Skip to main content

Meeting of the Board of Regents | December 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







John B. King, Jr.


Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation


December 8, 2009


Goals 1 and 2




Issue for Decision

Should the Regents approve and issue the proposed charter for Renaissance Charter  High School for Innovation (New York City)?

Background Information

We have received a proposed charter from the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York for the establishment of Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation (“the School”).  The School will open on September 1, 2010.  Initially, the School will serve 125 students in grade nine and grow to serve 500 students in grades nine through twelve in its fifth year of operation.  The School's mission is to “develop leadership through innovation.  Student innovators will achieve academic excellence by setting self-created goals within a three tiered educational model of core classroom instruction, portfolio-based annual individual projects, and hands-on, experiential learning.”  

The School does not have a management partner but is a replication of Renaissance Charter School.  The School will provide instruction from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. for 180 days per academic year. 

The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 30 on July 23, 2009 regarding this proposed charter application.  Ten comments were made in favor of the charter renewal. 

Additional information concerning this initial application may also be found on the Board of Regents website at


              VOTED: That the Board of Regents approves and issues the charter of the Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York, and issues a provisional charter to it for a term of five years, up through and including December 14, 2014.

Reasons for Recommendation

               (1) The charter school described in the proposed charter meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules, and regulations; (2) the applicants can demonstrate the ability to operate the school in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; and (3) approving and issuing the proposed charter is likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purposes set out in subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty of Article 56 of the Education Law. 

Timetable for Implementation

The Regents action for the Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation is effective immediately.












New York State Education Department

Summary of Proposed Charter

Name of Proposed Charter School: Renaissance Charter  High School for Innovation (RCHSI or “the School”)

Address: TBD

Applicant(s): Nicholas Tishuk

Anticipated Opening Date: September 1, 2010

District of Location: New York City Community School District 30, Queens


Charter Entity: Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York

Institutional Partner(s): N/A

Management Partner(s): N/A

Grades Served:                      2010-2011: 9

2011-2012: 9-10

2012-2013: 9-11

2013-2014: 9-12

2014-2015: 9-12


Projected Enrollment:         2010-2011: 125

2011-2012: 250

2012-2013: 375

2013-2014: 500

2014-2015: 500


Proposed Charter Highlights


              Nicholas Tishuk has worked in the field of education for over ten years.  He holds a Master’ degree in Secondary Education and an advanced certificate in Education Administration.  Mr. Tishuk has held various positions in New York City charter schools, such as crisis intervention specialist, English language arts coordinator, director of programs and accountability and English teacher for high school grades.  He has participated in the Emerging Leaders, New York City Teaching and University Scholar fellowships.


Institutional Partner


Management Partner





  • It is the intent of the School to model itself by the educational program of the Renaissance Charter School which was chartered in April 2000 and is located in Queens in Community School District 30.
  • The School’s mission is to “develop leadership through innovation.” 
  • The RCHSI educational philosophy is based on five core values: Academic Excellence, Accountability, Systemic Innovation, Collaboration and a Culture of Inquiry.
  • Key program elements for the School will include instruction focused on reaching the needs of each student, utilizing a combination of instructional methodologies such as rigorous discussions, guided readings, group research, interactive social media and lectures to develop a rich tapestry of learning opportunities for students. 
  • RCHSI will provide instruction in each subject in the seven general curriculum areas and the proposed curriculum is aligned to all 28 New York State (NYS) Learning Standards.
  • To ensure that students meet and exceed the New York State Learning Standards the School will utilize a data-driven approach to curriculum and teaching, interim assessments, individual academic plans for at-risk students, the response-to-intervention model and case conferences.
  • The School will administer assessments to identify student levels and needs.  In addition, there will be a three-tiered system to measure student progress and teacher accountability.  Interim and internal assessments, classrooms assessments and individual achievement plans, tools and analysis will be utilized to meet individual needs and to provide collaborative planning periods and formal case conferences for students who may be at-risk.
  • In addition to the mandated NYS exams, the School intends to administer the ACT-High School readiness examination or an in-house equivalent to prepare students for the Regents exams. 
  • RCHSI will assess student progress towards achieving pre-determined goals through interim assessments such as the ACT-High School Readiness exam; portfolios; scientific lab work and annual individual projects.
  • The School will have a College Bound program that will prepare students for the rigors of college selection, application and financial aid processes.
  • The School reports that Community School District (CSD) 30 is considered a district in need of improvement for English language arts.  In 2008 and 2009 on the secondary level, the CSD did not make adequate yearly progress on the English language arts examination. 
  • RCHSI will employ a full inclusion model for students with disabilities (SWD) and English language learners (ELL).  In addition ELL students will participate in an English immersion program of instruction.  Students will be supported by instructional support special educators and ELL instructors in concert with teachers to give individualized support in targeted areas.
  • RCHSI proposes a 180-day school year from September to the end of June.
  • The School will provide instruction from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday.




  • The number of Trustees shall not be fewer than five and shall not exceed thirteen.
  • Trustees will be elected to serve two to five year terms.  The founding principal will be appointed for a five year term; teacher(s) or staff members appointed for a two year terms; parents elected for three year terms; and community representatives appointed for five year terms based on expertise and experience.
  • Regular meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be held six times throughout the year.
  • The initial board members have expertise in education, business, marketing, communications, law and community involvement. 
  • The initial committees of the Board of Trustees shall be executive, appeals and grievance, financial, principal review, education and accountability.
  • The officers of the board of trustees are chair, vice chair, secretary.




  • The School will serve 125 students in grade 9 in Year One and will grow to serve 500 students in grades nine through 12 by Year Four.   
  • The School intends to enroll and admit 125 students on each grade level.  There will be five classes per grade, for a total of 20 classes at full enrollment.
  • The School anticipates a class size of 25 students.  Each class will have a one teacher per class.  The student to teacher ratio will be 25:1. 
  • The School will reach out to the community with information sessions at the School and other locations within the community for recruitment purposes.
  • The School will advertise in community newspapers and make enrollment information available on the School’s website.
  • The School’s recruitment plan includes strategies to advertise widely to families from the CSD, including English Language Learners (ELL) and Students with Disabilities (SWD).
  • The School anticipates the ages of students enrolled in grades 9-12 will range between 14 and 21 years old.
  • The School expects the student body to reflect the population of the target community, which in 2009 were: nine percent Black, 53 percent Hispanic, 22 percent Asian/Other, and 15 percent White; 78 percent of the area public school children participated in the federal free/reduced lunch program.




  • RCHSI is pursuing alternatives to conventional lease/purchase arrangements that include securing unused parochial school space and underutilized NYC DOE space.
  • The School’s Year One revenue is $2,457,910 and will grow to $7,405,795 in Year Five. 
  • The School projects expenses of 2,002,560 in Year One and 6,240,256 in Year Five.
  • The School anticipates $85,000 in philanthropic contributions in Year One from the New York City Charter Center.
  • RCHSI expects to carry forward a cash balance of $175,547 from the Year One budget.
  • The budget anticipates total expenses of $2,153,840 in Year One and $6,158,020 in Year Five.
  • RCHSI intends to establish a dissolution fund of $70,000 in Year One.
  • The School will seek the Charter Schools Program (CSP) Planning and Implementation grant.  The School conservatively assumes no funding from these sources.
  • RCHSI ensures that it will perform all programmatic and fiscal audits annually as required by the New York State Charter Schools Act, in accordance with auditing standards and Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States.
  • The potential fiscal impact upon the District is represented below.  Please note that these projections are based upon several assumptions, which may or may not occur: that all existing charter schools will also exist in the next five years and serve the same grade levels as they do now; that the charter schools will be able to meet their projected maximum enrollment; that all students will come from NYC and no other districts; that all students will attend everyday for a 1.0 FTE; that the District’s budget will increase at the projected rate; that the per pupil payment will increase (and not decrease); and that the per pupil payment will increase at the projected rate.


Projected Fiscal Impact of

Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation

(New York City – CSD 30 – Queens)

2010-11 through 2014-15

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact





















              *Assumes a 3 percent annual increase in the District’s budget from the base               $18.035 billion in 2010-2011; and a 3 percent annual increase in the average        expense per pupil per year from the 2010-2011 rate of $12,819.



  • The School will be led by a principal. 
  • The work of the principal will be supported by a director of teaching and learning, director of operations, coordinator of college bound, coordinator of operations, coordinator of teaching and learning, coordinator of technology and office manager. 
  • The School will employ the following staff members in its first year of instruction: eight classroom teachers (16 in Year Five); and one special education coordinator (two in Year Five).
  • Professional development opportunities will be made available between the replicated Renaissance Charter School and RCHSI, to afford staff members the opportunity to visit Renaissance Charter School, observe instruction and engage in professional dialogue.
  • Professional development activities will be centered around the following: charter goals, teaching frameworks, data analysis, and curriculum.
  • The special education teacher will be New York State certified in Special Education.
  • In addition, the School will employ a full-time social worker throughout the initial charter.


Community Support


  • The School provided 139 signatures of parents with children eligible for enrollment to satisfy its target enrollment.
  • The School has received support from the following community leaders, foundations, and community organizations: Joseph Crowley – 7th District; Gary L. Ackerman- 5th District; Honorable Hiram Monserrate- Senator, 13th District; George Onorato- Senator, 12th District; Jose R. Peralta- 39th District; Jeffrion Aubry- 35th District; Helen M. Marshall- Queens Borough President and Julissa Ferreras- 21st District; Queens Council on the Arts; New Immigrant Community Empowerment and Community Board Three.


Public Opinion


  • The New York City Department of Education sent a letter and posted the notice on its website, notifying the public and independent schools in Community School District 30 of the proposed application for Renaissance Charter  High School for Innovation and inviting comments for the public hearing. 
  • The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 30 on July 23, 2009 concerning the application.  Ten comments were made in favor of the charter renewal.