Dear New Roots Families,

I hope you enjoy this month’s edition of Newt’s News, featuring program highlights from November and news about upcoming events.  

If you’re downtown, stop by to say hello tomorrow (Saturday) during the Winter Festival of Lights and Chowder Cook-Off on the Commons.  We’re hosting an Open House at the Clinton House 1-3 p.m., and our New Roots students and teachers will be on the Commons selling delicious chowder to raise funds for Robotics Club, Costa Rica Trip, and the Rootstock Youth Music Festival. I look forward to sharing our school with the wider community during this event.  Please spread the word to anyone that you know who may be interested in learning more about the opportunities that we offer our region’s youth.

May this season give you and yours many opportunities for connection, joy, peace, and gratitude.  Let the celebrations begin!

All my best,


Tina Nilsen-Hodges

Sense of Place Orientation

In November we hosted our first Sense of Place Day of the school year. This is the first year we're doing a series of these events, and we're excited about the expanded opportunities for students! Through this orientation to their community, students develop a higher awareness of the businesses and organizations around our school. Real-world education is available from the many business owners and operators in Ithaca and many love to share their stories with students. Several of the organizations we visited include Purity Ice Cream, Emmy's Organics, ICM (International Climbing Machines), The History & Culture Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Downtown Ithaca Alliance, Esty Street Garden, and more... If you or anyone you know own or operate a business that would like to participate in future Sense of Place Days, please let us know.
Spaghetti Dinner Gratitude

The Spaghetti Dinner was a fabulous event featuring warm vibes and good food, creating community and raising $963.02 for classroom materials and field trips. Much gratitude to all who contributed to making this such a success with a special thanks to our Farm2School team and the Family Action Committee! 

The idea to bring back the spaghetti dinner tradition originated at our first Family Action Committee (FAC) meeting of the year. The FAC is an opportunity for families to support and give back to a school that empowers our students on a weekly basis. Please join us for the fourth monthly Family Action Committee meeting from 5:30-6:30pm on Thursday, January 9th in the school lobby. Thanks for your support!
Board of Trustees

After listening to feedback from our community, we experimented with a new meeting format when our Board of Trustees met in November. Students, teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and board members all sat in a circle format (similar to how our students meet in classrooms) giving everyone an opportunity to share about their first-quarter experience and ask questions of board members. The new conversation format allowed our board members to contribute to the conversation as individual members of our community. We've received positive feedback from many who attended and we're inviting you to share your feedback with us if you haven't already. We're also inviting anyone who hasn't been to a board meeting in a while to join us for future conversations with our board. The next meeting is December 17th from 6p-7:30p in our lobby.
Open House 12/7 (1-3p)

Please help us spread the word with family and friends looking for education options for their student(s). Giving friends and family an opportunity to experience what we do is a great way for us to grow our community with other like-minded families.
Costa Rica 2020 Trip

Students in our Advanced Spanish Class are planning a trip to Costa Rica in the Spring of 2020. They have multiple fundraisers underway, including one this evening during 1st Friday Gallery Night (5:30-7:30p), when we'll be hosting local artist Jay Stooks & The GIAC Urban Art Club.

"The GIAC Urban Art Club from past to present will be showcasing art for the month of December at the New Roots Elevator Music and Art Gallery. The pieces were made over the last 5 years with art from GIAC urban art students under the direction of Jay Stooks Community artist and Program Coordinator for the greater Ithaca activities center. The pieces were created with scrap materials and painted with mostly spray paint & acrylic paints on recycled materials, and include pieces made in collaboration with students from New Roots."

Additionally, students shared the following message for you:


We are a group of advanced Spanish students from New Roots Charter School looking to raise money for our upcoming trip to a wildlife reserve in Costa Rica ( During our time at the Costa Rica Wildlife Rescue in Alajuela, we will work to rehabilitate endangered animals, explore the natural landscapes of Costa Rica, and be given the chance to practice our Spanish skills in an authentic setting.

Please support our efforts to take our Spanish education to the next level and create an experience that will have lasting benefits for the rest of our lives!
Help Students Travel to Costa Rica
Greek Peak Ski & Ride Club

As a reminder, online registration for 2020 New Roots Ski & Ride Club is still open. We have several students signed up and we have space for more if your student(s) want to join us.

The passes include two lessons, and the rentals, helmets, and meal plans are all optional.

Our 2020 Dates: January 10, 17, 31, February 7, 14, 28. These dates are flexible, so if we experience any weather that prevents us from going, we can reschedule to other Fridays. Also, student passes are valid any Friday throughout the season and they become full season passes after March 14th.

For transportation, we'll take the school van and/or staff and family cars, depending on the number of students who register. 
Ski & Ride Club Online Registration
School Calendars

Stay connected to school events and meetings through any of the following options:
  1. Google Calendar: We created a new public google calendar with school events, meetings, holidays, etc for the 2019-2020 school year. You can add the new calendar to your digital calendar by clicking on this link: NRCS EVENTS & MEETINGS CALENDAR 2019-2020
  2. Website Calendar: All school events and holidays are posted to our WEBSITE CALENDAR
  3. ParentSquare: our events calendar is synced with the calendar in ParentSquare for your convenience. You can add events to your calendar with one click through the ParentSquare app.
  4. Newt's News: You will receive monthly newsletters like this one with a "Save the Dates" section at the end of the newsletter (see below) reminding you of what's next.
Feel free to contact me (Michael Mazza) ( / 916.842.1842) with any questions.

December Calendar

12/6 1st Friday Gallery Night & Youth Market Costa Rica Fundraiser
(5:30 - 7:30pm @ NRCS)
Artist: Jay Stooks & The GIAC Urban Art Club
12/7 NRCS Open House
(1 - 3pm @ NRCS)
Please invite family and friends to come experience our school!
12/17 Board of Trustees Meeting
(6 - 7:30pm @ NRCS)
Public meeting. Everyone is invited.
12/20 Winter Celebration
(1:15 - 3:30pm @ NRCS)
12/23 - 1/3 Winter Recess
Copyright © 2019 New Roots Charter School, All rights reserved.

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