TRCS Monthly Newsletter
November 2015


It's hard to believe the Thanksgiving holiday is almost upon us, with so much going on at Renaissance!  The last week of October was especially busy with Rensizzle, Mid-Sizzle and Lil' Sizzle, and this newsletter will feature info and photos about the many different groups, their trips and explorations.  On Friday, October 30th, groups gathered together to share their projects from the week, most in their Halloween Costumes!

Our Fitness Friday program has been in full-swing, completing five  weeks of Zumba classes.  These are extra-curricular fitness classes that are offered through our federal Physical Education Program (PEP) grant.  If your child is looking for a new physical fitness activity to try, tell them to check out these 5PM classes.  From now until the end of December we're offering Karate, followed in the new year by Capoeira.

Coming up this month are Parent-Teacher Conferences, followed by the Thanksgiving Holiday break.  But before that, here is the news to catch up on...... 

RENSIZZLE WEEK, including Mid-Sizzle and Lil' Sizzle!
Prior to the week of October 26-30, students chose between 28 wonderfully varied groups.  During Rensizzle Week seniors bonded and concentrated on college applications while the rest of the school spent the week exploring different topics, based around NYC.  These included history, literature, geology, nature, theatre, fine art, song-writing, transportation,  photography, dance, music, animals, religions, social justice and activism.  It was also the first year that our elementary grades participated in Lil'sizzle and Mid'sizzle.  Watch this video of the 2nd grade singing about Halloween! Check out the wiki space for full details on each group, along with lots of pictures here. Here are a few pictures to peak your interest: 

 Transportation Group on Roosevelt Island
  Activism in NY Passport to Broadway with Celia Mei Rubin, dance captain  of Matilda!
 Lil-Sizzle - Mannahatta to Manhattan
Geology of NY 
 Spanish Culture in NYC-Frida exhibit at NYBG

Lil'sizzle - Mask Making
Nola Studios, with songwriter Michael Mott
  2nd Grade rehearsing for their performance
 Central Park - 6th Grade


 3rd Grade - Mindful Yoga 
Religions of NYC 
 Kindergarten at "Architots"
Dance NYC doing the Chinese ribbon dance
Humans of Jackson Heights - Judge Rudy Greco  

Halloween at Renaissance
Our elementary students made the traditional march through the office in costumes to do some trick-or-treating! That evening the PTA hosted a Monster Mash party complete with a "Haunted  Hallway" 
           Yeah, Candy!
 High School Halloween Fun  Office Trick or Treating
The cafeteria staff got in on the fun as well, serving up some 
Cauliflower Brains 

Spider Web Soup 
and Mummy Franks! 
Renaissance families were also out in full-force at the 25th annual Jackson Heights Halloween Parade.  We proudly marched behind our school banner and had a great time.  It was a wonderful day to share with each other.  Thanks to the Jackson Heights Beautification Group for putting 
together this wonderful neighborhood tradition - the 2nd largest Halloween Parade in NYC!

Girls in Engineering
A group of girls from Renaissance were chosen to participate in the annual New York City Girls Computer Science and Engineering Conference 2015 at NYU. Approximately 60 schools registered and 24 were admitted, including Renaissance.

This program is offered through NYU's Women in Computing (WinC), Google, and Princeton University Graduate Women in Science & Engineering (GWISE).  It was designed to give young women a taste of the tremendous creativity and innovation involved in computer science and engineering.  Our students visited tables with Google, Princeton and NYU representatives who were on hand to teach Scratch programming and talk about being women engineers.

Congratulations Ella Shea  & Helena Koffigoh, Grade 9 and  Milena Naranjo, Valeria Franco & Caitlin DeJesus, Grade 10. The team came in 4th out of 28 with a tower built of spaghetti and gumdrops  that stood centimeters tall,

Working with the Community = Advocating for Equality
Principal Stacey met with Assemblyman Moya and members of the Latino caucus. Pictured here at left is Assemblyman Crespo and next to Stacey is Assemblyman Kim.  (Not pictured is Assemblyman Roberts).

It is important that we keep connected to our elected officials, making them aware of our successes, as well as our needs.  Assemblyman Moya supported our summer agriculture camp this year!

Before we know it, Advocacy Day will be here in early February.  We hope you will consider taking a trip up to Albany with us this year to speak with our elected officials about why charter schools are great and need their support!  Read here to learn more about advocacy!

Menu Additions in Food Service

In an effort to make our school meals more accessible to everyone, Halal Meats
are now being served on specific days in the cafeteria at lunchtime. The word Halal is an Arabic word meaning "permissible".  It refers to the cut of meat and how it is processed. The food must come from a supplier who uses Halal processing practices. We have sourced Pilgrim's Pride Corporation, who can provide Islamic Society Certificates.
It will be noted on the menu and posted on the serving line which day(s) Halal meats are being served, which we expect to be once or twice each week.  It should also be noted that we also try to serve food that would appeal to our vegetarian students.  We have a full salad
bar and offer veggie burgers on days hamburgers are served. 

We are always looking for ways to make our menu selections more enjoyable for everyone.  If any students would like to be a part of the school nutrition committee, please contact Peggy at

Bubble Foundation Family Dinner

Pre-K students and their families gathered to share a delicious dinner prepared by the Bubble Foundation.  Bubble has been working with the Pre-K on nutrition and food preparation classes.  Kids helped prepare a tasty salad.

  Parents had a chance to enjoy
  a family meal with no cooking
  or clean-up involved!

Classroom Updates
On Thursday, October 22nd the 2nd grade visited the Bronx Zoo.  Teacher Flo reported: 
"We had a GREAT time at the zoo today! Attached is a collage of some pictures from this super FUN day. Many thanks to the chaperones, Silvia, Amalia, Ivan, George, and Fatima.  We are grateful for your time and energy.   

Also, I am DELIGHTED to share that our iPads for Learning Project is FULLY FUNDED!!!!! WOW! We are so grateful for all who contributed.

Finally, on November 6th we took a wonderful trip to the American Museum of Natural History.

Kindergarten has been introduced to Yoga & Art. Building on a previous skeleton lesson, this week in Yoga they learned about the organs of the body. Next week they'll incorporate nutrition with a focus on fruits and vegetables. Kindergarten was introduced to the medium of oil pastels and learned about proportional drawing and how the spatial relationships in all human faces are the same, regardless of the ways we look different from each other, such as the color of our skin or eyes and the shapes of our features or hair, etc. Next they will study an illustration by NYC artist Sophie Blackall, and create their own illustrations of the diverse people they see everyday.   

Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades held publishing parties.  Students read their original narrative writing pieces to fellow classmates and families on November 12th. 

Sixth grade mathematicians are working on ratios and unit rate.  To put their hard work to action, they visited their local supermarkets to see if the rumor -- bigger is always cheaper - is true. They shared their work in creative and organized data charts.  Most of the time it was true, but there were plenty of surprises!  They found out they could save hundreds a dollars a year by buying smartly!

All across the elementary grades, kids are learning science the hands on way!
4th grade learns phases of the moon using Oreo cookies! 
Kindergarten visited Queens Botanical to learn about trees 

3rd grade visited Hudson River Park and tested water 
  A reminder from dance & theatre teacher Rebekah on important dates this school year:
November 2 - PreK through 4 T-shirt Order Form & Money PAST Due 
November 18 - 8th through 11th Grades Theatre Trip Form & Money Due 
December 4 - 2nd through 4th Grades to Queens Theatre in the Park to see "Under the Tangle"
December 11 - 3rd & 4th Grades to Queens Theatre in the Park to see Ron Brown Dance Company 
February 10 - 8th-11th Grades Theatre Students to see "Noises Off!" on Broadway 
Spring Date TBA - K through 4th Grades to Alvin Ailey American Dance Center to see Ailey II 
June 16 - End-of-Year Dance & MOG Performance, daytime 
June 17 - End-of-Year Dance & MOG Performance, evening 

What's on You Mind? ......Addressing Cyberbullying
thought bubble To help our students understand the dangers and serious damage, including youth suicide and self-harm, as well as the legal implications of cyber bullying, Youth Officers from the 115 precinct gave a cyber bullying prevention presentation on October 28th. Bullying, including cyber bullying, is against the law in New York State ( and is in violation of the Renaissance community's expectations (

 Please read the very important information letter from Suzanne Arnold, our school's Administrator for School Culture & Student Support, which includes helpful links for families to learn more about this important topic. Read

Shout Outs!
        A GREAT BIG New York Shout Out to teachers Amanda Scott and Natalie Kurzyna who ran the New York Marathon.  What an accomplishment!                                                   
Amanda, ran it in 5 hours 12 minutes
 Natalie, after her 4 hour 5 minute finish!
   To see shout outs to our attendance monitors, click here!    

Spotlight on......   A Letter from Principal Stacey
Renaissance partners with Achievement Network!

"I am pleased to inform you that we have decided to partner with Achievement Network (ANet). ANet is an education nonprofit that helps schools boost student learning with great teaching that's grounded in standards, informed by data and built on successful practices of educators around the country. ANet will support grades 2-8 in our school in the following ways -
1)  Coaching - Teachers and Administrators will receive regular visits from a dedicated ANet coach over the course of the year. Our coach will learn about our strengths and weaknesses, then work with us to implement planning and instruction to meet student needs. 
2) Access to Network and Professional Development - ANet works with over 500 schools across the country - district, charter, struggling and nationally recognized, new and established. They organize events to facilitate networking and knowledge sharing. Professional development is available both in-person and online.
Interim Assessments - Four times a year, ANet provides interim assessments that give educators timely, actionable, and student-specific data. They develop assessment questions that align to the standards and reflect the demands of state summative assessments. This will help us to understand what students know and can do. The data will also provide information about which students are struggling, with what, and why.
Tools and Instructional Resources - ANet has an integrated online platform, my ANet, that provides tools to make it easier for us to meet our students' needs.   These include: Reports designed in response to teacher requests, Lessons created by ANet curriculum specialists, Quiz builder tool with a large library of sample items so you can create targeted formative mini-assessments, Misconception Guide that helps us to understand why our students may arrive at the wrong answer so we can address this immediately and accurately and other Time-saving planning tools to help us work smarter and easier.
5)  ANet will also provide reports to parents and guardians at the end-of-the year outlining your child's academic strengths and challenges based on these assessments. Please note: You will not receive your child's grades for each assessment. These assessments are for the teachers to better understand learning standards that students have mastered and areas that need to be supported. They are not factored into your child's grades."
If you would like to learn more about ANet, please visit their website at  

TRCS Sports Desk
Soccer season has ended ... Time to lace up sneakers and step on to hardwood.

HS Boys Soccer: lost in the second road to Brooklyn Prospect  2-1.   
HS Girls Soccer:  lost  in 1st Round 6-3 to Dominican Academy .   

Upcoming Winter Sports : 

HS Varsity Boys Basketball Team 
HS  Varsity Girls Basketball Team 
MS Girls Basketball  Team 
MS Boys Basketball Club 

Also  TRCS Sports has just become a member of  the JR. NBA Program!

Check out our Team Store :  www. 

PTA News
This year's Monster Mash was a huge success.  A new addition was the Haunted Hallway.  Kids danced, decorated pumpkins and snacked on lots of goodies.  Check out the great photos here  .  A special thanks to DJ Steve Nieves.  Looking to book a party? Give him a call at 347-753-0928.

Suzanne Arnold made a very informative presentation on cyberbulling at this month's PTA meeting.  This is one area where parents and guardians can really have a positive impact on their child's development.  If you could not attend, please make sure to read her paper on this topic, included in this newsletter.

Don't forget to send in your pie order by today, Monday, Nov. 16th!  There is no meeting in December, as we will be hosting a holiday event on Friday, December 11th.  We hope to see you there! 

 Thursday-Friday, November 19 & 20 - Parent/Teacher Conferences, 6-8 PM on
                Thursday and 1-3PM  on Friday, with an 11:40AM dismissal for all.
Thursday-Friday, November 26 & 27 - Thanksgiving Holiday, School Closed
Wednesday, December 2nd - BOT Meeting, 6:45 PM
Thursday, December 3rd  - PreK Non-school day
Wednesday, December 9th - CSG Meeting, 6PM
Friday, December 11th - PTA Holiday Event 6PM 


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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