TRCS Monthly Newsletter
February 2014      
This Semester
Renaissance Rocks!
Spotlight On....
TRCS Sports Desk
PTA News
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       We hope you are keeping warm in this blustery weather, or enjoying some winter activities while school is out. 

       Whatever you are up to, please share it with us.  In the meantime, catch-up on what is going on at Renaissance! 
First Annual Renaissance "SOUPer Bowl"

     The Middle School Student Council sponsored the first of what we hope will become an annual event, the Renaissance SOUPer Bowl.  Dividing into two teams, the K-5th grade classes represented the Broncos and the 6th-12th grade classes were the Seahawks (the two NFL teams in this year's Super Bowl).  Teams competed to see who could bring in the most items, including cans of soup, tuna fish, rice and other non-perishables, which were donated to the food pantry at Bethany Lutheran Church in Elmhurst, in partnership with St. Jacobus Lutheran Church in Woodside. ( )
Pastor Josephy Mantovani and Pastor Sam Saliban with Amanda and MS Student Council members
     The final tally was the K-5 Broncos 634 and 6-12 Seahawks 348.  But everyone was a winner as the St. Jacobus' Food Pantry has never been so full. The pastors who came to collect the food were overwhelmed with the amount of donations and were truly thankful.

       Another winning Renaissance program! Thanks to Amanda and the MS Student Council 7th & 8th graders for all their hard work and congratulations to the K-5th grade classes, who will be rewarded with a popcorn/movie party.
Advocacy Day 2014
     The Middle School Student Council attended the 10th anniversary of NY Charter School Advocacy Day in Albany.  The rally was centered around expanding Pre-K to charters, as well as a show of support from many elected officials to work with Mayor de Blasio to continue growing the number of charter schools in New York City.

      The crowd was also treated to a performance from VOICE Charter School in Queens. Their chorus sang four songs and this group of 5th graders were great!  Afterwards, the group from TRCS, which consisted of 22 students, teachers, parents and staff, were introduced by Assemblyman Moya in chambers at the NYS Assembly.  Our senator, Jose Peralta, did a Q&A with students and we were able to get a photo inside chambers on the podium of the NY State Senate.

      Following our appointments with our officials, we had time to visit the New York State Museum.  They had a wonderful exhibit on NYC, featuring a tribute to 9/11, a display of fire fighting apparatus dating from the early 1800's, and old photographs and drawings documenting the physical change of the city over the last four centuries. Below some of our students checked-out an old NYC subway car.

    Thanks to Amanda Scott for organizing the middle school Student Council to go to Albany and to all the parents, teachers and staff who attended as well.  To learn more about why we must advocate for our children and Renaissance, watch this brief NY1 news piece.  If you don't blink at the beginning, you will see some of us who were in Albany!:

Regents Week
   While the last week of January was Regents Week for many students, those who did not have  exams to take were treated to a great schedule of health & physical fitness workshops with the talented staff of Renaissance, as well as many outside professionals who were brought in for the day.  Students were also treated to a seminar by 1996 Olympic Track Gold Medalist Derrick Adkins, who spoke about developing an "Olympic Mentality" to lead you to success.

      Other offerings were yoga classes with our own Laurie Zic (below), 
nutrition classes with Michelle Blum of Nutrish Mich, sexual health with Renaissance mom Marta Kowalski who works for the NYC Department of Health, physical fitness with Vinnie, mental health & college with Ali, and study & organizational skills with Liz. Students also had a chance to take classes on a more serious note. A law class about peaceful protests and protecting yourself by knowing your rights was provided by StreetWise trainer, Molly Coe.  Day One, New York, a dating violence prevention organization, provided trainings with Sara Gonzolez on intimate partner violence, laws and rights, and gender-bias stereotypes.  Heart Start provided CPR AED training and now all our seniors are certified for two years.   





    Chef Joe Ford helped students to create healthy, delicious smoothies.  Using fresh or frozen fruit, juice and oat
meal, they made some tasty concoctions!


  Thanks to Suzanne Arnold for organizing that week's events!
Angel Fund Drive
      Our Angel Fund Drive during the holidays made us hopeful that we can keep our Angel Fund healthy by proving that just a small donation from many people can really add up.  So we are hoping to expand on this idea by asking you to make "angels" of friends and family members, too! Students will be coming home with hand-made angels that we are asking you to sell.  Those who make a donation of $1 or more can keep the angel or write their name on it and we will hang them around the school.  We have already passed out angels to our K-2nd grade classes and will continue passing more out after the winter break.

     We are setting a lofty goal of $2,000 and you will be able to see our progress in the thermometer on display in the school lobby and updates in the newsletter.  Please help us spread the word about the great work the Angel Fund does.  In the past we have helped families displaced by fire, children who have lost a parent, and, of course, helped  to defray the costs of programs and trips at the school.  Please continue to support the Angel Fund so we can offer a hand when it is needed!
What R U Up 2?
         9th grade student Alexandria Marston has been busy here at Renaissance, doing so well in her classes that two teachers have recognized her exemplary work.  Science teacher Riaad Etheridge nominated her to a program called People to People Leadership Ambassador Programs. They offer students in grades 6-12 the opportunity to attend conferences at Ivy Leagues schools around the country. Alexandria has chosen to attend the program at Harvard which focuses on "Leadership in Action." (

        Leadership Ambassadors are inspired to challenge themselves, as they develop leadership qualities, prepare for college and become invested global citizens (very much aligned with the mission of Renaissance!). They engage with students from around the world, participate in workshops and earn service credit hours and optional college credits.

        Alexandria will also soon be a published poet.  One of her poems was submitted by ELA teacher Megan McKeller and will soon appear in the American Library of Poetry.  It is wonderful see a student doing so well, and great to see it recognized by their teachers!

       If you would care to help out Alexandria with the expenses of attending this program, you can visit her page to donate at:  You can also read about other great leadership opportunities for our students by visiting the college office blog:
Featured Article -"Students Care" leaders show how they Care!
      The HS leadership group, "Students Care", under the direction of alumni Chelsea Reid, organized a day of volunteer work around the city in honor and in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.  On January 21st, despite several inches of snow coming down, 9th and 10th grade advisory groups trouped out into the city to help  those less fortunate. 

    Groups helped out 1) City Meals on Wheels (or Meals on Heels, in our case!) by delivering to the homebound in mid-town Manhattan; 2) Baby Buggy, an organization that provides essential clothing, gear and services to families in need; 3) Common Food Pantry, where volunteers helped pack and distribute food.  Due to the weather, the group planning to plant trees in NYC Parks had to be postponed until the spring.

     Chelsea and her Students Care team reported that the volunteer experiences were extremely positive all-round, and they plan on doing it again.  Thanks to all who helped coordinate this effort--our mission in action!
Our Youngest Leaders Love to Read and Write!
     SuhJins's first grade class proved they are on their way to becoming leaders of the future when they shared their original writing projects with Sarah's kindergarten class.

 It looks like we have some real teachers in the making here!

Cluster 1 Events
For those of you who could not visit the Culture Bubble in person, take a look at this wonderful video posted by 4th grade teacher Christina.  

     The collaborative team of Cristina, Janet, Rebekah S. and the 4th grade class invited family, friends and other classes to take a "Vacation to Mars".  Presenting short narratives on each of the solar system's planets, the students entertained, as well as informed us about what makes each planet so special.

Students shared a different experience on every planets
Orbiting in space! 
Renaissance Rocks!
      We have a lot of students who received shout-outs this month for exceptional behavior, and even a couple of teachers!

3rd Grade: Emmanuel Rodriguez
4th Grade: Liam Collins
5th Grade: Victoria Barrios, Louis Nouel, Lizbeth Samaniego, Marko Strombakis
6th Grade: Juan Tenesaca
7th Grade: Ethan Chan, Russel Chan
8th Grade: Kendall Godfrey
9th Grade: Sakib Ahmed, Joel Emmanuel, Elijah Gonzalez, and for helping with homework in afterschool - Giorvani Domond, Sienna Karimi & Pablos Rios
11th Grade: Emily Sugrue
Teachers: Bianca Jordan and Lisa Maida
     Congratulations everyone!
Spotlight On... TRCS Support Personnel

      In order to help you find the correct person to assist you in the school office, please see the job descriptions below and note the name, email and phone extension of the personnel assigned to this task:


School bus transportation, metro cards for public transit, and working papers - Pat Poljanic x 112


Admissions, open houses - Fran Smith 

  x 106


K-4 After-school, Spanish translation - Maria Banol x110


Food Services, school meal forms - Kalliope Radman & Silvia Segovia x119


Attendance, lateness, Face-to-face letters - Barbara DeMarco x117


HS registrar and HS records, Spanish translation - Pierina Arias x118


Immunization requirements, MS book returns and lockers, Nature's Classroom Trip - Mary Sugrue x221


HS book returns and lockers, MS & HS outdoor lunch passes - Laura Zic x317


5-10th grade After-School - Jessica Kim x211


Parent Liaison, family workshops, special events, PTA, contact updates, general info - Peggy Heeney x111

TRCS Sports Desk




Basketball  Season is coming to an end 

HS Boys  finished the  season  6-10 .  Cassius Brown-Wells lead the Division in Scoring . 
HS Girls  currently are  2-6, with a recent win over Bronx Prep
MS Boys  currently are 1- 8, with a recent win over IS 61 
MS Girls are currently  in 5th place out of  8 teams  with a 4-4  record .  Recent wins: over IS 230 (25-20 )  and IS 226 (30 - 8) 

 MSG posing with their medals that they receive at M.L. King Day Tournament. Valeria Franco was chosen as Team MVP for the day. 

      Congratulations to  Valeria Franco, Raheem Traille and Karen Balbin who represented us in the 2014 Middle League Basketball League Brooklyn Vs Queens All-Star Game.   Our own Coach Alex Smith was was given the honor of coaching one of the All-Star Games.  Valeria and Karen helped the Queens All-Stars remain undefeated vs Brooklyn.

MS Girls posingi n their new uniforms, possible with the support of the TRCS community fund raising efforts!

Upcoming Games : 
Feb 13  HSG  Vs  Promise 2  @ 5:30pm 
Feb 15  MSG  Vs  Kipp Infinity @ 12pm
Feb 24  MSG  Vs 185  @ 415pm
Feb 24  HSG  Vs  TAPCO @ 445pm 
Feb 25  HSG  Vs  Northside @ 430pm 
Feb 26  MSB  Vs  IS 102  @ 415pm 
FeB 27  MSB  Vs  Quest2Learn @ 4:30pm 
Feb 28  MSG  Vs  JHS 192 @ 4:30pm @ LIC YMCA 
Feb 28  HSG  Vs   Harlem Village  TBD    
PTA News
       Please don't forget that we will be having a food tasting and kitchen tour led by our new chef, Mo.  He and his team have been getting rave reviews from students and staff alike for the nutritious & delicious food they serve everyday!

Mo & 7th grader Emily Jerez


       Victor Motta, our Director of Data and Accountability, will also be giving a presentation on our new Student Information System, Pupil Path. ( There's a lot going on, so be sure to attend our February 26th meeting!
Upcoming Events:  
Monday-Friday, 2/17-2/21, Midwinter Recess - No School
Wednesday, 2/26 6:30, PTA Meeting
Friday, 2/28 8:45-10:00AM "Read Across America"
Friday, 2/28 Picture Re-take Day
Friday, 2/28 Latin American Carnival
Friday, 3/7, Fund Raiser for Middle 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   


Internet Safety tips for parents and kids:   

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