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A Look at 19-20 Enhancements

January 22, 2019
By Dr. Troy P. Roddy
As a school, we recognize that we need to constantly be open to new ideas and ways to continue to deliver on our promise to you - to provide an outstanding life preparatory educational experience, be a relationship centered school where people come first, and create a safe and nurturing space where children can grow academically, socially, and spiritually. Today’s message hopes to give you a sense of the initiatives we are working on as we prepare for 2019-2020.
 
Before that, however, if you have not already done so, please take a few moments to complete a quick family survey. If you already answered this survey, you do not need to do it again. For anyone who hasn’t, please click here to access the survey. Your answers are very important and helpful as we plan for next year.
 
Now, for the exciting stuff!
 
In our Early Childhood (EC) grades (3K, 4K, and Kindergarten), play is an important part of learning. We also recognize that those students need a different approach to learning than those in higher grades. As we reflect on the experiences of these students, we are looking to bring more play into their routines. We are also looking at how we set up our learning spaces to be more centers-based to enhance our social and academic development. Finally, I am working through a few ideas to bring teacher assistants into each of these 3 classes to allow for more individualized attention.
 
There are 2 other initiatives that will have some impact on EC and older students. The first is a commitment to build upon our STEMScopes trial and bring a full STEM based program to HTES beginning with our 4K class. STEMScopes has been a huge hit with the classes in which we are testing it out. Part of the next phase of development is to invest in the full program and transform our science, technology, engineering, and math learning to become better aligned with our motto: Inspiring Hearts. Engaging Minds.
 
The second relates to our promise to families to address the social and emotional needs of students. To so this, we are moving towards implementing the Responsive Classroom strategies. Teachers in Kindergarten through 5th grade will attend a training at the end of January in Houston and we have already purchased resources for the whole school. These resources were made possible by your generosity in the pledge drive we had in the fall.
 
One of our most ambitious ideas is the use of our campus as a classroom. The first part of this initiative is establishing a school farm on the current site of the baseball field. In December, our 3rd - 5th grade teachers attended a training session by Urban Harvest and came back with a design plan in place. They have since established a timeline for planting our first garden and have already begun phase one. We anticipate holding a ceremony to officially open the farm before the end of the school year.
 
Students in all grades will have a role to play in our farm as it will be an outstanding hands-on learning experience - second to none in this part of Houston. Proceeds from our farm will eventually be donated to area food banks as a way to make good on our commitment to community service and outreach.
 
In addition to the above:
  • We have already begun using Project Adventure’s Adventure Curriculum in PE for the lower grades (thanks to the pledge drive donations).
  • We plan to enhance our religious studies program with investment in Godly Play resources.
  • Campus safety upgrades are being explored.
  • Adjustments to better serve you through our Business Office are being planned - including a move to the FACTS tuition management system.
  • Upgrades to how we offer before and after school care are in discussion.
  • Establishing direction for a re-energized Parent Club should be revealed later this year.
This sounds like a lot of enhancements...and it is. However, this is only the beginning. We are also constantly looking to bring more enchantment to our physical property and refining the many grade-specific experiences every student looks forward to each year.
 
Put simply, we are committed to delivering on our promise to you. This commitment requires us to constantly explore what the “next better version” of HTES is and to have the courage to act on that vision.
 
As always, thank you very much for your continued support of Holy Trinity Episcopal School.
 
It’s great to be a Titan,

Dr. Troy P. Roddy
Head of School