What is a charter school?

Charter schools are innovative public schools designed by parents, teachers, community leaders, colleges, entrepreneurs or school districts. They are free to attend, as public schools are, but often seek and encourage greater community involvement in exchange for the opportunity to attend.

They operate with greater flexibility but agree to increased levels of accountability. They have the freedom to choose the methods and processes they think will best help them deliver results for students.

Publicly-funded charter schools are where individuals interested in creating educational opportunities turn. These opportunities can range from creating a haven for underprivileged students in low socioeconomic areas to excel in academia, to crafting a new learning environment that works collaboratively with parental involvement. Or as Renaissance Academy does, charter schools can choose to add intensive World Languages to the curriculum.

In return for the promise of academic success, charter schools receive autonomy and accountability—allowing them to focus their efforts on excellence rather than compliance. Given a three-to-five year time frame, charter schools are placed under the spotlight and forced to perform, threatened with closure if there is a lack of achievement.

When provided with a chance to test out new scholastic ideas, charters can design unique ways to approach and communicate effectively with their students. This means that Charter Schools are often using cutting edge educational philosophy and methodology, but also that Charter Schools can choose a “back to the basics” approach with classic curriculum or Socratic discussion pedagogy.

What are Wonder Days?

Wonder Days are held on Fridays, generally twice a month. Teachers plan interactive, hands-on activities for the day, which allow students deeper involvement with the current curriculum units. Teachers often plan these days with other grade level teachers so that students also interact with all students in the grade level. Often rotations are used to give a variety of activities to all students.

Parents are encouraged to be a part of the planning committee, but especially part of the implementation team who volunteer during Wonder Days and can use “Wonder Days” as their volunteer hours

How do Wonder Days fit in to the RA vision?

Play, Wonder, Explore, Serve are not just catch words that we think will impress you. They are the vision. Notice that “teach” or “test” or “write” are not part of list. That is because we believe that teaching, testing, and/or writing can all be done during playing, wondering, exploring, and serving, AND they will be considerably more effective because we start at the place where kids are. They play, they wonder, they explore, they serve easily and naturally. When we are building on their natural skills, we are enhancing those natural skills and developing new ones. Students who come back to class after a super activity have a new foundation on which to continue building knowledge and skills. Teachers have new analogies to give that students will understand, new concepts that excite students, and new places for students’ minds to go.

We better meet the needs of all students when we change things just a little. Variety in instruction is the hallmark of good instruction because it ensures that we teach to the variety of learning styles in our classrooms. Further, activities that help students to become active in their own learning are always more effective as teaching tools than those in which students are passive learners.

Which World Languages does RA teach and how often?

Renaissance Academy students have the opportunity to learn about Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese in Kindergarten. In 1st Grade, students can choose (subject to class size restrictions) a language to focus on. Students are encouraged to remain in the same language through 5th Grade and then have the option to change in 6th Grade.

World Language instruction is given to all students on a daily basis.

What kinds of volunteer opportunities are there?

Families (including parent, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) are encouraged to set aside time at least every other week to be in their child’s classroom actually helping with education. If that is simply not possible, we have a variety of other volunteer opportunities.

How much do parents need to volunteer?

The parent agreement, which each family signs, requires that someone from the family volunteer in the classroom, attend at least one field trip, and serve on a committee. There are classroom committees, a school-wide committees, Board task forces, and PLCs (Phoenix Learning Communities) that parents can serve on. All this can equate to as little as 3 hours a month or as much as families are willing to give.

What is the tardy policy?

For Elementary grades (K-5), students are expected to be in their chairs and prepared to learn when the bell rings at 8 AM. Students are considered tardy if they are not. Tardies may be excused by parent or teacher with the appropriate written documentation. Students arriving without parent check-in or note will automatically receive an unexcused tardy. The student must obtain a tardy slip before going to the classroom. More than three tardies in a two week period will be considered excessive. Parents will be contacted regarding excessive tardiness and students may be subject to disciplinary action.

For Middle School grades (6-9), the same policies apply except that tardies are marked for each individual class. Students should be in their seats when the bell rings for all periods.

Can I be part of a carpool?

We highly encourage carpooling as fewer cars holding more students will help the drop-off and pick-up movement. Please feel free to form carpools with other RA families who live near you.

To find others near you who would like to be in a carpool, please see Carpools.

Does RA provide busing?

No. Because our students come from such a wide geographic area, busing is not possible. Families of students should provide transportation to the school before 7:55 AM Monday through Friday, and from the school by 3:15 PM Monday through Thursday, and by 12:30 PM on Fridays.

Does RA ask for financial donations?

Yes, but they are donations, not expectations. Families of K-6 students are asked for a donation to offset the cost of field trips for their students.

Middle School students do have some set fees for field trips, lab fees, book deposit, etc.

Charter schools do receive less funding from the state than a district school. As such, the financial support of our families is needed. The FEC will do a limited number of fund raising throughout the year, both to pay for FEC programs as well as to provide the school with some extra money. For example, our yearly 5K run in May helps pay for improvements to the Library.

Can I have school fees waived?

For grades K-6, there are no required fees.

For grades 7, 8 and 9, if you need to have the fees waiver, please stop by the front office to fill out forms or visit http://www.schools.utah.gov/law/School-Fee-Forms.aspx.

Does RA do Box Tops for Education?

Yes. All students can collect these and get points for their class as well as money for the school. Save your Box Tops for the various Box Top activities we announce through each school year.

How do I prepare my child for Kindergarten?

Reading - Renaissance works to provide all kindergartners with the fundamentals they’ll need for successful reading throughout their lives. This includes memorizing the sounds of all letters of the alphabet (lowercase first, then uppercase) and many blended letter sounds. You can assist your child before school starts by teaching him or her the names of all letters and their various sounds. Also, in addition to being read to for 20 minutes each day, having exposure to nursery rhymes from throughout the world will be beneficial to your child.

Math - Before Kindergarten, it will be helpful if children can learn to count as high as possible. Simple arithmetic thinking using real world objects (if I have two apples and add one more, how many will I have?) is also recommended.

Science - Scientific wonder is the main goal of Science in our Kindergarten classes. Helping your child to see wonder in nature is one of the best ways you can prepare him or her for Scientific thinking to come. Also, learning to follow simple instructions step by step is a marvelous way to help students with school and Science.

Social Studies - Students are introduced to the globe and continents in Kindergarten. It will help if they have an understanding of the purpose of maps. In history, helping them to understand your personal family history is an excellent way to prepare them for history lessons in school.

Art - Pre-K students are generally enthusiastic about art. You can build on this enthusiasm by providing a variety of opportunities and materials to “do” art.

Languages and Cultures - This final component of education at Renaissance is a fun one for pre-K students. Students should be made aware of cultures outside their own. This can be done with a variety of activities such as a meal focused on foods from different places or a family trip to a local festival from a different country. Students should be given the opportunity to listen to languages other than their own and to recognize that there are many forms of communication.

world languages

ENROLL NOW

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are innovative public schools designed by parents, teachers, community leaders, colleges, entrepreneurs or school districts. They are free to attend, as public schools are, but often seek and encourage greater community involvement in exchange for the opportunity to attend.

They operate with greater flexibility but agree to increased levels of accountability. They have the freedom to choose the methods and processes they think will best help them deliver results for students.

Publicly-funded charter schools are where individuals interested in creating educational opportunities turn. These opportunities can range from creating a haven for underprivileged students in low socioeconomic areas to excel in academia, to crafting a new learning environment that works collaboratively with parental involvement. Or as Renaissance Academy does, charter schools can choose to add intensive World Languages to the curriculum.

In return for the promise of academic success, charter schools receive autonomy and accountability—allowing them to focus their efforts on excellence rather than compliance. Given a three-to-five year time frame, charter schools are placed under the spotlight and forced to perform, threatened with closure if there is a lack of achievement.

When provided with a chance to test out new scholastic ideas, charters can design unique ways to approach and communicate effectively with their students. This means that Charter Schools are often using cutting edge educational philosophy and methodology, but also that Charter Schools can choose a “back to the basics” approach with classic curriculum or Socratic discussion pedagogy.

What are Wonder Days?

Wonder Days are held on Fridays, generally twice a month. Teachers plan interactive, hands-on activities for the day, which allow students deeper involvement with the current curriculum units. Teachers often plan these days with other grade level teachers so that students also interact with all students in the grade level. Often rotations are used to give a variety of activities to all students.

Parents are encouraged to be a part of the planning committee, but especially part of the implementation team who volunteer during Wonder Days and can use “Wonder Days” as their volunteer hours

How do Wonder Days fit in to the RA vision?

Play, Wonder, Explore, Serve are not just catch words that we think will impress you. They are the vision. Notice that “teach” or “test” or “write” are not part of list. That is because we believe that teaching, testing, and/or writing can all be done during playing, wondering, exploring, and serving, AND they will be considerably more effective because we start at the place where kids are. They play, they wonder, they explore, they serve easily and naturally. When we are building on their natural skills, we are enhancing those natural skills and developing new ones. Students who come back to class after a super activity have a new foundation on which to continue building knowledge and skills. Teachers have new analogies to give that students will understand, new concepts that excite students, and new places for students’ minds to go.

We better meet the needs of all students when we change things just a little. Variety in instruction is the hallmark of good instruction because it ensures that we teach to the variety of learning styles in our classrooms. Further, activities that help students to become active in their own learning are always more effective as teaching tools than those in which students are passive learners.

Which World Languages does RA teach and how often?

Renaissance Academy students have the opportunity to learn about Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese in Kindergarten. In 1st Grade, students can choose (subject to class size restrictions) a language to focus on. Students are encouraged to remain in the same language through 5th Grade and then have the option to change in 6th Grade.

World Language instruction is given to all students on a daily basis.

What kinds of volunteer opportunities are there?

Families (including parent, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) are encouraged to set aside time at least every other week to be in their child’s classroom actually helping with education. If that is simply not possible, we have a variety of other volunteer opportunities.

How much do parents need to volunteer?

The parent agreement, which each family signs, requires that someone from the family volunteer in the classroom, attend at least one field trip, and serve on a committee. There are classroom committees, a school-wide committees, Board task forces, and PLCs (Phoenix Learning Communities) that parents can serve on. All this can equate to as little as 3 hours a month or as much as families are willing to give.

What is the tardy policy?

For Elementary grades (K-5), students are expected to be in their chairs and prepared to learn when the bell rings at 8 AM. Students are considered tardy if they are not. Tardies may be excused by parent or teacher with the appropriate written documentation. Students arriving without parent check-in or note will automatically receive an unexcused tardy. The student must obtain a tardy slip before going to the classroom. More than three tardies in a two week period will be considered excessive. Parents will be contacted regarding excessive tardiness and students may be subject to disciplinary action.

For Middle School grades (6-9), the same policies apply except that tardies are marked for each individual class. Students should be in their seats when the bell rings for all periods.

Can I be part of a carpool?

We highly encourage carpooling as fewer cars holding more students will help the drop-off and pick-up movement. Please feel free to form carpools with other RA families who live near you.

To find others near you who would like to be in a carpool, please see Carpools.

Does RA provide busing?

No. Because our students come from such a wide geographic area, busing is not possible. Families of students should provide transportation to the school before 7:55 AM Monday through Friday, and from the school by 3:15 PM Monday through Thursday, and by 12:30 PM on Fridays.

Does RA ask for financial donations?

Yes, but they are donations, not expectations. Families of K-6 students are asked for a donation to offset the cost of field trips for their students.

Middle School students do have some set fees for field trips, lab fees, book deposit, etc.

Charter schools do receive less funding from the state than a district school. As such, the financial support of our families is needed. The FEC will do a limited number of fund raising throughout the year, both to pay for FEC programs as well as to provide the school with some extra money. For example, our yearly 5K run in May helps pay for improvements to the Library.

Can I have school fees waived?

For grades K-6, there are no required fees.

For grades 7, 8 and 9, if you need to have the fees waiver, please stop by the front office to fill out forms or visit http://www.schools.utah.gov/law/School-Fee-Forms.aspx.

Does RA do Box Tops for Education?

Yes. All students can collect these and get points for their class as well as money for the school. Save your Box Tops for the various Box Top activities we announce through each school year.

How do I prepare my child for Kindergarten?

Reading - Renaissance works to provide all kindergartners with the fundamentals they’ll need for successful reading throughout their lives. This includes memorizing the sounds of all letters of the alphabet (lowercase first, then uppercase) and many blended letter sounds. You can assist your child before school starts by teaching him or her the names of all letters and their various sounds. Also, in addition to being read to for 20 minutes each day, having exposure to nursery rhymes from throughout the world will be beneficial to your child.

Math - Before Kindergarten, it will be helpful if children can learn to count as high as possible. Simple arithmetic thinking using real world objects (if I have two apples and add one more, how many will I have?) is also recommended.

Science - Scientific wonder is the main goal of Science in our Kindergarten classes. Helping your child to see wonder in nature is one of the best ways you can prepare him or her for Scientific thinking to come. Also, learning to follow simple instructions step by step is a marvelous way to help students with school and Science.

Social Studies - Students are introduced to the globe and continents in Kindergarten. It will help if they have an understanding of the purpose of maps. In history, helping them to understand your personal family history is an excellent way to prepare them for history lessons in school.

Art - Pre-K students are generally enthusiastic about art. You can build on this enthusiasm by providing a variety of opportunities and materials to “do” art.

Languages and Cultures - This final component of education at Renaissance is a fun one for pre-K students. Students should be made aware of cultures outside their own. This can be done with a variety of activities such as a meal focused on foods from different places or a family trip to a local festival from a different country. Students should be given the opportunity to listen to languages other than their own and to recognize that there are many forms of communication.

world languages

ENROLL NOW