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COVID-19 and the 2020-2021 Academic Year

What is Trinitas planning for 2020-2021?

Even though there may be more uncertainty in your life now than ever before, Trinitas Classical School is prepared to make your family’s educational experience as predictable as possible.

Trinitas is prepared to provide a flexible learning environment for 2020-21 so that students may continue to receive an academically challenging and joyful Christian, classical education.

We are ready for in-person instruction, remote instruction, or a combination of the two, as circumstances require.

Faculty and staff are excited and prepared to welcome students back to campus for classes and community events in the 2020-2021 academic year. We are planning to begin classes on campus the Tuesday after Labor Day and to follow our regular calendar for the school year. At the same time, we are also prepared to begin with remote (online) instruction and for a combination of in-person and remote instruction as needed throughout the school year.

Since the switch to remote instruction in March of 2020, faculty and staff have continued to refine and revise instruction so that they can bring newly acquired best practices forward into the coming academic year. Although we do not know what type or length of disruption, if any, will result from COVID-19 spread in the next year, we have taken a proactive posture so that teachers and students will be able to pursue truth, goodness, and beauty from a place of rest and calm.

As a classical school, we certainly prefer in-person, discussion-based learning and our hands-on approach to science. Circumstances beyond our control required us to expand what that looks like and to shift from low-tech to high-tech. Our focus continues to be the true and the good and the beautiful and what is best for our students and families, for their health and for a robust Christian and classical education, that they may lead lives well-lived. That commitment has not changed.

Trinitas is also prepared to respond to the changing financial need of its families and to accommodate for extended individual absences if the need for self-quarantining arises.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are classes going to be taught in 2020-2021?
Courses will be taught in-person on campus or by remote instruction from a teacher as the situation requires.
What is Trinitas doing to make the campus safe?
The school is adjusting its illness policy, use of shared spaces, and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces with guidelines from the CDC and Kent County Health Department in mind. Trinitas will adapt in response to official guidance as it develops throughout the year.
What is the difference between remote instruction and online homeschooling?
Remote instruction is primarily instruction via teacher-student-whole class interaction and teacher-supplied materials, with teachers directing assignments and pacing, and providing instruction, assessment, and feedback, similar to a physical classroom experience. While classes do not meet for the entire school day, they do meet at specific and predetermined times via remote meeting app (e.g., Zoom).Students maintain a rhythm that has the look and feel of a normal school day schedule, engaging each class and interacting with teachers and other students much as they would if they were on campus. Online homeschooling generally does not have this level of teacher-student-classmate live interaction, direction, and support or scheduling.
What does remote instruction at Trinitas look like?
Grades K-4

Grade-level newsletters are posted on our website each week. These include all the assignments, class meetings, links to recorded lessons, and other resources that students and parents will need for the week.

We have regular materials exchanges for students to turn in completed work and receive new hard-copy work, hands-on science materials, project materials and any other items needed.

Teachers teach via a combination of Zoom or pre-recorded mini lessons. Zoom meetings are a combination of all-class, small group, and one-on-one instruction.

More hands-on parental involvement is needed for students in grades K-4 than in the upper grades, but teachers supply rich instruction and materials so that parents may provide a supportive, rather than a primary, role.

Grades 5-8

Grade-level newsletters are posted on our website each week. These include class and school updates. Teachers post instructions and assignments for individual subjects in Microsoft Teams.

Students submit most of their completed work through Teams. Some written composition assignments may be emailed to the teacher for feedback and assessment (a carry-over from our on-campus routine). We also have regular materials exchanges for students to turn in some of their completed work and receive new hard-copy work, hands-on science materials, project materials and any other items needed.

Teachers teach via a combination of Zoom all-class and small group meetings and pre-recorded mini lessons. Zoom meetings allow our teachers to continue the discussion-based instruction that is an important part of classical education. Teachers also have check-in meetings with students one-on-one.

Students in grades 5-8 will likely need some level of support from parents as they transition to remote learning. Students and parents should review online procedures and etiquette together and work to establish a predictable routine for the school day with the goal of establishing good habits that will help students grow in independence and integrity.

All Grades

Students receive content instruction and exercises/activities in the same subjects they participate in on campus.

Work is still assigned with a specific due date. Students are expected to complete and submit their assignments for all subjects as directed, and teachers assess work, just like in the classroom.

Students continue to have access to co-curriculars like art, music, and PE, as well as community events like Reader’s Theater, Chapel, Family Game Night, Field Day, and Fine Arts Night.

What does remote instruction look like for Homeschool Partners?
Homeschool partners in all grades have access to remote instruction for the classes in which they are enrolled.
What do families need to make remote instruction work?
Families will need a computer. A printer and computer camera (i.e., webcam) are strongly recommended but not required. If a scanner is not available, families will be able to use a smartphone app to scan and upload student work. Every student needs a place free of distractions for class time and schoolwork. Students also benefit from a predictable schedule which includes plenty of breaks, preferably with some physical activity. Students in grades 5-8 must know how to type. It is a good idea for students in grades 3-4 to begin learning to type; students in these grades attend an annual Typing Club Kick Off and are asked to learn to type over the summer.
What if our family has more students than devices?
Trinitas schedules class meetings across the grade levels so as to minimize conflicts and will work with families so that students in these situations can still attend their classes. Materials exchanges also provide students with hard copy materials for some of their work.
Are there expectations for student etiquette online?
Good online etiquette and habits are essential for successful remote learning and for life in general. Students and parents sign a technology use agreement and receive ongoing instruction and resources in these areas ranging from the philosophical/biblical/scientific to the practical (e.g., how to turn chat notifications off). The goal is not merely successful management of technology but also integrity of character and godly living.
What if my financial situation changes?
Trinitas is prepared to address an increase in a family’s financial need. We want families who deeply desire a Christian and classical education for their child(ren) to be able to receive it in spite of short-term disruptions. If your financial situation has changed, contact the office and complete or update an application for Grant and Aid.
How will in-person versus remote instruction affect tuition?
Trinitas is committed to providing instruction from its teachers whether in-person or remote, so no difference in tuition is anticipated. If any classes do not meet for an extended period during remote instruction, adjustments may apply.

Our Commitment to You

Trinitas is committed to a Christian, classical education that involves the discussion of ideas. We want students in the classroom, but we realize that it may be necessary to adjust instruction based on the local public health situation so that we can keep our students, our families, and our local community safe. In case we need to pivot between in-person and remote instruction at any point during the coming year, we are preparing well in advance so that your child’s educational experience is as delightful and predictable as possible.