TRCS Monthly Newsletter
March 2015
Not only is March the month of author Theodor Geisel's birthday (better known as Dr. Suess!) but it is National Reading Month.  All across the country schools are participating in various programs to encourage everyone to read even more than usual. And Renaissance has many opportunities to help make reading even more fun, including a Reading Spirit Week with daily themes matched to Dr. Suess books, the Learn2Earn program, and book publishing parties galore!

And,of course St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in style!


Our Read Across America activities started with a Dr. Suess themed week.  And what better way to start than with a breakfast of Green Eggs & Ham! 
Monday was Cat in the Hat Day
  Tuesday was Fox in Socks Day
 Wednesday was Wacky Wednesday
 Everyone dressed in wacky outfits
 Thursday was Oh The Places You'll Go day
Students dressed up as what they hope to be one day-we had doctors, a photographer, chefs and even a president!

Finally, Friday was honoring The Lorax.    
The whole Vidal-Del Pozo family wore them   -      
 Everyone wore mustaches.
 and so did the teachers!
Charter School Advocacy Day may be over, but Renaissance is always ready to stand-up for its parents and students when needed.  On Friday, March 13th, principal Stacey Gauthier, teacher Nicole DeNino, Director of Development Rebekah Oakes, staff members Fran Smith, Pierina Arias  and Peggy Heeney led a large group of parents to the office of Assemblyman Moya.  Our concern is an item in the new Assembly budget, which is scheduled to be voted on soon, that will affect our PreK students.  The original agreement between New York City and charter schools when we were asked to take on PreK classes stated that these children would then be allowed to matriculate into the charter school kindergarten.  The Assembly is now proposing that these students would have to re-apply through the lottery system for a seat in kindergarten. 

We were attracted to the idea of having a PreK class in our school because we wanted  families to have a chance for their children to start receiving a great education at the earliest age possible.  An important part of that education would be to keep the continuity going, building upon the great foundation they have developed this year, and the relationships with teachers and students that have been built along the way. 

In the  past we have received support from Assemblyman Moya, and he has recognized our accomplishments.  We went to his office to express our concern about the new proposal and to demand that he side with Renaissance and that he does not sign off on the budget as long as this item remains in the wording.  Our parents also spoke eloquently about Renaissance and their desire for their children to be able to remain here.  We will be continuing to have a dialogue with his office and will keep you posted.
If you want to send Assemblyman Moya your comments, you can email him at: 

It was a whole morning-long celebration for grades K-3, allowing families and friends to share in the great work our youngest writers are doing!  


              3rd Grade - Future Novelists of America!

                    1st Grade
Guests had a chance to hear the children read their stories aloud

                                        2nd Grade made it a real

party with lots of treats!
Pre-K is having their publishing party this Thursday, March 19th at 2:30pm.  The children have created their own version of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears.
The kindergarten class celebrated the passing of 100 days of school.  Counting out 100 pieces of various objects, they made colorful posters.  Everyone also dressed up to look 100!
Pizza Pie that is - which is what the winners of the Pi competition will celebrate with!
The middle school held the ULTIMATE PI day which only happens once in a century. Throughout the first and 2nd floor, the first 200 digits of pi were displayed using the personality number of each student. On 3/13/14, there was a pi digits recitation contest among the 7th and 8th graders. On 3/14/15, at 9:25:35 (3.141592535 being the first 10 digits of pi), there was a countdown during the Saturday math classes.
The school record of 250 pi digits recited by Alice Yoshida (now in 9th grade) was broken by 8th grader Camilla Cheng! 
Students who memorized 50 and above digits were:
Camilla Cheng 314, Helena Koffigoh 144, Nicholas Rios 128, Remay Pemba 121, Shan Ara 120, Siarra Dominguez 94, Ashley Okwan 86, Catherine Gargan 74, Ella Shea 72, Rinchen Lama 70, Carson Sherpa 68, David Gordillo Garcia 68, Rachna Gupta 65, Karina Osorio 61, Laura Buritica 56, Chloe Lovell 55, Nomar Martinez 54, Amina Dupljak 52, Erik Aucapina 51   
 1st & 2nd Place winners Camilla (r) & Helena (l)
 The creator of Pi Day - MS Math Teacher Ram!

The multi-media arts collaborative elective is hard at work on their Spring production, an adaptation of "Iphegenia at Aulis" by Euripides.  Check out the photos below to see what they are up to now and don't miss the upcoming production - May 27 at 4:30 PM, May 28-29 at 7:00 PM.
Curtis at the helm of the theatre group & writers
Lisa working with a songwriter on a piece sung by young Iphegenia to Goddess Aphrodite

Musicians & writers working on a rap for Agamemnon

Robert and his multi-media production artisans crafting props, costumes and set pieces, both painted back-drops and projections.

Renaissance will be holding its second healthy wrap sandwich recipe contest on Tuesday April 21st.  Recipes must be submitted by April 15th to qualify and the top three winners will receive a $25 gift card.  Guest judges will include executive chefs from BR Guest Restaurants and U.S. Foods.  The winning recipes will also be featured in our cafeteria during the month of May, so all the students can taste them!  Look for the email with the flyers this week and ask your child if they would like to to participate.  Make sure their recipe is submitted by April 15th.  Good Luck! 
Second Grade: working on performance piece to "You'll Never Walk Alone" by The Smoking Popes
Third Grade: working on performance piece to "Inti" by Maheya
Fourth Grade: working on dance piece to "We Can Be Kind" by Anne LaMott; and rehearsing two plays as part of the partnership Metropolitan Opera Guild
Guardians of Dancers:
1. Please feel free to download the musical selection for your child and support her/his success by asking s/he to show you the dance as part of regular homework.
2. Save the date! Evening Dance Performance = Friday, June 12, 2015. Keep the T-shirt clean and look for more detailed information in May!

Seventh Grade: second rotation
Eighth Grade: working in small groups to craft an original one act play which illustrates one chosen idea about contemporary adolescents.
Ninth Grade: performing at The Lucille Lortel Theatre in the West Village on Thursday, March 19 as part of the CAT Student Shakespeare Festival.
Tenth Grade: working together and collaborating with Rebekah S. to craft an original ensemble one act play
Eleventh Grade: small group scene work from selected plays "Force Continuum" by Kia Corthron and "Milk Like Sugar" by Kristen Greenidge   
The Writers Group made a trip to Serendipity, a wonderful ice cream shop and cafe in Manhatttan.  The group meets on Thursday after school from 4:00 to 6:00 and anyone with a desire to write is able to join.  Click here to check out a great poem written by 8th grade Shan Ara, inspired by the wonderful sweets at Serendipity.
K has a field trip today to Waldbuams to learn about the food groups and healthy balanced eating.

PreK will be visiting the Queens Botanical Garden on March 23rd and attending the Plants We Eat workshop. 
We would all like to congratulate ELA teacher Ariel Sacks.  She gave birth to a daughter named Salomé Lily Cruz at 12:31pm on February 24th in Brooklyn. Says Ariel: "She was 2.5 weeks ahead of our expectations, but she is healthy and doing a great job learning the basics of life outside the womb each day! Motherhood has been an amazing experience so far. I have a new level of respect for all parents--for the hard work, endurance and intense love it takes to raise a child! I'm looking forward to visiting soon." 
WHATS ON YOUR MIND?  'Renaissance HS Unwrapped'
thought bubbleOn Wednesday, March 4, Renaissance presented an in-depth exploration of our high school program to 6th, 7th and 8th students and families.  The evening started with sandwiches in our cafeteria and moved to the auditorium for a Powerpoint presentation on high school culture, curriculum and the college bound program.  On hand to speak were teachers from all the , as well as alumni from the school.  Afterwards students and parents broke into separate groups for Q&A's with former and present day high school students.

This great program, a collaboration between the CSG and PTA was  spearheaded by PTA president Lillian Chen and our Director of Development Rebekah Oakes.  It was a wonderful opportunity to find out what Renaissance has to offer your student in high school and will hopefully help both you and your child make the right decision about what high school to attend.  We will be hosting this again early next year and strongly recommend that you attend to get all the information you need to make an informed decision!

If you missed the presentation, you can find the power-point presentation on our website at:  Click on the "presentation" link in the first paragraph on that page. In addition, we offered another parent workshop at Renaissance, hosted by the 82SA afterschool program, led by HS ELA teacher Sandra Fritz on March 12th.   Entitled: "Working With Your Children to be the Best They Can Be: Strategies to Ensure Success in the ELA Common Core", this workshop was a good introduction to what work will be like in high school.

SPOTLIGHT ON.....Outstanding Teachers
At Renaissance we think all of our teachers are outstanding, but this year two of them have been recognized for their "above & beyond" work.

College Bound Director Ana-Falla Riff has been nominated for the  
Life Changer of the Year award and Science Teacher Dan Fanelli has been nominated for a Big Apple educator award.
The Big Apple Awards is a citywide teacher recognition program that celebrates educators across the City and honors those teachers who inspire students, model great teaching, and enrich their school communities. After the nomination period, a select group of about 500 nominees are invited to submit an application, which includes essays and letters of recommendation. Following a review of the applications, the Big Apple Awards team will interview 100 semi-finalists, of which approximately 40 advance to the finalist round and receive classroom visits. A Board of Judges, made up of NYCDOE senior leadership and a representative from the United Federation of Teachers, then selects the final award recipients, who show a proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students.  Last year Math Teacher Ram Buenaventura was a winner! 

The Life Changer of the Year is an annual program that recognizes and rewards K-12 education professionals and school district employees. Nominees must be full-time educators, teachers, administrators or any member of the school's staff who makes a positive difference in the lives of students. Voting is based on these criteria:

  • An ability to positively add to the development of the school's atmosphere
  • A leader in his or her activities at the school and/or district level
  • A proven record of excellent performance at the professional level
  • A commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere

If you would like to vote for Ana, by adding a comment to her page, go to and scroll down to comment.  

We know both of these great educators are deserving of their nominations, and we wish them the best of luck during the voting process.  We will keep you all posted! 

Pre-K wants to say a big thank you to Mateo Pimetel for letting us use his bag as a design for our new sleep bags. The kind lady who made their bags is Lucia Parra, a 3rd grade mom!

Reports Flo: Our fabulous first grade has once again filled their Warm Fuzzy Jar. Words cannot express how proud we are of all the children and the hard work that is displayed each and every day. The reward chosen by the children was one week of no homework! We honored this reward the week of March 2nd - March 6th.

Did you know that Renaissance is one of only 3 NYC public schools with a rooftop greenhouse?! Our rooftop garden is now getting under way. Due to the cold temperatures students started planting in the class room on March 12 and moved up to the rooftop this week. Students researched their  allocated crop and will present their research to the class. Right now they are doing the practical work of planting. This year 21 vegetable crops will be planted. Because this year we will have a summer agriculture program, we will be able to sustain a good amount of food for a fall harvest day. Go Renaissance!
sports MS Girls have advanced to NYC Middle School Basketball League Queens semi-final  vs.  OWN Charter School  on March 19th  @ 4:15pm.
Recent Scores : 

MS Girls Basketball   43 - 16 win over JHS 226 
MS Girls Basketball   44 - 4  win over Voice  Charter School 
                                        5-7th Grade Boys     48 - 37 loss to Growing Up Green Charter School 

  MS Girls Basketball after victory over JHS226  5th-7th Grade Boys Basketball vs. VOICE
Upcoming Sports:
Co-Ed MS Soccer 
4-5 Grade Basketball Team Boys 
4-5 Grade Basketball Team Girls  
HS Girls Softball Team 
HS Boys Baseball   
PTA In recognition of Women's History Month, the PTA would like to recognize all the women in the TRCS family for their contributions every day to our children, school and communities.

Upcoming PTA Events:
Spring Picture Day - Wednesday,  April 1st
Scholastic Book Fair - May 4-8

2010 alumni Francois Nichols and Jonathan Garcia dropped by and gave Ana a hug and an offer to come in and talk with our HS students about balancing life and work and following your passions out in the real world.  Fran is working with the NY Knicks, running their half-time show at the Garden; Jonathan is pursuing his acting career, and is currently up for a role on a web series.

Wednesday, March 18th 6:30PM - PTA Meeting

Thursday, March 19th - MS Advisory Trips 

Monday, March 23rd - College Fair Day for Juniors   

Thursday, March 26th 6-8PM, Parent-Teacher Conferences

Friday, March 27th 1-3PM, Parent-Teacher Conferences/

             Half-day all students, dismissal at 11:40AM  

Friday, March 27 5-10PM - Latin American Festival   

Tuesday, March 31 - HS Advisory Trips 

Wednesday, April 1 - Spring Picture Day   
Friday, April 3rd-Friday, April 10th - Spring Recess, No Classes 

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:


NYUL Parents Guide to STEM 


Read the following document for tips on internet safety:

Internet Safety  


Elementary Math: 

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