Monday Message 2-22-2021

Dear Trinity Families,

As I plan for each day’s events and challenges that will arise throughout the week, I have found that the word “trust” comes up again and again. As head of school, I cannot do this work without the reservoir of trust that has been built in the school and in the community. It reminds me of Brené Brown’s description of trust as the “stacking of small moments over time,” akin to preparation for COVID, that first week back to school in mid-August and now, our catastrophic freeze accompanied by lack of power and water last week. We have all found opportunities to trust and know that our community is doing the best it can with the information and tools it has before us.

I have witnessed how neighbors, teachers, and parents have treated each other, I have watched students reach out to their peers, and I am in awe. I observe how colleagues patiently inspire each other. We all must show great courage, empathy, and trust in our work. I could go on and on about trust, but I do believe Blaine Lee from the Power Principle says it best: “When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, what is valued most highly." Trust is like a "THINK filter,” we all use this tool all the time. For example, we trust our food in grocery stores or at restaurants is safe, we trust our mechanics, and in dropping off our children at Trinity every day we trust that “all will be well.” Your gut sometimes works better than your brain, and this is important to remember when your children become teenagers. Trust is established over time.

We all continue to trust that our school community is staying safe and making healthy behavioral choices when not on campus and we trust in ourselves to utilize our God-given talents to make our community a little better each day.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou

With gratitude,

Mark Ravelli

Head of School

Monday Message 2-8-2021

Dear Parents,

 

Please join me in welcoming our new Spanish teacher, Ms. Flor Mota, to the Trinity community on Monday, February 15. Mrs. Brown and Ms. Mota collaborated to ensure a smooth transition for our K-5 students, and she has enjoyed setting up her new Spanish classroom. Ms. Mota is a first-generation U.S. citizen and the first in her family to complete a Bachelor's Degree. She received a degree in English at UT Austin in 1999, and a Master's Degree in English from Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School in 2014. Her first language is Spanish, but she quickly learned English as a curious toddler by borrowing her older siblings' class materials and books and watching lots of Sesame Street. This is Ms. Mota's 21st year as a teacher, having taught for all her career in Austin, Texas. She is currently at the Griffin School in Austin through mid-February. Her husband Madison and she share their East End home with three dogs and one kitten. She loves to cook, grill, and bake just about anything. When she's not teaching, Ms. Mota is hanging out with her husband, watching movies (Hitchcock is her favorite), starting books, walking their pups, and exploring their new hometown.

                              

With warm regards,

 

Mark Ravelli

Head of School

Monday Message 2-1-2021

Dear Trinity Families,

 

We must approach this Pandemic not as a sprint, but as a marathon. Normally, when we undertake a run, a fitness challenge, or an exercise class, we tend to break up the task in our minds so that we know how much we have done, and how much we have left to do. I even go so far as checking the wind to make certain that the wind is at my back for that last mile. As humans, we naturally divide tasks into manageable chunks and pace ourselves, both physically and mentally, to ensure we finish strong. But when you take that option away, even the fittest can struggle, no matter how good their endurance is. I do believe that has been my biggest challenge during this pandemic: not knowing when it will end.

 

From my perspective, we have all adjusted, made sacrifices, and trust others now more than ever. Words like pivot, hybrid, epidemiologist, and social distancing have been used more than awesome. This Pandemic has helped many of us to slow down, pace ourselves, and encourage those around us to continue with the challenge. Compassion, self-care, and good listening have evolved, and while every morning does bring on new challenges, with those new tests comes the reality that there will be refueling stations that will keep us moving forward. The route might change again and there might be more hills along the way, but as long as we stay hydrated, we will get through this challenge together. The three main things that have been our cheerleaders along this path are faith, family, and friends.

 

Encourage your children to lean on these three pillars and make certain you congratulate and celebrate all that you have accomplished up to this point as we all keep moving closer towards that finish line. As the co-founder of the NYC Marathon once shared, “It does not matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."

 

With warm regards,

 

Mark Ravelli

Head of School

Monday Message 1-25-2021

Dear Trinity Families,

Sometimes my medicine is the daily act of placing letters on the marquee sign out front. I have a cadre of sayings, and I have shared a few of them below. Please make your Monday a special day and remember:

  1. Every worker makes mistakes (you just hope it is not your pilot).
  2. Sleep is the best medicine.
  3. There is a God.
  4. Dogs keep us all in check.
  5. History is just that, “his story.”
  6. Every master was once a beginner.
  7. Your favorite teacher really did love you.
  8. Technology is only as good as the person using it.
  9. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the present... treat it like a gift.
  10. Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice

I invite you to respond with your favorite inspirational quote; I might just share it in the future.

Make it a great week,

Mark Ravelli

Head of School

Monday Message 1-18-2021

Dear Trinity Families,

The health and safety of our community is my number one priority, and while the latest positivity rate of 12% reported by Galveston County is significantly better than the 20% rate reported at the end of last month, it is still cause for serious concern. This is a good time for each of us to be reminded that the health of our community is dependent upon sensible and cautious personal choices. These choices include the unfailing use of face coverings, keeping physically distant from those outside your family, frequent and thorough handwashing, limited travel, and strict avoidance of all large gatherings. Here at school, we know that our painstaking and multi-layered mitigation strategies are effective and that students are thriving; unlike many schools around the country, our campus has been up and running in person since August. In-person schooling is what is best for most children, and it is our objective to remain open while keeping everyone at Trinity safe.

Along with members of the health and safety task force and other school administrators, I stay in frequent contact with local CDC officials and UTMB doctors, and I want to emphatically ensure you that Trinity is thoughtful and intentional in staying vigilant and nimble in its approach to combating COVID-19. The Health, Safety and Facilities Governing Document is updated routinely to reflect the constantly evolving advice of medical and public health experts and includes links to CDC videos and up-to-date guidance. In particular, I’d like to draw your attention to the following policy updates:

  • If an individual (student or adult employee) has a household member or has had close contact with someone who is experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms (within 48 hours of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms), the individual must stay home from school until the symptomatic person receives COVID-19 test results.
  • If an individual (student or adult employee) has possible COVID-19 symptoms and wishes to return to campus before the required 10-day self-isolation period, they must present negative results of a PCR test. Rapid (including rapid Biofire PCR) test results will not clear a child to return to school if they are showing symptoms.

I am inspired daily by the smiles I see on the faces of students and staff, beaming through the masks. As I have said before, they deserve to know that they are safe, secure, and cared for. During this challenging time, I am grateful for your dedication to the practices aimed at keeping all our Trinity community healthy and safe.

Be Safe,

Mark Ravelli

Head of School

Monday Message 1-11-2021

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. We are deeply grateful to all the members of the Trinity community who have contributed so much to keep our school safe and open throughout this pandemic. Trinity is committed to its tradition of providing a well-rounded educational experience that prepares students for future success. The admission office invites families to re-enroll for next year beginning on Friday, January 22.

 

The board of trustees and administration have worked carefully to establish a budget for the 2021-2022 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. We also depend on the Annual Fund campaign for critical additional funds. These crucial, tax-deductible donations fill the gap between the income tuition generates and the actual yearly cost of running the school.

 

Trinity's board of trustees recently approved the fee schedule for the 2021-2022 school year. To keep up with inflation and to raise faculty salaries and benefits, the tuition rates for 2021-2022 will increase at an average of 3.5% based on the grade level. There will be no increase in enrollment or PTO fees. The schedule of Tuition and Fees is published on the school website under the Admission Tab.

 

We are proud that we have continued to offer the best academic experience on the island for over 68 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 1-5-2021

Dear Trinity Families,

Like many of you, I continue to endure some of the pains of this pandemic. I have yet to see my 8-month granddaughter. Canceling travel plans to see our loved ones over the break was very hard. Yet I am grateful that I am healthy and my wife and I enjoyed a quiet, if different, holiday break.  Many of us did our best to ensure that our children experienced traditional holidays and memorable moments, in a responsible and sensible way, and I greatly appreciate the support that has sustained our Trinity community!

Take the time in 2021 to remind yourself how blessed we all are and do your best to stay positive in lifting each other up. We as a community have been generous with our time, we have been loving in making sacrifices to keep our school open, and I can honestly say, “I do see a light at the end of the tunnel!” Have a healthy and prosperous 2021 and thank you for continuing to be vigilant with our health and safety protocols.

Happy 2021,

Mark Ravelli

Head of School

Monday Message 12-28-2020

Dear Trinity Parents,

This is a friendly reminder that TES is a non-profit organization, under IRS Code Section 501(c)(3), and thus your Annual Fund gift could be tax-deductible. The school’s fiscal year ends on July 31, 2021, and Annual Fund donations may be made anytime before then. However, if you would like to make your donation before the year-end for tax purposes, the gift must be postmarked before December 31, 2020. CLICK HERE to learn more about special tax deductions this year under the CARES Act.

Here at Trinity, we become immersed in a community, a member of a pride, a member of something greater than ourselves. Your gifts are critical in helping Trinity deliver the high-quality education and safe and unique programs you expect. Please consider what Trinity means to you and make your gift or pledge accordingly; thank you to those families who have already given this year. I am thankful for all of the love and support this school year and it is my hope that everyone is enjoying a Happy and Healthy Christmas break.

May the miracles of Christmas fill your hearts with love.

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli

Head of School