TRCS Monthly Newsletter
November 2014      
Featured Article...Activism
Follow-up on 3rd Grade
5th Grade Hotel Project
Rensizzle week
Spirit Week
PTA Monster Mash Party
Cursive Writing..A Lost Art?
Bubbles Family Dinner
Renaissance Rocks!
Spotlight On....
TRCS Sports Desk
PTA News
Alumni Corner
Helpful Hints and Cool LInks

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Featured Article...Activism at Work!

Thanks to the joint efforts of many, Renaissance once again has a permanent crossing guard at our corner!  Angela Kostalos has been working at the corner of 37th Avenue & 81st Street for about a month now.  She received her training at the Police Academy in College Point.

Many parents and staff signed the paper petition, which parent (and former NYPD lieutenant) Chester Hicks delivered to the 115 Precinct.  We also had over 300 signatures from school families, as well as community members, on an online petition posted by the school.  This action led to television coverage and that is when the police posted an officer to direct traffic and help with street crossings.

We would like to thank everyone who pitched in, signed letters and made phone calls.  We also want to thank our elected officials, including Assemblyman DenDekker, Assemblyman Moya, Senator Peralta and Council Member Dromm.  This was a great example of a community working together for the good of all!
Third Grade Buys a Cow!

Leah's third grade class has bought a cow! In a week and a half they raised the $500 needed to purchase a cow to donate to a village in Africa.  In fact, as of now they have over $700. With the extra money they will also donate trees and water pumps for villages.

An extra bonus is that parents say the kids can't stop talking about this project at home.Three parents came in to help the class put together the candy grams that were ordered (over 700!!).

5th Grade Hotel Project!

Fifth grade hotel developers outdid themselves during our first big project of the year.  In fifth grade, students learn the U.S. algorithm for multiplication.  After practicing a bit in the textbook, I sensed boredom from the students. I knew I had to get creative about how they were going to get the practice they needed.
Meet the Resort Report. Students were each given a business plan outline for the hotel of their dreams. They were able to decide on name, location, and what makes their hotels unique  We had such a variety - a hotel made of potatoes in the clouds, an upstate NY ski resort, and lots of tropical resorts complete with dolphins, water slides & pools. Then came the math. Students decided how many rooms they were going to have, then they had to determine the cost of everything needed to develop a hotel. If each bathroom had 8 towels, and each towel cost $11, how much will they need to spend on towels? We worked on the same type of multi-step problems for TVs, artwork, utensils, etc.  You name it... we calculated it.  Our final bills were well into the millions! 
While we worked on the Resort Report during school, students were responsible for some sort of creative endeavor at home. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was blown away by the creativity and skill of final projects. We had plexiglass doors on hinges, vanilla frosting snow, hand sewn of art!  We showcased our hotels and our business plans at a wonderful gallery.  We loved having our families, schoolmates, and faculty visit! 

I am more excited than ever to start our next project knowing how motivated and creative this group was with their hotels! Stay tuned!  .... Molly Cohen, 5th grade
                                                                                 math & science teacher

Rensizzle Week!
Rensizzle ended on Halloween, which was also the start of Spirit Week.  So we had trick or treating going on while our middle and high school students were busy preparing a great program of share-outs about their experiences during Rensizzle Week.

This year groups participated in activities such as classes in flamenco, jazz and African dance; visiting caverns to see the wide variety of New York State's geology; studying the Asian culture including languages and history; studying culinary arts; and learning how to build and program a robot.  Almost all the groups shared out with the rest of the school, whether through power point presentations, live performance, poetry reading and an original piece of choreography.  Check out the Rensizzle wiki to read all about the different groups, what they learned and see more great pictures.

       Rock Wall Climbing                  Freedom Tower & 9/11 Memorial

       Howe's Cavern- Upstate NY                          Brooklyn Bridge

                Culinary Arts                                       Dance NYC
Spirit Week!

Another unique part of Renaissance is Spirit Week.  This year it started on Halloween, just as Rensizzle Week was wrapping up.  Our PreK and elementary school students, the majority of whom were dressed in costumes, went trick or treating in the office and were treated to some special snacks in the cafeteria with Captain America (Miguel!).


A visit from Captain America (Miguel)           1st Grade with Snow White (Flo)

Heritage Day - many students dressed in the colors or costumes of their family's heritage:

Twin Day is for those who want to dress like a friend.......or a few friends!

For those kids who already have a career picked out, they can Dress for Success!

And everyone's favorite.....pajama day!
Monster Mash

The PTA hosted a Monster Mash pre-Halloween party for our PreK-6th grade students.  The kids partied to some great music by DJ Isaiah Sanchez and enjoyed pizza and other snacks.  Children had a chance to preview their costumes before the next week's Halloween and everyone had a chance to vote on the Pumpkin Contest.  Which one is your favorite?
  And the winner was........ the 4th grade!  
A Lost Art?
 With more and more students using computers, many schools are spending less time on handwriting, especially cursive.  Some principals and teachers would rather spend writing time concentrating on content than what it looks like.  But many proponents point out the positives of cursive writing:

  • Cursive is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory.
  • Cursive handwriting stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between the left and right hemispheres, something absent from printing and typing.
  • The College Board found that students who wrote in cursive for the essay portion of the SAT scored slightly higher than those who printed which experts believe is because the speed and efficiency of writing in cursive allowed the students to focus on the content of their essays.
  • Writers can take faster, and therefore more, notes in class or meetings.
  • Someone who writes cursive will be able to read cursive! 

Renaissance realizes the importance of teaching writing and is stepping up their game with the Handwriting Without Tears program. Now in its second year at TRCS, the program is currently being used in kindergarten through 3rd grade. They work from writing readiness to printing and cursive. The scope and sequence of lessons is based on research about how children learn best, research which states that children learn more effectively by actively doing, and by using the different senses.  Their unique physical approach addresses posture, grip, and paper positioning.


Added benefits will be the ability to read historical documents....and the note you write to walk the dog! 

Bubbles For Dinner!
On Thursday, November 13th a group of approximately forty 1st & 2nd grade students and family members enjoyed dinner together, courtesy of The Bubble Foundation.
  The Bubble Foundation has been working with our 1st & 2nd graders, teaching them about healthy food and how to prepare it.  The dinner gave families a chance to see their little chefs in action, as the kids helped to prepare the fruit platter.  Our families also swapped recipes.  In the spring, Bubble will work with our Pre-K and kindergarten students, as it's never too soon to learn about healthy eating!
Renaissance Rocks!
We have so many awesome students, and staff, that our shout out list is too long for the newsletter!  Follow this link to see who has been acting like a Renaissance Leader!
Spotlight On... Sandra Fritz and Somos El Futuro
On Saturday, November 8, 11th and 12th grade ELA teacher, Sandra Fritz, participated in the "Somos el Futuro" conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The conference serves as a platform for legislators, scholars, business, and labor leaders to address issues that impact the Hispanic community. Sandra spoke as part of a session on charter schools and the common core, sitting on a panel with  legislators, school principals, representatives from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), and a speaker from the New York City Charter School Center.

Sandra discussed TRCS's unique model as a small, independent charter school, as well as the school's close ties with both the community and the UFT. She also highlighted the writing workshop program and the importance of small class sizes in fostering learning.  The response to TRCS's innovative programming was very positive, and the conference, on the whole, was a success!

                 (Sandra, 2nd from left)
TRCS Sports Desk


Congratulations to our HS Boys  and HS Girls for making CSAA Soccer Playoffs. Sadly The boys lost in the first round in a penalty shoot-out . The Girls lost  in the Semi-Finals , also in  a penalty shoot-out.  However, for the HS Girls this was huge improvement over last year, where they did not make the playoffs. 
Also TRCS sports would like to thank Stephanie Montalvo (center, in red shirt) for her commitment in playing all four years of high school sports! 
The HS Girls Volleyball had a recent victory over Adams Street Academy.  
Upcoming Sport Season : 
MSG Basketball
5-7 Boys Basketball 
HS Boys Basketball 
HS Girls Basketball  
PTA News

The PTA Executive Board would like to send a SHOUT OUT to all of our parent volunteers for our fundraising activities:


Scholastic Book Fair:

Alex Auvers, Mahmuda Hoq, Jevon Morales,  

Patty Oscategui, Maria Patino, Carina Salvi,

Victoria Septh, Tracy Spellman


Picture Day:

Mahmuda Hoq, Jevon Morales, Maria Patino


Without their help we could not have accomplished all that we did. For those who were unable to participate, we will have more opportunities available in the future.


Coming up next: The Winter Festival, Friday December 12TH! 



Alumni Corner - Deep Patel, US Fuels of New York
Deep Patel, a graduate of Renaissance, stopped by the school a couple of weeks ago, and when we heard how he started his own business, we asked him to write us his story.  It is below--and we are proud to have been part of the path that put him on his way! 

Five years ago, I was working for a cell phone carrier. From the day I started working there until the day I resigned I knew that it wasn't what I was passionate about. What I was passionate about was being able to make my own schedule, having my career goals controlled by me and helping others in the community. Fortunately, at the time my parents were looking for a better work-life balance and early retirement. So, they began their investments in convenience stores. I got  experience working at their stores, applying their strategies, and purchased my first convenience store along with a gas station in 2008. That's when my real entrepreneurship experience started.

From the first store, I knew the economic conditions were not stable; hence, I had trouble finding banks to finance my potential properties. I didn't let the difficult times get in the way of achieving my goals, however. In 2009, I bought two properties from a local bank and that is when my company (Quik Shoppe Stores) was created. We are a growing chain in the Finger Lakes area upstate. Currently, my office is located in a small town out of Ithaca, NY with a total of 12 office employees and 96 employees spread throughout the stores.

To further expand my business, I opened a fuel company in 2012 to control long term expenses and become a supplier to my own stores along with others in the area. Today, my company supplies fuel to my own stores and 32 other stores. I am the youngest owner of a fuel company in the state of New York. My future goal is to expand my company to other states.

The lesson I have learned is that it is crucial to keep up with the competition, considering the amount of innovative solutions available in the market. To support that, there are days when I work 24 hours a day and there are days where I work 5 hours a day. Being in this business has given me a wide variety of experiences. I continue to challenge myself everyday to overcome obstacles. The best advice I could give is to never give up, work hard and golden days will come!

Next time you are in town, Deep, we hope you can stop by.  Your story is an inspiration to all our future entrepreneurs!

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, Nov. 20th - No School for Pre-K students

                 Parent Teacher Conferences K-12th grades 5-8PM

 Friday, Nov. 21st - 11:40AM Dismissal All Students

                 Parent Teacher Conferences K-12th grades 1-3PM

Thursday - Friday, Nov. 27th & 28th - Thanksgiving Holiday No School  

Wednesday, Dec. 3rd - Board of Trustees Meeting 6:45-9

Friday, Dec. 12th - PTA's "Winter Festival" & Holiday Shop  

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