Educational Philosophy

Renaissance is Committed to Improving PK-12 Education Nationwide

Renaissance has been a leader in national education through its example, outreach and collaboration. It regularly collaborates, via school consortiums, federal grants and through nationwide conferences. As a leader in the charter movement, Renaissance commits to serving as a strong model of public school reform.

A wide array of innovative teaching methods makes Renaissance distinctive. As a PK-12 school, Renaissance has the unique ability to integrate subject matter from grade to grade and to take full responsibility for student learning. This allows expectations for student learning to remain high and consistent throughout the grades. The PK-12 structure also facilitates better articulation and coordination between grades.

A central curriculum theme of Renaissance is the study of New York. Teachers integrate this theme into all aspects of the curriculum. To the fullest extent possible and starting with the youngest grades, the history, culture, geography and economics of New York serve as the integrating focus of traditional academic subjects. Renaissance has a “three-tiered curriculum” consisting of core studies, project-based learning, and community involvement. Each tier is valued as a significant pathway for student learning.

Renaissance respects each student’s individual learning style. Students, staff and parents are treated with dignity, respect, and the support of a caring community. To make sure the specific needs of each child are identified and met, Renaissance conducts assessments of every student, starting at an early age and repeatedly through their education. They provide more comprehensive evaluations when necessary. Each at-risk student has an individualized learning plan to set educational goals and record progress. Students also have access to assistive technology based on their individual evaluations, as well as the ongoing support of trained professionals. The unique needs of students are addressed in a variety of ways. Starting in Kindergarten through 3rd grade, we offer the Children's Institute Primary Project to support children with mild classroom adjustment issues.

Special Needs Students

  • Small class size, a curriculum with clear outcomes, and differentiated instruction enable teachers at Renaissance to meet each student’s needs.
  • A high quality “Instructional Support Services” (ISS) program provides case management and instruction for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEP), at-risk students, and English Language Learners. The program is headed by a co-director, and staffed by a full-time consultant who manages The Learning Center, special education teachers, an ELL teacher, a certified social worker, related service providers, and paraprofessionals.
  • The Learning Center (TLC) is a program for learners who require long and short-term support through differentiated instruction and small group and individualized instruction.
  • Support is provided for at-risk students and their teachers through an Intervention Team whose members identify students who are not meeting standards and a Student Support Team whose members study and discuss students who are in crisis or exhibit persistent behaviors that prevent them from meeting learning standards;
  • Through reflective and collaborative practice the Professional Learning Communities professional development program fine tunes instruction so that it is aligned to assessments and standards;
  • A Title One Targeted Assistance Program provides assistance to early childhood and high school students who need academic support;
  • An extended day program provides students with additional support through after school tutoring in addition to extracurricular activities.