Monday Message 3/18

March 18, 2019

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

Making learning powerful and engaging students to a point where they are motivated to master a concept is an art most teachers work on daily. For some, this takes years and years of practice, and for others, it is a natural talent. The art of teaching manifests in many shapes and sizes, and a teacher’s personality is woven into each lesson with precision and thoughtful guidance.

Research suggests that teachers begin to develop their expertise in initiating and managing a classroom with a small number of objectives and an assessment to ensure mastery of an objective. For some, this can take six or seven years before it comes naturally. The teacher’s manual that accompanies a commercial reading series is filled with low-level, literal questions – Trinity teachers plan each lesson ensuring they can take our children to the next level with teacher-managed discussions in which they work to involve all the students.  Our teachers continually expand outside the box to make each lesson relatable, relevant and real; bringing that basic level of mastery to a higher level. They build on a child’s prior knowledge.  They discuss with their colleagues about creativity and taking risks within their classroom to ensure they are inspiring and engaging all students.

At Trinity, you will not see a teacher in front of a classroom lecturing; instead, you will see differentiated instruction. Cooperative grouping, teacher-directed and self-directed opportunities to practice give children the opportunity to master an objective. I watch structured chaos begin to take shape as all members of the classroom are inspired to give it a go. Picture a class of 18 with 9 pairs having whisper talk about a topic and watching a lightbulb appear over a child’s head. For our teachers, this is the tangible reward that cannot be put into words. This happens daily and, in some classes, up to a dozen times as students are exposed to the four core classes of Reading, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies alongside Spanish, Music, Religion, Art and Physical Education.

An independent school has an opportunity and obligation to engage students to have peer to peer discussion while providing modeling to demonstrate appropriate ways to disagree. Love, respect, compassion, integrity, and perseverance are words that are important to our curriculum; and together parents and teachers are making a difference.

In addition to an exceptional classroom experience, we offer resources beyond the classroom that provide an extension to the learning begun within. Our Homework Lab, Tutoring, and Learning Lab work in tandem with the classroom teacher to further reinforce and individualize concepts to the learning needs of the student. These resources are an important aspect of Trinity, some of which are made possible in part thanks to former faculty. To that end, I am pleased to invite you to Morning Chapel on Thursday, March 21st. Please join us as we dedicate the Michelle Jewell Funston Learning Lab, in special recognition of a masterful teacher who truly exemplified what it means to make learning personal and special for each student.

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 3/4

March 4, 2019

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

The Trinity Community is a community of love. The people of our community keep us grounded in what is important in life. I recognize that every moment is an opportunity; with every new day, we experience a sense of belonging to something very special and bigger than ourselves. The children of Trinity demonstrate this to me daily. This community helps me to recognize that no one person is bigger, better, or more important than another. In our 67 years of existence, the Trinity Community has stepped up time and time again to ensure those that surround us are safe, secure and feeling very special.

Our sense of trust and the attention to the small things is what makes us so unique. The universe is made up of pure energy, the nature of which is to move and flow. When we tune into the rhythm of the universe, we can give and receive freely, knowing that we never really lose anything but constantly gain. When we give our energy, we make space for more to flow into us. As we give, we also receive.

This coming Friday is another day of community building and creating that sense of belonging as we celebrate with grandparents and special friends. This is a special day designed for our grandparents and special friends to experience TES with a chapel, reception and lastly, visiting the classrooms. Following class visits, many children leave with their special mentor and receive some personal attention sharing a quiet lunch off campus. This Friday is a half day, and school activities are generally finished by 11:30. Dismissal is from the classrooms, and this will begin our spring break.

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 2/25

February 25. 2019

Dear Trinity Parents,

This past Friday was the deadline for re-enrollment. To the families of the students who completed re-enrollment before the deadline, I sincerely thank you!

Respecting deadlines is important and something we try to instill in our children at a young age. We ask students to complete homework within a certain set time, projects have deadlines, and realistic goals are set with an allotted time to complete. I believe that setting deadlines ensures good planning, solid communication, and conveys respect. Deadlines hold everyone accountable, and our dedication to an organization can often be judged by whether we honor assigned deadlines.

I ask that those families who missed the deadline and are planning to re-enroll their children at Trinity for next year, do so as soon as possible. Teacher contracts for next year will be going out shortly, and those contracts are based on enrollment. If I cannot get a solid read on our enrollment, then I cannot give teacher contracts out in a timely fashion. Importantly, please be advised that your child’s spot is no longer reserved; and per the Week At A Glance announcements that began December 2018, each student’s account will be charged the $75 new student fee in addition to the enrollment deposit and PTO dues.

Thank you for your commitment to Trinity and helping us plan for the future.

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli,

Head of School

Monday Message 2/18

February 18, 2019

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

In this 67th year of excellence, the Board of Trustees and I decided to share with you our State of the School from last Tuesday. Parents, faculty, staff, parishioners, alumni, and friends of Trinity came together as a community to support the state of our school. In keeping with our theme of, “Creating a Sense of Belonging” and for those unable to attend, below is a link to what was shared that evening.

http://bit.ly/2019StateOfTrinity

I look forward to celebrating our success with the Spring Fling, please save the evening of Friday, April 12th. Thank you to ALL who did attend last Tuesday and for celebrating with us.

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 2/4

February 4, 2019

 

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

 

The Episcopal schools in the Diocese of Texas serve over 11,000 children and their families with enriching programs from Pre-K through High School. It is the mission of the Diocese to ensure that our schools are healthy, safe environments in which children can learn, grow and thrive. Trinity Episcopal School will have a Safeguarding God’s Children class on Tuesday, February 26th at 6:00 pm in Kelso Library. This class is beneficial for any parents that want to keep their child safe from sexual predators.

 

  • Anyone who plans to be on campus (volunteer, chaperone overnight trips, drive for field trips, lunch monitor, etc.) more than 6 hours this year needs to be Safeguarding Gods Children (SGC) certified.
  • People are not added to the class until they complete all of the steps: interview, application, and background checkSTEPS to ATTEND
  • You cannot show up on the day of the class to be certified without completing these steps.
  • Rachel Brown will be the contact person for completing the steps and registering for the class. Please message Ms. Brown at rbrown@tesgalv.org to reserve your space.
  • If you are unable to attend the February class, we will offer another class on campus sometime this summer. You are also welcome to check the Diocese website and find an open class at another church/school.
  • Safeguarding is a 5-year certification. If you would like to check your SGC status, please contact Rachel Brown at rbrown@tesgalv.org
  • Volunteers are responsible for the cost of their background check.

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 1/28

January 28, 2019

 

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

 

This past Thursday, our PTO hosted the second workshop on Social Emotional Learning featuring our very own Dr. Beth Auslander. The discussion reminded me of a book I read by Paul Tough titled How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character. Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter most for children’s success have more to do with E.Q. (emotional Quotient and less to do with I.Q. Intelligent Quotient). Character traits like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control trump over intelligence.

 

I had the opportunity to hear Paul Tough speak in 2016, and he shared, “There are some kids growing up with way too much adversity in their lives and what they need more than anything is protection from that adversity. On the other end, kids who grow up in affluence, who just don’t have enough adversity in their lives have difficulty coping later on in life.”  I think that is a hard message for parents to hear. In trying to protect them from adversity, we can sometimes do more harm than good.  Both Auslander and Tough share how important it is for children to learn how to fail.

 

We can help build a child’s character by letting them fail. We call this, “Grit.” I remember learning to ride a bicycle and failing. The thrill of finally getting it was a feeling like no other.  The feeling of accomplishment surpassed the scraped knees and the comfort of playing it safe. I became determined to succeed; I know this experience was one that helped build my character. The fondest memory of all was my dad “letting go” of the bike and trusting that it would be okay. The unspoken message of love and trust is paramount in a child’s emotional development.

 

Parents can get very wrapped up in the day-to-day successes and failures of their kids. Parents sometimes take failures too seriously as sort of a wound to their own self-esteem and their own sense of identity, and this can be damaging to children. I think one of the greatest messages we can give to our children is, “It is okay to fail.” The underlining message last Thursday was that we as parents and educators must continue to have high standards and challenge our children always to try their best; while helping them to understand that learning and growing from mistakes is an important part of the process.

 

With warm regards,

Mark J. Ravelli

 

 

Mark Ravelli / Head of School

Trinity Episcopal School

720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550

409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org

Monday Message 1/21

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

I am intrigued with brain research; after all, I am in the cognitive brain business. According to a new field of research on decision fatigue covered by The New York Times Magazine, the avalanche of decisions we are confronted with every day takes a toll. One study in the article found attached shared, that judges grant parole to inmates who have appointments first thing in the morning 70 percent of the time. By the end of the day, inmates have less than a 10 percent chance of being released from prison. Why? Having expended all their decision-making energies, they choose the least risky proposition: the status quo.

Children are making a series of decisions all day long, “should I talk to this person, does my pencil need to be sharpened, should I listen and answer the next question?” People experience what psychologists refer to as “ego depletion” — that is, a loss of willpower. In experiment after experiment, researchers have found that not only do our powers of intelligent decision-making decline after making lots of decisions; ego depletion inclines us to avoid decisions altogether. (This explains why core classes happen early in the morning.) The subsequent loss of impulse control also explains the willpower of bad habits at the end of a long day: most behavior problems happen later in the day. This research has huge implications for how we educate and motivate our children.

Our children have so many options, so many channels, so many privileges that they are exhausted by too many trivial choices. So, the next time you’re tempted to give kids yet another choice: oatmeal or cereal, banana or grapes? Think again! (Or rather, decide for them!) Preserve their willpower for planning.  It is important to raise a good decision maker; however, it is important to avoid decision-making overload; “This morning we are having oatmeal!” or “Tonight we are watching a family show!”

People who intuitively understand this conserve their energies by relying on other strategies to avoid decision-maker overload: they develop a habit. Strict routines and habits around sleeping, exercise, screen time, eating, and studying pay dividends down the road by training children to do certain prescribed behaviors (e.g. Go to sleep when you’re tired, brush your teeth, read books in bed), thereby avoiding the myriad possible decisions that could have harmful consequences. After all, we are the adults, and they are the children. Parents can make such a huge impact on kids’ long-term success quite apart from big influencers like high-quality schooling or your child’s innate talents

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 1/14

January 14, 2019

 

Dear Trinity Parents/Guardians:

 

Trinity Episcopal School has served thousands of students and their families in an educational community marked by compassion, faith, intellectual curiosity, service to others and academic rigor. As we look forward to the 2019-2020 school year, we are excited to announce the opening of our online enrollment process on Friday, February 1, 2019.  We are deeply grateful for all the members of the Trinity community who have contributed so much to make our school flourish and are continually committed to providing a well-rounded educational experience that prepares students for future success.

 

The Board of Trustees and administration have worked carefully to establish a budget for the 2019-2020 academic year that will allow Trinity to move forward with confidence. The primary source of funding for all aspects of our school’s life derives from tuition.  The Annual Fund campaign also provides critical funds which allow us to meet our goals and provide the caliber of education you have come to expect from Trinity.

 

Trinity’s Board of Trustees recently approved the fee schedule for the 2019-2020 school year.  To keep up with inflation and raise faculty salaries and benefits, the tuition rates for 2019-2020 will increase 5% with a 3% discount for those electing to either pay in full or make semi-annual payments. The schedule of 2019-2020 Tuition and Fees is published on the school website under the Admissions Tab.

 

We are proud that we have continued to offer the best academic experience on the island for over 67 years. Please help us spread the word about the value of a Trinity education.

 

Thank you again for choosing Trinity.

 

Truly yours,

Mark Ravelli                                                   Catherine Garrison

Head of School                                               President, TES Board of Trustees

 

 

Monday Message 1/7

Dear Friends and Families of Trinity,

Welcome back from the Holidays! I hope your time with family and friends was blessed and refreshing.

As we begin the new calendar year, it is a good time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.

May God make your year a happy one!

Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,

But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;

Not by making your path easy,

But by making you sturdy to travel any path;

Not by taking hardships from you,

But by taking fear from your heart;

Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,

But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;

Not by making your life always pleasant,

But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,

and by making you anxious to be there to help.

God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.

In the process of our ongoing preparation and planning for the future of Trinity, we are continually looking for ways to advance the mission of our community while preserving the elements you value.  Your opinion and perspective are important to us. Therefore I ask you to participate in our annual survey.  This survey is designed to help inform the Board of Trustees and the administrative team of our current school climate as we continue to build a positive parent/school relationship.

 

To begin the 3-5 minute survey, please click on the link below:

http://bit.ly/TES_18-19-annual-survey

Your time is greatly appreciated.

 

Mark Ravelli / Head of School

 

 

Trinity Episcopal School

720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550

409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org

Monday Message 12/17

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

 

Beginning in December, our school Chapel services guided students, staff, and families to anticipate the Christmas holiday by including the themes of preparation and reflection.  Near the beginning of each Tuesday and Thursday Chapel (in the season called Advent), a student came forward to light a candle on the Advent Wreath, and the congregation sang “Light One Candle” by Natalie Sleeth.  Candles are lit in increasing numbers with each week, so they serve as a way to mark the passing of time as the holiday grows nearer.  As always, parents, grandparents, and Trinity Church friends are welcome and encouraged to attend Chapel.  The School worship schedule is posted on the school website under the School Life Tab.

 

School dismisses for Christmas Break at Noon on Thursday, December 20, the same day as the Beginning School traditional holiday Musicale (9:00 AM) and the K-8 combined Festival of Lessons and Carols (10:30 AM).  Both of these events will be held in the historic sanctuary of Trinity Episcopal Church.

 

The student choir under the direction of Laura Hyatt represents Trinity and brings holiday cheer to our great city, including local banks, Saengerfest, the Galvez Tree Lighting ceremony, the local Rotary, and the Meridian Retirement community. I thank them for representing Trinity and giving their time to our community to brighten up others.

On behalf of the Trinity Episcopal School community, I wish you all a blessed and joyous holiday season! We will return to school on Monday, January 7th, 2019.

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli / Head of School

 

 

Trinity Episcopal School

720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550

409.765.9391 https://tesgalv.org