What We Know Right Now
A message from Incoming Head of School Jennifer Morgan
Updated June 25, 2020
Trinity Will Have School This Fall, and We Will Need Everyone’s Help!
School will look different this coming year. Distancing — from 6 feet to 100% remote — brings limitations, including the human connections and traditions that are central to the Trinity experience. Trinity will stick to the published 2020-2021 calendar as it is for now. Making changes to the calendar now would be guesswork. We will watch the data closely, make changes if/when we have to, and will communicate along the way. Since we don't know what the virus will do as we move through the school year, we have to be prepared to adapt.
In addition to our regular model, we are looking carefully and creatively at a hybrid model with students socially distancing. As per CDC guidelines, this model provides for smaller class sizes of about 10 students. It combines in-person and distance learning. In this model, all students would have the opportunity to be on campus, but maybe not every day.
We are still considering how we would divide the student body into their rotating cohorts of on- and off-campus, but there would be coordination by family. We are also taking student developmental needs into consideration when contemplating these groupings. No matter the model, we recognize that each family is different. We know that some families will not feel comfortable returning to campus in the fall. We will offer a remote option, no matter the re-opening plan. We recognize the significance of our remote model because, at a moment’s notice, we all may need to pivot to distance learning.
Through the survey, we understand some of you have questions and concerns about tuition. Trinity can work with you on customized payment plans if deferring payment would help. In addition, if you realized lost income due to COVID-19, we are offering an ongoing opportunity to apply for financial aid to help families who have been impacted. If that is something you are interested in at any point in the future, please let us know.
Our sincere hope is to open school and stay open, but regardless of which scenario(s) are in play during the upcoming school year, Trinity is not considering a different cost model. The vast majority of the school's expenses will be unchanged. More than 75% of our costs are our faculty and staff. Our intention is to deliver the same level of educational programming, on campus and remotely. Achieving high expectations, both on and off campus, truly requires heroic support and cooperation from our entire faculty and staff. This is an all-hands-on-deck effort — and then some!
Any reduction in headcount would have an adverse impact on the quality of our students' education. Another large percentage of our costs are related to the facilities, which will actually see an uptick in related costs due to the preparations for increased health and safety measures during the pandemic.
Health & Safety on Campus
There is no doubt that health and safety protocols will be extensive, and social distancing will be complex. Mandating face coverings seems inevitable. Trinity’s task force is studying both at-home and in-school screening processes, student hygiene, and virus testing. We have measured every square inch of our campus to determine safe distancing options. Rearranging every room to ensure proper spacing between people is no small task. Our filtration systems are being upgraded, and we're working with our (fantastic!) cleaning company on new protocols in addition to adding a deep-cleaning service with an outside provider multiple times a year. An increase in personal hygiene measures will impact students’ schedules, as will the modifications made to any large group gathering activities, including lunch and chapel.