Austin Trinity

An independent K-8 Episcopal day school five miles from the heart of Austin

Middle School Extracurricular Activities - FAQs

        

Which Middle School extracurricular activities require commitments outside the regular school day?

There are many opportunities for students to explore activities outside the regular core-class offerings. Some of these activities take place during the school day; however, there are some that require a before-/after-school commitment. These include Athletics, Choir, Hand Bell Choir, Model United Nations, PSIA, Strings Ensemble, and Theatre. See the 2018-19 Middle School Extracurriculars Commitments Chart for a complete list of activities, including those that typically meet during the school day.

What Athletics programs are offered to Trinity students?

The opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics is offered to all Middle School students (grades 5-8) regardless of skill or experience. We are proud to boast an 85% participation level in the athletics program. Trinity fields over 30 teams per year within three athletics seasons.

Fall

  • Cross Country
  • Flag Football
  • Tackle Football (7-8)*
  • Golf
  • Volleyball

Winter

  • Basketball
  • Swimming
Spring
  • Baseball (6-8)
  • Lacrosse
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field

Students who plan to participate in MS sports must have a Physical Form on file prior to the start of school. For additional information, please refer to the Athletics Handbook and Athletic Forms.

*Sixth graders can also play tackle football; however, it requires different scheduling arrangements.  Interested students should contact the Athletic Director.

How are Athletics teams selected, and when are sign-ups?

We hold try-outs at the start to each team sports season to determine team placement for volleyball, flag football, basketball, and lacrosse. Because we believe in an inclusive program with a “no-cut” policy, there is a team for everyone. To participate in other Trinity sports, only sign-up is required. For all sports, students and parents are asked to sign up approximately a month prior to the start to the season, with the exception of fall sports sign-ups which happen in May.

How much of a time commitment is required if my child participates in a Trinity team sport?

Sport

Commitment (weekly average)

5/6 Flag Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Lacrosse, Soccer

4 practices (M/W/F + T or TH) during 6th period, 1 game

7/8 Flag Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball*, Lacrosse, Soccer

4 practices (M/W/F + T or TH) during 7th period until 4:30 p.m., 1 game

7/8 Tackle Football

4 practices (M/W/F + T or TH) during 7th period until 5:15 p.m., 1 game

5-8 Cross Country

4 practices (M/W/F + T or TH) during 6th/7th period, 1 meet

5-8 Golf

1 practice (Sundays, 4-5:30)

5-8 Swimming

3 practices (M/W/F, 6-7:15 a.m.)

5-8 Tennis

1 practice (Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

5-8 Track & Field

4 practices (M/W/F + T or TH) during 6th/7th period, 3-4 meets

 

Practices for the fall season start the first week of school with tryouts occurring during the regularly scheduled practice times, with the exception of tackle football which begins earlier in August.  Winter and spring seasons start/end roughly with the academic trimesters.

Flag football, volleyball, basketball, and soccer include end-of-season tournament play with several games over a two-three day period.

Golf has one tournament in the fall and one in the spring.  Tennis has one AIPL tournament and several matches throughout the season.  Track and field has one AIPL meet and several other meets and time trials throughout the spring.

For more information on attendance requirements, please consult the Athletics Handbook found online.  Full commitment to the sport is expected, with Trinity’s scheduled events taking precedence over outside sports/activities.

Can my child participate in more than one extracurricular activity or sport per season?

Students can play golf, tennis, and swimming in addition to the other team sports; otherwise, they must choose one sport per season. Some extracurricular activities (e.g., Model UN and Choir, Hand Bells, and theatre in grades 5 and 6) will work with athletics participation; however, students must choose between 7/8 athletics and the fall play/spring musical.  If playing a sport and participating in theatre, students are asked to coordinate with the coaches and theatre director before the start of the season/auditions.

Tell me more about Choir.

The Trinity choral program offers an opportunity for students to rehearse and perform a variety of choral music throughout the year. Seventh and eighth grade students can elect to take Choir as a year-long elective, while students in fifth and six grades meet weekly before school at 7:10-7:55 a.m., and approximately one Sunday afternoon a month at 3:30-5:00 p.m. Students will have the opportunity to perform for the Trinity community, as well as the broader community of Austin. Singers will also be able to sing for various athletics events and chapel services. In the spring (usually in late March or early April), the 5-8 Choir travels out of town to perform at an adjudication event followed by a trip to a local amusement park. Students elect to join 7/8 Choir when they request the next year's elective courses in the spring, while 5/6 students sign up after the start to school in the fall.

Tell me about Hand Bells.

The Hand Bell Choir consists of students in grades 5-8 who are interested in pursuing their instrumental music talents as a hand bell ensemble. The group typically practices on Mondays after school (3:45-4:45 p.m.) from September through January and performs at special school events, including Lessons & Carols at Christmas, Grandparents & Special Friends Day, and Maundy Thursday and Flowering of the Cross services at Easter.  Students are invited to sign up after the start to school in the hopes that students can coordinate this commitment around their other extracurricular activities.

What is Model United Nations?

Model United Nations (MUN) is an opportunity for students to learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches research skills, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. Seventh and eighth grade students can elect to take Model UN as a year-long elective, while students in fifth and six grades meet occasionally during the school day, and approximately one Sunday afternoon a month at 3:00-5:00 p.m. In addition to scheduled meeting times, students typically need to spend additional time outside of school to prepare for this commitment.

The participants, known as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic or topics that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in the committee, staying true to the actual position of the member they represent.

Model UN culminates with each member participating in the TRIMUN conference at Trinity (usually the first weekend in April) and a two-night trip to the Global Elementary Model United Nations (GEMUN) Conference in Dallas each spring (usually the second weekend of May).

Does Trinity offer the opportunity for students to compete in academic competitions?

Yes! The Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA) is a league for academic competition encompassing language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and the fine arts. Trinity students in grades 1-8 are eligible for participation in this optional, extracurricular program. Complete descriptions of the various events are available on the organization’s website at: www.psiaacademics.org.  The district competition occurs in Austin, typically in March, and those who advance to the state level compete in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at the end of April.

Students also receive national recognition for their performance on the SAT or ACT offered through the Duke Talent Identification Program (participation is offered to seventh grade students who qualify based on their CTP standardized testing scores) and the National Latin Exam and National Spanish Exam (administered in 7/8 language classes).

Does Trinity have a band or orchestra?

Though we do not have a school band or full orchestra, our students have the opportunity to learn a stringed instrument and participate as a member of the Trinity Strings Ensemble in conjunction with Austin SoundWaves. This activity is part of our After the Bell program, though it actually meets "Before the Bell" on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:05-7:50 a.m. Many performances occur during the school day; however, opportunities to perform in the greater Austin community are also part of the commitment. Middle School students may elect to take private lessons in piano, guitar, flute, and voice through the After the Bell program as well. Please consult the After the Bell program registration on the website and parent portal for more information.

What extracurricular theatre experiences are offered at Trinity?

In addition to theatre classes that are part of the regular school day, Trinity students have the opportunity to participate in a play in the fall and a musical in the spring. Everyone who auditions is cast, and no experience is necessary; however, please know that this is an activity that requires a substantial time commitment.

The fall theatre experience is a straight play, usually 45-50 minutes in length. Auditions for the fall play occur in early September, and rehearsals are held 3 days per week at 3:45-5:15 p.m., with the final shows happening in late October/early November. There is also an additional time commitment of daily performances the week prior to the first show. Past productions include Romeo and Juliet, Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned by Being in a Bad Play, Wiley and the Hairy Man, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

In the spring, interested students perform a musical.  Audition workshops are held during the school day so every fifth grader learns the audition dance and song should they decide they want to audition. Rehearsals are held 4 days per week at 3:45-5:15 p.m., with the final shows happening in April. There is also an additional time commitment of daily performances the week prior to the first show. Past productions include Willy Wonka, Stone Soup, Fiddler on the Roof, Once On This Island, Godspell, Annie, The Wizard of Oz.

Seventh and eighth grade students can elect to take year-long PSIA One Act Play class, and will then compete in the regional competition in Austin.  Most rehearsals occur during the school day; however, occasional after school (3:45-5:15 p.m.) or Sunday afternoon (3:00-5:00 p.m.) rehearsals are called over the two weeks leading up to the competition (scheduling around other Trinity extracurricular conflicts).

Is there a cost to the family for participating in Trinity extracurriculars?

Yes, there is a fee for most activities that occur outside the school day.  Fees are billed directly to your Trinity account and vary depending on the activity.  The following fees are based on last year and are subject to change:

Activity

Fees*

Athletics

$75- $350 depending on the level/sport

Choir

$115 (covers student trip costs)

Model UN

$50 (TRIMUN); $350 (covers student trip costs TO GEMUN)

Strings Ensemble & Music Lessons

Consult ATB program fees

Theatre

$60


*Based on 2017-2018 school year

When do students sign up for these extracurricular activities?

With the exception of fall athletics, which require sign-up before the start of the school year, other extracurricular opportunities are introduced to students, as opportunities arise, in Wednesday Assembly, and sign-up dates are announced in News & Notes and advisor weekly updates.

May students go to Middle School Study Lab before/after their activity, and is there a fee to do so?

Yes! Students must report to the Middle School Drop-in Program (a part of After the Bell, ATB) in the CLC (Legacy Hall’s library) at 3:40 and remain there until their activity begins. Conversely, students who are not picked up immediately following their activity must go to ATB Drop-in until they are picked up. ATB closes at 6:00 p.m. Students who are participating in an extracurricular activity for which they are charged a fee (i.e., athletics and theatre) are not charged for their time that day in ATB before/after the activity. Students who attend ATB Drop-in for non-fee activities are charged $12/hour in increments of 15 minutes.

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