REVIEW OF Trinity College School BY parent, Kim McConnell
- Date of Review
March 08, 2021
Gr. 7 - Gr. 12
(4.5) Student Experience
Overall Trinity was a great experience for my daughter. The friendships that she has developed are amazing. Each and every one of her friends has taken different paths in their life since high school, but yet they still find the time to check-in and catch up with each other regularly. When I asked my daughter what were her favourite experiences at Trinity, she said in her final year doing the winter play, Arsenic and Old Lace and a service trip to Ghana, Africa with Mr. and Mrs. Hall. As a parent, I see that my daughter has developed great time management and organizational skills. The long academic day and a busy extracurricular program, adding to the daily commute have taught her to use her time wisely. This is a skill that has helped her tremendously to establish a balanced busy life in university.
(4.5) School Leadership
The school leadership is everything you would want in a school. My daughter tells me that it is not unusual to have members of the leadership team mingling, chatting and joking with the students. This develops a sense of community which fosters a positive school environment indicating to the students that these administrators are approachable and friendly. From a parent's perspective, I love receiving the weekly emails updating me on what is happening at school. When an issue develops that needs to be addressed immediately the school is quick to deal with issues and concerns. Then promptly communicating to the parents and community in an email with a follow-up name you contact if you have further concerns.
The teachers at Trinity have many responsibilities beyond the classroom. They are coaches, housemasters and advisors. Each student is assigned an advisor who they touch base in with regularly just to make sure everything is going well. The advisor is also a contact person for me, as a parent to reach out to if there is a concern that I feel needs to be addressed. Overall most of the teachers love their jobs as demonstrated by the quality of teaching. Several progress reports followed up with parent-teacher interviews allow you the opportunity to speak with teachers on how your child is doing. If further help is needed the teacher will encourage the student to reach out for extra help either after class or during academic assistance which is time set aside for students who are seeking help to speak to their teacher.
The academic program is a busy extensive program. Students that maintain a high overall average are rewarded with a Scholars tie and a Scholars evening event which usually includes a dynamic guest speaker. The Scholar tie is proudly worn by all students symbolizing their academic success. The school provides several different ways for the students to gain academic success. If a student struggles with a course there is a program called Academic Assistance, where the students can go and speak directly with a teacher about specific issues. There is also the Writing Centre, where an English teacher is available to help with essay writing. Or if having difficulty with math, the Math Learning Centre is a student-directed centre tutoring in math. Trinity has made it easy and accessible for all students to seek extra help if needed. The senior school has AP (advanced placement) courses that allow you to pursue an advanced level of learning if wanted. My daughter took 2 AP courses which proved to be an asset for her first year in university. Overall Trinity prepared my daughter for the challenges of university, teaching her to advocate for herself and how to balance a busy academic life with fun extracurricular activities too.
Trinity has a very extensive extracurricular program. Really something for everyone. Like every school, there is competitive and recreational sports. My daughters also enjoyed sports but also participated in the Arts program. The Drama department performs 2 plays throughout the year. As well, the Music department which consists of the Winds and Jazz band, drumming, guitar club and Trinity singers perform several concerts for charity. Both my daughters also were involved in the Service Program which allowed them to volunteer and help others within the school as a Masterkey member, math tutor and communication steward. The girls had fun helping their friends and a sense of pride develops to be a needed member of the community.
Trinity College School is a co-ed school with a student population of approximately 500 students. The school has a combination of both day and boarding students who are assigned to a house according to gender upon entering the school. The house is the student’s home base, with students from every grade. The older house members act as a mentor for new students to ease them into the TCS community. Each house has weekly meetings and often has friendly house competitions between houses, which only strengthens the sense of community. Throughout the year the Prefect’s organize themed days and outdoor fun and games, dances and a coffee house. All these activities help the students get involved in developing a tightly knit community filled with school spirit.
(4) School Life
Overall my kids love going to Trinity. It is a huge commitment for our family as a day students. Someone always needs to be available for drop-off and pick-up. The bus ride to school is a 40-minute ride each way. Our day starts around 6:30 am and the girls arrive home around 6 pm. So it is a long day but they wouldn’t have it any other way. After the academic day at school, students are encouraged to get involved in extracurricular activities where they have fun with their friends. My daughters love going to Trinity. They have never complained about the length of day or going to school. Every opportunity they have, they wanted to go to school and hang out with their friends.
The Parents’ Guild is a volunteer group of parents who help out at the school. There are many different ways to help out with this group. Such as, being a member of the executive team who organizes the volunteers, or maybe you chose to help out weekly in the school store or help out once in awhile decorating for holidays or assisting with school organized events. Everyone is welcome and appreciated. Occasionally throughout the year, the Guilt will organize events just for the parents. Like a Virtual Cooking Class, a Christmas wreath-making class and even an evening out at one of the local restaurants. Being part of this group allows you to get to know other parents from both the Junior and Senior Schools.
(4.5) School Location
Trinity College School is located in the Town of Port Hope on a large spacious property close to the center of town. Trinity is within walking distance to the local business section and on occasion the students venture into town to enjoy the amenities of the local community. The Ganaraska River runs through the centre of town which is always interesting to watch the annual fish migration of salmon swimming upstream to spawn. Port Hope located on the shores of Lake Ontario, with a large public beach not far from the school. In the warm weather, you often see the students hanging out and enjoying the beach.
During the admission process, your admissions officer will introduce you to a student Masterkey leader, who tours you around the campus and shares their personal experience at Trinity. For me, one of the best parts of the admission process was going for a tour of the school. Whether it be a private tour with a Masterkey leader or coming to a school open house, you are able to experience a sense of community. Seeing the teachers and students and some of the current parents coming together to show off their school, all of who were happy to answer any questions and talk about the TCS experience. Initially, my daughter was very nervous about doing the entrance test and interview. After doing the school tour, everyone was so friendly, she felt comfortable and calm and relaxed to go and write the admission test.
(4) University placement and counselling
My daughter was assigned to a guidance counsellor who is available to them in Grade 11, to start the student thinking about course selection and what their plans are for post-secondary education. The student is encouraged to research the area and different programs that they are interested in. After researching the different programs the student is asked to record and rank the universities of choice and best suited with their academic standing. By doing all this in Grade 11 the student is prepared and ready to apply to university in Grade 12. In Grade 12 the guidance counsellor and the student meet approximately every two weeks to ensure support and deadlines are met. Even when I had questions as a parent, I was able to make an appointment with the head of Guidance Krista Koekkoek to review the process and put my mind at ease.