Renaissance Charter School

An Insideschools pick
An Insideschools pick for Special Education
35-59 81ST STREET
QUEENS NY 11372 Map
Phone: (718) 803-0060
Website: Click here
Admissions: Lottery/District 30 priority
Principal: Stacey Gauthier
Neighborhood: Jackson Heights
District: 30
Grade range: PK-12
Number of full-day PK seats: N/A
Extended PK hours offered: No
Unzoned
Charter School
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Small, close-knit, pre-k-12 school community

The downside:

No outside space, long waitlist

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Imagine a large, nearly windowless cube filled with big and little kids playing games together, colorful student murals, and blue jean-clad students on a first-name basis with their teachers. This is Renaissance Charter, a small, unique, super-popular pre-K−12 school that prides itself on personalized, relevant, project-based learning for students of all abilities.

Renaissance has a long history of integrating children with special needs in regular classes. Principal Stacey Gaulthier is particularly sensitive to learning differences: Her own son, who has dyslexia, graduated from Renaissance and went on to graduate from law school. Renaissance shares the building with a small District 75 school for children with autism, who have been integrated into the general education classrooms, some going on to colleges such as Pace University.

Teachers stay and build their careers here, and one helped design the interior of the building, which is a former a department store. There are interior windows so you can peer into classrooms, colorful couches, and centrally located tables on each floor, where teens like to gather to eat the excellent breakfast omelets, made by Chef Mo, the school's head cook.

Squarely in the progressive camp, the school works to ensure children take class trips, do hands-on projects, participate in an array of arts, and debate the issues of the day. A highlight is the school's weeklong celebration of learning called "Rensizzle" (named for Dr. Joseph Renzulli, the director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented), which exemplifies the school's project-based teaching style. Some or all the traditional classes are cancelled (depending on the grade), as students explore a topic such as robotics, journalism or animal care, with trips to places like Howe Caverns, Huffington Post, the Bronx Zoo, the Tenement Museum or the Brooklyn Bridge.

Class trips and projects allow students to learn and to show their understanding in a variety of ways. For instance, students who have trouble reading a science textbook may study geology through a trip to the Sterling Hill Mining Museum. Global humanities classes use history lessons to create plays about Apollo and Aphrodite or Hindu legends. Children in grades 4–6 take a five-day trip to Lake George where they learn about environmental science and reenact scenes from the Underground Railroad.

As they move through the grades, students take part in dance, fine arts, drama, and vocal and instrumental music. In grades 7 and 9, students rotate different art forms before selecting one arts' major to explore in depth. Anyone in grade 8 and up can audition for the school play.

High school students must participate in a leadership, volunteer or internship program each semester. We saw 9th grade students leading games in a 2nd grade class and a girls leadership group called Sadie Nash. "I was shy at first," said a 9th grader transfer student who found good friends in her leadership group. "Here we have space to talk about our issues as women." The Global Kids group picks social justice issues to explore such as poverty or health.

The school has a nice selection of advanced placement and honors classes ranging from human geography to Spanish literature. Starting in their junior year, students may take college classes at Queens College and LaGuardia Community College.

The school has no outdoor space, but it does have an indoor playground, and pre-kindergartners visit a playground down the block.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school accommodates children with a wide range of disabilities, including autism, dyslexia, visual impairment, and emotional and physical handicaps. They participate in all elements of student life, from student government to the National Honors Society. Many of the school's teachers are dually certified in special education and another subject. We saw adults working one-on-one in the classroom and in small groups in separate rooms.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: There is a well-designed college advisory course. Nearly all students are accepted into colleges, including CUNY and SUNY colleges and some very selective schools like Wellesley and Barnard.

ADMISSIONS: Renaissance accepts one incoming pre-kindergarten class of 18 students. Each year, about half-a-dozen spots open in kindergarten and there is one class of new 5th graders. There is one class per grade in PK-4 and two per grade in 5-12. Priority is given first to siblings of enrolled students and then to residents of District 30. All available seats are awarded by lottery throughout all the grades as they come available. Applications for these grades are automatically wait listed and will be considered if openings occur; however, the waitlist is generally over 2,500 students long. (Lydie Raschka, March 2016)

K-8 InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 561

Average Daily Attendance 96%

Students at this school

Asian

  
18%

Black

  
8%

Hispanic

  
58%

White

  
14%

Free Lunch

  
36%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
5%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

74% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average middle school english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

88% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

NA 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

52% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

38% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

24% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

67% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

59% 59% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Does the school encourage family involvement?

How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

0% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

18% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

97% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

90% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 561

Average Daily Attendance 96%

Uniforms? NA

Metal detectors? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
18%

Black

  
8%

Hispanic

  
58%

White

  
14%

Free Lunch

  
36%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
5%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.59 2.39 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Middle school students reading at grade level:

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Middle school students doing math at grade level:

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

69% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

88% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

84% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

NA 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

79% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

93% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

31%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

56%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

50%

Are students ready for college?

How many students graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

37% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

452
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

91% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

459
432 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 511 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

NA 48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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