Episcopal Character of the School
- Governance: Trinity School of Texas was established in 1957 as Trinity Day School and resided in the Sunday School classrooms of the Trinity Episcopal Church for its first twenty years. In 1982, the school was incorporated separately from the church under the name Trinity Day School of Texas, and four years later moved to the first building on its new, twelve acre campus one block up the hill from the church. We worship in the church three times weekly and share several physical spaces with the Church. The cooperation in our joint endeavors and institutional support of each other functions very effectively.
- Worship: Chapel services are held on Mondays and Wednesdays for Middle and Upper School students. Early Childhood and Lower School chapel services are on Wednesdays and Friday mornings. The chapel experience, led by the Rector or other clergy of Trinity Episcopal Church or a designated replacement, is designed to teach a sense of community through knowledge, respect, and love. This experience, which is the moral compass for both the students and the staff, is one of the most important elements in the daily life of those at TST. Attendance at chapel is required for students and faculty alike.
We follow the worship and liturgy of the Episcopal Church which includes the Holy Eucharist (once a month), prayers, and singing. We celebrate together as a community of faithful people. This focus on Christian values provides the center around which all academic, social, and spiritual goals revolve. The Trinity School of Texas also recognizes the religious diversity of its community and actively promotes respect and acceptance of all faiths. The chapel service, with its quiet atmosphere, promotes reflection and prayer for all students, faculty, and staff.
During the Holy Eucharist, students in grades fourth through twelfth are invited to come forward to the front of the church to receive the consecrated bread (wafer) and wine or a blessing (all students are welcome to receive the blessing if requesting to do so from their teachers). In keeping with the Episcopal tradition, any baptized Christian is welcome to receive the consecrated bread and wine. The signal to the priest to give a blessing rather than communion is to cross one's arms across his or her chest. The signal for Communion is to place one hand on top of the other, palms upward, before the priest. It is important that all parents discuss this option at home with their child(ren) and agree on what option serves best for their family.
Parents or friends are cordially invited to attend our chapel services and especially our Friday morning [8:15] Lower School chapel service.
All students are expected to demonstrate respectful and appropriate behavior in chapel. This behavior includes following the liturgical custom of the church in terms of sitting, kneeling, and standing at the appropriate times.
We ask that all adults remember that chapel is a holy place and our services are sacred times. Before entering the sanctuary, please respect the need for silence by turning off all electronic devices. Drinks, food, and gum should not be brought into chapel, and conversation should be reserved for the lobby and outside areas of the Church.
- Religious Instruction: In the past, our only religion class was one semester of Senior Theology - World Religions. During the 2010-2011 school year and into the future, we have moved that course to junior year, added two religion electives, The Epistles of Paul and The Anglican Tradition, and incorporated the SAES Religion Curriculum for Children into the instructional week for students in grades two year olds through fifth. In sixth through eighth grades, we now utilize a curriculum attributed to St. Stephen's in Austin which offers journalism and discussion about selected Old Testament passages and is proving most successful for us.
- Junior Theology - World Religions meets daily for one semester taught by qualified instructors.
- Sixth through eighth grade Christian Education - twice per week for fifty minutes by qualified staff teachers
- SAES RCC - taught at least twice per wk [30 minutes each] by classroom teachers with Lower School chapel establishing the theme through the service and homily.
- School Community and Pastoral Care: The religious nature of the school plays an important part in attracting students to Trinity, for the interest in faith based schools is lively. As proud Episcopalians, we endeavor to educate our community in the nature of the Episcopal Church and the identity of an Episcopal school. We do not give preference in admissions to Episcopal students, who represent just over thirteen percent of our enrollment.
Trinity School of Texas energetically seeks religious, racial, and social-economic diversity through offers of tuition assistance, admissions presentations to a wide array of social institutions and churches, formal marketing efforts, and word of mouth.
The Head of School [M. Div. and M.S Counseling] also serves as the primary recourse for pastoral and/or counseling services to students, parents, and staff. The Rector, Assistant Rector, and a parent volunteer [licensed psychologist] also offer resources for pastoral and/or counseling services. All teachers are included in the religious life of the school as role models and mentors to our children, as attendees in worship, and many as speakers in chapel services. Teachers in grades Early Childhood two year olds through fifth are also included in the religious life of the school by leading our SAES RCC classes.
- Service and Outreach: Service and outreach are essential components of the life of Trinity School of Texas. We focus on these service learning opportunities for our staff and for our students from early childhood through twelfth grade. This year we will celebrate our Third Annual TST Day of Caring, our School- wide Community Service Day, on Friday, March 9th. On this day we send teachers, students, administrators, coaches, parents and even grandparents into the East Texas community to serve others.
Examples of the types of service are:
- Two through four year olds helped in our Trinity School of Texas day of Caring offering service by drawing cards for local emergency service personnel and for the Childrens' Hospital in Dallas.
- Early Childhood students also sent hand-made cards to those who were impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf via Louisiana parishes.
- Fourth and fifth grade students completed the community service project which they had begun on our first annual Trinity School of Texas Day of Caring as they built and placed bluebird boxes at TST and Summer Meadows, where they also touched up their previous weeding of the central courtyard and planted the remainder of the plants which they had acquired.
- The same students built seventy-two bluebird birdhouses and placed them around the Longview area.
- TST students vigorously participated in the Longview Community Ministries Canned Food Drive and the Humane Society of Northeast Texas's Adopt a Shelter Week via Donation.
- Eighth grade advisory groups have worked at the Toys for Tots Center to assist with gifts.
- Initiated the Peanut Butter Plan, our monthly sandwich ministry for Newgate Mission.
- Collected soup and stew for the Souper Bowl collection in February- over one thousand cans.
- Sixth through eighth grade students were all actively engaged in our annual Trinity School of Texas's Day of Caring.
- Manned Halloween carnival, at which cheerleaders and other Middle and Upper School student volunteers manned games, booths, and bouncing enclosures and invested their time in our Early Childhood and Lower School students, as well as their friends and neighbors from other schools; our youngest students enjoyed the day even more for their time relating to their older schoolmates. That mutual affection between students of different divisions is one of the many parts of Trinity School which the Head of School finds so special.
- Gathered in over 10,000 cans during our canned food drive, celebrating that collection during our Thanksgiving Dedication Service. Parents joined us as we blessed that which we collected before we honored God by sending it out to those who hunger during our time of thanksgiving. This activity is another of the many parts of Trinity School in which we may all rejoice and celebrate.
Students are participating in many civic organizations and other community service venues that provide opportunities to serve.