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About Us

New Roots Charter School, founded in 2009, is a regional, tuition-free public high school located in downtown Ithaca, NY. Our small school serves students in grades 9 through 12 (ages 13 to 21) from 20 area school districts. 


New Roots Charter School will prepare our diverse student body to meet the challenges of citizenship, work, and life-long learning in the 21st century. Our interdisciplinary academic program will feature hands-on, community-based learning that supports students in solving real-world problems.

Charter schools authorized by the State University of New York develop a detailed Accountability Plan that becomes part of their charter or agreement with New York State as a public school.

The Accountability Plan details benchmarks that the school must substantially meet for its charter to be renewed after the first five years of operation. Accountability Plan goals include absolute and comparative measures for Regents exam scores, student progress in earning credit towards graduation, graduation rates, and demonstrated college readiness.

Our main building and school office is located in the historic Clinton House at 116 N. Cayuga St in Ithaca, New York. Come visit!


Built in 1824, the Clinton House was designed to be a hotel for guests visiting the previous center of the film industry before it moved to California. At least four United States presidents have stayed in the Clinton House, which contained 150 rooms. After its time as an upscale hotel the Clinton House became home to offices, a ticket center for many local performing arts venues, and one small theater. It is now home to the New Roots Charter School.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is not a new word for environmentalism. Sustainability is not a goal or a state of being. It is a recognition and a process.

"Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." — Our Common Future, 1987

"A dynamic process which enables all people to realize their potential and to improve their quality of life in ways that simultaneously protect and enhance the Earth's life supports systems." — Forum for the Future, 2008

Whatever definition we choose, it is important to remember that