The majority of our students come from northwestern Queens County, which includes the neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, North Corona, Astoria and Long Island City. These communities are characterized by rich economic and ethnic diversity and haunting economic disparities. Jackson Heights is a pocket of upscale cooperative apartments surrounded by low-income immigrant communities.

Despite the sometimes harsh realities that our students are exposed to, Renaissance students have consistently performed above district level in attendance, graduation and standardized exams. We have maintained a school attendance rate of 95% for several years. We have an exemplary college-bound program and Renaissance students are recognized year after year for their leadership skills with scholarships and internships.

Achieving Outstanding Results. Since 2005, we have maintained a 92-98% graduation rate, and for many of those years 100% of our graduates have been accepted into college... prestigious colleges, too, such as Macauley Honors at CUNY, Brandeis, NYU, Swarthmore, Barnard, Colgate, Wellesley and Trinity, to name a few.

Experience. While many charter schools are one or two years old – Renaissance began in 1993, as one of New York City’s first “New Visions” schools. In May, 2000 the school converted to become one of the city’s first charter schools. Renaissance was awarded full five-year charter renewals in 2005 and 2010 and has been renewed again until 2019.

A Greater Impact. Renaissance mentors dozens of schools, as well as hopeful charter operators and educators, including several groups of international educators who are investigating the charter movement. Many after-school site coordinators and administrators visit the extended-day program, with its mix of targeted tutoring, eclectic for-credit classes and creative clubs. Renaissance participated in the first federally funded Partnership for Innovation in Compensation for Charter Schools (PICCS) piccs.org consortium of charters developing a comprehensive program to provide financial incentives, a data system that delivers real-time data, a peer-review program and professional development to improve accountability procedures and student performance. The NYC Center for Charter Schoolsnycchartercenter.org has often selected Renaissance for Best Practice awards to share its methods with other charter schools. Renaissance has become a leader and mentor by virtue of its experience and its outstanding results.


  • Renaissance was awarded a second NYS 2016-2019 Charter School Dissemination Grant to share best practices in College and Career Readiness, partnering with Scholars' Academy in Rockaway.
  • Renaissance was awarded a NYS 2013-2016 Charter School Dissemination Grant to share best practices in Global Humanities Education, and was chosen as a panelist at NYSED's Power of Collaboration Symposium in April, 2015.
  • Renaissance was awarded the 2008 Partnership Award by the United Federation of Teachers Officers and Executive Board to honor a successful partnership forged between administrators and educators
  • Renaissance won the 2008 Imagination Award in the middle and high-school category from the Lincoln Center Institute to honor imaginative thinking in the teaching & learning practice of New York City public schools. ImaginationAward2008
  • Renaissance received one of only three 2009 competitive grants from the National Geographic Foundation to lead a consortium of educational institutions across the country, across charter and regular public schools, to create and implement a model program for K-12 geography education. matrixgeography.org
  • Renaissance was issued a 2009-2010 citation from Assemblyman Jose Peralta honoring our students’ increased geographic literacy and global awareness through our Matrix Geography program. Stacey Gauthier, then Co-Principal and now Principal, was issued an award in 2008-09 for her outstanding contributions to Geographic Education from Hunter College Department of Geography.
  • Renaissance is the lead school in a consortium of NYC charter schools to receive a 2008-2010 federal Charter School Dissemination Grant to establish a model program for generating and implementing peer-reviewed learning experiences. 2DILE
  • Served as a model for small local schools and its administrators have mentored dozens of school operators.
  • Renaissance co-sponsored a consortium between The College of Saint Rose and the Center for Integrated Teacher Education that provided principal certification for educators who specifically hope to lead small and charter schools, 2005-2006.
  • Received Special Citations, Teacher and Principal awards from the 2005, 2012, and 2013 Blackboard Awards for Excellence in Education
  • Our teachers have been finalists and winners of the Daily News' "Best In Class" teacher recognition awards since 2014
  • Recipient of a full five-year charter renewal in 2005 and 2010
  • United Nations Under-Secretary Anwarul K. Chowdhury commended Renaissance students and staff for their month-long facilitation of the “Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World” exhibition at the United Nations, March of 2004.
  • Chosen as the site for Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference on the NYC Charter School Initiative, October 30, 2003, when he labeled it an exemplary “charter school that works.”
  • Awarded a NYC DOE Best Practice Award for Finance, Special Education: Disciplinary, Due Process and English Language Learners program (2003 Oversight Findings.)
  • One of New York’s first five charter schools, 2000, and still its only PK-12 charter school
  • One of the first winners of the Annenberg Challenge Grant for Arts in Education, 1998-2001.