TRCS Monthly Newsletter
April 2016

Despite that freaky blast of winter we had the first week of April, we are looking forward to  having a week recess to bask in the sun.  We hope you and your family enjoy this time together. 

Our 3rd-8th grade students worked very hard to gear up and go through the NYS exams--we are very proud of them.  Our high-school students are preparing for the Regents and AP exams up next. We urge you to take a moment to check into pupil path and make sure your child is up to date with all assignments, as the end of the school year will be here before you know it!

Recently many advisories spent some time visiting organizations that help those in need around the city.  Check out the photos below.  We also had a great performance by our drama club, so read the glowing reviews here! 

We are grateful to all the parents who stepped up to aid us in our advocacy efforts with the state legislature, fighting for fair funding for charter schools.  The state budget does include an increase in the per-pupil allocation for charter schools, which will help.  We are still fighting, though, as the increase will not address all of the costs associated with being a conversion charter school.  We have hopes that by next month we will have even better news. 

Spotlight On......Our Cafeteria
There is a lot of new research showing that having a school chef is a much healthier choice for your child's school meals. A study by Project Bread showed that schools with a chef had students eating more fruits and vegetables.  First Lady Michelle Obama, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, launched a call to action for chefs across the nation to join the battle against childhood obesity. The program, called Chefs Move to Schools, helps to partner chefs with local schools in their communities as part of the Let's Move! initiative.

Well, Renaissance has been ahead of the game for the past three years!  Our chef Mo and his team prepare fresh food every day in our cafeteria, and we have a full salad bar and fruit smoothies, as well.  But while we all think of the school cafeteria as a great alternative to lunch, we want to remind you that we serve up a great breakfast every morning as well.  Eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit and more!  If students qualify for free lunch, breakfast is free.  If not, it costs just $1.25.  That's probably less than the cost of a small bottle of juice or a donut.....both loaded with sugar. 

Renaissance has also been fortunate to partner with The Bubble Foundation for the last two years.  They have worked with our PreK-2nd graders on food preparation and nutrition and are now supplementing our 4th & 5th grade science classes.  They also host food demos frequently in the cafeteria during lunch and will be holding a parent workshop during the May 18th PTA meeting.
So if your child hasn't had our breakfast, tell them to give it a try.  Breakfast is served 7:45-8:10AM, so it's a great alternative for busy parents.  We'll get your child ready for the busy day ahead of them!
Classroom Updates
Our 1st grade penguin experts finished their unit on penguins by visiting the Central Park Zoo and becoming penguin scientists! They have been studying penguins through reading and writing since January. They took a "Penguin Scientist" class, learning about penguin behaviors and the different penguins at the zoo. Then it was off to the penguin house to see the penguins in action! Their favorite penguin behavior was watching the penguins waddle!
1st Grade also visited the Childrens Museum of Art. Students created animations of faces using found art materials, and then wore the animal masks they created to do a pixelation clip of different animal poses and behaviors. They blew away the parent chaperones with how easy they made the animating look! They are looking forward the the premiere of their pixelation video on May 4th!
2Nd Grade teacher Flo is happy to announce that their Donor's Choose Project, Choose Art and Us, has been FULLY FUNDED!!!! The students will be working with Nicole for six sessions,connecting   social studies to visual art. So far the children learned about Jacob Lawrence and his Great Migration series and created work similar to Jacob Lawrence. Flo has scheduled an art show for June 15th.
2nd Graders also read Charlotte's Web and then went to see the show. They enjoyed seeing the story come to life on stage. They are now writing their own fairy tales!

Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students will be showcasing their work in art, dance, and  music in the evening on Friday, June 17. More information will be shared after Spring Break.

Ninth Grade Theatre students will be performing in the New York City  Student Shakespeare Festival next week at The Lucille Lortel Theatre in downtown Manhattan. More info about the festival: 

has started a Donors Chose fundraiser to help them buy iPads.  Please consider making a donation to help their cause!

PreK & Kindergarten continue their yoga and art explorations, using the "Bird" prop to learn balance and making flowers out of different textiles, tying in with their recent unit on clothing.   
PreK-2nd grades had a visit from John from The Art Farm.  He brought in a number of animals and spoke about how these animals live in their environments, what they eat and survival skills they use.
HS Trip to Nija Daniels

 On March 21st a groups of HS Student Council members, as well as parents and teacher Nicole Jollon and Leadership Coordinator Derrick Peterson, made an advocacy trip to Albany.  Nija shares the experience with us:
"Advocacy day is very important to charter schools. It is when students, teachers and parents from charter schools come together to vouch about how charter schools should get equal funding to what public schools receive. When we first arrived in Albany, we listened to parents and students make speeches about how charter schools have affected their lives in such a positive way. Afterward we spoke to Senator James Sanders, Assembly Member Michelle Titus and other important people with high authority. As a group from TRCS we stated how charter schools have more potential than public schools, and how charter schools are basically public schools. They're open to the public, and therefore we should receive the same amount of money that is given to them. We perform far better than them but we get less funding. It seemed as if Ms. Titus understood what we were saying best and was really interested in helping us out. Overall the turnout was excellent and we would definitely do it again."

Also attending were: Andres Aguire, Genesis Garcia, Samantha Rodriguez, Paulina Nicholas Cortez, Nia Daniels, Brielle Fantauzzi, Sydney Hamilton and Elena Sacca.

Final Advocacy Event
As the state budget process comes to a close, Families for Excellent Schools made sure there was another loud message sent to the state Assembly asking for equal funding for all public school children.  Parents, educators and students from Queens charter schools met at Growing Up Green in Long Island City.  Schools represented were Academy of the City Charter School, Central Queens Academy, Growing Up Green Charter School, Our World Neighborhood Charter School, Renaissance Charter School and VOICE Charter School.There were a number of eloquent speakers, including Renaissance mom Miranda Jones.  This funding issue is very important to Renaissance, especially as we are getting ready to plan next year's programs.  Watch the video here!


Cool Summer Learning
11th grader Damian Mendoza has been accepted into the Student Diplomacy Corps and placed in their Spain - Picasso y Flamenco program. Damian will be absorbing the culture of Spain through history, art, culinary arts and, of course, Flamenco!
The Student Diplomacy Corps provides opportunities and scholarships for high school students from across the nation and around the world to access dynamic international education summer programs that build college readiness, deepen understanding of global issues and unleash the potential and creativity of youth. Last year 144 Student Diplomats from 26 states and 9 countries participated. Participants are selected by applicants who must write an essay about why they wish to attend. We look forward to hearing about his experience in the fall!.

Sakib Ahmed was accepted into the Carleton College Summer Academics Program. Sakib will be part of their Summer Computer Science Institute (SCSI). Students at SCSI will learn how to systematically approach problems like a computer scientist as they engage in classroom learning, hands-on lab activities, and collaborative guided research directed by college faculty and mentored by undergraduate research assistants.

Sakib was selected from a large field of applicants, based on his academic qualifications and essays he wrote. He was made aware of this program through his participation with the OppNet Leadership program. Sakib will be spending three weeks on the campus in Minnesota.  

Cultural Exchange - Visitors from Denmark
 On Monday, April 4th, Renaissance hosted a group of 22 students and 2 teachers from a high school in Amsterdam.  After a breakfast at Renaissance, the group was led around New York City to different areas where students could engage in an exchange of ideas and explore different cultures, including Little Italy, China Town and the High Line.  And a trip to NYC wouldn't be complete without a ride on the subway!
Principal Stacey met with Danish Principal Dorthe Uldall Peterson to coordinate a joint cultural project that the students can work on long distance. We will be sure to follow-up on this in future newsletters.    

Advisories and Community Service
Ali's Advisory explored Healthy Relationships and visited The Door and the Hetrick Martin Institute.

LisJane's group is supporting a food drive that goes on until the 19th of April. Please send in your donations of non-perishable foods by Monday.

Martha's advisory group is holding a Pet Food Drive until April 19th.  To see how you can help, check out the information attached here.

Theatre Luc Papineau
drama Fuddy Meers was performed the 13th, 14th and 15th of this month. Everyone in the cast and crew did an amazing job putting together this funny and complicated story in our small auditorium.  I am extremely proud of the cast who kept up the energy for 3 days, and still had the energy for school. The production was truly wonderful to see for 3 nights and to see a full house last night at the final performance!! Thanks to Curtis for directing another wonderful play, and once again to the whole cast and crew!! Thank you for the amazing experience!!

Shout Outs!
5th & 6th grade math teacher Molly had some great shout outs this month:
501 - Myles Peralta for always putting down the chairs of his absent peers.
          Darnell Childs for working hard in math.
502 - Marco Vasquez for huge improvements in math.
          Dario Molina for being a great door holder.
          Brian Bedoya for being a great door holder.
601 - Mathew Barrios for always passing out snack.
602 - Maliha Zaman for helping to clean up the messy snack.

Suzanne gave a Shout Out to Destiny Ortiz and Isabella Rodriguez for turning in a lost cell phone.

Kindergarten had a bake sale and raised money for a bouncy house and ice cream truck for field day!

Victor gave a Shout Out to Nelray Llanos for helping with table set up during ELA state testing.

TRCS Sports Desk
Congrats to Coach Alex and MS Lady Knights who finished the season as NYC Queens Girls Champions!  Team Captain Remay Pemba received MVP of the Game.

Watch Our Lady Knights All-Stars Sascha & Remay at ALL-Star Game  :   

Spring Season has begun.  HS Lady Knights Softball Team is  2-0  
Team Schedule : 

5&6th Grade Girls Team Schedule  : 

4- 6th Grade Boys Team Schedule :  
PTA News
There will be a few positions open for the 2016-17 PTA Executive Board.  Please see the agenda for the next meeting, April 20th and be sure to attend to nominate yourself or someone else for a position on the board.

Next month's meeting will feature a food workshop presented by the Bubble Foundation.  Please put May 18th on your calendar! 

Alumni Corner
We had a visit from 2015 Alumna Emmy Liang. Emmy is attending SUNY at Oswego, NY.  She is going for a degree in Broadcasting & Mass Communication and is enjoying being in Oswego.  

Chelsea Reid stopped by on her way to CUNY's 2nd annual Women's Center Council awards presentation.  Chelsea was a recipient of a Students in Service to Women award for her work with the Black Lives Matter Practicum which she leads here at Renaissance. Check out their website for information about this great opportunity for students to be engaged in an important social justice issue. You can also help support the group's upcoming trip to New Orleans for a volunteer and cultural exploration visit by purchasing a t-shirt online!

Wednesday, April 20th - PTA Meeting 6:30PM
Monday-Friday, April 25-29th - Spring Recess, No School
Wednesday, May 4 - BOT Meeting 6:45PM
Wednesday, May 11 - CSG Meeting, 6-8PM
Monday-Friday, May 16th-20th - Nature's Classroom Grades 4-6
Wednesday, May 18th - PTA Meeting 6:30PM
Wednesday-Friday, May 18-20th - MS Trip 

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:

Select your child's grade, then select the subject. You can print out copies of past tests for practice.

For information about on-line safety, teen eating disorders, age specific issues and more visit:
Read the following document for tips on 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!


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The Renaissance Charter School | 35-59 81st Street | Jackson Heights | NY | 11372