Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

Renaissance expects all students to meet and exceed standards. To accomplish this, the curriculum has a three-tiered approach (1) core academics based on compacted and effective delivery of standard-based instruction; (2) project based learning; and (3) experiential learning.

The Arts, Health, and Spanish are important components of the curriculum. Teachers use the focus of New York as the foundation of the curriculum. Individuals girded in their community are best equipped to be global citizens, respect human rights, protect the environment, and advocate for peace and sustainability.

Four Premises Underlie Efforts Towards These Goals:

  • Renaissance, as a village, nurtures hearts and minds. Deep human bonds can be nurtured within a village that values respect and kindness. Students build open and trusting friendships with each other; staff members move beyond cooperation to the level of collaboration; staff members take on the role of mentors to students; parents are honored; and each level of the school communicates with each other. Minds open as hearts open.
  • Renaissance values and protects the forums within its village. Important discussions take place in many of its centers: meetings of the Board of Trustees, the Collaborative School Governance (CSG), cluster and staff meetings, PTA, Student Council, cluster town meetings, and various committees. Informal discussions go on all the time, as well. It is only through participation in these forums that powerful and wise decisions can be made.
  • Renaissance values the spirit of self-motivated and collaborative action. Renaissance was started by a group of individuals who wrote and submitted a proposal for a new theme-based school without the backing of any prominent organization. The group’s spirit that the impossible can become possible has continued to be a bedrock principle of the school. Renaissance honors dreams and gives full support to any of the members of the community—whether student, staff, or parent—who come up with ideas that they want to carry to fruition.
  • Renaissance fights aggressively for the happiness and success of each student. With this commitment the school ensures that all of its accountability goals will be met.

Renaissance’s curriculum is aligned to New York Standards. Renaissance utilizes all State Exams with the understanding that these exams, in their very design, conform to State Standards. Other assessments are utilized in areas where no State exams exist or when Renaissance wishes to enrich available assessment data. Renaissance also may develop local assessments aligned with State Standards including teacher-developed assignments and tests, portfolios, and student case studies that examine student work.

The school utilizes the information from all assessments to refine curriculum and classroom practice and to ensure that the school can respond to the needs of individual learners. Through insights from these assessments instructional staff will be able to get a complete picture and determine if students perform at or above the expected performance levels. Modifications to curriculum and individual student programs will be made where these assessments reveal that students are not performing at appropriate levels.

Leadership Opportunities

  • TREA Student Mentors
  • Social Justice Day
  • Senior Activity Committee
  • Student Government
  • CSG Student Representative
  • Social Justice Activities
  • 1700s-Present: Black Lives Matter Practicum
  • Volunteers for Change Collections and Service

Curriculum-Embedded Trips and Special Events

  • Field trips to museums, theaters, art galleries, films
  • School organized college visits
  • Overnight trips (see Annual Trips)Trips
  • 7th-12th grade “Rensizzle Week" Rensizzle Week
  • Charter Lobby Day – trip to Albany
  • Art, Music, Dance and Drama Exhibitions
  • Talent Shows and Open Mic nights
  • Middle and High School Dances
  • Multicultural Celebrations