There Be Screens – What’s a Parent to Do?

Let’s face it. Screens are a part of children’s lives.

Screens babysit, entertain, EDUCATE, create, challenge, connect and console us.

And though many feel a little bereft when we can’t find our phones, we have questions about our children and screens’ ubiquitous place in their lives.

  • How much screen time is healthy?
  • Should there be screens in the bedroom?
  • What movies do you let your children watch?
  • What do children gain from digital interactions?
  • What are they missing?
  • What’s safe?
  • What’s a parent to do?


Common Sense Media (go on and click).

Trinity School belongs to this non-partisan resource. We use their guidelines for managing screen use here at school. But the world is big and you can use this resource as a bridge between home safe home and the whole of the internet, television, movies, games, etc. Check out the sound advice on the Common Sense Media site.

Because Trinity is a member school, Grade 4 and 5 parents have a special invitation to attend a middle school student panel of 8th grade students from member schools to discuss digital media issues kids face every day. October 27 from 8:30 to 10:00 at Schools of the Sacred Heart (SHS). Read more here:

Oct. 27, 8:30-10:00 a.m. hosted at Schools of the Sacred Heart
I urge Grade 4 and 5 parents to take advantage of this frank conversation. Please let Kristel know if you will attend so we can give SHS a head count.

A Trinity Student Has So Many Ways to Play!

Recess is, as many a child would agree, a highlight of the day. Did you know about all these play choices students have on the Upper Campus? Check out playful links below!


  • Run around and get the wiggles out with Mr. C. – 8:00 – 8:15 on the Sports Court.
  • Play an organized game on the sports court with Mr. C – morning recess.
  • Play on the field, play structure, swings, amphitheater, small basketball court, fun equipment – every recess
  • Open Science Room – every morning recess


  • Open Library – all recesses.
  • Open Art Room with Ms. Petermeier – lunch recesses.


  • Open Library – all recesses.
  • Open Maker Space – lunch recesses.


  • Open Maker Space – lunch recesses.


  • Open Library – all recesses.
  • Trinity Zine – In the Maker Space at lunch recess for Grades 3-5.


  • Open Library – morning recesses.
  • Open Maker Space – lunch recesses.

Anytime Student Inspired Events:

  • Recent events: Hula Rope Show, Game Day in the Library, and a “put on the music and dance” time.
  • Such fun!!

Want to know more about the power of play in everybody’s life? Check out this book the Trinity Personnel read and reflected on several summers ago:



3 Ways We Belong to Each Other

Three core values of Trinity School’s community and culture were alive in Grade 2 this week. Learning. Diversity. Compassion.

Learning: Every adult and every child in the Trinity School community is a learner. We value, no we cherish, education and the delight of discovering. We uphold the merit of investigating, of reading, of thinking, discussing, and trying hard to assimilate new ideas. We think learning is fun and worth it even when it is hard sometimes. We are learners.

Diversity: We aren’t all alike. We come from different places and with different stories. In our purposefully small school, the differences we share give each of us a broadened experience of all the ways we can be human, all the ways we are alike and different. We want every child, every family to see themselves in the fabric of our community.

Compassion: The golden outcome of learning and embracing differences is compassion. September has been a robust month of getting started and of coming together – welcoming new children and families, reconnecting with those we already know, drawing classes of children into communities. As the days and weeks progress, we will find easy times to uplift each other as well as times that will be harder. May our compassion for each other maintain our actions and our conversations when situations are effortless and when they require courage.

Student Voice – 4 Beats You Don’t Want to Miss

“Trinity gives each child a voice.” This is the first promise of our mission statement. But just how do teachers and personnel encourage student voice? Our goal is to let students express themselves and to be heard. We will provide a safe place for students to be creative. Everyone’s ideas are welcome. Here are 4 current examples on the Upper Campus.

The Maker’s Space was open today and fully enjoyed.


Read Navali’s perspectives on taking a test and a visitor from Nigeria.

Watch the Grade 2 video of the Hula Rope Show, if you missed it last week.

Grade 5 students are organizing the first ever Game Day for Monday. Students are encouraged to bring a game (maybe not Monopoly or a super long board game!) that can be played by anyone who wants to participate on Monday.

And watch for the forthcoming launch of the new Trinity website that will feature student voice. A Trinity Zine team is already working on content!

These examples so richly support the vision we set for our school in the new Strategic Plan.

“Leveraging our history of Episcopal inclusivity and academic preparedness,  Trinity encourages innovations that will empower young change-makers to be confident, compassionate, and inquisitive people—those you would want to spend time with, those who might even heal the world.”


Thank You for Coming to Back to School Night!

Before sitting at your child’s desk and learning teachers’ plans for this year, you and I felt what community means at Trinity School by gathering in Lehman Hall where…

  • Team 32, the Amazing Personnel introduced themselves to you,
  • Rev. Gia Hayes Martin assured you that your children and we adults are loved and good enough as we are.
  • Cristiana Freed reminded us that Trinity is community – for our children, for us
  • Caroline Hubbard shared that as we begin Annual Fund next week, we already have 100% participation from all personnel and every trustee.
  • Paul Collins and I spoke to the goals of the Strategic Plan that focus the work of the board and personnel this year: Community and Culture, Teaching + Learning, Admission Pipeline and Enrollment, Middle School Transition and Building and Capital Campaign. Look for my “deeper dive” articles on each of these topics in the coming weeks. For now, check out this PDF of the Strategic Plan that we published to our school community last year.

You make all the difference! It was wonderful to be with so many of you last night.

Community x 3

Here are three ways for you to have fun and connect to the vibrant community of Trinity School.

  1. Come to the Back to School Barbecue is this Saturday, 4:30 – 7:30 at the Upper Campus. All Trinity families are welcome – purchase tickets here.
  2. Volunteer to help set up and clean up.  We actually need your help!!  Your hands and your good energy will bring the event to life and help return our beautiful campus to Monday readiness. Sign up here for either set up, a 45 minute shift during the event, or clean up as the Barbecue winds down.
  3. Connect to new friends. Meet other parents and children in your child’s class. It is in connecting to each other that we teach our children what community means.

Thank you and have a great time at the Back to School BBQ!


5 Reasons We Go Camping

Grades 4 and 5 at Trinity School attend an outdoor education program lead by Naturalists at Large, focusing on natural science and team building. Today students return from a three-day trip to Pinnacles National Park, which is about 35 miles south of Hollister, CA. Year to year I’m reminded of why this trip is so important for students. Here are my top five reasons:

  1. Nature teaches. Surrounded by the great outdoors, students observed why and how the earth has formed itself in the way that it has in that particular place. They learn how each element or creature has its parts in the greater whole.
  2. Nature inspires. Hiking through different terrains, watching how day transitions into night, being awed by the great night sky – children see themselves differently; wonder transforms.
  3. Nature invites. With this introduction, with the leadership of engaging and fun naturalists, students want to come back. Wonderful.
  4. Nature toughens. What to do when you are too hot, when the night is getting chilly, when there is a bug in your path, or in your tent! Nature is nature and students ask practical questions and get just right support for figuring out how to navigate themselves and their belongings in a new environment.
  5. Students grow. When we, the adults – naturalists, teachers, parents, see the victory on children’s faces – for a hike completed – for a dinner they have helped prepare – for a stuck zipper conquered – for a fun game completed – for a friend to walk to the bathroom with – for coming home a little taller, a little more self-reliant, tired and renewed – then I know that these trips are right and good for our students and that we’ll be back next year.