How Renaissance School Responded to COVID-19

With heart, the show must go on. During this time, we have two primary goals: maintaining our strong community and academic continuity. The pandemic is a tragedy. It also illustrates the level of creativity and committment of our students, parent council, faculty, Board and leadership.

There are two things to remember when considering Renaissance School: we are known as a gifted school, but we keep a broader definition of motivated and inspired students and faculty.  And, tuition assistance is available. If you are interested in a world-class edcuation that celebrates the whole, unique person, you should apply to Renaissance School

Ninth Week Photo Exhibit

Students' last week at school for 2019-20 was “Ninth Week”, an all-school trip we take each semester. This year's trip was scheduled to be in Atlanta, but students and faculty were adaptable and creative about 'rollling with it', and we had a New Ninth Week that stayed local. Art students documented this week with film cameras in partnership with Pro Camera, and instead of a physical gallery show, the photos may be enjoyed online here. 

Vist the Exhibit

Class Modifications

Classes have continued with the same daily schedule on Zoom, with modifications to reduce screen time:

-Homework is limited in preparation for the end-of-year events seen here. 

-Classes were reduced by 5 minutes.

-Every “Sixth Day” is a school-wide challenge in lieu of classes. One challenge was to cook and photograph a dish at home to share with the school community, which turned into this beautiful cookbook! 

Download Cookbook

Portfolio Art Show

Each year, the third Friday in May is our Portfolio Art Show at the Fifth Street Gallery at Renaissance School. Advanced studio art students are coached by art faculty Mr. Haske on proper display of their work, and students make pieces available for sale as well. This year, the coaching has focused to online display, and the show will proceed as planned on May 15th, and may be enjoyed here after that date. 

Visit the Gallery

Parents say: “So glad this turned out so well- but I'm not surprised- Coming to the end of my four years as an RS parent, one thing I know is this school is more than a school, it is a community that stands together and pulls together.”

“Thank YOU for providing high quality on-line classes. I am very grateful for that especially because some of the [other schools] seem to have dropped the ball on continuing to teach the kids. So, thank you, thank you, thank you !!!”

“We really appreciate that you are putting so much effort into making the best of this situation. It's so important to me to see that you are equally focusing on the students' overall well-being. Thank you!!”

“RENAISSANCE IS AMAZING!!!!!!”

Spring Radio Show

Each year during the penultimate week of April is the Renaissance School Spring Show! This year was 20 shorts written by students, celebrating Renaissance School's 20th Anniversary. With an amazing amount of hard work and collaboration, the students and Theater facuty Ms. Watson converted the script into a radio drama, recorded it at home, and posted it on SoundCloud. Meanwhile, Music faculty Mr. Pun and Ms. Goradia worked with music students to record on Acapella for opening and intermission numbers. The students did an excellent job in six short weeks!

Listen on SoundCloud

Student Art Auction

Each year, as part of the Spring Show, the Parent Council hosts the Student Art Auction. This is the major fundraiser for our school, so cancelling it was not an option! The Parent Council did an amazing job preparing it online. In a humbling turn of events, 2019-20 has been one of our best fundraising years ever, with our highest funds raised from the auction, 100% faculty, board, and all four grades participation in our Annual Fund, and highly successsful new alumni and Class of 2020 scholarship funds.

Visit the Auction

Art & Science Exhibition

Each year, on the first Friday in May, is the annual Art & Science Exhibition. This is a very Renaissance event, with student work displayed from across disciplines, and with the lines between art and science often blurring as students pursue unique projects of their own design. This year's judges included widely published illustrators, world class artists, and global experts on black holes and narwhals. You may peruse student research and works, as well as judge bios, at this link! 

Visit Exhibition

Students say: “Hello! Just wanted to let you know the Padlet for tomorrow looks super cool! This was a really good way to maintain our annual Art and Science show when we are all stuck at home. Thank you for all the work you're doing and know that it really pays off!”

“I love the positivity of our community! Im not exactly surprised but the way everyone still has smiles and ideas to give even during such weird times!”

“Thank you to everybody at RHS for making remote learning so successful and for the incredible amount of time you have had to put in to make the transition from classroom learning to distance learning run so smoothly.”

“While we are not able to be in the classroom, the passion that teachers show for their subjects remains the same.”

“I really enjoy getting to call into all of my classes! I think that getting to see my teachers and classmates is really good for me!”

“This week I was constantly surprised to see how positive everyone was being. Most of my teachers start off the class with asking everyone how they’re doing. Throughout the week my school friends text me and ask me how I’m doing. I feel very taken care of and supported in this time where it’s very easy to feel alone.”

All-School Assembly

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:30, the whole school gathers to check in. This is another example of maintaining our regular schedule with modifications on Zoom. This has been a wonderful opportunity for students to reorganize clubs, work on yearbook, and plan Field Day (happening from home on 5/22!) It also allows faculty to share news and details about end-of-year events. Most importantly, it is a chance to check in on all students and ensure they are connected to community. 

Senior Thesis

Senior Thesis Defense is the culmination of our two-year Independent Studies program. Following training in research and public speaking, Juniors submit proposals for a 20-page MLA thesis paper. Theses are supported by academic and original research, and interviews with subject experts. Seniors present their work in April. The final step is a formal thesis defense before the faculty the first Wednesday in May - which this year took place on Zoom and livestreamed on YouTube! 

Read the Papers

Advisor Walks

Every student is part of a small group with a faculty advisor. They meet once a week, often for a walk around downtown. Discussions range from the lighthearted topics of favorite movies and bands to more serious discussions about current events and social issues. Zoom's phone app means that Advisor Walks have continued with social distancing during this time of working from home, with gratitude to our faculty for staying connected with students. 

Faculty say: “Bravissima! I just wanted to give a huge congratulations to Amanda for the production side of the show. What a whirlwind it must’ve been transforming it into a radio show, but you did it! What a cool format and it is evidence that we can do anything even with a huge hurdle in our way! Kickass everyone! Renaissance School is the real deal!!”

“The students constantly surprise and delight me with their resiliency, eagerness to learn, and (for better or worse) strong opinions about most things.” 

“I am filled with love and admiration for our whole community!”

Freshmen Journalism Blog

The DaVinci is an online publication created exclusively by the Freshman English Class at Renaissance College Preparatory High School in Charlottesville, VA. The publication features original articles, editorials, and art pieces from the Freshman class, as well as content created and submitted by the Renaissance School Community. The DaVinci embodies Renaissance High School’s emphasis on experiential learning and it’s encouragement of hands-on application in classes. 

Read The Blog

MGA

Senior Mercedes G successfully wrapped up her MGA career, working on bills as Attorney General for the Commonwealth. We congratulate all MGA students on a successful remote session over Zoom, and especially Hendrik Y ('21), elected 2021 Senate President Pro Tempore, and to Alex Z ('20) and Hinke Y ('23), who were invited to the 2020 YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs (CONA). 

About CONA

With heart, the show must go on. During this time, we have two primary goals: maintaining our strong community and academic continuity. The pandemic is a tragedy. It also illustrates the level of creativity and committment of our students, parent council, faculty, Board and leadership.

There are two things to remember when considering Renaissance School: we are known as a gifted school, but we keep a broader definition of motivated and inspired students and faculty.  And, tuition assistance is available. If you are interested in a world-class edcuation that celebrates the whole, unique person, you should apply to Renaissance School