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Creating Scholars, Nurturing Spirituality & Embracing Diversity in Charlotte's Center City.

News About Trinity Episcopal School

TES Wildcat Summer Camp Takes Over @WeLoveCLT Account for a Day!

Trinity’s Wildcat Summer Camp Director, Alyssa Sharpe, took over the @WeLoveCLT Instagram account during our Queen City Quest camp.

Here are some of her posts below:

TES InstaTakeover WeLoveCLT

WeLOVEclt: I spy with my little eye a @wallpoems on @tescharlotte ‘s campus! Next time you’re driving down I-277, look for this beauty next to the back of our building. PS– It may also be on the greatest hill in Charlotte for jumping and rolling down. #weloveclt #charlotteagenda

WeloveCLT: It's Queen City Quest week at @teswildcatsummer (Think Amazing Race: Charlotte edition) and the kids are loving solving clues to get to different locations. @tescharlotte is known for having the longest school hallways because we're always going on trips to make learning as real life as possible! @discoveryplace - we're coming to you this afternoon for a photo scavenger hunt...stay tuned! #weloveclt

WeloveCLT: It’s Queen City Quest week at @teswildcatsummer (Think Amazing Race: Charlotte edition) and the kids are loving solving clues to get to different locations. @tescharlotte is known for having the longest school hallways because we’re always going on trips to make learning as real life as possible! @discoveryplace – we’re coming to you this afternoon for a photo scavenger hunt…stay tuned! #weloveclt

weloveclt: How many days until @panthers football?! We loved our private tour of the stadium. Wish we could get seats this good for every game! #weloveclt

weloveclt: How many days until @panthers football?! We loved our private tour of the stadium. Wish we could get seats this good for every game! #weloveclt


CLT Smartypants: Celebrating 15 Years of Learning in Uptown Charlotte


By Chris Weiss, Head of Lower School/Assistant Head of School, Trinity Episcopal School

When Trinity Episcopal School was formed in the late 1990s the founders were absolutely convinced that Uptown Charlotte was the right location for two main reasons: to provide children access to Charlotte’s cultural venues to enhance learning, and to enable students to serve our neighbors through community partnerships. Trinity opened its doors in August of 2000 and our students became regular fixtures of Charlotte’s urban landscape, walking to the main library to check out books and becoming scientists alongside the experts at Discovery Place, and traveling back in time to the New South as part of the Levine Museum of History. I’ve always loved hearing from local business leaders and our Uptown neighbors how much they enjoy seeing Trinity kids crossing the street or carrying armloads of books as they ventured through the City.

TES-Students-Studying-Uptow For the past 15 years we’ve been known as the school “with the longest hallways” in all of Charlotte. When ImaginOn was built we were asked to be a part of the process of construction and design, and we toured the building in its earliest stages, eager for its completion. As an Episcopal school, serving others is part of our mission and core values, and our proximity allows students in each grade-level to form service learning partnerships with Urban Ministries, the Metro School, Loaves and Fishes, Friendship Trays and more. I often hear our 3rd graders asking their teachers, “when will we visit our homeless friends again?” Since our goal is to build meaningful and long-lasting relationships with those in our community who are different from ourselves, students are excited discover that these visits are ongoing throughout the year.

I’m lucky to have been a part of Trinity from the early days and have enjoyed watching our school and the City of Charlotte grow together. We originally walked to Morehead Street to see Children’s Theatre performances (now, that’s a hike!), but when they moved to ImaginOn, we were able to attend even more shows during the school year. And when the Charlotte Knights baseball team had opening day last May we walked all 430 students, with 8th graders & kindergartners hand-in-hand, to meet the team and welcome them to the neighborhood.

TES-Uptown-with-KnightsRecently, one of our neighbors & learning partners, Discovery Place, opened a brand new Education Studio to offer professional development in STEM. STEM learning integrates science, technology, engineering and math principles into a single activity and has evolved into a recognized method of instruction and pedagogy. Because of our close proximity, Trinity’s teachers have been able to attend dozens of workshops at Discovery Place, including 3D printing, Engineering is Elementary, physics, electricity and more. Several Trinity faculty have even been selected as STEM fellows. This partnership provided us with the inspiration to launch our annual K-8 STEM program called All Trinity Builds where students are presented with a special engineering design challenge. Two years ago when faced with a deteriorating playground, our Kindergarten teachers suggested that we use that real-world problem to challenge our students to design a new playground for our school. Our students were able to brainstorm, design and present their playground concepts to a panel of experts. Today, our new playground represents many of the ideas that our children designed as part of that engineering challenge (well, except for the zip line across the parking lot and the waterfall!).

This year, as we celebrate our 15th anniversary, I can’t imagine Trinity Episcopal School in a different location than First Ward — just a hop, skip and a jump away from the skyscrapers, sports venues, and community partners that make our City so special. So much of our school’s culture and the ultimate educational experience of each child is connected to the urban experience that we enjoy each day. Come see the Trinity difference for yourself – we are nestled on 9th Street in the Garden District in Uptown.

Click to read the original blog post on Charlotte

Trinity to Host Regional Boarding School Forum

Charlotte, NC – Trinity Episcopal School will host Boarding School representatives for a forum on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, from 7-8pm, on campus at 750 E. 9th Street, Charlotte, NC. The event is free and open to families interested in learning more about boarding schools.  {}

Representatives from The Webb School (TN), Virginia Episcopal School (VA), St. Mary’s School (NC), Baylor School (TN), Christ School (NC), Chatham Hall (VA), Christchurch School (VA), St. Andrew’s-Sewanee (TN) and McCallie (TN),  will discuss various topics including Myths and Misconceptions of Boarding Schools, Academics, Financial Aid, the Admissions Process and more.

For event information, please contact Trinity’s Head of Middle School Jabari Spruill at or by phone 704. 358. 8101.

Trinity Named Top 10 Semifinalist in International Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

Rube_Goldberg_Team_(1_of_1)Charlotte, NC – A team of eleven middle school students from Trinity Episcopal School qualified as a Top 10 Semifinalist for their “Travel Around the World” Rube Goldberg Machine.  Trinity’s “Bad Youngins” team, led by Science Teacher Sean Casey, created a machine using travel destinations from the students’ bucket lists including the London Eye, the Great Wall of China and Mount Everest, and the final required task as a hot air balloon fell and erased the bucket list off the chalkboard.

Middle School teams from across the world tested their engineering skills to build the most elaborate and creative Rube Goldberg Machines in the annual international Rube Goldberg Online Machine Contest. This year’s submissions had to include between 20-75 steps and were judged on complexity, reliability, team chemistry, creativity, humor, storytelling, and the overall achievement of the designated task of erasing a chalkboard.

“I am so proud,”said Casey. “The students voluntarily put in more than 100 hours researching, planning, constructing and testing during after-school, late night  and weekend sessions to make sure all the pieces of our machine worked simultaneously. Luckily, we were able to test our machine at the McColl Center Rube Goldberg Exposition back in January and it ran successfully for two hours.”

Rube Goldberg Machines, named after the late American Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and inventor Reuben “Rube” Goldberg, are overly complex contraptions, designed with whimsical humor, every-day objects and a narrative, to accomplish a simple task. The Rube Goldberg Online World Contest winners will be announced on March 30, 2015.

To view and vote for Trinity’s Rube Goldberg Machine, visit

and for more information on the International Rube Goldberg Contest, visit

A Different Release: Charlotte Middle Schoolers Work to Free Each Other from the Binds of Racial Inequality & Identity Anxiety

Freedom_Fete_(1_of_1)CHARLOTTE, NC – “As a teenager, finding the voice to speak up is sometimes hard, but seeing a stranger put someone else down is heartbreaking, and hopefully, I will stand up for them.” “You can’t change other people, but you can work on yourself and make a change.”  “Who are you? I am strong. Who are you? I am beautiful. Who are you? I am going to make it.”  These student comments, overheard by their teachers, epitomized the impact of a unique opportunity in the heart of the Queen City.

Freedom_Fete_(4_of_10)In January 2015, Trinity Episcopal School hosted more than 250 middle school students and teachers from Charlotte area independent and public schools to engage in the complex discussions of identity, racial inequality, poverty, diversity beyond race and more. Students from Burns Academy, Cannon School, Charlotte Country Day School, Charlotte Latin School, KIPP Charlotte, Providence Day School, Walter G. Byers School and Trinity Episcopal School heard from national media figure and Harvard Law Professor Stephanie Robinson in her keynote address on “Exploring Identity” and then participated in workshops led by Trinity’s middle school faculty and staff.

Robinson set the stage for the students to discover and define their identities beyond what is reflected in the media or in the community. Centered around the example of Martin Luther King Jr., Robinson’s inspirational message encouraged students to lean into the discomfort of doing the hard but necessary work for justice, freedom, service and equality in schools and the community.

Freedom_Fete_(6_of_10)Standing face to face with their peers in the first workshop, students asked “Who are you?” over and over for a minute,  challenging each other to answer beyond the physical, beyond the things they do and to identify who they truly are. Following this exercise, students gathered in smaller groups to confront stereotypes, microaggressions and racism, and to have real, honest communication about ways to move beyond biases.

Conference participants were the first in the United States to pilot the educational curriculum for the upcoming documentary release of “The Mask You Live In”. The film, to be released in Spring of 2015, and the discussion questions examine how America’s narrow definition of masculinity and gender roles are harming boys and men in our society. In addition, students watched and discussed clips from documentaries such as “Miss Representation”, which exposes how mainstream media contributes to a diminishing image of women, and “The Line”, which uncovers current stories of poverty in America.

Trinity Episcopal School Hosts Community Conversation with Stephanie Robinson

Microsoft Word - Stephanie Robinson Long Bio.docxCHARLOTTE, NC – Trinity Episcopal School hosted Stephanie Robinson, Esq., Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and a nationally recognized expert on issues related to social policy, women, race, family and electoral politics.

As part of the School’s annual Freedom Fete event, Trinity hosts a speaker in conjunction with the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This year Trinity has set the stage for Robinson’s visit, continuing the conversation about racial inequality and social justice within the School walls as well as with the broader Charlotte community. Prior to the night event, Robinson will be the keynote speaker at Trinity’s Middle School Diversity Conference which includes students and teachers from Charlotte area middle schools.

Robinson is a national media figure, author, former Chief Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and President and CEO of The Jamestown Project, a national think tank focusing on democracy. She has been featured as one of the 30 Young Leaders of the Future in Ebony Magazine and was profiled in the book As I Am: Young African American Women in a Critical Age, by Julian Okwu. Robinson has appeared on numerous radio and television outlets including the Associated Press, The Washington Post, C-Span, NPR, The Baltimore Sun, CN8, and Fox News.

Regarding Robinson’s visit, Trinity’s Head of School Tom Franz said, “We are blessed to have Stephanie Robinson speaking at our Freedom Fete at this time in our nation’s history – a time when it is becoming clearer that the lenses through which Americans of each race view and experience the world are profoundly different. Embracing diversity has been a core value for Trinity since its founding, and I am excited to hear Ms. Robinson’s perspective on racial inequalities and making democracy real in America.

For more information about Stephanie Robinson, please visit, or The Jamestown Project at

Featured on:

>> Racial Inequality & What We Can Do About It:: Stephanie Robinson on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks

>> Jan. 8, 2015: School News – Charlotte Observer


Trinity Hosts Advance Screening of Sundance Award-Winning Film American Promise

Charlotte, NC – September 2013 – Trinity Episcopal School hosted an advance screening of Sundance award-winning film, American Promise. Following the viewing, an exclusive Q&A session with film Producers and Directors Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson took place.

American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country, Manhattan’s Dalton School. Chronicling the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation, this provocative, intimate documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity.

“American Promise provides a lens into some of the challenges non-majority students, specifically African American boys, experience in independent schools” said Tom Franz, Head of School for Trinity Episcopal School. “Our mission focuses on embracing diversity which requires us to educate ourselves about the challenges our students face. One of the pillars of Episcopal schools is a focus on social justice, and events like this screening of American Promise and the work we do every day at Trinity puts us in a unique position as a school in the Charlotte area.”

American Promise was an “Official Selection” of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and winner of the “Grand Jury Award” at the 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The film is the centerpiece of a national campaign to address the “achievement gap,” the disparity of educational measures between the performance of groups of students, especially groups defined by socio-economic status, race/ ethnicity and gender; especially prevalent among African American male students.


First in NC to Host National Museum of Mathematics Traveling Exhibit

Trinity Episcopal School hosted “America’s only museum dedicated to the wonders of mathematics” traveling exhibit, Math Midway 2 Go. Trinity Episcopal School is the first to bring this nationally touring exhibit to the state of North Carolina.

Math Midway 2 Go is a production of the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) located in New York City and provides an interactive, hands-on tour of mathematical concepts and principles that are applied to games and events you would find at a typical carnival, fair or circus. The exhibits can be used with students in grades kindergarten through eighth.

Trinity Episcopal School will have six exhibits on display including the Roller Graphicoaster, an exhibit that challenges students to explore slopes and functions by adjusting the shape of a track and rolling a cart along it, timing how long it takes from start to finish. Students can analyze their results to find the fastest possible path or compare average race times with classmates. Lesson plans are provided for all exhibits and include classroom activities to reinforce the museum experience before, during and after the Math Midway 2 Go visit.

“The National Museum of Mathematics opened in Manhattan this year, and since we can’t take our whole school to New York, we thought the next best thing was to bring the museum to us,” said Chris Weiss, Head of Lower School and Assistant Head of School for Trinity Episcopal School.  “The MoMath exhibit allows students to make connections to how math is used in the world and to spark curiosity about the many wonders of mathematics.  That real-life application of higher level mathematics fits Trinity’s philosophy on the teaching and learning of math in all of our classrooms, K through eight.”

The six exhibits engage students in doing and understanding mathematics through the exploration of activities involving shapes and counting, patterns, symmetry, measurements of length and time, calculus, geometry, algebra and more.

TES Hosts Award-Winning Writer Jacqueline Woodson for All Trinity Reads Event

Trinity Episcopal School students and families were joined by renowned award-winning writer Jacqueline Woodson in March 2014 to celebrate Trinity’s 8th annual All Trinity Reads event. During the school day Woodson spent time with students answering questions and reading excerpts from her works such as Feathers and Show Way, and spent the evening celebrating with families at a potluck dinner.

“What an amazing and inspiring place,” said Woodson.  “I felt so blessed to be among the students and faculty. The students were prepared and eager; their questions were thoughtful and smart. Such a cool group of people. So proud to have been a part of their journey.”

As Community Life is a foci of Episcopal schools, All Trinity Reads provides a wonderful opportunity to bring our school community together around a particular book or theme and is a wonderful Trinity tradition that helps us live into this ideal,” said Tom Franz, Head of School for Trinity Episcopal School.” The annual book selections typically center around a theme related to social justice which students explore in their classrooms, within their families and in the larger school community.

This year’s All Trinity Reads selection was not just one book, but revolved around the many works of Woodson. “It was really cool having Ms. Woodson here” said Bella Jacobs, 6th grader at Trinity. “She was down to earth and it was cool to have read her books the last two years and then have a chance to meet her in person.”

“She is truly a master writer, and we were thrilled to have a literary celebrity in the building” said Emily Rietz, Middle School Language Arts Teacher at Trinity. “Her transparency around writing, reading and living and the manner in which she personally connected with our readers and writers was remarkable.  We are better for having her talent, spirit and energy in our community. Her time with us definitely made a lasting impression.”

She has published 31 books and is currently working on another book. Some of her notable works include Miracle Boys, which won the Coretta Scott King Award in 2001 and her Newbery Honor titles Show Way, Feathers and After Tupac and D Foster. For her lifetime contribution as a children’s writer, Woodson won the Margaret Edwards Award in 2005.

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