Monday Message 8/14/17

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

This evening marks the beginning of the 2017-2018 School Year. Teachers have been busy planning lessons, preparing classrooms and completing in-service training. This evening begins at 5:45 on the Garth for parents only. To be successful, students necessitate structure and routine and the information you will receive this evening will help in making a smooth beginning to the school year. Occasionally, I will come across a student who has an extremely difficult time completing homework. Research reveals that homework, when carefully designed, implemented and evaluated, is an effective tool for improving understanding, enriching learning, and encouraging personal connections. At the beginning of the school year children will need to get back into a routine in learning how budget time and focus on the task at hand.

At the beginning of the school year it is important to spend an extra five or ten minutes after school with your child detailing the day’s homework. This extra time will pay dividends in the long term. As we get back into the routines of the school year here are several helpful homework hints.

Set a definite study time each day. Your study period should have a start and end time. If you finish before time is up, review.
Take a break from school before you begin your homework. If you are in the upper grades and have a lot of homework. It’s okay to schedule one or more short breaks in your study period.
Find a proper place for studying. It should be away from the T.V. and other distractions. Some people can study with light music on in the background. Remember children need a place to sit, write and keep proper posture and an area that has adequate lighting.
Be prepared before you start. Gather all materials needed to complete your assignments. Get pencils, textbooks, sharpener, and eraser. Get organized.
Make a list of Homework assignments. Check it at the end of the school day and make sure you take the necessary materials home. You can always have a study buddy to call or use our school website.
Work backwards to plan long range assignments. Record due dates on a calendar or on your student planner and write in what you must do each week or day to complete the assignment on time.
Start the most challenging assignment when you are the most alert.

Purposes of Homework

  1. To increase student achievement
  2. To expand, reinforce, enrich, or prepare for regular class work
  3. To encourage personal connections to learning
  4. To provide an opportunity to pursue special interests or ability areas
  5. To establish independent study skills and good habits
  6. To complete work started in class

Teacher responsibilities include

  1. Ensuring that students understand and know how to complete assignments successfully
  2. Defining the work to be completed at home and making sure appropriate resources and materials are readily available
  3. Giving instructions to parents, when appropriate, and explaining how they may help the student complete the homework assignment
  4. Considering homework as one part of the total learning process by monitoring, collecting, and providing meaningful feedback to students
  5. Regularly reviewing and grading homework assignments to give students feedback on their learning
  6. Informing students of homework assignments missed because of absence or substituting another activity for the missed assignment

Student responsibilities include

  1. Understanding the homework assignment(s) before leaving school
  2. Taking home all necessary materials to complete assignment(s)
  3. Having an organized means for keeping and carrying homework to and from school
  4. Arranging for a place to work and having a regular time to study
  5. Scheduling time for homework that is compatible with family and/or afterschool activities
  6. Completing homework with a minimum of parental help
  7. Completing homework assignments as carefully and as neatly as class work
  8. Completing homework and turning it in on time
  9. Budgeting time for long-term projects
  10. Completing all work missed because of absences or after school activities

Parent responsibilities include

  1. Reading and discussing teacher’s homework policy with the student and encouraging good study habits
  2. Providing necessary assistance and a positive, supportive attitude and encouraging good study habits
  3. Communicating any concerns and questions regarding homework assignments to the student’s teacher
  4. Encourage the child with positive feedback and encouraging the student to seek additional help, if needed, from the classroom teacher.
  5. Providing an appropriate time and environment for study and learning; checking the homework for completion and showing an active interest in it.
  6. Monitoring television, electronics, computer games, and outside activities to be sure the student has sufficient study time.

And sometimes ……………………….leaving your child in extended day is the best answer.

With warm regards,

Mark J. Ravelli

Head of School

Monday Message 8/7/17

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

Today, I want to share the program changes that will enhance the direction of Trinity Episcopal School, the class lists, along with the logistics of drop off and pick up. There will be numerous opportunities for students to have service learning and leadership projects. In Chapel you will witness students heavily involved in the Morning Prayer Service.

Professional Development will happen with the implementation of Professional Learning Communities for our Teachers. Professional Learning Communities give time for teachers to have meaningful planning time and critical dialogue and reflection among their peers. This is vital for the success of your children and our teachers. Other important program changes not mentioned to date:

  • Lunch duty: teachers will rotate off to ensure they can converse with vertical and horizontal curriculum alignment.
  • Physical Education: moving from five times per week @ 30 minutes class time to three times per week @ 45 minutes class time; this will enable teachers to have educational dialogue and students to have engagement in a structured PE class
  • Middle School Electives and Advisories will be initiated!
  • Technology and Innovation: The Website changeover has been very successful (up 400% hits) and our bandwidth has been raised. There will be three to four laptops into every classroom, grades 2 through 8 for adaptive and centered base learning. Kindergarten and Grade 1 will have iPads.

We are busily preparing for the start of classes on Wednesday, August 16th. I am thankful the school continues to grow; at this time, 279 students are enrolled in classes compared to 257 reported at this time last year. My number one concern to the opening of the school year is the safety and security of all students. Below is an outline of the drop off and pick up of the children.

Carpool for Lower School (Kindergarten through 5th Grade Only)

Beginning of Day: Please remember that cars should enter the Moody Hall carpool line only from 22nd Street and then proceed west along Ball Street to turn under the porte-cochere that fronts 23rd Street as shown below. Attempting to shortcut this route makes the process more dangerous and understandably irritates those who are conscientiously following the proper procedure. Please stay alert while in Trinity carpool lanes and remember that it is a violation of law to use cell phones while driving in school zones!

End of Day: I urge as many of you as possible to use the carpool line. You will obtain a Carpool Line Dashboard Name Strip at orientation. While there is some wait in the car line, it is a more efficient system than coming into the school to retrieve your child. If you do park, we ask that you (or whomever you are designating to pick up your child) not park anywhere along the North side of Ball Street which must be kept clear after 2:30 PM to allow the carpool line to form and exit. On-duty teachers will assist students getting into cars under the porte-cochere. Parents walking up for pick-up should enter on Ball Street. Parents on foot should clear with the on-duty teachers from the double doors to Moody Hall just beyond Kelso Library. In order to allow good visibility of the hallways and exits, parents are asked not to gather in Moody Hall but wait on the other side of the double doors outside Kelso Library. Please do not come on foot to the porte-cochere entrance.

Please note: These Beginning of Day and End of Day procedures pertain to the Moody Hall Carpool only. Directions for Beginning School and Middle School drop-off are below.

With the permission of the City of Galveston, the Middle School alley is gated at both the West and East ends of the alley. This encloses Trinity Field within the secure area of the campus. Trinity staff will open these gates for carpool by 7:30 AM and again by 2:30 PM. Once opened, Middle School (grades 6-8) parents should enter the alley from 23rd Street by Randall Hall, and proceed to the 2nd internal gate on the East end of Hollamon Hall.

Middle School Pickup During the Day: Parents needing to pick up a middle school child for an appointment during the day should make prior arrangements with the homeroom teacher. Once parents arrive, students will be sent to Moody Hall, where parents must sign them out from the main office. For security, the gates off the Middle School Campus are kept locked during school hours. The entry point to the campus during instructional hours is the monitored door off Ball Street unless otherwise announced. Please do not ask teachers to interrupt instruction to open gates for you at the Middle School.

Mark Ravelli, M. Ed.

Head of School

Monday Message 7/31/17

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

Two weeks from today we are altogether to commence the beginning of the 2017-2018 School year! Research proves “When parents are involved in their child’s education and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, earn higher grades, stay in school longer, go on to postsecondary education and like school more.” Under my leadership we will not have the same parents that are volunteering event after event; this is not healthy for a school community or for our children. I recognize many parents just do not have the time that others do or some parents are introverted and just don’t know how to get involved.

Trinity plays an important role in determining the levels of parental involvement in school. Specifically, our role is to outline our expectations of parents and regularly communicate about what children are learning and how we can provide opportunities for parents to talk with school personnel about parents’ role in their children’s education. We, as the premier Independent school on this island, must create many opportunities for parent involvement, ranging from volunteering and fundraising to providing parents with home-based learning activities. Working closely with Rashida Jolivet, this will be one of our priorities this school year.

Joyce “Epstein” of the Johns Hopkins University, Center on School, Family and Community Partnerships has divided school parent involvement programs into six broad categories:

  1. Communication, This Monday Message and the Friday Folders are your homework as a parent. You must find the time to create dialogue with your child about the upcoming school’s events.
  2. Parenting, Trinity will help families with their parenting skills by providing information on children’s developmental stages and offering workshops and forums on parenting and the school/home relationship.
  3. Volunteering, which ranges from Trinity offering opportunities for parents to visit their child’s classroom, set-up or clean up at events, or accompany the class on a field trips.
  4. Learning at home, in which schools and educators share ideas to promote at-home learning through high expectations and strategies so parents can monitor and help with homework. Stay current through your child’s class webpage. Look for links on our website.
  5. Decision-making, in which we include families as partners in school through PTO, task force or committees.
  6. Community collaboration, a two-way outreach strategy in which community or business groups are involved in a Trinity education.

The Agenda for the Back-to-School Orientation Monday, August 14th begins at 5:45 sharp

  • 5:45 Garth: Meet and Greet
  • 6:00 Church: Rector, HOS, School Board Chair, PTO President
  • 6:30 Session I: Parents to visit classroom
    • Beginning School Parents to stay in the Church
    • Middle School Parents to walk through their child’s schedule
  • 7:15 Session II Parents to visit classroom

All Class Supply Lists are on the school website under the Academics tab.

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli, M. Ed.

Head of School

Monday Message 7/24/17

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

As we progress further into the summer, it is truly exciting to see what Trinity has accomplished in such a short amount of time when people like you believe in the mission of the school and its impact on the lives of our students.

I would like to express my most sincere appreciation to you for making a Trinity education possible for the bright and aspiring students we serve. If you have given to the 2016-2017 Annual Fund, Thank you; if you have not, there is still time before the school’s fiscal year is over.

Your continued support empowers Trinity to provide an enriching academic experience to our talented and diverse student population. Your Annual Fund dollars are fast at work this summer; purchasing technology for the classrooms, creating an amazing Innovation Lab along with sending teachers to professional development.

Last year’s Annual Fund Contributions have gone toward, but are not limited to the following initiatives: relevant software updates and maintenance of the student information system, a further developed arts curriculum to enhance drama and music, software acquisition to provide online and mobile conveniences for paying on-line, enrichment programs, increased safety and security, financial assistance for families who otherwise could not afford a Trinity education, equipment/furniture replacement, and facility enhancements.

Your 2016-17 participation will help ensure that Trinity continues to maintain the highest level of academic excellence. It is your investment that keeps the School’s foundation firm and provides the opportunity of a lifetime for every student.

Thank you for your past generosity and continued support. Your gift makes a difference. Tuition does not cover the full cost of a Trinity education.

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli, M. Ed.

Head of School

Monday Message 7/17/17

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

The strength of Trinity Episcopal School lies in the steadfast faculty and staff that are deeply committed to the education of children, our amazing parents, and our remarkable Galveston community. One of the major recommendations from the 2014 Accreditation was to continue to move forward in terms of innovation, technology, and global connectivity. Our teachers are “all in,” they will be given new laptops and all classrooms will have laptops to be utilized in learning centers. As the Head of School my goal is to support our teachers and the educational experience of your children. These technology initiatives could not have taken place without our Technology team, the generosity of those who gave to the 2016-2017 Annual Fund and our School Board of Trustees.

Lastly, Trinity has a new and comprehensive website and the primary goal of Trinity’s website is to inform our community and prospective families about all the wonderful events, activities, and work that is happening within the community and in your student(s) classes. As we move into our 65th year we must stay ahead of the times. Lessons will come alive as teachers instruct and motivate our students with 21st century tools.

  • Visit the website on your phone or laptop:
  • To view and add our Master Calendar, scroll to the bottom of any page and click the “Calendar” button
  • To access My BackPack, scroll to the bottom of any page and click the “My BackPack” button
  • Note Well: The new website will go live over the course of today, July 17th


With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli, M. Ed.

Head of School

Monday Message 7/10/17

Dear Families of Trinity Episcopal School,

Time and time again, I have heard, the number one reason people attend Trinity Episcopal School is, “Because of the people.” Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you some of the new hires that you will see at Trinity. These people are entrusted with your most prized possession, your children. Every time I interview a potential candidate this is at the forefront of my decision to ensure we, are not only delivering a top-notch program, but that your children are loved, safe, and cared for.

Director of Beginning School, Missi Love: Missi is coming from the Awty International School in Houston, TX and she has a background in elementary education. Mrs. Love has served as a classroom teacher, math coordinator, and literacy coach at independent schools in the United States and abroad. A proud Louisiana native married to a fellow educator, Missi and her husband love to travel and spend time in Louisiana and Honduras connecting with family. Missi has been working diligently with Mrs. Harrington throughout the month of June to ensure a smooth transition happens at the Beginning School.

Stephanie Frye, Educational Resource: Mrs. Frye graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Special Education in May 2011. She holds current teaching certificates in SPED K-12, Math 9-12, Generalist K-6, and Pedagogies and Procedures. During her studies, she worked in many different settings and age levels including intermediate English resource, elementary general inclusion, and many different classrooms specializing in Autism. After graduating, Stephanie began working for Clear Lake High School as an inclusion teacher in various subjects with a case load of about twenty students served in SPED. In addition to that, she worked with students at risk of dropping out and taught an Algebra resource class.

After two years at CLHS, she returned to her alma mater, Trinity Episcopal School. Mrs. Frye has been at Trinity for four years teaching middle school Literature, Algebra, Ancient Civilizations, and Geography. She loves co-sponsoring the Trinity Charger Cheerleaders. She currently resides in Galveston with her daughter and two dogs. Mrs. Frye will be not only working with students with learning differences, but the gifted and talented students. She is interchanging the learning lab pull-out program model with a true differentiated model of servicing all Trinity students in a classroom setting!

Nick McIntyre, Innovation Lab: Mr. McIntyre taught his first class as a college sophomore and spent the last decade training, teaching and tutoring in a variety of settings. His students range from third graders learning Scratch at Camp Charger to STEM undergrads at schools including Berkeley, Duke, Stanford and Vanderbilt. Nick grew up in Galveston and is an avid skateboarder, surfer and reader. His dog, Van Gogh, listens patiently while Nick practices Japanese and the piano. Nick completed his pedagogy training through Texas Teachers and earned a BS in Engineering with Honors and MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. The Learning Lab serviced 18 students on a weekly basis and the Innovation Lab will be available to all Trinity students. The Innovation Lab will feature a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) setting, with a maker space for problem solving, coding and robotics. Mr. McIntyre will also be our webmaster and next week I will share how you will be directed to experience our fresh, new Trinity website!

Debbie Rushing, Grade 3: Debbie is excited to be in a dynamic place to learn and teach. She received her BS from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and earned an Early Childhood -6th grade teaching credential through iteachTEXAS. This upcoming school year will begin her 10th year of teaching. In her spare time she enjoys running, going to the beach, watching sports, and spending time with the family. She has a wonderful husband and two lovely children and a dog named Skipper.

Jenna Krinock, Grade 2: Jenna graduated from Texas A&M University in 2008 and received her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies – whoop! Gig em’ Aggies! Mrs. Krinock had the privilege of long term subbing for Mrs. Schwab this past spring and getting to know the close-knit community at Trinity, She shared with me, “She knew she was in a very special school when all of the parents surprised their kiddos and boogied with them to, Can’t Stop the Feeling during May Fete!” Jenna has had the experience teaching in a dual language, private, and public-school setting. Before settling down and teaching in Texas, she traveled, taught, and volunteered in New Zealand, Australia, and Central America. In addition, she completed a Teaching English as a Foreign Language course in Costa Rica, where she taught both children and adults. Currently, she is teaching English online to students in China. “I love learning about different cultures and strive to bring new and interesting ideas from all over the world into the classroom.”

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli M. Ed.

Head of School

Monday Message 7/3/17

Dear Trinity Families,

I hope you are having a wonderful summer break, filled with opportunities to learn, grow and spend some quality time with your loved ones. I look forward to our sixty-fifth year of excellence as an independent school, and I am very eager to meet everyone throughout the upcoming months and share my vision for where our school is heading. I am honored to have been chosen as your next Head of School, and after two months of becoming acclimated to the community, I am certain this is an excellent match. It has been a busy past few months working next to Fr. Dearman, sitting face to face with teachers and witnessing such an enthusiastic and dedicated school community. My official start date is July 1st; however, I was able to meet with the entire faculty on June 2nd to begin planning for next school year. We spent an entire day at the Rosenberg Library planning, visioning and learning from each other how best to serve your children.

There is so much information to share and so many new and innovative things happening at Trinity that it is vital to get the information to you sooner than later; therefore, I will be sending you a Monday Message each and every Monday throughout the summer. These messages will focus on People, Program, and Policy.  Some of the electrifying things happening soon will be the launching of our new website, an Innovation Lab being created on our campus, and the hiring of a full-time maintenance person. In the upcoming weeks, I will share more about our new people and some innovative program accompaniments to ensure you are getting the correct information.

Our school will continue to be a highly regarded learning community on Galveston Island. We will inspire each child to achieve his/her highest potential by promoting intellectual, physical and spiritual growth, (Mind, Body and Spirit) in a safe and nurturing community. Our standards will be set high as we provide a strong PreK-8 academic program, believing that we must seek out in each individual the very best of who they are. The strengths of Trinity Episcopal School lie in the steadfast faculty and staff that are deeply committed to the education of your children accompanied by a top-notch school/home partnership. The community of Trinity is what attracted me most to TES. I am very excited to begin my tenure as the sixth Head of school and I am most eager in meeting your children in our 65th year of excellence!

Please save the date for Monday, August 14th starting at 5:45 in our church for a Back to School Parent Orientation (Adults Only). Your feedback is valued and I can be reached at

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli, M.Ed.

Head of School