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Welcome from New Roots Teachers

To Our New Roots Community, Past, Present, and Future,

We, the teachers of New Roots, are working hard every day to build a learning community that is engaging, challenging, and safe for the students who walk through our doors. As we proudly watched another graduating class move into the wider world this past June and August, it was impossible not to feel grateful that this school exists for each and every unique person who chooses our school. This school is important for so many young people. We hear it all the time: “Where would I be without New Roots?” We are bigger than any one individual. We are bigger than any one program. The students always come first.

As we move into our tenth year, we are so excited about the educational opportunities offered at New Roots. We are continuing to welcome fantastic new staff and students who will bring fresh life to our growing community. We are developing our internship program, community partnerships, hands-on, real-world projects, science and technology electives, music and arts programming, and so much more!

We are grateful for your continued support for the New Roots community as a whole. Thank you for trusting us with your children’s education at our unique and wonderful school.

The Year of the Newt!
 
Have you ever seen newts running around on any of the amazing hiking trails in the Finger Lakes region? If so, you've been in a thriving ecosystem.

During our first community meeting of the school year, Tina announced that year 10 at New Roots is "The Year of the Newt," and told the history of why the newt is our school mascot. Students from the first year of our school in 2009 chose this friendly little adolescent salamander as our mascot because it reflects our school values and mission, in contrast to more traditional school mascots that are usually a lot more aggressive than these friendly little adolescent salamanders.

Newts are “teenagers,” in the same powerful stage of development as our New Roots students.  Next time you see these vibrant creatures on one of your hiking explorations in a Finger Lakes gorge, give thanks for their existence!  Newts are a great indicator of a thriving ecosystem, as they are generally one of the first species to disappear when an ecosystem is unhealthy.  We are grateful to our founding students for the legacy of our awesome and unique mascot.
Introducing our New Teachers
Spanish Teacher
"Even though I am brand new to Ithaca, I already love the atmosphere here and cannot wait to learn more about what this beautiful region has to offer!"

Angela Fernandez Gonzalez's story...
Special Education Teacher
When I am not teaching, I enjoy silent meditation, movies and hanging out with my wife and young daughter in Stewart Park and Ithaca's many wonderful natural offerings.

Chris' Rubacky's story...
Music Teacher
My interests in teaching center around social justice and relevant music-making practices.

Ian Cumming's story...
Art Teacher
My aim at New Roots is to give students tools for thinking and expressing themselves creatively and powerfully while imbuing them with the insight that their voices, choices, and efforts matter.

Ryan Curtis' story...
Science & Math Teacher
My goal is to enthusiastically inspire my students to develop confidence in their learning, practice critical thinking skills, and challenge them to take ownership of their learning.

Sarah Craft's story...
Steel Drum Welcome for Dr. Montague
We're honored that our students were invited to play their steel drums to celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Orinthia Montague, the fourth president of Tompkins Cortland Community College, last Friday. As guests walked (and danced!) from the ceremony to the reception area, they heard the joyful sounds of our steel drums filling the hallways.  Dr. Montague immigrated from Jamaica as a child and sent this email to our students expressing her delight that they were coming:

Hello New Roots Steel Drummers!!!  I am so excited to have you play at my inauguration on September 7th.  I was born in Jamaica and moved to the us when I was three years old.  I only get to return home every now and then so I truly miss hearing live steel drum music.  I am truly looking forward to meeting all of you and hearing the joyous sounds of the steel drums.  

Gratitude to everyone on our team who made it possible for our students to give back to our community in such a meaningful way on this historic occasion. It was truly a day to remember.
 

Save the Dates...

September 17th
Student Picture Day (9-2p @ New Roots)
MORE INFO (Picture Day ID: WL018022Y0 )
September 20th
Soccer Game (4:30-6p @ William George Agency)
September 29th
First People's Festival (10-5:30p @ Dewitt Park)
MORE INFO
September 29th
Fundraiser: Fall Shopping Bazaar (10-3p @ New Roots)
October 8th
No School - First People's Day Recess 
October 9th
Curriculum Night (TBD @ New Roots)
More info coming soon...
October 11th
Soccer Game (4:30-6p @ William George Agency)
October 19th
No School - All Staff Professional Development 
October 30th
Family Conferences (TBD @ New Roots)
More info coming soon...

We hope you enjoyed the first installment of our monthly Save the Dates notice, outlining key dates to kick off the start of the school year. Our website calendar (New Roots Calendar) is another great resource to stay updated about key dates at the school. Feel free to email me any time with questions/suggestions.

Be well,

Michael Mazza
Director of Community Engagement

On behalf of the New Roots Team
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