To Our New Roots Community,

Our founding staff opened our doors wide on September 9, 2009, to welcome our pioneering students.  That day, New Roots was transformed from a visionary idea to a vibrant school community of amazing people -- students, staff, families, and community members -- each bringing your time, talent, and treasures to “growing New Roots” into a powerful expression of our collective mission. 

Empowering young people as innovators and leaders for a just and sustainable future, a New Roots education cultivates the skills of hands, heart, and mind to create a meaningful adult life and career in this era of dramatic technological, social and environmental change.  From our ten-year vantage point, we are celebrating how the seeds of high school learning and blossoming in the lives of our alumni!

Recognized as one of ten leading “green” schools nationally by the Green Schools National Network, New Roots is growing strong in year 10.  Let the celebration begin!

Warmly and with the deepest gratitude for your contributions to “growing New Roots.”

With gratitude,

Tina Nilsen-Hodges
Founder, Principal, and Superintendent   

Juneau at Seneca Film Festival
Students in our videography elective were recently honored at the Seneca Film Festival for the production of an experimental drama, named Juneau. Students describe the film as a metaphoric love story of two souls in one body- a gender commentary. It was completely created by students.
Register Now: Ski & Ride Club 2018-2019
Monday, October 29th is the deadline for discounted passes. Details below. Contact Matt O'Brien or Michael Mazza with questions.
REQUEST FOR HELP: Puerto Rico Benefit
Last year the New Roots community provided food for El Coqui Siempre Canta (The Coqui Always Sings), which raised over $14,000 for grassroots organizations in Puerto Rico focused on recovery efforts from hurricane Maria.
Will you help us support this event again on 11/7/18?
Please contact Paul Speight to get involved. Thank you!
Celebrating New Roots Alumni
As we celebrate 10 years of education for a sustainable future, we draw inspiration from the incredible stories of our alumni.
Rachel Mitchell (Class of 2014)
Rachel recently graduated Cum Laude with Distinction from Syracuse University with a triple major in Sociology, Policy Studies, and Citizenship and Civic Engagement.

Rachel says, “I remember discovering the activist within myself at New Roots. Many institutions attempt to silence their students in an effort to keep the peace, whereas New Roots encouraged individuality. My resistance was not disbanded but encouraged when I saw the need to stand up or for something, which encouraged me to carry on with that determination.”

Read Rachel's Story
Niaome Hickman (Class of 2012)
“New Roots Charter School not only helped me prepare for college but also gave me hands-on experience for the real world.  Not to mention being able to participate in the Ithaca community was a huge deal for me. I grew up in a very small prejudice town that never offered me that warm community feeling, but thanks to New Roots and the Ithaca community I was able to get that wonderful warm feeling all the time. As an alumna and as a recent New Roots Intern I found that one of my many life goals is to  open up my own charter school, thanks to New Roots.”
Read Niaome's Story
Kai Haskins (Class of 2014)
Kai graduated Magna Cum Laude from Babson College in May of 2018. While at Babson, Kai was routinely on the Dean’s list, was president of Babson College Radio, was a regular actor and director with The Empty Space Theatre Company, while working at The Babson Sustainability Office and on-campus Starbucks.

Kai now works full-time as the Marketing Director at Endless Energy, which is smallish (about 50 employees) solar installation & energy efficiency company in Massachusetts. Kai also does freelance Brand Consulting and Graphic Design on the side and live in Jamaica Plain, Boston.

Read Kai's Story
Rosemary Glos (Class of 2016)
Rosy is a thriving student at Cornell University, majoring in plant science. We are proud to report that she achieved the dean's list in four consecutive semesters and was recently admitted to Pi Alpha Xi, the national honor society for horticulture. Within Rosy's plant science major, she's concentrating on evolution and systematics with an independent study in botanical illustration.

Reflecting on how her New Roots experience prepared her to succeed at Cornell, Rosy says, “When I started college, I drew on the skills I gained from those experiences and discovered that they gave me an edge in Cornell's difficult classes.”

Read Rosy's Story
Ezra Davis (Class of 2013)
Ezra Davis is in New Haven, CT for a doctoral program at Yale in computer science focusing on computer graphics, after graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with a major in computer science and minors in electrical and computer engineering.

Ezra’s computer design experiences as an undergraduate included his senior research project, the development of a toolkit for easy visualization of artificial neural networks, and developing educational resources at the London Design Museum.
Read Ezra's Story
Strong Sense of Place:  
An Education for a Sustainable Future Benchmark

What if we recognized that cities are dense with all the things that make learning possible — people with talents and passions to share, diversity of perspectives and experiences, problems to be solved and questions to be asked, organizations ready to provide the supports and opportunities our students need? What if urban public schools embraced their cities, rooted themselves in their urban environments, and turned those places into an extension of their classrooms?

Many of the questions above are answered through our partnership with Common Ground and the Teaching Our Cities project. New Roots and 5 other urban environmental public high schools across the Northeastern U.S. are building a capacity to mobilize the urban environment as a learning laboratory, create urban public schools that are responsive to our cities, and grow a new, more diverse generation of environmental and community leaders. All six schools are building a community of practice – supporting each other as we build our schools’ capacity, and as we document and share our school’s practices.

For example, educational experiences at New Roots are designed to give students a deep and strong connection to the place they call home. This work is motivated and shaped by an Education for a Sustainable Future Standard, woven through all four years of our curriculum:

Strong Sense of Place Standard:  The strong and inspired connection to the places in which we live, work and study. Students will recognize and value the interrelationships between the social, economic, ecological, geological, and architectural history and current condition of the place in which they live and contribute to its regenerative capacity and continuous health. They will also be able to rotate from a local perspective to a global perspective by developing geospatial literacy. 

This standard fosters the spirit of caring that contributes to young people’s ability to make, and to maintain day after day, the changes needed to create a just and sustainable future.
Learn More
Stories from the Green Schools National Network
As leaders in the national green school movement, New Roots has an abundance of opportunities to interface and draw inspiration from other innovative leaders across the country. Below are a few of their stories:

Kearny High School Has Sustainability at Core of Engineering, Innovation, and Design Track
Kearny High School’s School of Engineering, Innovation, and Design (EID) in San Diego, California has partnered with environmental nonprofit Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI) since 2013 to infuse sustainability into its classes. Through this educational approach, students gain a sense of environmental stewardship and global awareness while exploring green and blue technology careers in the engineering and architecture pathways. Leading this effort at Kearny is a grade level interdisciplinary team that includes Jessica Fritchel (Social Studies and English Language for ninth-, tenth-, and twelfth-grades), Daniel Robles (Introduction to Design and Environmental Engineering for ninth-grade), and Monica Carapia (Math Integrated I and II for ninth-grade).

“At the very core of our hearts at EID is that none of the other content, curriculum, or projects matter if we don’t leave behind a sustainable community and planet for future generations.”  —  Jessica Frichtel

Learn More

Learning to Think in Wild New Ways with the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge (YDC)
When two students in Kirstin Bullington’s clean energy engineering class decided to take on the challenge of designing a more efficient solar panel, they looked to a seemingly unlikely source for inspiration – the oriental hornet.

These students – both seniors at Richland Two Institute of Innovation, a student innovation center for public high school students in Columbia, South Carolina – were part of the Biomimicry Institute’s Youth Design Challenge (YDC), an education program and design competition that challenges middle and high school students to create solutions to climate change using biomimicry, or nature-inspired design.

Learn More
Jayson Rome Living Legacy Fund

Jayson Rome was part of the team of founding teachers who brought the New Roots vision to life in 2009, inspiring students to engage deeply with their education and themselves to find passion and purpose in life.

Teachers like Jayson are the heart and soul of our school, transforming young lives by driving innovations in teaching and learning.  The ripple effects of their impact on our students and school are profound and far-reaching.

Please consider joining other friends of New Roots to create a living legacy in Jayson's memory by investing in our New Roots teachers.  Together, we can express gratitude for their vision, their caring, and their commitment to students, school and profession by helping to make their professional development dreams a reality, and by recruiting colleagues who share their passion and their commitments.

Donate Here

Save the Dates...

October 27 & 28th
Wizarding Weekend (GorgeKeep @ New Roots)
October 30th
Family Conferences (@ New Roots)
RSVP via (  
November 2nd
Elevator Gallery (5-7:30p @ New Roots)
"Untitled" by Tara Morgan
November 5th
Parent Action Committee Meeting (5p @ New Roots)
RSVP via (
November 7th
El Coquí Siempre Canta - Puerto Rico Benefit Dinner  (6-9:30p @ New Roots)
November 12th
No School - Veteran's Day Recess 
November 20th
Board of Trustees Meeting (5:30-7p @ New Roots) 
November 21-23rd
No School - Thanksgiving Recess
Copyright © 2018 New Roots Charter School, All rights reserved.

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