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

Monday Message 3/5/18

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

Interview with God
by: Author Unknown

I dreamed I had an interview with God.
“Come in,” God said. “So, you would like to interview Me?”
“If you have the time,” I said.
God smiled and said “My time is eternity. It is enough to do everything. What questions do you have in mind to ask me?”
I asked, “What surprises you most about mankind?”

God thought for a few moments and then answered “That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.
That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.
That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.
That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived”

God placed my hands in His and we were silent for awhile. Then I asked,
“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons you want your children to learn?”
God replied with a smile “To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is to let themselves be loved.
To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but whom they have in their lives.
To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. All will be judged individually on their own merits, not as a group on a comparison basis.

To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.
To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.
To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness. To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings.

To learn that money can buy everything but happiness.
To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally differently.
To learn that a true friend is someone who knows everything about them… and likes them anyway.
To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves.”

I sat there for awhile enjoying my visit with God.
I thanked Him for His time and for all that He has done for my family and me.
He replied, “Anytime. I’m here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is ask for me, and I’ll answer.”

With warmest regards,

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

Monday Message 2/26/18

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

Much of this Monday Message is from my August 25th Monday Message. Schools of the twenty-first century are expected to provide a level of safety and security unprecedented in the history of education. At Trinity we have responded with a myriad of strategies to strengthen safety and security on our campus. Ever vigilant, the School’s Board, Administrative Team, Faculty and Staff are forever considering… what if?

Since the August 25th writing, Vegas, Summerlin Springs, and Parkland are places that are forever changed. Our intentional program of risk planning and mitigation begins on the first day of school when all Faculty and Staff thoroughly review Emergency Procedures. Our comprehensive review has included procedures related to disaster and survival skills, emergency communication, safe room-lock down, and active shooter on campus, emergency response procedures and protocols. These are reviewed and talked about throughout the school year.

Planning, preparation and practice are the keys to successful risk and emergency management, and we will continue to promote these strategies to the school community. Our Middle School students will be educated on, “if you see something, say something” later this week. We meet with local law enforcement agencies, review best practices in school safety and existing laws, talk with first responders and talk with other Head of Schools and leaders to ensure we are attentive to the vulnerability of our campus. Our preschool fence is being raised and I will continue to stay proactive to the school’s needs. Our primary goal in the event of an emergency is to be as prepared as possible and to maintain calm and well-being of our children and everyone else at Trinity.

Please be advised that our alternate dismissal place is First Baptist at 822 23rd Street directly across Ball Street. If we are in lock-down, you will not be allowed into the school and local police will direct parents to the alternate dismissal site.

For more helpful information, valuable statistics and insights, I encourage you to read this link: https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/stopping-school-violence-the-latest-trends/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=022518.4

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 2/19/18

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

This year, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day were combined with Grandparents and Special Friends Day. After the Ash Wednesday Service, our special guests were honored with a special reception in which our choir and PK4 students performed magnificently. Faculty and staff helped make the day a memorable event by inviting our guests to visit classrooms and see first-hand what a typical day at Trinity is like. Students toured the school with their grandparents, who gained knowledge on the various enrichment classes such as: Art, Spanish, music, technology, piano, library, science and the Innovation lab. As one student shared, “I was able to spend some quality time with my Nana, sharing all that I do during my waking hours on my campus.” Students took much pride in sharing with their loved ones and showcasing their school.

I am reading How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character, by Paul Tough. Tough shares that often we adults believe childhood success comes from intelligence, hard work and high-test scores. Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter most have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, pride and self-control than to do with intelligence. He also discussed how important it is to learn to fail. We as educators call this Grit.

The unspoken message of love and trust is paramount in a child’s development not only from parents, but from our grandparents. I believe one of the greatest things about Trinity is the level of trust between teachers and students and the level of trust between our teachers and parents. It is okay to fail, and it is okay for the students to fumble and muddle through the lessons in an atmosphere of acceptance and inquiry. We do have high standards and the children are expected to try their best, but they are also expected to be challenged and sometimes even fail. Those are the best lessons. Grandparents spoil their grandchildren; however, when they call their grandchild out on something most children will listen intently and heed their advice. The quality time you provided for your parents and children was immeasurable. Time is by far the most prized commodity and I thank you for sharing your extended family with our community. Most student went out to lunch with their grandparents and together they were able to create lasting memories.

A special “Thank you” to our loving parent Todd Schott, owner/operator of Chopin Mon Ami Catering for hosting and donating the refreshments for our Grandparent and Special Friends’ Day reception!

*Note: Randy Garcia, Juan Gonzalez, Randy Woods and myself were able to walk the campus Friday morning. We now have a solid punch list for the campus Workday. In looking at shrubs from the winter freeze and creating this punch list, we all agree we need an extra week to prepare for this all-important day. Juan Gonzalez is getting married on the 24th and it will be significant for Juan to be present for the workday. e.g. tools, organization, safety and materials. This will also give the shrubs another week to see if they will need to be removed or just cut back.

Therefore, we will need to push back the workday until Saturday, March 3rd. This will give us ample time to prepare resources and be very intentional with the work needed.

Thank you for understanding.

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 2/12/18

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

I had the opportunity to work with Jacob Hart in grade 5 this past week. Jacob was the Head of School for the day and together we were able to visit every classroom, have lunch off campus (thank you Taquilos) and witness amazing activities. Hear are just a few: Mrs. Neblett-tapeworms and what lives inside of you, Mrs. Charpentier-Shakespeare, Mr. Wheeler- Area and perimeter, Beginning School-Move and Groove, Kindergarten was getting their wiggles out and Kennedy lost her tooth, grades 1 and 2 gave great suggestions on how best to improve the school, Senor Rincon-mapping out their homes and labeling the rooms in Spanish, grade 3-Sarah, Plain and Tall, Mrs. Noyes was creating valentine’s cards during art, Innovation Lab-learning code with RoboBlocky, Mrs. Newton-the water cycle, Mrs. Kelemen-multiplication, Mrs. Shaffner-helping verbs, Mrs. Miller study skills, technology was working on effective searches on the world wide web.

Progress reports went out on Friday and teachers work diligently to ensure they know your child well and what methods of instruction or Best Practices motivate your child to learn. “A positive parent-teacher relationship helps your child feel good about school and helps them to be successful in school,” advises Diane Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education at Wheelock College. “It demonstrates to your child that he can trust his teacher because you do. This positive relationship makes a child feel like the important people in his life are working together.” Communicating well is a key factor for making this relationship work. “Communication on both sides is extremely important,” notes teacher Susan Becker, M. Ed. “The parents need information about what and how their child is learning, and the teacher needs important feedback from the parent about the child’s academic and social development.” But communicating effectively a busy teacher can be challenging. When’s the right time to talk — and when isn’t? How can you get the teacher’s attention? What should you bring up with her with and what should be left alone? And how do you do this without coming across like an overanxious pain in the you-know-what?

Check out these strategies for making the relationship work.

Approach this relationship with respect. Treat the teacher-parent-child relationship the way you would any important one in your life. Create a problem-solving partnership, instead of confronting a teacher immediately with what’s wrong. “Meet with a teacher to brainstorm and collaborate ways to help your child, instead of delivering a lecture,” recommends Susan Becker, M. Ed.

Let your child develop his own relationship with the teacher. “This is one of the first relationships with an adult your child may have outside the family unit. If you take a back seat and let the relationship develop without much interference, a special bond may develop,” advises guidance counselor Linda Lendman. “For young children, the teacher-child relationship is a love relationship,” adds Michael Thompson, Ph.D. “In fact, it may be their first love relationship after their parents and it can be pretty powerful and wonderful.”

Remember how you liked (or disliked) your teachers. Your experience at school is likely to affect your attitude toward your child’s teacher. “It’s important to leave your own baggage at the door, so you can talk about your child with the teacher (and not about you!)” adds Michael Thompson, Ph.D.

Find the right time to speak to the teacher. Always ask the teacher if she has time to talk at that moment, or better yet, when it might be convenient for her to do so. If a conference is not coming up soon, ask if you can make an appointment for a brief conversation. “Don’t expect to have an extended conversation during drop-off and pick-up,” advises teacher Susan Becker, M. Ed. “Mornings and after school can actually be quite hectic times. The teacher may appear free but she’s not.”

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 2/5/18

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity

ANNUAL FUND UPDATE:
We have received more than $110,000 in gifts and pledges to the Annual Fund, with 100% participation from our Board of Trustees and our faculty and staff and 36% parent participation. If you have not contributed now is the time.

The Annual Fund is essential to maintaining the standards of excellence Trinity has enjoyed for over 65 years. Each gift to the Annual Fund is set to immediate use for the good of the school and our children. Monies raised this year have been used for tangible things such as: water fountains, the large curtain divider in the MAC, curriculum software and our revolutionary Innovation Lab. Gifts also support ongoing teacher education, upgrades to our technology infrastructure, I.T. support, and the undertaking of our strategic plan (Vision 2023). My priority is always ensuring our school is safe. We have purchased an Emergency Notification System to coordinate with your information through My BackPack to ensure all families are immediately notified if there is an emergency or communication of significance. You will receive a test notification at 3:15 today. If your family is not notified, please go to My BackPack and confirm that your current contact information is up to date and then reply to this email.

Our current parents are the key to the success of the Annual Fund in three ways; first, our goal is to get 100% parent participation. A gift of any size, from every family, shows outside funding sources, and our accrediting agencies, that our parents believe in what we do. Secondly, parents’ opinions are valued and considered in setting priorities for the future of Trinity and lastly, a strong Annual Fund keeps tuition stable. It is not only about the money you give, but your support and feedback of our programs, such as the survey you filled out last month. Thank you to all who participated.

Together, we will continue to provide an excellent education that encourages our students to be the best of who they are and to ensure future years of academic excellence. Thank you for having faith in Trinity and investing in your child’s future.

With warm regards,

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