Message from the Principal

Hello and welcome to The Renaissance Charter School website. It is with great pride that we offer you this virtual tour of one of New York City 's oldest charter schools, and the first K-12 charter. Our school marked our 20th Anniversary in 2013, having first opened our doors to students in a co-located space in Long Island City in 1993. We are now nearing the end of our third charter cycle, as we begin the renewal process in the fall of 2018. With the exciting addition of a Pre-Kindergarten class started in the fall of 2014, we have fulfilled the dream of giving our families the opportunity to nurture their children with the Renaissance experience from the very beginning of their academic journey. As evidenced by having been picked as one of the best High Schools in New York City in the NY Daily News "Best In Class" series multiple times since 2012, that journey is indeed an example of academic excellence.

Every year when I welcome back our students we ask that families revisit the vision of the school. One particular line in the vision – "Renaissance is committed to graduating individuals who are competent, powerful thinkers, engaged citizens, and life-long learners who will create the renaissance of New York" provokes further thought. Whether you are a member of our Renaissance family or a visitor to our site, when you read this part of our vision statement, I hope it creates a series of questions for you such as – What skills do our students need to be competent and competitive in this global world we live in? Where do standardized examinations fit into the vision? How does arts education, an important sequence in our PK-12 program, support the mission? What does it mean to be a powerful thinker or an engaged citizen? How do we blend our humanistic philosophy with continually meeting and exceeding high standards? What type of supports do parents need to be partners in this vision? How do we empower our students to live the vision? How do we help foster happiness at school?

Every day we must always keep our vision in sight. As a charter school, we are fortunate to have many freedoms not afforded to regular public schools to design the program that best meets the needs of our community. However, with this autonomy comes high accountability. Many people see this as a trade-off. We here at Renaissance see it as a win-win situation. We must continue to strive to educate our students so that each and every one of them becomes the vision. This vision is more than standardized test scores (although they do matter). It means teaching students to be proficient writers, readers, critical thinkers, imaginative problem solvers, scientific analysts, artists and / or art appreciators, geographically literate, physically and emotionally healthy, proponents of social justice and kind people – people who care. We owe them no less than our full commitment to this. We believe it is the best investment we can make for all of our futures.

Stacey Gauthier,

Principal of The Renaissance Charter School