Dear Parents and Guardians,
Well, we made it through the first week. Like the message I sent mid-week, I am still happy to report that Trinity knows of no student, faculty or staff who has received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. We've had a few folks here-or-there who quarantined due to a potential exposure, but to date (writing this on Friday) all will be returned on Monday with no positive tests.
For this success, we thank YOU! We have heard time and again that most COVID-19 cases in a school are contracted outside the building. By continuing to encourage your Blazers to practice proper preventive measures in all areas of their lives, we hope to be able to continue to come to school.
So many firsts this week! This year the teachers are moving around trying to find their scheduled classrooms, not just the students. We are having almost daily picnics as most of the students come outside at lunch. Our technology was tricky, at first, but it's running much more smoothly now.
We also had our first all-school assembly on Zoom. We covered expectations of mask wearing, attendance, and all of the standard start-of-school items. As some of you may be aware, there were at least two anonymous users in our assembly who obtained access to our link and password. This was not a “Zoom Bomber”, as those are hackers. Rather, one of our attendees must have invited these individuals, giving out the link and the password to the event.
It is important that you know that this is how they joined our assembly because Trinity High School has never refused a parent or alumna access to our all-school events. Parents have been invited to see the Blazers of the Month, Fine Arts Night Previews, Share the Hair, and always, always are welcome at our Masses and prayer services.
That being said, because these anonymous users accessed our assembly without identifying information available, Trinity will now be restricting our assembly access to only those with a Trinityhs.org email address. This way we will always know who is "in the room" with your daughters. Their safety is paramount to us. Parents - you are still welcome to join your daughter through her link for these special days.
In any event, these anonymous users made comments that raised another issue, about which we intend to be completely transparent. In the 2017-18 school year, the Trinity administration enacted a new policy that all songs at Trinity events had to be pre-approved by a Trinity staff member to ensure appropriateness for a Catholic School with our unique mission of Empowering Women. As you can imagine, the very first time this policy was enacted the students, our strong, empowered, independent Blazers, pushed back fiercely at what they saw as school "control" over their dance. There was a certain song they insisted be approved. After some very strong back-and-forth, in which the students repeatedly insisted that the song was just fine, no big deal, the staff member asked for the “clean” version of the lyrics. In an effort to educate the members of the student council about inappropriate lyrics that remain even in a "clean" version of a song, our staff member read the lyrics aloud to the students who were requesting the song so these student leaders could consider and better understand the impact and messaging of playing a song with explicit lyrics, racial slurs and violent references, were it to be played at a Trinity High School dance.
This event was never hidden nor "swept under the rug." Back at the time, in 2017-18, the Trinity staff member immediately related the situation to the (then) Principal. Of course, it is now 2020 and most of the girls then in attendance have graduated, so it is not current news. But our anonymous assembly attendees are apparently aware of it, and their comments sought to make an issue of it. It was then, and still is, Trinity's position that the staff member was acting in an effort to educate our students toward "responsible participation in the global community." I hope by being as transparent as I can be with you, I can ask you to take the same approach. When you have concerns, pick up the phone and call, or send me an email. I have always done my best to return calls as soon as my schedule allows. Anonymous Zoom comments and untraceable emails with generalized allegations, accusations, and threats undermine the well-being of our empowered Trinity women by greatly reducing the effectiveness of our educators in the classroom while creating unfounded rumors and innuendo.
Related, as promised, the parent climate survey has been out for a few weeks (link below if you haven't yet completed it), and the student climate survey (to current Sophs-Seniors) was sent to the Blazers yesterday. This survey was built a few years back by the SAFEE (Students Aligned For Equity and Equality) club, and they asked the questions they thought were important to the students. We will be enlisting assistance of outside, unbiased professionals in compiling the resulting data. Also related, we are happy to report that a group of students have initiated a "Diversity In Action Committee." All clubs at Trinity are student-initiated and student led, so we are thrilled that this is starting so quickly into the new school year. If your Blazer is interested in joining, she should look for an announcement about meetings and activities coming soon.
As always, we thank you for your support of your child, our school and our community. Last March 13 I optimistically thought we'd just be taking a long spring break. Then in May, when we pushed graduation to July 25, I optimistically thought we'd be able to convene in the auditorium again. But here we are. Your continued prayers undoubtedly help. Please never stop praying for our Blazers, our faculty and staff, and our whole school community.