5 Cluster Science teacher, has won a grant from the American Museum of Natural History for professional development surrounding their newly restored North American mammals exhibit and upcoming Global Kitchen exhibit Janet will receive educator materials and workshops to train her to lead classes through the new and exciting exhibit.  Congratulations Janet!

Remember, the American Museum of Natural History has a suggested entry fee.  That means, you pay what you want if you purchase your tickets at the museum itself.  Tickets purchased on their website are for the suggested prices listed on the site.  So go visit the museum soon!  

Visit these sites to learn more about the exhibits: http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/mammal-halls/bernard-family-hall-of-north-american-mammals;


Meet.....Amanda Scott
I was very excited to join the Renaissance Community in September as the new middle school reading teacher! In addition to teaching Reading Intervention classes for grades 6-9, I am also teaching a 12th grade elective, Delving into Documentaries.

Last year, I worked as a substitute teacher and home teacher in my hometown of Kingston, NY. I have a Master's degree in Literacy for grades 5-12 and a Bachelor's in Adolescent Education: English.

Cluster Updates

Our K-4 kids are happy to welcome back Martin Urbach of Urban Arts, who continues to work with them on Music from Found Objects.  Here they are marching to the sound of hand-made paper trumpets. 

In Creative Movement class, K students are dancing the alphabet; 1st grade is dancing patterns; 2nd grade is dancing to sound effects; 3rd grade is working on choreography and 4th grade is again working with Dance 4 Peace.

Third Grade has just completed a study on natural disasters.  Ending the unit by experiencing a real life hurricane was certainly not expected, but they were definitely prepared!  They have just read the Junior Great Book story, The Velveteen Rabbit, and are looking forward to seeing it live on their first class trip!


The Middle School Peace Patrol is back in action, making sure our students get to class on time and keeping our halls clear and safe for all. A new team was selected last month, and the familiar caps and vests are a welcome sight on the second floor.

The Middle School also spearheaded the hurricane relief effort and
helped coordinate all the donations. Thanks to Ram for his extra work and a really Big Thank You to Marta Kowalska (mother of 6th grader Helena) who had to make three trips with her car to distribute items to various locations.

Middle School Art: 7th Grade students are in their art rotation; 8th grade is studying Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speeches and some will be performed at Feast of Lights.

High School Art:  9th grade students are being placed in their focus area for the rest of the year; 10th grade is learning to convert a song into a monologue and then a scene and 11th grade is working on a trust unit.
TRCS Sports Desk



While still early in the season, some of our Renaissance sports teams are already champions, or on their way.  The Girls H.S. Soccer team finished as the 2012 Charter School Athletic Association  Division Champions.  The Boys H.S. Soccer team finished 9-0-1, and are advancing to the CSAA Charter Championship vs. Believe North after defeating Green Dot 4-0 in the playoffs. 

The Girls H.S. Volleyball team are currently 1-2. Upcoming games are
TRCS vs. Democracy Prep, TRCS vs. Harlem Village and TRCS vs. Promise Academy.

The Girls H.S. Basketball season is just gearing up.  The Boys H.S. team is playing their next game 11/29.  Look for a full schedule of games at www.psal.org

The M.S. Basketball team will be participating in a pre-Thanksgiving Challenge Game over the weekend at I.S. 219 at 12:30.  Come cheer them on if you can!

We would also like to welcome Gabe McFarlane to the sports family as the new Middle School Boys Basketball coach.  Gabe is a Christ the King basketball alumni and City College graduate. 
PTA News
 Meet more of the members of the new Executive Board:

Hi all,
My name is
Marta Kowalska
and I am the 2012-13 PTA Cluster 2 (grades 6-8) representative. My daughter Helena has been in TRCS since kindergarten and is now is 6th grade. I have a background in Biology and currently work in public health with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene managing breastfeeding programs with hospitals, churches and other organizations. We love sports, books and animals and in addition to supporting animal welfare organizations, we have a dog, hamsters, gerbils and frogs. Part of making a great community is being involved and I like to volunteer, as well as work with others. Each Election Day (when held at TRCS) I coordinate an Election Day Bake Sale, and we always look for kids who are interested in participating. TRCS is a great school and I am glad that I can be a part of its' community and part of the PTA. I fee it is important to stay involved in out children's education-especially in older grades. Go TRCS! 

Hi!  I am Lisa Liropoulos Cluster 1 representative for grades K-3.  I was born and raised in the Bronx with a traditional Puerto Rican family.  I moved to Astoria shortly after my big fat Greek wedding, and we have been living here for about 7 years now.  It has taken me quite sometime to get use to, but living here has broadened my horizons with community and cultural diversity.  I now call Queens my home.  I am a mother of 2  AMAZING sons Nicolas (7) and Lucas (4).   My son is in the 2nd grade and he has really enjoyed his past 2 1/2 years here, and we are looking forward to next year when my younger son will join him.  I am a Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist by day and a Super Mom by night.  One thing people do not know about me is that I am a foodie, with a great love for a wide variety of ethnic foods "Yummy".  My husband George and I enjoy time with our family traveling, exploring, and just spending time at home.  I am elated to be part of the TRCS PTA and learning how our efforts contribute greatly to our school.

Kudos from Your PTA Co-Presidents

We wanted to take this time to thank all those who have given of their time and efforts on behalf of the TRCS-PTA.


World's Finest Chocolate Fundraiser

  • Thank you to Peggy Heeney and Fran Smith for being there every day to hand out chocolate and receive money and to Peggy for sending out all of those emails.
  • Kallie, Marlene and Pierina - for all of the support with the chocolate sales.

Scholastic Book Fair

  • Kudos to Elyse Lau and Chester Hicks for their leadership and organization of the Scholastic Book Fair.  Both Elyse and Chester were there every day to ensure that everything went smoothly. They have co-chaired the book fair for the last few years and have informed us that they will be stepping down.  Thank you for all of your hard work. 
  • Marta Kowalska and Lillian Chen will step up to co-chair next year.
  • Thank you to all of our book fair volunteers:  Alex Auvers, Ana Garcia, Arabella Powell, Bimala Sherpa, Carina Salvi, Carolina Cadavid, Evelyn Leung-Arias, Georgia Southworth, Ivonne Yañez, Jevon Morales, Jim Stonebraker, Julie Shea, Kat Collins, Kathy Olivero, Kirsten Westphal, Lisa Liropoulos, Marta Kowalska, Martha Zumbana, Roshani Rai, Teri Gallart, Teresa Oliva, Veronica Leon.

Family Movie Night

  • Fran Smith and Richard Dogherty (our tech guru) for making sure that the space and equipment were setup for our showing of The Avengers.
  • PTA Executive Board members Lisa Liropoulos and Kelly Goodwin for providing the movie, popping the popcorn and greeting our guests.

Picture Day

  • Noreen Wortman for coordinating the event.
  • We would like to thank all of the teachers for being on schedule and working us into your busy schedules.

Thank you to all our parents for continuing to support all of our efforts.


Special Thank You to PTA Executive Board Member Lisa Liropoulos who worked tirelessly on Friday, October 26 from making sure that all of the kids looked fabulous for their pictures, to setting up for movie night (popping dozens of bags of popcorn) to purchasing needed supplies. 


Extra Special Thank You to Chester Hicks, PTA Treasurer, CSG Parent-at-Large, BOT Parent Representative for being available to help out with anything and everything.


Thank you to our newest Executive Board Member Kathy Corona for getting pumpkins for our students.


The PTA Executive Board would also like to thank our fantastic custodial staff for their assistance and clean up from all of our activities.  Dale, Josh, Gio, Rahim and Danny, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Finally, thank you to Principal Stacey Gauthier  and the entire TRCS teaching and office staff for all of their support.


We look forward to seeing you all Wednesday, November 28th,


Lillian Chen (PTA Co-President, 7-12) and Niza Martin (PTA Co-President, K-6)

Upcoming Events:    

  • Thursday November 15th 6-8PM Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Friday November 16th K-6 11:40AM Dismissal, Parent Teacher  Conferences 1-3 PM
  • Tuesday November 20th MS  Thanksgiving Performance
  • Wednesday November 21st HS Thanksgiving Feast
  • Thurs. & Fri. November 22nd & 23rd School Closed
  • Wednesday November 28th PTA Meeting 6:30-8:00PM
  • Friday November 30th, Pasta Night
  • Wednesday December 5th BOT Meeting 6:45PM
  • Friday December 14th Picture Retake Day Grades K-11; Friday Evening "Angel" Trim-A-Tree Celebration 
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