Ms. Debbie’s love for Renaissance began at its inception twenty years ago, when she taught middle school there during its inaugural years. She has twenty three years of successful teaching experience, most of which were spent teaching middle schoolers whose love for Ms. Debbie paralleled her love for the job. She also has experience with curriculum development and is a trained instructional coach. She is currently the Professional Learning Specialist at Renaissance Elementary school, where she is widely respected as a knowledgeable, compassionate leader and skilled instructional coach. Debbie’s passion for middle and high school instruction coupled with her love for Renaissance make her the perfect founding Principal for Renaissance Secondary.
A note from Ms. Debbie
Welcome to the Renaissance Secondary School!
I am so excited to be part of such an innovative school! My hope is that this letter will highlight some of the unique aspects of our school and provide you insight into how we have reimagined educating the modern learner.
Renaissance Secondary School (RSS) opened on August 21, 2017 with grades 6-10 and will add a grade level each year until 2019, when we will be at full capacity with grades 6-12. RSS is intentionally small (approximately 360 students in grades 6-10 during the 2017-18 school year) so that we can get to know each student deeply, and can personalize learning to best meet the needs of each and every learner.
RSS’s motto, “We Are Crew, Not Passengers” embodies the ethos that each student is expected to actively participate in their learning and to help others in their pursuits. Another component of our school culture includes an Adventure Education program in which students are challenged physically and mentally, and pushed outside of their comfort zones. This helps build and maintain a culture of teamwork, perseverance, and cooperation. There will be a strong, significant service component embedded in the authentic learning opportunities at RSS. In fact, service and service learning will be a distinctive component, setting the school apart from many other secondary schools. Service learning involves: collaboration, addressing community needs, education, reflection, and fostering a sense of civic and social responsibility.
Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up.
Ask them what problems they want to solve.
This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for
to what do I need to learn in order to be able to do that.
~Jaime Casap, Chief Education Evangelist, Google
RSS will be a fundamentally different school. Rather than offering discrete classes of specific subjects, students will learn through carefully designed learning expeditions that are integrated, authentic, and problem based. These learning expeditions will be aligned with state and district standards. Instead of being taught in 50 minute increments, students will spend multiple hours over the course of weeks on one expedition. Students will work with teachers to develop engaging learning experiences involving complex, real-world issues.
Also, students will be given multiple opportunities to pursue their passions and interests. Exploratory Blocks (X Blocks) will be an integral part of the curriculum. An X Block is an elective course developed around student interest and passion and can range from physical to academic undertakings, from digital to performing arts, model United Nations to model rockets, archery, and many more. RSS will offer two X Block courses at the end of each day.
If you would like additional information, please visit our FAQ page. There is a chance your question might be answered there.
Thank you for your interest in Renaissance Secondary School. We’ve reimagined a place of learning like no other, and we’re eager to share it with you!
Hope to see you soon,
Leader of Learning
Renaissance Secondary School