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       Another summer is over and we hope everyone had a fun time!  We also hope all of our students had a good rest because this school year is chock full of activities, events and projects.  There will be a lot of new things going on this year, including our new food service, a new data forum, great new workshops for parents, a wonderful new after school program for 6th-10th graders through 82nd Street Academics, as well as lots of new partnerships. We have also hired a few new staff members in keeping with our promise of doing all we can to help every student reach their full potential.  Read on to see how some of the Renaissance community spent the summer and of the things we have in store for this school year. 
Summer Vacations!
4th grader Naidym Miranda-Yanez went to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and she snorkeled with an 11-foot manta ray!

Social Worker Ali Rosow traveled throughout
Central America to Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. This shot was taken at La Playa de Estrellas, Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua.

Development and Outreach Associate Peggy Heeney took a trip to Ireland and Scotland.  At right are the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland, which she hiked across. 

Edinburgh Castle is built on a defunct volcano.  Parts of the castle date back to the 11th century.  It was here that Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to King James VI and I of Scotland, England and Ireland in 1566.

7th grader Luc Papineau spent August on the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada. Here is a beautiful sunset overlooking his dad's "backyard" and boat!

null 9th Grader Tristan Doyle became a Certified Open Water  Diver in Key Largo, FL.  He did 8 dives in the Atlantic Ocean to 60 feet under water.  He observed a Black Tip Shark, a Sea Turtle, an 8' Moray Eel, and Giant Groupers,  while learning the importance of preserving the environment for the future.

Although he traveled to San Antonio over the summer, for Alex, there is no place like home - Citifield!

Middle School math teacher Ram and his family enjoyed a cruise to the Bahamas.
It was 5 days of cruising, sun and sea, eating, relaxing, entertainment, excursions, and family bonding time.
Here Ram demonstrates his excitement to teach and inspire students for this school year 2013-2014!

New 4th grade teacher Christina Howard (on the right) spent some time at Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, Florida.  Christina is an avid traveler and her students can follow her adventures on the new 4th grade website. 

New 5th grade Humanities teacher Khin ZawMyint visited the beautiful state of Maine.


8th grade Andres Aguirre spent the summer with the Astoria Performing Arts Center.  Here he is center stage~

null Development Director Rebekah Oakes visited Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho.  She has vacationed here with her family every summer of her life.

null                                           Alberto Calixto and family took a cruise to  Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay Roatan, and Cozumel, Mexico



Student Orientations and Special Guests 
     High School and Middle School students experienced a day of orientation the first day back, full of workshops and special guests.  In the middle school, teachers got our students organized with group activities and tips on how to stay organized. 

     Dancer and Teacher Susan Slotnick helped our students pay "Attention on Attention", in order to improve their self-esteem, expression, concentration, compassion and self-discipline.

     HS also had a full day of organization, and met in groups to discuss the summer reading assignments.  Special guest Judith Sloan, journalist and co-author of the book "Crossing the Blvd: Strangers, Neighbors and Aliens in a New America" one of the reading assignments, met with students and described the process by which she and photo- 
Judith Sloan journalist Warren Lehrer traveled the world by simply walking the streets of their Queens neighborhoods and interviewing their neighbors.  Ms. Sloan was joined by Senator Jose Peralta and City Councilman Daniel Dromm as they talked with the students about their experiences in our neighborhood--the most ethnically diverse in the country! 
Parent Workshop
       The first parent workshop has been scheduled for Saturday, October 19th from 10AM to noon.  This workshop is for adults who would like to focus on furthering their education.  The workshop, titled It's Your Turn,  will be provided by Learning Leaders,

        It's Your Turn focuses on parents' own education, providing information on earning a GED diploma, pursuing higher education or career training and finding resources available to help them achieve their goals. Renaissance would like to thank councilman Daniel Dromm, Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Francisco Moya for their support in co-sponsoring this event, which is open to the community.  So if you or anyone you know would benefit from this workshop, contact for more information or to reserve a spot. 
Featured Article...DataCation
   null        Renaissance will begin using a new data format as a way of keeping all of our students information organized, allowing teachers to better share information with students and each other, as well as allowing parents the opportunity to access their child's records.  Through the use of various DataCation tools, schools can break down complex student data to inform and support instruction, professional development, curriculum planning, accountability, and policy.  Their linked systems make it easy to view, assess and cross-reference any data you choose. And in a single click, the tracking systems reveal the statistics, trends, challenges and successes of our school.

         Parents will have their own portal, where they will be able to find their child's attendance record, classroom assignments, homework assignments, test scores and more.  Each child will have their own password, so these records will be private and can only be viewed by their parents.  The records will be updated frequently, so that parents will be able to see if there are any areas in which their child needs additional help, from arriving to school on time, to handing in homework assignments in a timely manner.  It will be like getting an updated report card whenever they want.

         The staff is currently undergoing training for this tool and you can learn more about it at Curriculum Night! 

What's On Your Mind? New BioMetric ID System  

thought bubble
       As mentioned in last month's newsletter, we are using a new food service this year ~ Butter Beans.  Besides the great new fresh, organic food offerings,we will also use a new method to keep track of students' lunch programs, a biometric  or "POSitiveID System" (Point of Service Identification System) in our cafeteria. This technology allows us to provide debit accounts for purchases, and increases the speed of food service to students so they have more time to eat and converse.

        Parents enjoy the convenience of prepaying for their child's purchases at whatever level they choose. The POSitiveID System also eliminates the overt identification of students who are eligible for free or reduced meal benefits.The POSitiveID System allows you to pay in advance for meals and/or A la Carte items. Students will still have the option to pay cash on a daily basis.


         The identification of students is with a biometric finger-imaging device. The device converts the finger image into a numbered pattern that is then stored for future identification at the point-of-service.

This system is NOT associated with fingerprints. It CANNOT be used to identify students by lifting fingerprints and comparing them with the digital finger image. The fingerprint is NOT stored in the computer. This is a positive identification system, only your child can access his or her account. 


          The information stored on the POSitiveID System is only for use by this software at Renaissance. There are several layers of security built into this software and the school's network. This is a closed system and it is not accessible from the Internet. If you do not want your child's finger image to be taken, please put your request in writing and return directly to TRCS, Attn: Kalliope Radman, 35-59 81 Street, Jackson Heights, NY 11372, ASAP.  If no written notification is received, your child will be scanned shortly after the commencement of the school year.  


         Please attend Curriculum Night to learn more about it!   

Renaissance Rocks!    by Suzanne Arnold
          I am so happy to be back in the swing of Renaissance life and am enjoying every minute I get to spend with our wonderful students, families, and staff.  One of the best parts of my job is greeting our children and their parents every morning.  It is such a great way to start the day - and I am a night owl, so that is really saying something!

         I truly enjoy greeting the students in the morning, and also believe there is a vitally important connection being made, it is more than simple fun. Studies show that when students are engaged in the school community; when they are greeted, welcomed, and feel that they are known and appreciated, they achieve more success.  I believe very strongly that one happy interchange between two people can positively influence events for the rest of the day. 

         For these reasons, I am reminding our wonderful parents, that though I am "right there" and what you need from me may be "really quick", I am so focused on our fabulous students, that you will not get my full attention (and if I am trying to listen to you, they won't either!)  I want to give the students all of my focus!

         I am available, by appointment, throughout the day, and am flexible about late hours after school, as well.  I am also easy to get a hold of: I check my voicemail frequently during the day and it is rare for me not to return a call within 24 hours.  You may also reach me by email and I will be prompt in getting back to you.  So, if you need my help or advice, or you need to report anything, please feel free to contact me by voice mail (my extension is 312) or e-mail (

          I would also like to congratulate all of our amazing students who made attendance a priority last year; we achieved our goal of 95% overall attendance! Yea!  Please consider that this was during a school year in which we had a hurricane and a bus strike, so we really did rock!

           On the other side of the coin, we realized that we must address a serious lateness problem. Only 75 students attending our high school this year achieved the 95% on time arrival standard. Arriving late for school or class, especially on a continuous basis, can have a negative impact on a student's education.  They miss important homework review time, lesson time, and advisories where they could be communicating with their classmates and building relationships.  Students who are significantly late also risk being marked absent.  Late arrivals also disrupt the learning process for their classmates and the teaching process for their teachers.

          In order to help our students stay on track with this essential life skill, and to ensure optimal learning in the learning environment, we are implementing a new "privileges incentive" program, where students who maintain good attendance and on-time arrival records will earn privileges such as being allowed to go out at lunch time and being allowed to attend special events such as school dances. 

         Please see the "APIL" document which was sent out as part of the summer mailing.  It is also available on our website at will give you all the details your child needs to know in order for them to be eligible for special privileges, so please share this with them.  We know that with just a little effort all of our students can accomplish these goals and fully enjoy their time at Renaissance.  
                                Suzanne Arnold, Director of School Culture
Spotlight On... New Teachers
      Renaissance hired several new teachers over the summer.  Here we'd like to introduce you to two of them. 

       Christina Howard is our new 4th grade teacher.  A native New Yorker from upstate Wappingers Falls, she is going on her 6th year of teaching.  Previously she worked in Medford, Massachusetts, teaching 3rd grade for five years. Christina enjoys traveling and sports such as soccer, surfing and, obviously, yoga!

null        Khin ZawMyint is ecstatic to start her teaching career at TRCS.  She was born in Myanmar and spent her elementary years in the Caribbean island of Jamaica before immigrating to New York. She received her Masters degree at Teachers College where she developed a passion for teaching social studies and literacy. "Social Studies allows us to see into the past and literature allows us to get absorbed into our imaginations." As the 5th  grade Humanities teacher, she hopes to install the same passion into our students, while also teaching them to be critical thinkers about the world around them. " I look forward to being part of the close knit community of students, teachers and parents." 

      Next month we will meet new ELA teacher Vincent Chen.  Read about new teacher and returning alumni Pierre Dizon below!
TRCS Sports Desk


    We will be starting off the fall sports program with the following:    

  • High School Boys Soccer
  • High School Girls  Soccer
  • High School Girls  Volleyball    

       We would like to remind any student-athletes that this would be good time to get your medical consent form done.  Here's the link to download the form.


       If your child or anyone in your family is in need of sports equipment or clothing, we have an offer from Modell's which will save you money and help Renaissance to earn some $$ for the sports program.  When you shop at Modell's you will receive 15% off your purchase.  If, as a school, we spend $500 or more, Modell's will reimburse Renaissance 5% of all purchases. If you would like your child to bring home a discount coupon, please have them ask Alex, Vinnie or Raymond, or they can pick up one in the office from Peggy.

PTA News
Welcome All!

      Please join us on Wednesday, September 18th for Curriculum night. This is a great time to get all the important information about what your child will be doing this school year, as well as to meet teachers and other families.
      Our fund raising efforts will start with Ms. Chocolate on September 20th and the first full PTA meeting will be Wednesday, October 16th.  That will be a good time to sign up to volunteer at the Scholastic Book Fair, which will be held the week of October 21-25.  Even if you can only help for an hour or two, the more hands the better!
Alumni Corner...Pierre Dizon
        We are excited  to welcome back class of 2005 Alumni Pierre Dizon to Renaissance!  Pierre will be a Social Studies ICT teacher in the Middle School and High School. 

        Pierre attended Wheaton College on a Posse scholarship, receiving a B.A. in history.  He received a New York City teaching fellowship and has taught in Chelsea for the past three years. When not working, he likes to work out!  Here he is competing as a Tough Mudder, on an 11-mile course with 25 obstacles.

         Pierre is happy to be back in the Renaissance family!

Upcoming Events:     

Wednesday, 9/18 - Curriculum Night 6-8PM

Wednesday, 10/2 - Board of Trustees Meeting

Monday, 10/14 - Columbus Day, No School

Wednesday, 10/16 PTA Meeting 6:30 PM  

Helpful Hints and Cool Links

Check out the 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 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. Here are some additional resources: 


Read the following document for tips on internet safety:

Internet Safety  


 Elementary Math: 

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:  Thank you!


The Renaissance Charter School