Discover Your Potential. Empower Your Future.

Experience Real World Learning

Engaging projects make the natural world and city your classroom

Discover Your Strengths

Small classes and customized learning opportunities

Invent Your Future

Learn leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation and life design

High School Done Differently

New Roots Charter School is a small public high school with a big mission located in the heart of downtown Ithaca. Open to any student eligible for high school in our wider region, our tuition-free college and life preparatory program engages students in learning actively, thinking critically, and solving problems creatively and collaboratively, developing the knowledge and skills to turn 21st century challenges into opportunities. Small school, bright future!

Cultivating Success

Real World Education

Real World Education

Community engagement through field trips and projects exploring current issues and community success stories make classroom learning relevant and meaningful.

Learn by Doing

Learn by Doing

Classes feature active learning, focusing on projects and presentations for real audiences, and internships for real-world career exploration and skills.

Invent a Sustainable Future

Invent a Sustainable Future

Our students develop system thinking, leadership and entrepreneurship skills to imagine and create innovative new ways of inventing opportunities for our communities near and far.

Farm to School

Farm to School

Featuring Ithaca's original Farm to School Cafe, all students enjoy FREE breakfast and lunch featuring locally sourced ingredients from the Youth Farm Project, our very own Urban Farm Project, and more.

Build Community

Build Community

Our school culture is inclusive and welcoming of every person, supported by team building, community development, our Urban Farm Project, and student participation in governance through student council.



Our wellness program inspires practical techniques for focus and stress management rooted in neuroscience, mindfulness, healthy nutrition, and physical activity. Join our co-ed soccer team or propose a new physical fitness club with other students.

Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship

Restoring the natural world that sustains all life is essential to our well being. Our students explore through classroom projects, the Cayuga Wetlands Restoration Project, and more.

Earn College Credit Now

Earn College Credit Now

Upper school students (grades 11-12) earn college credit for required high school credits and electives.

Play! Create!

Play! Create!

Create a band with friends, design your own solo career, discover hip hop music production, and prepare to perform at Rootstock which was founded by New Roots and Grassroots in 2019.

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It

“New Roots offers a whole different style of learning. I have been able to discover which environments I learn and work best and what my passions are.”


“I have never in my career as a parent been more profoundly impressed with an establishment founded on education. New Roots exceeds my expectations in every avenue.”   


“New Roots is like my second home. I enjoy the fact that I have such an amazing and close bond with my teachers!”


“The inspiration I received at New Roots has helped me to approach new challenges in creative ways, and helped me to feel at home at Babson College, which is the #1 entrepreneurship college in the US.”



“At New Roots we have found kind, bright teachers, and administrators who are working for the student.”


“The community is a blast both in the classroom and out in the community, they are accepting of all people no matter who they are and nothing like my old school.”


“New Roots helps students think more about their surroundings, and is very good at working with individual needs of students in order to help them learn the way that works for them.”


“New Roots has developed an exceptional school culture designed to encourage students to pursue friendships across boundaries that typically divide students – gender, ethnicity, income, and geography.”


“The teachers are very understanding and try to help in any way they can, both emotionally and academically.”


 “When I went to college I felt very prepared. The most important things I learned at New Roots, that served me well in college, were how to work in a group and how to pursue my own academic interests.”


“The teachers are all very good at their jobs, and that includes being patient and kind with all students.”


New Roots by the Numbers


College acceptance rate for New Roots graduates


Students feel New Roots encourages them to be their best


Teachers received an A+ rating from their students


Students earn college credit during high school

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    Powerful Outcomes

    Sarajane RoenkeThe hands-on learning aspect of my New Roots education helped me be a lot more prepared for a variety of different projects – I’m ready to dive into any challenge or project that comes my way!

    Sarajane Roenke, Alum

    Environmental Engineering, PhD program, Notre Dame (Awarded the Schmidt Fellowship by Notre Dame University)

    The inspiration I received at New Roots has helped me to approach new challenges in creative ways, and helped me to feel at home at Babson College, which is the #1 entrepreneurship college in the US.

    Kai H., Alum

    New Roots gave me the opportunity to learn about public policy. I learned how to get my voice heard.

    HANNAH W., Alum

    New Roots helped me explore my interests and think about where I want to go in life.

    KELSIE T., Alum

    New Roots encouraged me to step up and ask questions, and to volunteer for opportunities that I might otherwise have felt unqualified for.

    KORIN C., Alum

    My New Roots experience gave me a real understanding of how to work in college through the many college-level courses.

    ROSALINA M., Alum

    Upcoming Events

    march, 2021

    Filter Events

    wed17mar12:00 pm4:50 pmWatershed Symposium (virtual)

    fri19maralldayalldayNo School! Staff PD Day

    sat20mar10:00 am12:00 pmYEM Workshop #1: Idea Generation & Social Impact

    thu25mar5:30 pm6:30 pmFamily Action Committe

    sat27mar10:00 am11:30 amMarch (virtual) Open House,