TRCS Monthly Newsletter
OCTOBER 2014      
Remembering 9?11
Parents as Students
Featured Article...Rensizzle
Spotlight On....Dan Fanelli
Renaissance Rocks!
TRCS Sports Desk
PTA News
Alumni Corner
Helpful Hints and Cool LInks

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The school year has already been filled with a lot of activity and learning.  This month we will hold our signature program "Rensizzle", read below to see all the great subjects our students will be studying. Our parents also had a chance to experience going back to school through a new PTA initiative.  The PTA will also be hosting the Scholastic Book Fair and a Monster Mash Hallloween Party this month, so read their section below to find out how you can help!
Remembering 9/11
Last month, third grade teacher Leah wanted to prepare her students for the 'moment of silence' which would be observed on 9/11.  Here Leah describes what came out of that lesson:

"I wanted to prepare the 3rd grade so that they understood why we were having it . We talked about it a little in "kid friendly" terms, and I read the book '14 Cows for America'. It's the true story about how the Masai tribe in Africa presented an American diplomat with 14 cows to show their respect and support for America after 9/11. We talked a lot about why the cows were such an important symbol from the Masai, how important it is to be kind and compassionate to those in need, and how even though there may be bad people in the world, there are many more good people. They were really interested in the story, a few called it "heartwarming", and it lead to a great discussion about helping others.

"A lot of them kept mentioning how the Masai relied on the cows for food and money and how hard it must have been to give up the cows. The narrator of the story mentioned he was one of the poorest in the village and his family never had a cow. He came to America on a medical school scholarship and when he came back to Africa in June of 2012 he had enough to finally buy a cow and instead decided to present it to America. (There's a happy ending for the cows! They aren't allowed to be slaughtered and since 2012 have reproduced to a herd of 32 cows.) I brought up how in my old school we fund raised enough money to send two sheep to a village in Africa. They thought this was the coolest idea, and we decided to have a class fundraiser and (hopefully) have enough to send a cow. We're going to begin brainstorming ideas for fundraising, and we are all really excited about this project!"

This is a great example of teaching our children compassion and taking the lead to make a change, no matter how young!  The class is brainstorming ideas right now (a cow costs $500!), with the first fund raiser potentially being a "candygram" sale for Halloween.  So if you hear of some candy for sale by the 3rd grade, we hope you will support the kids in this endeavor.

We will follow-up with Leah and the 3rd grade throughout the year and let you know of their progress. 
Great Job 3rd Grade!
Parents as Students!

The PTA Executive Board in collaboration with TRCS teachers held the first PTA meeting of the school year on Wednesday, October 15th where parents became the students.  Parents were given the opportunity to attend their choice of two mini sessions:  Science with Dan Fanelli or Drawing with Robert Evangelista and then GarageBand with Everett Boyd or Movement with Rebekah Slotnick.  Over 40 parents participated and everyone had a great time.  Here is what parents had to say about the lessons:

 "Both classes were a blast.  I will bring my wife next time."

"I got to experience the excitement that my kids feel when in these classes."

"It gives parents an inside look at what's being taught."

"Loved the dance lesson and being a 5 year-old for 15 minutes."

Parents learn Garage Band in the Music Studio
A survey given at the end of the evening indicated that parents really enjoyed being students for an evening, and had a lot of fun being in their children's places.  Dan's Science lesson left the room covered with styrofoam bits, so children--quiz your parents about what they learned!

Students, maybe you should suggest what you think your parents need to know! Math games with Ram? Global Lab with Pierre?  Creative Writing with Miyo?
If you have a suggestion for a mini lesson or future PTA meeting, please email Lillian Chen, PTA Co-President, at

Parents are in their spots, but are they ready to dance? 

Here they are clearly paying attention and ready to dance!  
Featured Article...Rensizzle Week!
Rensizzle is almost here! October 27-31, the week not to be missed!

There is nothing like it, no other school has it,it's a Renaissance original! Over a dozen years ago, founding teacher and current Board of Trustees Chairperson Sandra 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 the topics of exploration will include Asian Potpourri, Culinary Arts, Cultures and Cuisines, Dance NYC, Drama NYC, Geology & Astronomy, Graphic Novel, Lego Robotics, Media in the New Age, Museum NYC, Music Studio, NYCeums (Museums all about NYC--and there are lots!!), Museum Week (focusing on Art & Science), NYC Landmarks, Nutrition and Fitness, Sights and Sounds for Change, Survival NYC, Urban Farming (Permaculture), and Water in Nature.  Most of these classes will take students out of the building, into the city, around the neighborhood, into the woods, mucking around along waterways, down into mines and caves, and on all kinds of experiential adventures.  Make sure to check back next month for an update and photos!  During the week you can check out the Rensizzle wiki pages to track the progress of the groups:
Spotlight On... Dan Fanelli

Another Renaissance teacher made the news this week when WNYC visited Renaissance to cover a story about schools that are letting educators lead the way. 

Dan Fanelli is our 8th & 10th Grades Earth Science teacher, as well as the co-coordinator with Ram of the Middle School grades. Since coming to Renaissance in 2007, Dan has been very busy not only building an Earth Science curriculum for our school, but being very involved as a liaison to the school's administration. He is also the teacher leader for the Urban Advantage Program, which gives our middle school students and their families greater access to the zoos, gardens and museums of NYC.

Dan has taken part in the Cahn's Fellowship Program at Teachers College, as an ally of principal Stacey, as he hopes to one day be a school leader.  He also completed the Emerging Leaders Fellows Program at the NYC Charter Center and has attended the Teachers College Summer Principal Institute.

Dan credits both administration and educators for making that extra effort. "They're willing to put in the time after school to be in that meeting and make decisions about what's coming up in the future," he said.

Dan is a great example of leadership at Renaissance. Check out the article at and listen to the audio portion, as well!
Student Nutrition Committee
The Student Nutrition Committee met for the first time this year on Thursday, October 16th.  The following students are members this year:
7th grader Tenzin Damdul and 8th graders Jared Albines, Victoria DudekPaola Nouel and Luc Papineau. It is great to have the input of students in planning the menus for our school.

The first thing on the menu (no pun intended) was a taste test of a new ketchup.  The committee was in agreement that it was good and should be tried out in the cafeteria. Next up the committee discussed some upcoming special days the Food Services has planned, including Harvest Day, Thursday 10/23 and the Big Apple Crunch Day, Friday 10/24.

We are also planning a Family Recipe Contest and will be sending out more information about that soon.      
What's On Your Mind?
thought bubble
In light of recent health issues, Principal Stacey has released the following statement:

Dear Renaissance Families,

I am sure that most of you been following the news and have been getting a lot of information about the Enterovirus and Ebola. The President, Governor, Mayor, Chancellor, Department of Health and Center for Disease Control have all issued statements as well. These reports naturally raise many questions and concerns.


Your child's health and the health of our staff and parents are of the utmost importance to us. I want to assure you that at Renaissance we are keeping informed about these important matters and are doing all we can to prevent the spread of any infectious illnesses in our building.


The most important things that we can do as a community is to be vigilant in watching for symptoms and to report these to our school nurse immediately. Additionally, hand washing and covering your cough/sneezes helps to prevent the spread of many viruses as well. We will continue to reinforce these practices at school. And while we understand that this can pose a hardship for families, students who are sick should not come to school.


If you have any questions about our health procedures and protocols, please do not hesitate to contact Jaspal Kaur, our School Nurse, with any questions. We also encourage you to communicate with your personal medical practitioner as well.


Again, please know that we will continue to do everything in our power to support our community through this time.



Stacey Gauthier

Renaissance Rocks!
We had a lot of shout-outs for this month so we are presenting it in a list format below.  Thanks to all the staff for submitting the shout-outs, and to our awesome students for deserving them!

Name                             Grade         For:                                         
Ella Shea, Karina Osorio, Shan Ara, Juan Tobon8being elected as officers of the   
middle school student council
Nickolas Chalen7being elected as an officer of the middle school student council
Rachna Gupta8making a "Suggestions Box" for the middle school
Ella Shea, Shan Ara, Karina Osorio, Amina Dupljak Juan Tobon8decorating and putting together the student council bulletin board in the media center
Shehzad Khan7decorating and putting together the student council bulletin board in the media center
Hector Vega7carrying Asa Spellman's backpack for him while he is on peace patrol
Sean Dominguez3bringing the left over snack to the cafeteria each day
Cianya Rojas Zermeno1for being an excellent leader; modeling how to make great choices and leading the class in earning warm fuzzies

And Marlen gave a big shout-out to all the students who deliver the attendance sheets every day!
TRCS Sports Desk


 Several of the TRCS sports teams have already begun their seasons.  Here are the standings so far:

HS Boys Soccer: currently in fourth place in their division with a 2-2 record.

HS Girls Soccer:  currently in first place in their division with a 2-3-2   record.
HS Girls Volleyball recently  Lost 2-1 to Adams Street Academy.  

Upcoming games : 

The following teams will be starting up soon:

HS Boys Basketball
HS Girls Basketball 
MS Girls Basketball
5-7 Boys Basketball  
Spirit Week
Don't forget to show your Renaissance Spirit during Spirit Week
Friday, October 31 - Costume Day (ear your Halloween costume, but no
              full-face masks, please)
Monday, November 3 - Heritage Day (dress in costume or colors of your
              family heritage)
Wednesday, November 5th - Twins Day (dress the same as a friend)
Thursday, November 6th - Dress for Success (what kind of job would you
               like to have?)
Friday, November 7th - Pajama day

(bring your favorite stuffed animal, too)
PTA News
The PTA is very happy to have presented such a popular first meeting, the mini-lessons with Everett, Dan, Robert and Rebekah.  Come out next month to see what else we have in store for you!

We are always very busy at the start of the school year trying to raise funds to help out the school in the coming year, and there are many ways you can help. 

Upcoming events where we can use parent involvement this month are the Scholastic Book Fair (October 20-24), the Schoola Clothing Drive(October 20-24) and the Monster Mash Party (October 24).  If you have any questions or want to help, please contact Lillian Chen, PTA Co-President at  If you can offer translation services, please contact Peggy at   
Alumni Corner
We love it when our alums drop by--we will have an update next month on their busy lives!  Stay tuned!

Upcoming Events:  

Mon-Fri, 10/20-24th - Scholastic Book Fair

Thursday, 10/23 - Professional Development-No Pre-K

Friday, 10/24 - PTA Monster Mash Party PreK-6th grade

Mon-Fri, 10/27-31st - Rensizzle Week

Friday, 10/31 - Halloween Costume Day

Mon-Fri, 11/3-11/7 - Spirit Week 

Tuesday, 11/4 - Election Day, No Classes for Students

Monday, 11/10 - Picture Day, Pre-K - 11th grade

Tuesday, 11/11 - Veteran's Day, No School 

 Wednesday, 11/13 - K-4th grade Dance Trip

Friday, 11/14 - Cabaret Night & Talent Show

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