Greetings from the Polar Vortex!
This week I am in Wisconsin, collaborating with other leaders of Catalyst Schools to re-envision the core documents guiding the work of the Green Schools National Network (GSNN) in the coming decade.

We are revisiting and re-envisioning how we will define ourselves as a movement, celebrating our shared values and practices and defining what it means to be a school that empowers students to take action to create a just and sustainable world.

These words took on tremendous meaning and weight for me the first day, watching a TED Talk of a young woman from Sweden named Greta Thunberg (video below) who described her disorientation and distress as a child learning about global warming but seeing that the adult world around her behave as if there wasn’t a planetary crisis underway.  Tears streamed down my face and my heart broke hearing her speak the simple, plain truth: the apparent lack of urgency is devastating her generation. 

Her words were a wake-up call for me, a call to renewed passion and action.  The words in our vision statement, below, are the heartfelt description of our founding team, describing how best practices in education could prepare our students to face an uncertain future with joy and purpose.  I believe in this vision -- and the capacity of our youth to meet complex challenges head-on  -- with all my heart.

I am so proud, ten years later, that the results of our team’s pioneering work over the past decade will serve as a resource for schools in all stages of development, from Catalyst Leaders like New Roots that will serve as centers for professional development to new and existing schools adopting a model based on our collective best practices.  I am excited to return to Ithaca and rejoin our team’s efforts to bring this good work alive for our students, each and every day.

With joy and gratitude,


Tina Nilsen-Hodges
Growing Students for a Just and Sustainable Future

P.S. "Save the Dates" at the bottom of this newsletter...
The New Roots Vision 

New Roots Charter School will empower young people as citizens and entrepreneurs that create just, democratic communities, and thriving green economies that restore the natural world that sustains us. Excelling in both traditional and innovative curriculum areas, our students will learn actively, think critically, and solve problems creatively and collaboratively, developing the knowledge and skills to redesign our communities for social, economic, and ecological sustainability. We will support all students in defining and realizing their goals and aspirations, and in recognizing their ability to take leadership in improving the lives of their families and community. We will put the best available tools—and the power of informed optimism—in the hands of tomorrow’s leaders.
Greta Thunberg | TEDxStockholm
Greta Thunberg realized at a young age the lapse in what several climate experts were saying and in the actions that were being taken in society. The difference was so drastic in her opinion that she decided to take matters into her own hands. Greta is a 15-year-old Stockholm native who lives at home with her parents and sister Beata. She’s a 9th grader in Stockholm who enjoys spending her spare time riding Icelandic horses, spending time with her families two dogs, Moses and Roxy. She loves animals and has a passion for books and science. At a young age, she became interested in the environment and convinced her family to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
We're hosting our 2nd (of 3) Open House next Saturday (2/9) from 1-2:30p during Downtown Ithaca's 21st Annual Chili Cook-Off. This is a great opportunity for your family and friends to get ahead of our anticipated waiting list while experiencing our school and meeting all of our dedicated teachers and staff. Students are invited to join us as tour guides for the event. Please help us spread the word with friends and family, and/or share our Facebook event online (link below).
February Open House
Free Tutoring, SAT & College Application Mentors
We're fortunate to have several community partners who want to support your student with their high school academic success, as well as their preparation for college. 

Village at Ithaca’s mission is to advocate for excellence and equity in Ithaca’s public schools, by developing strategic community relationships, programs, and services to ensure that all students, particularly Black, Latino/a, low income, and other underserved students, consistently meet or exceed local and New York State standards of achievement. Free tutoring is available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30p to 6:45p at various locations. Details in the registration form (link below).
Village at Ithaca Registration Form
Cornell Student Agencies is a student-run non-profit organization. They recently launched the latest agency, Student Agencies Tutoring, an in-person and online service focused on offering tutoring and mentorship to high school students as they navigate the college application process. The opportunity includes working with freshman college students who recently completed the transition from high school to college with a fresh perspective on how to be successful with SATs and college applications. Details in the two info packets (linked below).
Cornell Student Agencies: Free Tutoring
Cornell Student Agencies: Free College App Mentors
Newt's Night Q2: Friday, February 8th (5:30-8:30p)
Newt's Night is back by popular demand for an end of Q2 celebration available to all students thriving in their classes! Students are invited to enjoy this opportunity to socialize, be creative, and connect with each other as a reward for their hard work. Students from other schools are welcome to join us.

  • Dance / Karaoke / Open Mic
  • Video Games
  • Ping Pong
  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Board Games
  • Art / Jewelry Making
ENTRY TICKET (choose one)
  • Bring $3.00
  • Bring a dish-to-pass - of at least a $3.00 value
  • Bring a non-New Roots friend - permission slips must be turned into Jhakeem before 4 PM Thursday (2/7).
Contact Matt O'Brien with questions:
RSVP & Share on Facebook
YEM: Youth Entrepreneurship Market 2019
YEM 2019 Registration
Amazon Smile is a new way to shop on Amazon, giving you the opportunity to select a non-profit of your choice to receive a small percentage of the proceeds. Please select New Roots Charter School as your beneficiary.
Learn More

Save the Dates...

February 1st
Elevator Gallery: "Another Teen Catches Photo Bug" (5 - 7:30p @ New Roots)
February 8th
Newt's Night Q2 (5:30 - 8:30p @ New Roots)
February 9th
February Open House (1 - 2:30p @ New Roots)
February 18th - 22nd
No School - February Recess
February 26th
Board of Trustees Meeting (5:30 - 7pm @ New Roots)
March 10th
March Open House (2 - 3pm @ New Roots)
March 23rd
YEM Workshop #1 (10 - 12pm @ South Hill Business Campus)
April 6th
YEM Workshop #2 (10 - 12pm @ REV Ithaca Startup Works)
April 20th
YEM Workshop #3 (10 - 12pm @ REV Ithaca Startup Works)
May 4th
YEM Workshop #4 (10 - 12pm @ REV Ithaca Startup Works)
Copyright © 2019 New Roots Charter School, All rights reserved.

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