As we look forward to a productive and enriching 2020-2021, we're hard at work this summer planning for the coming school year, mindful of recent quarantine and physical-distancing mandates. We have organized three cross-functional task forces and determined three possible scenarios. Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. While we had hoped for an August 25 on-campus start date, circumstances and conditions are changing by the minute, and we are working hard to plan and adjust accordingly. Together with information from the CDC and state and local officials, we will determine the ways Trinity will deliver on its mission and values — an exceptional and enriched education delivered in the context of a diverse, Episcopal community partnership between students, teachers, and families. (Read the most recent message from Head of School Jennifer Morgan.)
Leadership Team members and faculty volunteers have formed three task forces to determine a plan forward.
Led by Jennifer Morgan, Head of School (Starting July 1)
Create multiple plans to inform how we welcome faculty, students, and families back to campus. Consider physical strategies (e.g. distancing options, use of PPE, etc.) while applying each scenario and benchmarking best practices.
Task Force Members
Mitzi Easley, Assistant to the Head of School; Dale Blankenship, Director of Facilities; Bryan Denney, Chief Financial Officer; Ken Malcolm, Chaplain; Kerri Qunell, Chief Marketing Officer; Martha Monreal, Director of HR & Operations; Brian Sossamon, Director of Technology; Jo Ellen Luin, Nurse; TJ Hendricks, Director of Athletics; Shanna Hines, Head of Lower School; Shanna Weiss, Head of Middle School; Jeremy Freitas, 8th Grade English Teacher; Jordan Williams, Kindergarten Teacher; Jennifer Morgan, Head of School;
Led by Shanna Weiss, Head of Middle School
Develop a host of curriculum delivery modes, considering both successes and challenges from Trinity Online last spring, parent feedback, and best practices considered by other high-achieving independent schools. Plan professional development for faculty and parents, based on the different operational scenarios.
Task Force Members
Courtney Childers, Middle School Counselor; Rebecca Dittmar, Lower School Music Teacher; Flavia Gaskin, 4th Grade Teacher; Suzi Herrington, Kindergarten Teacher; Shanna Hines, Head of Lower School; Jennifer Morgan, Head of School; Viji Panda, Director of Diversity & Inclusion; Karyn Rayburn, Middle School Academic Dean; Laura Robinette Minor, 8th Grade Science Teacher; Bo Shepard, Lower School Learning Specialist; Sarah Venkatesh, Technology Integration Specialist; Emma Verrill, 2nd Grade Teacher; Shanna Weiss, Head of Middle School
Financial, BUSINESS & STRATEGIC
Led by Bryan Denney, Chief Financial Officer
Work closely with the Head of School, CFO, and Board of Trustees Finance Committee to create responsive models for budgeting and operations.
Task Force Members
Vicki Ainsworth, Director of Admission; Bryan Denney, Chief Financial Officer; Kristi Katz, Chief Development Officer; Martha Monreal, Director of HR & Operations; Jennifer Morgan, Head of School; Janet Shotwell, Controller
Trinity has identified three likely scenarios to begin the 2020-2021 school year. These scenarios depend on the severity of the pandemic and its associated risks, as outlined by the City of Austin and Austin Public Health. In other words, we have to be flexible and prepared to shift our policies and procedures as the situation continues to change. Think of the flow of school this year as a dimmer switch. We may need to move between red, yellow, and (hopefully!) green several times throughout the year. We're prepared to be as flexible as safety requires, while still offering an excellent and enriched education to our students. We are Trinity Strong, whether at home or on campus. Each task force is planning for each scenario, through the lens of their specific focus. No matter the circumstance, parent partnership will be essential.
The scenario marks a "return to normal" with students on campus each day in the fall, while still working with families who need remote options. There will be a plan for continued online learning. Corresponds to Stage 1 on the City of Austin's Risk-Based Guidelines.
On-Campus Learning with Physical Distancing (Hybrid Model)
This scenario requires us to look closely at classroom size, large group gathering, movements around campus, and lunch. It requires creative daily and weekly scheduling, personal protective equipment, continued online learning, and more. Corresponds to Stages 2-4 on the City of Austin's Risk-Based Guidelines.
Proposed Hybrid Model
|Attend school every day. Each class splits into two groups of 10. Fewer transitions.||Each homeroom or MS grade level splits in half. Halves alternate between one week on campus and one week of remote learning.|
Remote Learning for All Students
Continued remote learning via Trinity Online. New protocols, procedures, and training will be developed over the summer to support teachers and parents for any scenario that requires learning remotely. Corresponds to Stage 5 on the City of Austin's Risk-Based Guidelines.
Specific decisions and plans will be finalized over the next several weeks as more information and updated public health guidelines are issued. Strategies may include, but not are not limited to, the following areas:
Potential use of personal protection equipment for all people — students, teachers, parents, visitors, etc.
Institute capacity limits to allow for physical distancing in spaces such as the Chapel, classrooms, lunch room, gym, etc.
Temperature testing for all people — students, teachers, parents, visitors, etc. — prior to entry.
Sanitizing the building utilizing CDC standards and implementing electrostatic cleaning wands.
Changes to visitor and vendor procedures.
We're here to answer any questions you may have. Our goal is to have a well designed plan for fall 2020 by mid-summer, and we will share the plan with you as soon as it's ready. Thank you for your continued partnership during this challenging time.
Head of School