Back To School Parent Letter

Dear Trinity Families,

Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year at Trinity Episcopal School.

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-sixth year as a school. Teachers are busy planning engaging lessons and many of them have been on campus throughout the summer months. Below are short bios on our new, and some not so new, faculty personnel.

Elizabeth Allain, Grade 1: Mrs. Allain is Neuhaus Reading Trained and has eight years of teaching experience in the lower grades. She has an early childhood through third grade certification and is a graduate of LSU. Her previous teaching experience includes the Fay School and St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Houston.

Taylor Williams, Grade 1: Mrs. Williams has an Elementary Education degree from Texas A&M University. Her certifications include Special Education and English as a Second Language.  She has ten years of experience as an educator.  She taught fourth grade for one year in Dickinson ISD and taught third grade for six years in Texas City ISD.  She also has experience as a Special Education inclusion teacher in TCISD for three years where she provided in-class support and pull out services for students in Kindergarten through fourth grade.

Kathryn Colvin, Grade 4: Mrs. Colvin majored in English at University of Houston and earned a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University in California where she focused on children’s literature and school librarianship. Mrs. Colvin has 6 years of experience teaching in Taiwan and California. She taught English with a focus in writing at the Marin School in California. Mrs. Colvin has a love of teaching ELA at the secondary level.

Janice Brown, Grade 5: Ms. Brown graduated from Texas Southern University and has taught at Trinity in the past. She has 24 years of teaching experience and will also work closely with Jeremy Johnson in the Extended Day program. She is bilingual and is a commissioned lay chaplain.  She has a love for mathematics and science. Ms. Brown has been working hard throughout the summer preparing with Kelly Shaffner.

Kelli Acosta, Middle School Science: Mrs. Acosta graduated from Texas A&M University.  She previously worked in the middle school as the Administrative Assistant to the Middle School. Mrs. Acosta is an experienced science teacher who taught in the Galveston Independent School District for four years. She knows our students, parents, and school well. She has been working closely with Amy Neblett and Donna Cucco to ensure a very smooth transition.

Trisha Leimer, Beginning School Director: Mrs. Leimer graduated from Texas A&M University and was the East End Assistant Director from 2011-2016. She has been teaching for 20 years and is a very experienced early childhood educator. She has expertise in developing lessons on core subjects that are age appropriate and encompass fine and gross motor skills while being aligned with the TEKS and Texas Minimal Standards for Child Care Centers.

Throughout the summer, the Lead Teachers have had multiple meetings along with working with Jena Krinock on finalizing our ELA/Reading Curriculum Roadmap. Most of the orders are on campus. Stephanie Frye has been working diligently to label and process all materials.

Our school will continue to be a highly regarded learning community in Galveston. We will inspire each child to achieve their highest potential by promoting intellectual, social, physical and spiritual growth, in a safe and nurturing community. Our standards will be set high as we provide a strong PK-8 academic program, believing that we must seek out in everyone the very best of who they are.

Please remember the Back to School Parent Orientation is Monday, August 20th starting at 6:00 pm in the church and the parent Welcome Back Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. on the first day of school. The strength of Trinity Episcopal School lies in its wonderful families and the steadfast faculty and staff that is deeply committed to the education of your children. I am very excited about the upcoming school year and I cannot wait to see you on the 20th and your children on the first day of school!

With warm regards,

Mark J. Ravelli

Head of School

Monday Message 7/30/18

Dear Trinity Families,
Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year at Trinity Episcopal School.
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-sixth year as a school. Teachers are busy planning engaging lessons and many of them have been on campus throughout the summer months. Below are short bios on our new, and some not so new, faculty personnel.

Elizabeth Allain, Grade 1: Mrs. Allain is Neuhaus Reading Trained and has eight years of teaching experience in the lower grades. She has an early childhood through third grade certification and is a graduate of LSU. Her previous teaching experience includes the Fay School and St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Houston.

Taylor Williams, Grade 1: Mrs. Williams has an Elementary Education degree from Texas A&M University. Her certifications include Special Education and English as a Second Language. She has ten years of experience as an educator. She taught fourth grade for one year in Dickinson ISD and taught third grade for six years in Texas City ISD. She also has experience as a Special Education inclusion teacher in TCISD for three years where she provided in-class support and pull out services for students in Kindergarten through fourth grade.

Kathryn Colvin, Grade 4: Mrs. Colvin majored in English at University of Houston and earned a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University in California where she focused on children’s literature and school librarianship. Mrs. Colvin has 6 years of experience teaching in Taiwan and California. She taught English with a focus in writing at the Marin School in California. Mrs. Colvin has a love of teaching ELA at the secondary level.

Janice Brown, Grade 5: Ms. Brown graduated from Texas Southern University and has taught at Trinity in the past. She has 24 years of teaching experience and will also work closely with Jeremy Johnson in the Extended Day program. She is bilingual and is a commissioned lay chaplain. She has a love for mathematics and science. Ms. Brown has been working hard throughout the summer preparing with Kelly Shaffner.

Kelli Acosta, Middle School Science: Mrs. Acosta graduated from Texas A&M University. She previously worked in the middle school as the Administrative Assistant to the Middle School. Mrs. Acosta is an experienced science teacher who taught in the Galveston Independent School District for four years. She knows our students, parents, and school well. She has been working closely with Amy Neblett and Donna Cucco to ensure a very smooth transition.

Trisha Leimer, Beginning School Director: Mrs. Leimer graduated from Texas A&M University and was the East End Assistant Director from 2011-2016. She has been teaching for 20 years and is a very experienced early childhood educator. She has expertise in developing lessons on core subjects that are age appropriate and encompass fine and gross motor skills while being aligned with the TEKS and Texas Minimal Standards for Child Care Centers.

Throughout the summer, the Lead Teachers have had multiple meetings along with working with Jena Krinock on finalizing our ELA/Reading Curriculum Roadmap. Most of the orders are on campus. Stephanie Frye has been working diligently to label and process all materials.

Our school will continue to be a highly regarded learning community in Galveston. We will inspire each child to achieve their highest potential by promoting intellectual, social, physical and spiritual growth, in a safe and nurturing community. Our standards will be set high as we provide a strong PK-8 academic program, believing that we must seek out in everyone the very best of who they are.

Please remember the Back to School Parent Orientation is Monday, August 20th starting at 6:00 pm in the church and the parent Welcome Back Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. on the first day of school. The strength of Trinity Episcopal School lies in its wonderful families and the steadfast faculty and staff that is deeply committed to the education of your children. I am very excited about the upcoming school year and I cannot wait to see you on the 20th and your children on the first day of school!

With warm regards,
Mark J. Ravelli
Head of School

Monday Message 5/14/18

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

An educational institution of quality must have in place certain basic and proven constants that provide an infrastructure for achievement and excellence. Trinity’s curriculum, for example, is one that comprehensively incorporates a skill base that is challenging. It is designed in such a way that it will ensure basic skills acquisition both horizontally by grade level and vertically according to ability and motivational levels. Our 8th-grade students leaving Trinity for high school are well prepared. We have many graduates with professions that make them wealthy beyond their dreams. That wealth is not monetary; it is that they are happy, contributing citizens, with integrity and with much joy in their hearts.

Trinity provides a superior education in part because our size enables thoughtful attention to students as individuals. Each Trinity student must have the opportunity to answer questions, to share new ideas, and to practice skills and concepts. Each teacher should have the opportunity to notice the furrowed brow of confusion or the excited gleam of enlightenment.

Education should not be solely about imparting knowledge but also practicing the art of teaching in a way that requires relationships and genuine communication with students. I am proud to work with such talented educators every day and my top priority is to give them the tools they need to be successful in delivering a superb education for our students. We know we are doing great things when so many fellow educators send their children to our school.

Our parents have entrusted TES to help form who their children are today. It is now time for our graduates to take flight and risks based on their formation and the foundation of a Trinity education. In talking to fellow educators on the island it has become apparent that Trinity students are making quite an impact. One Ball High teacher shared, “I know a Trinity student a mile away, when they are taking notes and through their organization and study skills and just how they carry themselves.” Last week Ball High celebrated “Top 50 in Galveston” and of the 13 Seniors honored, 9 were Trinity Episcopal students. Our own Top 50 celebrated are Cadee Salyer and Caden Henderson. Congratulations to all Trinity graduates, past and present, and thank you parents for entrusting us with your children!

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550
409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org

Monday Message 5/7/18

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to share this poem with you…

If You Didn’t Hear This From Anyone Today
Thanks for all that you did today in your classroom…
For making a million little split second decisions for the benefit of your students.
For putting your own needs on hold and keeping them the focus of your day.
For planning for them long before today ever got rolling.
For changing those plans because they didn’t fit someone who needed a little extra.
For smiling, laughing with them and reassuring their efforts, trials and mistakes.
For placing your hand on a shoulder that was exactly what someone needed.
For getting down on the physical level of your students because it matters.
For thinking of a new way to reach someone who wasn’t getting it.
You matter.
Yes –
You matter.

-Leslie@Kindergartenworks

We love our teachers!

Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550
409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org

Monday Message 4/30/18

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

It is difficult to believe that the school year is almost over, and as I reflected with the faculty over this school year, one area of improvement for our school is committing to a top-notch reading program. One reason for parents to place their children at Trinity is the value found in individualized instruction. Three major changes that our children will experience next school year are in our Reading and Language Arts core classes. We have purchased a new reading program. We have also purchased an adaptive reading module, and most importantly, we are committed to a Reading Interventionist trained in the Neuhaus Reading Program. This person will work with students and teachers in the classroom, in small groups, and in pull–out classes outside the classroom.

For the 2018-2019 school year we are committed to Reading Rigor:

  • pulling out students who qualify for remediation in reading with a full-time Reading Interventionist
  • incorporating the Waterford program for responsive learning for practice in the classroom and at home
  • a new reading program called Journeys that focuses on differentiation for various learners
  • trade books to ensure students are exposed to various genres

The person that takes on the Reading Interventionist role must be willing to follow through with each individual struggling child, keep organized documentation, and be willing to go above and beyond to meet the specific needs of each student in their care. They must also be able to work with the gifted and talented students.

Our reading interventionist for next school year will be Mrs. Kelly Schwab. Mrs. Schwab has an Elementary Education degree with a Reading specialty from The University of Texas at Austin. Mrs. Schwab has 20+ years of teaching experience in the 1st through 3rd grade levels, which are the targeted grades of the students who need the most help in Reading. She taught 3rd grade for five years at GISD and was a Reading Interventionist for 3 years, with a pull-out program tutoring students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade, one on one (Success for All curriculum). She has taught 2nd grade for 16 years (5 years at GISD and the last 11 here at Trinity). Her experience in Reading has exposed her to many effective programs including, but not limited, to Lindamood-Bell, Neuhaus, multisensory Grammar and Scientific Spelling.

What attracted me most to this decision was her ability to work closely with our families and as well as having worked closely with both former Directors of the TES Learning Lab. She will continue her professional development by going through an intensive Neuhaus training this summer. I have witnessed her dedication and commitment to her students throughout this school year. Her consistent teaching style reinforces concepts previously taught. She can identify her students’ strengths and weaknesses and knows when to reteach and enrich when necessary. Her personality is steady, calm, and encouraging. As one teacher shared, “Kelly is truly valued by the Trinity community and has established important relationships with families.”

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550
409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org

Monday Message 4/23/18

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

Thank you to all who attended this year’s Annual Gala to celebrate 65 years of excellence. The enthusiasm and dedication to this year’s Gala “Trinity Tribute” were instrumental to a triumphant evening of fun, food, and friends, as well as, raising money for our school. Parent participation is essential to the success of any school and because of parent volunteers the evening was a huge success. We had close to 170 participants!

Next school year, we will have all parents as members of the PTO and there will be many opportunities to get involved. Please join me this Thursday, April 26th at 5:30 in Eaton Hall for a General PTO meeting. We will hear from our PTO President Rashida Jolivet and I will share the results of the January 2018 Survey and the vision for Trinity’s Future.

Below are the top ten reasons why you should get involved and participate in your child’s school:

#10: It’s good for you. Volunteering provides physical and mental rewards. It:

  • Reduces stress: Experts report that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.
  • Makes you healthier: Moods and emotions, like optimism, joy, and control over one’s fate, strengthen the immune system.

#9: It saves resources. Volunteering provides valuable community services, so more money can be placed in areas for our children. You get to know who does what within our community.

#8: Volunteers gain inter-personal skills and experience.

#7: It brings the Trinity community together. As a volunteer you assist in: Uniting people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal. Building camaraderie and teamwork; it “gets rid of the clicks.”

#6: It promotes personal growth and self-esteem.Understanding community needs helps foster empathy and self-efficacy.

#5: Volunteering strengthens our community. As a volunteer you help:

  • Support your child and it demonstrates you care
  • Improve our school (tutoring, literacy, observations that are missed by others)
  • Beautify the community e.g. campus cleanups, your smiling face know your school

#4: You learn a lot. Volunteers learn things like these:

  • Self: Volunteers discover hidden talents who may change your view of your self-worth.
  • Community: Volunteers gain knowledge of teachers and the people that are with your children daily.

#3: You get a chance to give back. People like to support community resources that they use themselves or which benefit people they care about.

#2: Volunteering encourages civic responsibility. Community service and volunteerism are investments in our community and the people who live in it. This is great modeling for your child.

#1: You make a difference.

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550
409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org

Monday Message 4/16/18

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

This has been a year of growth, education and dreaming of possibilities at Trinity Episcopal School, and I don’t mean just for our students! Our parent body, staff, and parishioners have seen our Annual Fund participation rate grow to unprecedented levels, with 100% support from key constituencies including our teachers, our administration, all other school employees, the school’s Board of Trustees, and the PTO. Support from school families is not yet unanimous, but it is very strong and is anticipated to grow even stronger. I personally want to thank all the families who have given their time and talent for the Trinity Tribute this Friday, April 20th.

Education has played a huge role in the expansion of the Annual Fund, as people have learned about the benefits of tax-deductible giving to the school. Not only do you save money on your taxes, but your generosity allows the school to support you in return. Every day our students visit the Innovation Lab; we utilize the gym divider for events and I watch the children fill their water bottles from the new fountains. In the classrooms technology is utilized in small group settings and teachers have had numerous opportunities for professional development. We have been able to support families that were affected by Hurricane Harvey and safety and security is well-maintained.

These landmark achievements are entirely due to your support of the Annual Fund; in just one year, by any measure, these are tremendous accomplishments for any school, and especially one of our size! Thanks to everyone who has supported the Annual Fund through outright gifts, sponsorship of events, Building Our Future paver purchases, and designated gifts; because of YOU we are able to celebrate the results detailed above, as well as offer tuition assistance, professional staff development, and cover expenses that are not as exciting to detail, but are critical to delivering on our promise to educate your children, nurture their curiosity and creativity, and to help them grow into good citizens of the world. Looking ahead, we dream of what else the Annual Fund can do with your continued support; the possibilities are numerous and exciting.

The Trinity Tribute Gala is a great opportunity to meet new people within our school community, as well as to participate in the spectacular, entertaining TES Class Projects Auction! Don’t miss this chance to purchase a unique piece of your children’s’ creativity. Additionally, I encourage you to peruse the slideshow of the amazing Silent Auction items donated by families and friends of Trinity, available on our school website beginning Tuesday, the 17th. In the meantime, you can find a link to RSVP to our Gala, celebrating 65 years of academic success, at www.tesgalv.org

Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550
409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org

Monday Message 4/9/18

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

We are excited to announce the selection of our new school uniform vendor! Ibiley School Uniform Company has 30 years of service and is one of the largest uniform companies in the country. Of all the available options, Ibiley offers our families the smoothest transition to a new vendor. The goal was to find a partner that offers the most items we already require without sacrificing quality, and Ibiley is able to satisfy these needs at a lower cost than Parker. Choosing another vendor would have meant sweeping changes in the uniform policy and would have required parents to purchase an entirely new uniform wardrobe. Ibiley operates out of Miami, FL but unlike other out-of-state vendors, they have an attentive local representative who also worked for Parker and knows us well.

The closing of Parker has allowed us to strengthen our uniform policy and implement our school colors, in order to raise our school profile. The shopping experience will move completely online with free shipping options and lower prices. Our Ibiley online ordering site will be open by June to give families plenty of time to prepare for the coming school year and Ibiley pledges to make the shopping experience efficient for our families. In addition to an online store, they will have a “fitting” day on campus this summer to allow students to try on and sample the new styles. We will have sample styles and all sizes available at the school for year-round fitting needs as well.

To ease the financial burden and lessen the inconvenience of moving to new uniform items, we will “grandfather” the current items in for 2018-2019 and begin phasing items out at the start of the 2019-2020 school year. We are excited about this new partnership and are confident you will be pleased with Ibiley. Please be on the lookout for more information about the transition and the launch of our new online store.

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550
409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org

Monday Message 3/26/18

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

It is both with sadness and appreciation I am writing to inform you that Mrs. Thomala Walker and Mrs. Amy Gaido have decided not to return to Trinity Episcopal School for the 2018-2019 School year.

Thomala has supported the Trinity community for over two decades in so many ways. She has worn numerous hats, from coordinating parent volunteers to working with Alumni relations, composing our numerous community documents, writing amazing articles for our publications, and most importantly raising record amounts of money for our annual fund to ensure our faculty & staff receive whatever materials needed to support the classrooms and our children. Thomala has truly grown our mission of philanthropy and been instrumental in the admissions of hundreds of students.

Amy has been at Trinity for a dozen years both as a teacher and as an administrator. Mrs. Gaido has been instrumental in the well-being of faculty, staff, parents and students alike. Amy’s energy is amazing, and she will be missed beyond words. Both colleagues have given so much to our community and they will be dearly missed by the administration, the faculty and students.

Moving forward, a plan is in place to ensure a smooth transition for Trinity and our children. The leadership model will consist of our Leadership Team along with the addition of two lead teachers in grades K-2, and 3-5. Donna Cucco will continue to fulfill her role as lead teacher in the middle school. My priority will be to continue to have a safe, collaborative, and supportive school culture.

We wish them the best,

Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550
409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org

Monday Message 3/19/18

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

On Saturday, January 20th we had close to 30 constituents participate in a full day of strategic planning. Key stakeholders representing the Board of Trustees, the TES Leadership Team, and members of the faculty and staff convened at the Rosenberg Library to begin the strategic planning process; Vision 2023! Information from the early January TES survey, focus groups, and individual interviews were compiled and shared along with demographics and data to ensure Trinity Episcopal School has a solid vision for the next five years and into the future. Thank you to all who participated in ensuring David Madison was able to complete his work.

The Board of Trustees has three charges with strategic planning being one of them. The Board of Trustees will spearhead the Strategic Plan and spend the next 30 to 60 days gathering all the information from the report and building TES Vision 2023. That committee’s goal is to have three to four major areas addressed with a plan to better serve our student body, faculty and staff as well as the long-term sustainability of Trinity Episcopal School. On Thursday, April 26th at 5:30 there will be General PTO Meeting in Eaton Hall where I will share the outline of the three to four major areas of focus for our Vision 2023.

*Campus Clean Up: A list of much-needed projects will be posted this Saturday, March 24th 9:00 to Noon.

Feel free to work in teams or alone on a service project. Please bring rakes, brooms, gloves, paint brush and a small bucket for paint. A light breakfast will be served for all volunteers. Community Service Hour forms will be available for middle school students who need them.

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550
409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org