Greetings New Roots Families,

The start of the new semester is like a breath of fresh spring air!  Inspiring new courses like Biomimicry: Designing with Nature in Mind and 3D Graphics and Design developed by faculty in response to student interest and cutting-edge developments in science and technology are underway, along with others in the arts like Music Festival Production, which gives students direct experience in all aspects of design, planning, and execution of a major community event. 

These new additions complement a growing list of courses like Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Economics, Inventing the Future (Participation in Government) and Earth Systems Science I and II that offer essential learning in systems thinking, entrepreneurial thinking, and leadership that prepare New Roots students for the new opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.

Engaging with this learning, New Roots students earn a New York Regents diploma with the added benefit of learning that prepares them to innovate and lead in emerging sectors like green technology and design. Learning through projects, public presentation, and real-world engagement prepares students for college, career, and the world of work with essential “soft” skills that allow them to leverage their learning for success in whatever endeavor they choose.

Design. Entrepreneurial thinking. Learning systems thinking from nature. Real-world opportunities. While these may not be what your student comes home talking about at the end of the day, they are the big ideas and skills that they are learning, every day, at New Roots Charter School.

With gratitude,


Tina Nilsen-Hodges

Enrollment for 2020-2021 is OPEN!

We recently launched a grassroots enrollment program that includes community information sessions in neighborhoods throughout our region, open houses, and most importantly referrals from you, our alumni families, and our community partners. Sunday, January 26th we hosted our first Community Info Session of the year and it was a success. Both families who attended have shadowed at the school and are in the process of deciding if they want to attend New Roots full time. We've also recently experienced an influx of applications for both the current school year and the upcoming school year. Big thanks to Karin Dahlander for coordinating and hosting our first info session at the Brooktondale Community Center. And thanks to each of the families, students, and teachers who came out to present and share about our school community. We are one!

Upcoming events to invite friends & family to attend:
  • 2/9 (1-3p) Community Info Session @ Bun Appetit, 215 Main St., Groton, NY
  • 2/13 (5:30-7p) Celebration of Learning @ NRCS, 116 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY
  • 2/23 (1-3p) Community Info Session @ Trumansburg Conservatory, 5 McLallen St, Trumansburg, NY
  • 2/29 (1-2:30p) Open House @ NRCS, 116 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY
  • 3/29 (2-3p) Open House @ NRCS, 116 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY
AND, we have several more in the works. Thanks to everyone contributing to our enrollment season!
NRCS Online Enrollment
Family Conferences (2/6)

Have you received an invitation from your student's Crew Leader to schedule a student-led family conference on Friday? If not, please contact us so we can help schedule a conference with you. Family engagement and student empowerment are some of the key benefits of a New Roots education, and we're grateful for the opportunity to meet with you each quarter and collaborate for your student's success. Please also note that we won't have classes on Friday during conferences. See you Friday!
Robotics Club

The new Robotics Club hit the ground running this year, thanks to the enthusiasm of our students and the leadership of Aaron and Lee! It seems like it was just yesterday when we were fundraising for the club, and two short months later students have coded and built their first robot "Chester" and participated in two regional robotics challenges. It's exciting to see the developments and we're all looking forward to having students give us a demonstration on campus. Thanks to everyone who's been supporting the club!
Celebration of Learning (2/13)

You're invited to a Celebration of Learning on Thursday, February 13th from 5:30-7:00p. With the second semester off to a great start, we'd like to take some time to reflect and celebrate the many accomplishments of the first semester.

Our Lower School team will have Solar Punk exhibits as well as upcycled art and social justice-themed zines. They will also have ancient China infographics courtesy of the ninth graders as well as a classroom dedicated to an open mic for students to share their voices with you. 

Our Upper School team will be offering original research and thesis projects from upper school science, models from 3D design class, art from Geometry, games from Statistics Class, a writer's open mic in collaboration with this semester's creative writing class, and more!

Please invite family and friends to join us for the celebration.
Visit from the DEC

The DEC Inter-regional Environmental Educator, Betsy, visited us on January 28th to help expand student awareness about the growing number of environmental career and internship opportunities throughout New York State. Betsy first met with Upper School students during Crew, and set up a table in the lobby during lunch to talk to all students. As you can see in the photos below, we had a packed house for the Upper School presentation, and students were eager to talk to Betsy during lunch as well. This was a natural next step in the evolution of our partnership with the DEC, and we will continue to discuss opportunities with students who want to explore career and internship opportunities with environmental conservation.
YEM 2020 Registration is Open!

We're excited to announce the fourth year of YEM in Ithaca! Since 2017, YEM has grown with 150+ creative students and now a partnership with Rootstock on The Commons. YEM 2020 includes five workshops at REV & Alternatives where students in 4th-12th grade learn from local entrepreneurs and community members about how to launch an idea into the community at four outdoor youth markets on The Commons and The Farmers Market.

Our guest speakers in 2020 include Heather Lane (Purity Ice Cream), Jason Goodman (Grabanzos), Amanda David (Bramble Community Herbalism), Samantha Abrams & Ian Gaffney (Emmy's Organics), Emma & Bobby Frisch (Firelight Camps), Chris Cain (Alternatives Federal Credit Union), and Genevieve Noel Chase (YEM Graduate & New Roots Senior).

Please note that registration for New Roots students is FREE!
YEM 2020 Registration
Community Info Session in Groton!

This Sunday is our next Community Info Session at Bun Appetit in Groton. Do you know anyone with middle or high school-aged students in the Groton area? If so, please invite them to join us and learn more about New Roots.

We're seeking community members (like you) to help us connect with families in your neighborhood. If you're willing and able to help, please contact Michael ( 
Share our Facebook Event
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.

February Calendar

2/6 Family Action Committee Meeting (RSVP HERE)
(5:30 - 6:30pm @ NRCS)
2/7 Family Conferences (No Classes!)
(Schedule your meeting with your student's Crew leader)
2/7 Greek Peak Ski & Ride Club
(4:00 - 9:00pm @ Greek Peak Mountain Resort)
Leaving NRCS @ 4pm / Returning to NRCS @ 9pm
2/9 Community Info Session (RSVP HERE)
(1-3pm @ Bun Appetit - 215 Main Street, Groton)
2/13 Celebration of Learning
(5:30-7pm @ NRCS)
2/14 Greek Peak Ski & Ride Club
(4:00 - 9:00pm @ Greek Peak Mountain Resort)
Leaving NRCS @ 4pm / Returning to NRCS @ 9pm
2/17-2/21 February Recess
(No School!)
2/18 Board of Trustees Meeting
(6:00 - 7:30pm @ NRCS)
Public meeting. Everyone is invited.
2/23 Community Info Session
(1-3pm @ Trumansburg Conservatory, 5 McLallen St, Trumansburg)
2/28 Greek Peak Ski & Ride Club
(4:00 - 9:00pm @ Greek Peak Mountain Resort)
Leaving NRCS @ 4pm / Returning to NRCS @ 9pm
2/29 Winter Open House (RSVP HERE)
(1-2:30pm @ NRCS)
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