TRCS Monthly Newsletter
December 2014      
This Semester
Renaissance Rocks!
TRCS Sports Desk
PTA News
Alumni Corner
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We are not at the half-way point yet, but we have our first big break coming up soon.  So besides reporting on all the special activities that have taken place this last month, we also have some exciting updates on what is happening in our classes. And, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy holiday season and a healthy & prosperous New Year!
PreK and the New Year!
The children learned about the holiday New Year's Eve last week.  They talked about making resolutions or wishes and began to make their wishing wands for the new year. They discovered a New Year's tradition in New York-watching the ball drop in Times Square.  The children watched the ball drop in Times Square and counted down as the new year began. They also learned about how the country of Italy celebrates New Year's Eve by eating lentils for good luck and shouting "Capodanno" (Happy New Year). They had a "visit" from Old Befana who is a good witch who brings sweets to children on January 6thThe children will continue to learn about New Year's Eve celebrations around the world. 
Kindergarten News
We are happy to report that Maura's campaign on DonorChose.Org was very successful.  The kindergarten class will soon be receiving three brand new computers!  This will give our young students such a great head start in learning necessary technology, as well as being able to access a wealth of educational information on the internet.  Thanks to all who contributed.

The kindergarten and 3rd grade classes are now Buddies! They meet weekly to read, grow and learn.  3rd Grade teacher Leah also puts out a monthly newsletter.  You can see a copy posted in our lobby bulletin board.
The class also had a great day out at the NY Botanical Gardens:
Busy 1st Graders!
Our 1st Grade families receive an in-depth report each month about what is going on in class. Here are some highlights from teacher Flo and para Daniela:

"The class had a Publishing Party, publishing their FIRST Small Moment Story! How lucky we were to have so many parents and friends in attendance. The 1st Graders appeared delighted to be authors and have been committed to their writing more than ever since the party. During Word Work, students have been learning about "glued" sounds like all in the word ball. A glued sound can be described as letters joined together making one sound. They have also been working with digraphs, which are two letters that make one sound such as SH in the word ship. Finally, we have been learning about words with bonus letters. A word can have a bonus letter when it is one syllable, has a short vowel, and ends in the letters l, s, f, or z.

In Math, we have been learning about the relationships between addition and subtraction sentences. The children have also discovered word problems through number stories and appear to truly enjoy Math Theatre, when our first grade friends are actors for the number stories and act out each problem. 

Social Studies has been focused on learning about our families and their role in a community. We were very excited to discuss the members of our families, how we spend our time together and how we all help each other".

The students have a lot of fun stuff coming up, like an ice skating trip and a trip to the NYFD Fire Zone.  In the meantime,check out pix of their dance trip and the publishing party. Bet this makes you want to go back to school!

2nd & 4th Grades Publishing Parties
On November 26th the second grade and fourth grade joined to celebrate their Narrative Writing/Memoirs, and had a publishing party!  Several parents, teachers and staff joined in the celebration.  They are looking forward to their next publishing party in February 2015.

Middle School Cabaret Night
It was a "SOLD OUT" event that rocked the school on Friday, December 5th.  Parents, students, teachers, staff and friends came by the dozens to be entertained by an amazing group of performers.  There were solos, duets and trios singing their hearts out, a beautiful piece played on the piano and three advisory groups performing very funny skits. Food and refreshments were also available, and 50/50 raffle tickets were on sale. 

Amanda Scott, adviser to the MS Student Council, organized the event and received a lot of assistance from her middle school students.  The evening raised over $1,200 which will go towards the middle school year-end trip to help the lower the cost for all families. We would like to thank the local business who supported the event with food donations:
Just Made 4 ,  Italian Farms, Arunee Thai, Gustosa Pizza and Two Brothers Farm
Congratulations to everyone involved for a fun evening for all and a successful campaign for the middle school! 
Art Around the School
If you've had a chance to walk around the building, you have probably seen some beautiful displays of our students' work, done under the guidance of Robert.  If not, take a peek here:

9th Grade students worked on line drawing, as well as drawing what the eye truly sees~

6th Grade students worked on paper-mache masks to examine the significance of mask-making in past and present tribal cultures~

And 8th graders working in Earth Science with Dan and Danielle produced 3-D versions of topographic maps that look like works of art!

Tuesday, Dec.16, from 6:15 to 8PM will be an evening when 7th grade students will share what they have been doing in their art rotations so far this year.  There will be art and music in the studio and a theater performance in the auditorium.  Please stop by to see all the talent we have at Renaissance!
Blogging About Education
8th & 9th Grade ELA teacher Ariel Sachs loves writing as much as she does teaching about it.  In fact, she often blogs about education and her experiences as a teacher.  Recently she wrote a wonderful blog, reflecting on her experience so far at Renaissance, and what she is thankful for.  We are always happy to know that our students are thriving and are happy at our school.  It is also great to read about a teacher's thoughts on how the environment at Renaissance is affecting their lives.  Check out her blog to see what Ariel is thankful for.... 
Angel Fund Drive
Don't forget, there is still time to make a donation to the Angel Fund.    You can make a donation online here, or send in a donation to the office. We will hang your personalized 'angel' on our holiday tree.

We have already received a very special gift from 3rd grader Genesis Castro and administrator Victor Motto, who donated their $100 winnings from the Cabaret Night raffle.
Thank you! 
To learn more about the Angel Fund and what it is used for, read here.
Winter Holiday Sing-A-Long
The Jackson Heights community will be gathering for their a6th Annual Holiday Sing-A-Long on Saturday, December 20 from 7PM-10PM. Musicians & acoustic instruments are welcome. This is a really fun, family outing, with many going for a hot cocoa afterwards.

If you wish to participate, simply meet on the corner of 31st Avenue & 75th Street, in front of Cassidy's Ale House.  They will be going snow or shine, so dress warmly and wear comfortable boots or shoes. You will be walking, so a flashlight will be handy, as well.  If you go,please send photos to
Renaissance to honor Martin Luther King
A number of community organizations will be coming together for a day of Mitzvah, or charitable acts, in honor or Dr. Martin Luther King on Monday January 19th.  Members of The Jackson Heights Beautification Group, St. Mark's Episcopal Church's Lion Share Food Pantry, The Community Church, Congregation Kehillat Tikvah, Muhammadi Community Center, Congregation Tifereth Israel Synagogue and the office of Sen. Peralta are among the organizing groups.  Renaissance will sponsor the event in our auditorium.

The day will begin with a service, featuring a reading of the famous "I Have A Dream" speech, as well as songs and guest speakers. After, various organizations will offer info on services such as GED classes, ESL classes, immigration issues, healthcare, food stamps, senior services and more.

There will also be groups, including our own Students Care, running food and clothing drives, giving everyone a chance to do their own part on this day of service.  We hope that you can join us for this great tribute to Dr. King.
Featured Article......A letter from out Principal

Dear Renaissance Families,

     It has been a very busy first few months at Renaissance. We have accepted our first Pre-Kindergarten class, welcomed new faculty, assumed full management of our school food program, delivered an exciting Rensizzle Week, enhanced our grade 6-8 after-school program in partnership with 82nd Street Academics with funding from The Mayor's Out-of-School Time Grant, implemented initiatives that came out of the work of our Collaborative School Governance Committee including those related to technology and supporting parent involvement, celebrated our writing with publishing parties in the elementary grades, had our first Cabaret Night, added new leadership partnerships in the high school, expanded our professional development across the schools and last, but certainly not least, submitted our third charter renewal application.

     As a public charter school we are required to apply to have our charter renewed each time it is due to expire. This is a tremendous amount of work as it requires us to not only write about our intentions for the next charter term but to thoughtfully reflect on our work over the last five years by analyzing all aspects of our school's instructional model and operations. The next step in this process will include a site visit from The New York City Department of Education and a public hearing. Once we have a date for the hearing, we will send out notices to you so that you can attend. This is your opportunity to share your thoughts with our authorizer and tell them why Renaissance should be granted a full five year renewal.

     I would also like to thank everyone who signed a letter in support of advocacy efforts currently underway to restore the full funding formula for our school. This is so vitally important to the continued long-term financial sustainability of our school and its programs. If you have not yet signed a letter, please contact Peggy Heeney at to get a copy. Also, we would love to have a strong showing of families at the Annual Charter School Advocacy Day in Albany on February 3rd. Please consider participating in letting our elected officials know what we need them to do to help us and the charter school movement in NYC. Peggy and Pierina will also be reaching out to families about registering to attend.

     I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for selecting Renaissance as the school to educate your child or children.   This is one of the most important decisions you can make as a parent and we take this trust in us very seriously and commit to doing all we can to deliver an excellent educational experience in PK-12.

     On behalf of the School Management Team, faculty and staff, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a joyous and happy new year.



Stacey Gauthier, Principal 

Renaissance Rocks!
Exciting news! Following up from Rensizzle group Media in the New Age,  Mitra Kalita from Quartz ( asked our 7th grader, Allyson Espinal, to write an article. It was published last week! Check it out:

Check out the following Shout Outs:
Our Great Cabaret Performers
Cabaret Volunteers
By Grade Shout Outs
Christmas Tree Decorators

Amanda Scott and the MS Student Council for running a great Cabaret Night and a Holiday Toy Drive at the same time!  They rock!
TRCS Sports Desk


Basketball Season has begun. HS Boys are currently in second place in league play with a 3-1 record.  Recent wins: 
Archbishop Molloy (B)
Townsend Harris
                              The Scholars Academy 
                              Robert F. Kennedy  

To find out about Upcoming Games, visit the website: :  

5-7th Grade Boys Basketball   is  currently  0-1. Upcoming games:  
December 17 - IS 61 
Dec20 - Dec 21 - Middle School Holiday Tournament - Hunter High School

MS Girls are  1-1, with a recent win over JHS 194.
Upcoming Games : 
Dec 18 - IS 157 
Dec 20 - Dec 21 - Middle School Holiday Tournament - Union Settlement / Millbanks 

For more info please check out our new website
PTA News

          The PTA hosted a wonderful Winter Festival on Friday, December 12th.  Besides offering seasonal refreshments, there were games and activities for the children and raffles for the adults.  There was also a Holiday Shop, which was open at lunch period all last week, and which raised money for both the PTA and the Angel Fund.
For the raffle, many items were donated, not just by our families, but by local businesses.  Please help to thank them by supporting them when you can:

Ingrid's Salon, 78-13 37th Avenue, JH
Inner Peace, 79-24 37th Avenue, JH
Ultima Florist, 81-02 37th Avenue, JH
Table Wine, 79-14 37th Avenue, JH
Coral Aquarium, 75-05 Roosevelt Avenue, JH
Foodtown, 76-10 37th Avenue, JH
Jackson Heights Health Food, 83-10 37th Avenue, JH

The PTA Executive Board would like to thank all who have helped and  supported us throughout the year as we work to engage with parents, advocate for equal educational opportunities for all of our city's students, as well as raise additional funds for our school.  There will be many more opportunities to volunteer or help in anyway that you can during the rest of the school year.  If you have any questions, ideas or volunteer opportunities that are of interest to you, please don't hesitate to contact any member of the

Happy Holidays to All! 
Alumni Corner....Tsechu Dolma
We recently received the following exciting news about one of our graduates:


Tsechu Dolma MPA '15 has received a Brower Youth Award in recognition of her efforts to create a model for sustainable food security in Nepal. Six such awards are given each year, honoring young leaders of North America who pursue projects to benefit the environment.


Dolma's project, a community greenhouse built with locally sourced material, aims to help residents of Geling, a village in Nepal's Upper Mustang region, become more resilient to climate change.  Dolma was raised in Nepal and came to the U.S. at age 10 when her family sought political asylum as Tibetan refugees. She conceived the project after traveling as a college student to Nepal, working as a research assistant on an ethnography project.


Upon returning to the United States, Dolma consulted with Nepalese expatriates and academics. With support from the Rubin Foundation and Columbia University, she again traveled to Nepal to study previous development projects. Her research led to the development of the idea for the community greenhouse and construction concluded this fall.


Dolma and her work in Nepal have also been featured on NBC News.

Upcoming Events:
Tuesday, 12/15, 6:16-8PM  7th Grade Art Sharing
Tuesday, 12/23, 12noon - 3PM High School Feast
Wednesday, 12/24-1/2  Holiday Break

Monday, 1/19 - Martin Luther King Day, School Closed
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