Our academic programs are rigorous, research-based and rooted in best practices. Inspiring teachers engage and empower students to indulge their curiosity, take intellectual risks, express ideas effectively and think critically to solve problems collaboratively or independently. Here are some of our unique academic programs that help us prepare students for the world beyond Trinity.
Dream, design, discover: that’s what D-Lab is all about. It’s an innovation makerspace outfitted for hands-on, creative problem solving and design thinking. Whether sewing fabrics or soldering circuits, programming drones or composing soundtracks, woodworking or 3D printing, students can bring their ideas to life.
Lower School Capstone: Inquiry Seminar
Inquiry Seminar is a fourth-grade course that provides students with an opportunity to learn with purpose and strategically develop questions that lead to a greater understanding of their own others' perspectives. Students begin recognizing the status quo and challenging assumptions that exist in their world. They use a variety of resources, learning to evaluate them for credibility and reliability, and develop a critical eye in the process.
Middle School Capstone: Innov8
All eighth graders participate in Innov8, a capstone class that guides students through problem finding, researching, testing and creating realistic plans for an identified area of need in the Austin area. During the three-week “mini-mester,” students form like-minded teams and — after choosing a relevant issue — design an original solution that brings their personal experiences and interests into the mix. Students follow a design-thinking loop to better understand the needs of those impacted by the problem and then improve their solution.
The Academic Extensions model suspends traditional thinking about grade-level standards by allowing time outside of the regular classroom setting for students to receive academic differentiation and support. In each Extensions block, students in grades 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 are grouped together within their grade level, and the instruction is strategically targeted to meet each student’s learning goals. Students learn and progress at the “just right” level, even if it means stepping back to grade-level content from previous years, or ahead to advanced years.
Each middle school grade level has five or six advisories, which consist of one teacher and 10 to 12 students. The advisor is the main liaison between home and school and acts as an academic coach, helping students develop academically, emotionally and socially throughout the middle school years. Advisories meet together for about 20 minutes each day, periodically at lunch and at other specially scheduled times. The goal of the program is to foster positive social interactions, moral and ethical decision making, and respect for self, community and the world.
High School Placement
As our students approach middle school, their academic strengths, interests, learning styles, and gifts become defined. By eighth grade, they are ready to play an active role in choosing their next educational experience, and they don’t have to do it alone. Trinity offers a high school placement program that partners with parents and empowers students to find their ideal fit for the next level.