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Renaissance is a small Expeditionary Learning and STEM Magnet school in the Springfield Public Schools that serves children in grades 6-12 in Springfield (approximately 100 students per grade). Renaissance is part of a larger school network called Expeditionary Learning where learning by doing through in-depth explorations of big ideas, focus on rigor and high expectations, character education, service, leadership, and college preparation form the core of work with students. Our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Magnet theme provides opportunities for students and staff to dive deeply into STEM work both in and outside of school. Working with universities, businesses and experts in the STEM fields enables our students to gain first hand experiences in these dynamic areas, helping to prepare them for college and careers.

Here at Renaissance, we "sweat the small stuff."

We often summarize this hard work with the expression "Sweating the Small Stuff." This phrase is actually the title of a book by David Whitman who conducted a study of highly successful urban schools in order to understand what makes them so successful. What he discovered was that these schools are invested in fighting disorder. When students and adults know exactly what is expected of them in terms of behavior, more time and energy can be spent focused on what truly matters to students' success-their learning. Sweating the small stuff is key to developing the habits that will enable them to capitalize on our mission: creating college-bound students who use their minds well, care for others, and rise to the challenges and duties of citizenship.

With this in mind, our staff identified some key issues that represent the "small stuff" that take students off track from learning and educators off track from teaching. Further details about these policies can be found in our handbook. It is our goal that each of these issues be fully and fairly implemented throughout the year.

Wearing School Uniforms: Uniforms help to create a professional learning environment, and wearing appropriate attire is a good habit for the future workplaces that our students will inhabit. (Handbook pg. 25)

Avoiding Food in the Classrooms: In addition to helping to maintain a clean classroom, food in the classrooms is a distraction from learning. For this reason, unauthorized food in the classroom will be thrown away. Students will still be allowed a healthy snack during D block. (Handbook pg. 22)

Staying on School Property:

Once students arrive at school they are the school's responsibility and they must remain on school grounds. Students who leave school property once they have been dropped off at school create a safety and tardiness issue. (Handbook pg. 27)

Homework: As a college bound school, we want students to develop a habit of consistent homework completion. Homework is where most learning occurs in college. Agendas are a key tool in accomplishing this goal. (Handbook pg. 15)

Cell Phones: Cell phones and other technology should only be used during school hours to advance our school's mission. Students are only allowed to use their phones to make phone calls with the permission and supervision of staff. If parents need to contact their child, they should call the Main Office at 413.750.2929. (Handbook pg. 21)

Important Information:

2015-16 Renaissance Handbook

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