New Roots students walk Commons to celebrate community values

Carrying a banner saying “Rooted in Community,” New Roots Charter School students and staff walked the Commons together recently in celebration of their shared values as a school community committed to social justice and ecological sustainability.

“Inspired by the values of the first people who were stewards of this land, New Roots expresses the core value of respect for self, others, and the environment into all that we learn and do,” said Tina Nilsen-Hodges, principal.  “Our school is an example of the power and potential of a whole school community committed to shared values that foster justice and environmental stewardship.”

Tina Nilsen-Hodges says that the Commons walk in their first-day assembly plan was inspired by Dr. Luvelle Brown’s call for members of our community to respond to the summer’s violence in Charlottesville, VA by demonstrating “what people in Ithaca and Tompkins County value:  inclusive, empowering, and culturally-responsive environments.”

“Today we join our voices with others in our community who are celebrating the power and potential of our young people and educational environments that nurture positive, healthy relationships and support all students in dreaming big, developing a compelling plan for their life, and learning to make their dreams a reality,” said Nilsen-Hodges.

Located in the heart of downtown Ithaca in the Clinton House, New Roots is a regional, tuition-free public high school designed as a whole-school model of education for sustainability and justice at the secondary level authorized by the State University of New York in 2008.  SUNY has renewed the school’s charter twice since that time in recognition of the school’s success in meeting its accountability goals and renewal benchmarks.  

New Roots is open to any student eligible to attend high school in New York State regardless of district of residence.  For more information visit or call 607-882-9220.

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