TRCS Monthly Newsletter
October 2013      
More Summer Stories
What R U Up 2?
"First Book"
Curriculum Night
Reading Comes to Life
Renaissance Rocks!
Spotlight On....
Meet the Staff
Roving Photographer
TRCS Sports Desk
PTA News
Alumni Corner
Helpful Hints and Cool LInks

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autumn-winding-road.jpg     The weather may seem like summer is hanging on, but here the school year is in full swing.  School trips have already started, with the 2nd-6th graders attending the MoMath Museum, the Middle School grades attending the YMCA every Wednesday, and many trips planned for Rensizzle.  Teaching artists have also been working with our students and the first parent workshop is scheduled for this Saturday. And don't forget, the first PTA meeting is this Wednesday at 6:30PM!  To keep up with what's happening at Renaissance, read on.....
More summer photos!
  null     7th Grader Jenelle Jones is very interested in dancing, singing and acting and takes jazz, tap and hip hop lessons.  This summer Jenelle participated in a contest held at Disney World Orlando called THE Event.  She met with many of the Disney channel stars and was coached by them before participating in the Dance Mainstage Performance. Jenelle has a YouTube video of the dance routine she performed on her website under the dance video tab 


     This summer new 5th grader Marko Stroumbakis went to visit family in Mexico and traveled to the coast city of Veracruz, in the Gulf of Mexico.  For the first time, he got to swim with dolphins, which was an absolutely amazing experience! Says mom: "Dolphins are so smart and sweet, and it seems they enjoy playing with humans too!"

What R U Up 2?
       Each month we would like to share with everyone what your child is up to outside of Renaissance.  Be it a sports or cultural activity, or a special one-time event they attended, please send in your story & photo!

Here's who sharing this month:

2nd grader Yianni Skordilis has attended the High Performance Academy on Steinway street in Astoria after school for the past year. He is also enrolled in 3 programs at his Greek School: Hellenic Education and Language program where he studies Greek language, music and dance on Saturdays from 9-1, Art on Tuesdays from 5-7 and games in Greek on Thursdays from 4-6.  Last week he very proudly received his green belt in Tae Kwon Do.  Wow, that's one busy boy!

      7th grader Luc Papineau loves
the theater, really any type of live
performance art.  He has been taking musical theater class at TADA! on Broadway for a couple of years, and is now participating in the Unity Stage Company right here in Jackson Heights.  Unity Stage, originating out of Sunnyside, provides access to performance classes for youth, as well as an opportunity for persons of any age to perform.  This year the kids in Jackson Heights will be presenting two performances of "OKLAHOMA", with Luc starring as Jud.
Renaissance Receives Books Donation from "First Book"
      Renaissance is thrilled to have been chosen to be the recipient of a "First Book".  Mary Pope Oswald, the author of the Magic Tree House series, selected our school to donate books to, completely free of cost to us. We will be receiving one copy of the first book in the series for each 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grader!

      Through the non-profit First Book,  children gain access to new books.  To date, First Book has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children throughout the United States and Canada.  Visit the Magic Tree House website at for fun activities for children.
Curriculum Night
       We had a large turn-out for curriculum night this year. Starting with a general presentation in the auditorium, parents got an update on the new DataCation data system everyone will soon be using to communicate, as well as introductions to new 82nd Street Academic staff members.  Afterward, parents were able to visit with all of the teachers and get information on curriculum, books, homework and test expectations, as well as the best way to contact teachers.  

       82nd Street Academics is excited about their new approach with the 6th-10th grade after-school program and enrollment has been high.

        In between visits, everyone was able to stop off at a table set up by our new food vendor Butter Beans to get a complimentary food tasting!
       Thanks to everyone who helped to organize Curriculum Night and to all who participated.  We especially thank the Middle School Peace Patrol who helped to keep the schedule on track.!
8th Graders Experience Reading Coming to Life

     Megan's and Emily's 8th grade ELA and Humanities classes were able to experience some of what they have been reading about when African dance teacher Funmilayo visited Renaissance last month.

Accompanied by a drummer, Fumi led the students and teachers through some basic dance moves, explaining how dance is an integral part of the heritage and story-telling of the Congolese people.  Born in Brazil, Fumi has lived in Ghana, Nigeria and the Congo and teaches K-12 school children throughout NYC.

       Our students have been reading Copper Sun by Sharon Draper, with a  focus on  gaining a deeper understand of African culture such as storytelling, music, cloth and dye-making and  weaving.  The goal is to help students to gain a greater empathy to other cultures.  As always, Renaissance feels the best way to do this is to really experience it, and as you can see by the photos, they did just that! 
Renaissance Rocks!

       There is nothing like it, no other school has it, it's a Renaissance original! Over a dozen years ago, founding member Sandy Geyer came up with the idea of a week based on the educational philosophy of Joseph Renzulli, an American educational psychologist who touted the immersion experience. "Rensizzle Week" was born!  Every year (except during the 2010 budget crisis) we have run our signature program. It has grown to an average of 20 groups of 7th-12th graders who spend a week out-of traditional classes engaged in in-depth exploration of one subject, with an emphasis on its' relation to New York. 

       This year we will also be joined by some of the students from our sister school in East Harlem, The Renaissance High School for Innovation.  The topics of exploration will include Architecture, Changing Communities, Culinary Careers, Culinary Arts, Drama, Explore NYC, Fitness, Geology/Astronomy, Historical Landmarks, Parks & Recreation, Photography, Recording Studio, Science Explorations, Skyscrapers & Bridges, Spoken Word, Street Art, Students Care, Survival, and Wildlife.  Most of these classes will take students out of the building, some venturing on trips upstate and around the city.  Make sure to check back next month for an update and photos!        
Spotlight On...  College Reps Visit Renaissance
      Renaissance has already been the host to several of the college and university representatives who visit our school every year. 

      Scheduled to visit Renaissance so far this year are Seton Hall (NJ), Leslye University (Boston), Trinity College (CT), SUNY Albany, CUNY, Skidmore College (Saratoga, NY) Johnson & Wales University (Rhode Island), Simmons College (Boston) and Colgate University (Hamilton, NY).  During these visits, the representatives speak with our students about the programs offered at their schools to inform seniors who would like apply for admission.  This is also a wonderful opportunity for students to meet and speak with the people who may possibly be reviewing their applications.

       A chance to make a personal connection can go a long way! To help our students be better prepared for interviews, seniors will have a chance to do "mock interviews" during Rensizzle week.  Leading this segment will be Katha Cato, the director of the Queens World Film Festival, as well as the director of the afterschool program at Henry Street Settlement.  Katha has many years of experience in education, as well as running intern programs and interviewing potential staff members.  With the help of her husband Don Cato, a teacher and film-maker, students may also have the opportunity to have their interviews filmed so that they can review them and see where they may need to strengthen their communication skills.

        As it becomes more and more competitive to gain access to the limited amount of seats available in colleges and universities, this extra preparation will be a very useful tool for our students and we thank our friends at QWFF
Meet the New Staff
       Here we let Vincent Chen, our new 7th & 11th grades ELA teacher,  introduce himself to you:

       "I was born in Taiwan, but grew up in Queens. I am a career-changer, and this is my first year teaching.  I have a Master of Arts in Teaching from Bard College, a J.D. from  Georgetown University Law Center, an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale University and a B.A. in English from  Cornell University.


Fun Facts

       I enjoy reading about natural history, and thinking about the role and depiction of animals in literature. I am also looking forward to the day the Mets return to the World Series! "

       Welcome Vincent!    

The Roving Photographer
     If you have any photos of what's happening at Renaissance, send them in!
Our elementary students get their exercise in with George!.

                          Everybody loves reading Dr. Suess!
Daniela's 2nd Graders made pumpkins!

       Global Lab students studying ancient civilizations worked with an artist from Childrens Museum of Art to create cylinders used for printing. 
TRCS Sports Desk


       Soccer season is under way at Renaissance.  If you can get out to watch a game, the teams would love to have you cheering them on:

RENAISSANCE KNIGHTS Soccer 2013-2014 Regular Season Game Schedule


       So far the Boys' High School Soccer team is 3-1 with a 4-1 win over Bronx Prep, a 2-0 win over KIPP NYC, a 3-0 win over New Visions Humanities and a 1-0 loss to AECL .  The following games are coming up soon: 


Mon (10/14) vs Innovation @ Harlem River Park 4PM

Wed (10/16) vs Harlem Village @ Central Park NM#2 5PM Early Dismissal


Fri (10/18) vs Democracy Prep @ Starlight Fields 4:5pm Early Dismissal (2:20pm)

Fri (10/25) vs Williamsburg @ Mccarren 5PM Early Dismissal (3:45 pm)

Mon (10/28) vs University Prep @ Harlem River Park 5pm Early Dismissal (3.45pm)

Wed (10/30) vs Hyde @ Harlem River Park 415pm Early Dismissal (3:10pm)


RENAISSANCE LADY KNIGHTS Soccer 2013-2014 Regular Season Game Schedule


       The Girls' High School Soccer Team  is 0-2 so far, with a 3-1 loss to Williamsburg Charter and a close game with Hyde ending in a 3-2 loss.  The following games are coming up:



Thu (10/10) vs Brooklyn Prospect @ Hamilton 4:5PM Early Dismissal (2.20pm)

Mon (10/14) vs Bronx Prep @ Wagner 1PM

Tues( 10/15) vs Democracy Prep @ Wagner 5PM Early Dismissal (3:45pm)

Thu (10/17) vs University Prep @ FD Park 4:15PM Early Dismissal  (2:20pm)

Tues (10/22) vs Cristo-Rey @ Wagner 4:15PM Early Dismissal (2:20pm)

Scrimmage vs McClancy TBD


       Volleyball starts this weekend so look for updates next month!  

PTA News

       In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the PTA would like to recognize the contributions of the Hispanic community:


       Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15th through October 15th. The observation began as a weeklong celebration under President Lyndon B. Johnson. This year's theme is

Hispanics: Serving and Leading Our Nation with Pride and Honor.


       Today, Hispanics encompass approximately 16.7% of the total population in the United States and is the home of the largest community of Spanish speakers, outside of Mexico. In addition, there was a 43% increase in the Hispanic population between April 1, 2000 and April 1, 2010, making Hispanics the fastest-growing minority group in the United States. It is currently projected that the Hispanic population in the United States will grow to nearly 130 million by 2050. Over the course of our nation's history Hispanic Americans have made significant contributions to advance our nation in areas including Government, Performing Arts, Science & Technology and Business.


       Hispanic Americans have held senior positions within the United States government, including Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic appointed to the Supreme Court. Additionally, as of 2007, there were more than 5,000 elected officeholders in the United States. Also of note, Hispanics or Latinos have participated in the United States Military and fought in every conflict from the American Revolution onward. A total of 43 Hispanics have been awarded the Medal of Honor.


       Hispanics and Latinos have also made significant contributions to the Performing Arts. The first Hispanic American to win an Academy Award was Jose Ferrer for his role in Cyrano de Bergerac. Hispanics have traditionally been underrepresented in television, radio and film leading to the formation of two groups, the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors and National Hispanic Media Coalition, which resulted in diversity agreements with some of television's largest networks. 


        In Science and Technology, major contributors include Dr. Fernando E. Rodriguez Vargas who discovered the bacteria which causes dental cavities and in Business, the total number of Hispanic owned companies totaled 1.6 million in 2002, which grew at triple the national average over the preceding five years.

       We look forward to seeing everyone at the first PTA meeting of the school year, on Wednesday, October 16th, at 6:30.  Childcare is provided and donations of snacks are appreciated!
Alumni Corner
      Over the years, many of the graduates of Renaissance have gone on to distinguish themselves in universities and beyond.  Here is an update of some of our past scholars.

Students awarded a POSSE Scholarship:

Class of 2002
Girelle Guzman - Brandeis University, Massachusetts
Connor McCoy - DePauw University, Indiana
Danielle Bero - Lafayette College, Pennsylvania

Class of 2005

Keely Farley - Dickinson College, Pennsylvania
Pierre Dizon - Wheaton College, Massacusetts
Brandie Johnson - Wheaton College, Massachusetts
Arlene Hermida - Colby College, Maine
Joseph Peralta - Lafayette College, Pennsylvania

Class of 2006
Samantha Aaron - Vanderbilt University
Raeanne Reyes - Brandeis University
Daniel Sanchez - DePauw University
Tiffany Mane - Dickinson College, Pennsylvania

Class of 2008
Sam Gauthier - Trinity College, Connecticut

     POSSE Scholars are nominated to the POSSE Foundation.  Once identified, POSSE extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams - "Posses" - of 10 students. POSSE partner colleges and universities award POSSE Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships.

                                   Looking over the list, you
will probably  recognize                       null
some names   Girelle (at left)  and Pierre (at right) are both currently working at Renaissance, Girelle as the Internship and Leadership Coordinator, and Pierrebas a new Social Studies ICT teacher.   

      Danielle Bero (below, speaking at the TRCS 20th Anniversary Celebration) is a founding teacher at the Broome Street Academy Charter High School in SoHo.  While at Lafayette, Danielle created her own major of Creative Mediums and Social Justice and received an English Teaching Assistantship in Indonesia as a Fulbright Fellow. 

       Sam Gauthier  (above right) did some substitute teaching at Renaissance last year before heading to law school.

       2009 Alumni Luvana Chowdhury (Smith College class of 2013) was also awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in Biology.  Luvana just graduated from Smith, but is already on her way to making a name for herself.  On her way to Bangladesh, that is!  For her Fulbright application, Luvana proposed to develop "low-cost, accurate, simple tests to quickly detect dengue virus to help prevent deaths in Bangladesh". She has observed firsthand how a sensitive physician or clinical researcher can inspire and educate patients from communities where healthcare education and treatment is poor.  Says Luvana "I have realized, the more I learn, research and teach, the better I will be able to diagnose and enable my patients to become agents of their own health. My training in the sciences have made me realize further the importance of developing culturally appropriate solutions that can work within the financial constraints of impoverished countries and communities".

       2010 Alumni Mabelly Guerrero is an Albright Fellow at Wellesley College.  As a living laboratory of the value and real-world application of the liberal arts disciplines, the Albright Institute fosters an innovative approach to problem solving through. For the women of Wellesley, the Institute is both an invitation and an extraordinary opportunity to equip themselves for the new, expanded roles they will play on the world stage.

      Of course, many other students receive scholarships to various colleges and universities every year.  This year we have six students who have been nominated as POSSE Scholars and that have so far made it to the second round.  We wish them the best of luck at this wonderful opportunity.


     We have already started the year off with some visits from Alumni:

Class of 2012 Valedictorian Eloise McAviney stopped by for a visit recently.  She is on a full academic scholarship at Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Hunter.  She is majoring in anthropology.

Danny Santos
Danny Santos is now a registered nurse.  He graduated from Pace University and is working at Elmhurst Hospital.

       Our alumni are living up to our mission of "Developing Leaders for the Renaissance of New York"!

Upcoming Events:    


Monday, 10/14 - Columbus Day, No School
Wednesday, 10/16 - PSAT Exams, 10 & 11th Grades 

Wednesday, 10/16 - PTA Meeting, 6:30-8:00 PM

Mon-Fri, 10/21-25 - Rensizzle Week

Mon-Fri, 10/21-25 - Scholastic Book Fair 

Mon-Fri, 10/28-11/1 - Spirit Week

Friday, November 1 - Pasta Night  

Tuesday, 11/5 - Election Day, No School

Thursday, 11/7 - Picture Day Grades K-11

Monday, 11/11 - Veterans Day, 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 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