Dear Parents,
I am embarrassed to admit that I am finding it harder and harder to sit down and read. Just this past week, I plopped myself down in my favorite chair, set my phone aside, opened a book, and sustained reading for about three minutes, tops. The tug of the smartphone was too strong, and I replied to a text, checked Instagram, answered email, replied to more texts, and so on and so on. I never really got any solid reading done. I suspect I’m not alone when I admit that even as an adult, I struggle to maintain a healthy balance with my phone.
Three years ago, the Upper School implemented a policy of asking our young people to turn in their phones at the start of every day and retrieve them at the end. It may be the single best decision we’ve ever made in terms of teaching and learning. No longer struggling with the temptation of their phones, students can more freely interact with each other and their teachers.
Recently, Lower School teachers have noticed a trend in our young ones toward wearing watches that have extended capabilities such as texting, pictures, games and video. While of course these devices are not inherently bad, they have become, in many instances, a tremendous distraction for these students and their peers. For this reason, I am asking that starting Monday, February 19, our Lower School students refrain from wearing Apple watches, V-tech devices, and the like, during the school day. If you would still like your child to have access to this device before or after school, teachers will gladly keep them safely during the day and return them at the end of the day, just as they do in the Upper School. As an aside, teachers are not combating any real issues with Fitbits, so students may freely wear those.
Keeping up with technology’s latest advances often feels like keeping up with snow in a blizzard, and I apologize if this new directive causes any disappointment with your children. As we attempt to create guidelines around technology use, we always want to be ahead of the curve but instead often find ourselves learning as we go.
As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Have a lovely weekend!
Warm regards,
Susan Hofer
Interim Lower School Head
GOT A MINUTE TO READ MORE?
Here’s a link to past articles on our blog covering a wide range of technology issues.
A WORD ABOUT EMERGENCY DRILLS
Each month, we practice fire drills, and as a staff, we each have an emergency preparedness manual targeting procedures for other kinds of emergencies. In addition, we are currently reaching out to local law enforcement for their guidance on emergency drill techniques. Lastly, we are setting aside time this coming Monday at our Lower School faculty meeting to review emergency procedures. Please rest assured that we have your children’s safety in the forefront of our minds during these troubling times in our nation’s schools.
TRINITY TALK SESSIONS
Join Mr. Breazeale to discuss various aspects of Trinity Academy during one of the upcoming Trinity Talk sessions! During these talks Mr. Breazeale will focus on a topic, with a 5-10 minute overview, before engaging in questions and answers with those in attendance for the remainder of the time. The first talk is Monday, February 19th at 8AM and focuses on the question, What is Classical Education? Can’t make that one? Join on Thursday, March 8th for a discussion around the question, How is Trinity Academy Innovatively Classical? RSVP (space is limited) here!
TECHNOLOGY AND FAMILIES: An opportunity to gather together around this important topic
While not an official Trinity Academy sponsored event, Trinity parents, Samantha Kilpatrick and Erin Anderson are working together to provide an opportunity for parents to engage in conversation around technology and families on Saturday, March 3rd, 9-11 am in the Atrium. See the links below for more information.
MOVING UP MEETINGS CONTINUE!
The last Moving Up meeting for this month takes place Tuesday morning, February 20 at 8:00 in the Atrium. All rising sixth grade parents are welcome to join me! 
February 20: Rising Sixth Graders
RE-ENROLLMENT NOTES:
View the re-enrollment email instructions here. Also, if you need assistance with the Excel worksheets, Brad Hodgson our Director of Technology will be available to assist you in the iLab at the following time:
Feb. 20 -3:00-3:30 pm
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
February 21: Presidents’ Assembly led by the Kindergarten class at 8:05 am
February 22-26: NO SCHOOL – Winter Break
February 28: Re-enrollment due by 4:00 pm to enjoy the Early-Bird Discount