List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • STRATEGIC PRIORITY #1 - Promote Innovative Pedagogy and Learning

    At Palmer Trinity, we expect our faculty to cultivate academic excellence, through inquiry-based learning, in an increasingly global forum. As we continue to strengthen our academic offerings and enrich our instructional practices, we ensure that each grade and division fully prepares its students for the next level, and that our graduates are well equipped for their journey through college, work, and life beyond.

    INITIATIVE
    Complete our comprehensive scope and sequence of academic skills and content in each department.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Devoted time to department meetings during each professional development day to work on senior/final exit criteria.
    • Modified Grant Wiggins’ Backward Design model to identify senior/exit criteria for each discipline.
    • Scheduled to complete the overall scope and sequence for the Upper School curriculum by June, 2016.

    INITIATIVE
    Enrich our academic programs through systematic program review and teacher evaluations, while examining the needs of our student population to address and support the diversity of learning styles.

    ACTION AS OF March 2016:
    Faculty Evaluation committee has:
    • Adopted the instrument for faculty observation and evaluation.
    • Selected the platform for individual portfolio.
    • Presented to faculty and scheduled to pilot evaluations in April, 2016.
    • Devoted professional development time to researching diversity of learning styles.
    • Scheduled collaborative workshops with professors at the College of Education at FIU for spring 2016 which will allow for teacher training in learning styles.
    • Sent four teachers to national conferences addressing the topic of teacher evaluations; provided venues for those teachers to share with the rest of the faculty.
    • Established a strategic alliance with Lonesome George & Co. in 2015, to offer the Academy of Agents of Change as an Upper School elective. Through approved curriculum and experiential education, this course will offer students the necessary skills and experiences to design, launch, and run their own ventures in social entrepreneurship.

    INITIATIVE
    Recruit and retain the most experienced, talented, globally aware, and mission appropriate faculty.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • This ongoing process is led by the Academic Team in conjunction with the Director of Hiring.
    • Developed budgets and benefits packages to allow the School to find the most competitive faculty and staff in the marketplace.

    INITIATIVE
    Review professional development funding to make certain that it aligns with our strategic priorities and allows for institutional growth.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Continue to clarify what is meant by “mission appropriate” teachers.
    • Utilized the generous professional development budget across divisions and disciplines; faculty have attended local and national conferences, such as:

      DatesEventMember
      Sept. 21 - Dec. 20Making Thinking Visible: HGSE (Online )Lisa Colandrea
      Sept. 28 - 30The Climate Reality ProjectLeo Llinas
      Oct. 1 - 4Setting the StandardPhebe Hibshman
      Oct. 1 - 4Learning and the BrainKatie Lamiell
      Oct. 15 - 18Global Education ForumFred Truby and Brittney McCabe
      Oct. 30AP WorkshopLauren Lane, Aldo Regalado, Andrew Godley, Graham Andrew, Ariel Cabrera
      Nov. 4 - 5FCIS, OrlandoAdrianna Truby
      Nov. 12 - 13Miami DeviceEmily Wilkens, Andrea Fresco, Laura Morin
      Nov. 12 - 13National Science Teacher AssociationAdam Gray
      Nov. 12 - 13NIAAA CertificationJudi Jennings
      Nov. 13 - 15Learning and the Brain, BostonNoel Schael and Brook Bodie
      Dec. 2015CPRSejal Vaywala
      Dec. 2015Carney Sandoe Diversity ForumSejal Vaywala
      Jan. 2016

      Global Connections: Peace Education with Faith DiversityPatrick Roberts and Manjula Salomon

      Feb. 2 - 8Carnegie Hall Honors FestivalTim Lester
      Semester 1TextbooksMelissa Baitsell
      2015 - 2016Teacher Certification FloridaLaura Kujawa
      Feb. 2016Mindfulness RetreatBrittney McCabe
      April 2016

      National Council of Teachers of MathematicsLaura Kujawa and Andrea Fresco

      June 2016Harkness InstituteMelissa Beske and Danesh Singh
    • Enhanced procedures for teachers to share what they learn at conferences with their colleagues and greater community.
    • Designated time and resources for teachers to design innovative curriculum.
    • Established Faculty Forum (lecture series) in which professional dialogue can occur.
    INITIATIVE
    Broaden our forms of assessment and utilize testing data effectively.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Adopted the ACT ASPIRE tests in grades 6-9. The online version allows us to administer three interim tests per year and receive immediate results.
    • Provided ongoing training in faculty advisory groups and department meetings for greater understanding of data analysis.
    • Met with parent group to encourage a positive mindset toward testing.
    • Provided more timely and comprehensive communication to families regarding score reports and shared additional resources.
    • Streamlined our tracking of student data for admission tests through final SAT/ACT exams.
    • Expanded our testing budget to include the costs of all ASPIRE, PSAT, and AP exams.

    INITIATIVE
    Research online, experiential, and blended-learning opportunities and determine our position on each.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Supported faculty members and administrators attending workshops and conferences, as well as visiting different schools around the country. Schools visited this year by administrators and faculty include:
      Battle Ground Academy - Franklin, Tennessee
      Berkeley Prep - Tampa, Florida
      Brimmer and May - Boston, Massachusetts
      Campbell Hall - Los Angeles, California
      Chadwick School - Los Angeles, California
      Christ Episcopal School - Greenville, South Carolina
      Emerald Heights School - Indore, India
      Florida Prep Academy - Melbourne, Florida
      Francis Parker School - San Diego, California
      Friends Seminary - New York City, New York
      Gulliver Prep - Miami, Florida
      Head Royce School - Oakland, California
      Marist School - Atlanta, Florida
      Montgomery Bell Academy - Nashville, Tennessee
      Oyster Bay High School - New Hampshire
      Oyster Bay Middle School - New Hampshire
      Palmetto Bay Academy - Palmetto Bay, Florida
      Ransom Everglades - Miami, Florida
      San Francisco Day School - San Francisco, California
      St Andrew’s School - Boca Raton, Florida
      St. Andrew's Episcopal School - Jackson, Mississippi
      St. Philip’s Episcopal School - Coral Gables, Florida
      St. Stephen’s Episcopal - Bradenton, Florida
      St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School - Coconut Grove, Florida
      St. Thomas Episcopal School - Miami, Florida
      Tampa Prep - Tampa, Florida
      The Daly College - Indore, India
      The McGlannan School - Miami, Florida
      Trinity Prep - Winter Park, Florida
    • Piloted a partner online collaboration independent study course with Chadwick School in Los Angeles, CA, culminating in travel capstone in July 2016.
    • Researched the benefits of online / blended learning courses that are not within PTS curriculum.

    INITIATIVE
    Continue to implement the most effective technology across the disciplines, and explore methods and opportunities for teaching responsible use.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Committed to the on-going imperative development of IT integration into teaching and learning.
    • Added more than 20 Techboards in various classrooms.
    • Planned future purchases of additional Techboards.
    • Supported faculty and administrators attending local and national conferences, updating them on recent trends in how technology is being used for education, such as Miami Device at St. Stephen’s, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Social Media Conference in Miami, FCIS in 2015.
    • Educated students about social media with assistance of special guest experts. A speaker worked with students, faculty, staff, and parents in February, 2016.
  • STRATEGIC PRIORITY #2 - Celebrate our Episcopal Identity in a Diverse Community

    Palmer Trinity is the only Episcopal middle and high school in Miami-Dade County and an active member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools. It should be noted that while many of the local elementary Episcopal Schools join the Palmer Trinity community, our overall student population is diverse. Palmer Trinity School community is committed to fostering and nurturing compassion and respect while recognizing the uniqueness of each child.

    INITIATIVE
    Continue to evaluate and enhance the overall curriculum of Religious Studies, providing all students with a solid foundation of religious literacy and a more consistent, comprehensive, and meaningful experience.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Developed curriculum to include global religions and cultures in course list.
    • Expanded curriculum of Religion and Ethics course to include Middle School.

    INITIATIVE
    Foster a welcoming environment of respect, kindness, and compassion for persons of all faiths and traditions.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Planned the celebration of holidays and customs from a wide variety of faith traditions.
    • Offered individual presentations of different customs and rituals during Convocations and Chapels.

    INITIATIVE
    Clarify and improve overall school communication regarding our Episcopal Identity by sharing the National Association of Episcopal Schools’ (NAES) Principles of Good Practice.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Included NAES brochure in Admission materials.
    • Posted the School Mission, Philosophy, and Guiding Principles throughout the campus.

    INITIATIVE
    Enhance and enrich weekly Chapel and Convocation services, by engaging a School Chapel Committee, and empower the student voice through the creation and implementation of a Student Vestry.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Established the Student Interfaith Vestry, which meets monthly, and includes faculty and administrators.
    • Redesigned the Chapel Committee to focus on scheduling convocations and chapels with the input of faculty and staff.
    • Re-established the Jewish Culture Club, led by the Chaplain and an Administrator.
    • Expanded Chapels to include the Chinese New Year and the understanding of Islam.
    • Added new rituals to Chapel by including the school prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, and Honor Code at each gathering.

    INITIATIVE
    Support the role of the Chaplain in building relationships through pastoral care and community service.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Worked together to support the Chaplain as she provides pastoral care to members of the community when needed. This year, the Chaplain has been an integral part of several Memorial Services for members of our student, alumni, and parent community, both on and off campus.

    INITIATIVE
    Further cultivate the relationships among the Anglican Communion, the National Episcopal Church, and the School.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Re-established a relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida.
    • Welcomed Bishop Eaton and his wife during their visit to campus and spent the day meeting with students and Leadership Team in February, 2016. Also welcomed Bishop Frade to visit classes before he retired as Bishop.
    • Invited and included local clergy to participate during services on campus.
    • Head of School and Chaplain have accepted invitation, by the Diocese, to participate in Visioning Workshop in March, 2016.
     
  • STRATEGIC PRIORITY #3 - Cultivate Student Engagement

    Student life at Palmer Trinity is founded on the values and principles of our founding schools, which had rich traditions as character-building institutions. Comprehensive academic programming, citizenship, physical fitness and well-being, spiritual development, a commitment to service, and the development of the whole person were the common philosophies that were handed down when Palmer School and Trinity Episcopal School joined as Palmer Trinity School in 1991. Today, in order to enhance school spirit, pride, and a true sense of belonging, we must continue to provide opportunities for our students to develop stronger connections and enhance the overall student experience ultimately becoming members of the Palmer Trinity Alumni network.

    INITIATIVE
    Equip faculty with the tools and training to build and implement an effective and robust advisory program. Focus on the role of the advisor as one who strengthens our sense of community, generates dynamic discourse, fosters self-actualization, and supports students at each stage of educational and personal development.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Included in job description the expectation of all faculty to serve in the Advisor role.
    • The Division Heads have reviewed the Advisory program and continue to evaluate best practices for PTS students.
    • Appointed Advisory Coordinator for the 2015-2016 school year.

    INITIATIVE
    Manage and cultivate partnerships with local organizations to enhance service learning initiatives.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Developed school partnerships with local organizations, such as the Deering Estate at Cutler S.E.A. Program, which is coordinated either by the Director of Student Activities or Director of Environmental Stewardship with the purpose of establishing a culture of community living.
    • Partnered through our Summer Camp Experience with the following organizations: Metro Traffic Safety Institute, Museum Education Program of Miami, and Tennis Advantage of Miami, to name a few.
    • Enhanced strategic partnerships through the work of the Associate Head of Communications and Strategic Partnerships and the Director of Auxiliary Programs.

    INITIATIVE
    Increase the presence and active participation of administrators and faculty in student activities in the arts, athletics, clubs, and service opportunities.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Established a full-time position of Director of Student Activities to increase school spirit and faculty and staff support in overall activities and events.
    • Strengthened faculty and staff involvement as Advisors in Clubs this year.
    • Completed first year of training workshop for advisors; over 60 faculty and staff in attendance.
    • Added the Acceptable Use Protocol (AUP) and established a committee to review all requests.
    • Added community service activities and more off-site clubs, i.e. Big Buddies, Little Buddies (BBLB), Chapman Partnership, Debate Club, Mathletes.

    INITIATIVE
    Enhance opportunities for Middle School and Upper School collaboration focusing on internships, mentorship, service learning platforms, and academic learning.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Appointed Director of Auxiliary Programs, in October 2016, to work with Director of Student Activities to coordinate this effort.
    • Established new internship program, "Pathways", for rising seniors and Alumni.

    INITIATIVE
    Strengthen and encourage an active alumni community that ensures and celebrates lifelong connections among students, faculty, and the School.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Strengthened Alumni relations through networking opportunities including: the Falcon Forum (an Alumni Speaker Series), increased regional events (including Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, and Boston, Jacksonville, London, and an upcoming visit to Washington, D.C.), and Legacy Breakfast (which celebrates Alumni who are also current parents at PTS) in fall 2015.
    • Instituted monthly Alumni coffees on campus.
    • Added a part-time Alumni Ambassador, as well as increased Alumni Board meetings to five times a year. Added a monthly Alumni newsletter, increased social media engagement, and Summer Social Events.

  • STRATEGIC PRIORITY #4 - Optimize Our Campus for 21st Century Learning

    With the recent approval of our Master Site Plan, Palmer Trinity can update and modernize the current campus, and as the School raises funds, build new facilities on the School’s South Campus. This work will ensure that the School’s physical spaces optimally support mission and programs. Our facilities will enhance our efforts to maximize interdisciplinary collaboration among departments and divisions, while energizing and showcasing the spirit of innovation. The campus will also demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and energy conservation, functioning as laboratories that help us educate our students to be prudent stewards of the global ecosystem.

    INITIATIVE
    Finalize the process to secure a $10M loan for construction and campus-wide improvements, which will allow us to complete the infrastructure, on-site and off-site roadway improvements, and athletic fields on the 33-acre South Campus.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Secured and received $10M IDA tax exempt bond.
    • Began infrastructure and campus-wide improvements on South Campus, and are currently tracking ahead of schedule. 

    INITIATIVE
    Build new facilities, and update existing facilities which will support the School. As enrollment grows, classrooms must be a priority to provide additional educational space for faculty and students.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Created, designed, and constructed a new STEM Lab, three new classrooms, updated faculty office space, and renovate library as of Summer, 2015.
    • Remodeled gymnasium floor and bleachers in Summer 2015.
    • Renovated Development Office and Campus Store (uniforms outsourced to free up classroom space) in Summer 2015.
    • Completed new Medical Clinic, renovated Middle School Office space and ceramics studio, and redesigned food service area in MDR in December, 2015.
    • Improved grading on existing fields and planted new grass. Updated and improved athletic and fan experience on existing fields (north campus), promoting the Palmer Trinity brand.
    • Updated landscape and hardscape features around north campus fields.

    INITIATIVE
    Honor the natural environment we teach and learn in, and continue to enhance the existing 22-acre north campus with native trees that will provide a fertile landscape for all migratory birds.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Established new annual maintenance program for landscaping of 22 acres.
    • Developed curriculum on flora and fauna in conjunction with Fairchild Tropical Gardens.
    • Increased budget for overall sustainability and landscaping.

    INITIATIVE
    Consistent with our mission as an Episcopal School, the building of a chapel will be at the heart of our campus both physically and spiritually.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Visited Episcopal Schools with chapel buildings including: St. Andrew’s, Boca Raton, St. Thomas Episcopal School, Miami, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Miami, St. Philip’s Episcopal School, Miami, and St. Christopher’s School, Key Biscayne, Florida. Note: More visits are planned for the future.

  • STRATEGIC PRIORITY #5 - Global Citizenship at PTS

    The rapid mingling of cultures, the complexities of enormous changes across nations, the unforeseen advantages and problems that arise out of the new global economy and the clash of cultures and groups, and the plight of the world’s poor are but a few of the conditions that make up the state of our world today. We seek to prepare our students to take their place as global citizens in the dynamic and challenging times they live in now and will encounter tomorrow. In preparation, Palmer Trinity School is a founding member of the Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG), a national institution of independent schools that have leading global programs and benchmark standards of learning, both academic and experiential.

    INITIATIVE
    Develop and coordinate a structured program by integrating quality global content in curricula across divisions. Use specific benchmarks, at all grade levels, to continue to foster global citizenship that offers Margaret Mead’s “Habits of Mind and Habits of Heart”, encompassing our fellow human beings and our common earth as community.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Established overall global commitment at Palmer Trinity School.
    • Completed curriculum component to include global programming.
    • Hosted the 3rd Annual Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG) Conference at Palmer Trinity School, which brought over two hundred global educators from independent schools and organizations around the world to our campus allowing them to share pertinent information regarding, among other things, global citizenship, curriculum, safety, and travel programs.
    • Introduced Global Week and increased opportunities for students and faculty to travel more in near future.
    • Increased budget to include trips, stipends, due diligence, insurance liability, and workers compensation.

    INITIATIVE
    Showcase PTS’s international attitude and global perspective as an integral component of a world-class secondary education, through travel, both domestic and international, and service learning both at home and across the world.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Applied to the prestigious Round Square program for acceptance.
      The Round Square network offers schools a framework for excellence and continuous improvement, along with structured opportunities to collaborate and share experiences with like-minded peers around the world. A site visit of Palmer Trinity School by RS is scheduled for May 2016.
    • Increased commitment to global education for 6th/7th-grade students.
    • Created stipends and professional development dollars to support global attitude on campus.
    • Established financial aid availability for specific student travel. Travel grants are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and have been offered to students traveling in 2015-2016.

    INITIATIVE
    Strengthen the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program with processes and infrastructure to support the students and families it serves, while respecting and encouraging the student’s own language and culture.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Confirmed that all ESOL instructors at PTS have degrees or certification in TESOL.
    • Assessed ESOL program in 2016, and added courses to help mainstream students.
    • Offered World Religion to the ESOL students for the first time.
    • Added advertising of ESOL program more widely.
    • Budgeted additional ESOL instructors, training, and certifications.

    INITIATIVE
    Enhance opportunities for collaborative and reciprocal “sister-school” programs, enrichment programs, and study-away programs for students.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Added a travel program to China in June 2016, to be led by Chinese teacher.
    • Joined Global Connections organization in 2015.  Palmer Trinity Head of School and Associate Head for Academics traveled to India to initiate and build strategic partnerships with several schools at the 2016 Global Connections Conference, including schools in: India, Romania, and Spain, as well as other nations.
    • Added technology to maintain Skype dialogue across Middle School disciplines.
    • Increased budgets for global travel and additional partnerships.
    • Continued relationships with PTS Signature Programs in Australia, France, and Spain.

    INITIATIVE
    Provide our faculty with opportunities to have professional training lectures, as well as travel and learning that creates a shift in their intellectual and cultural understanding.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Increased opportunities for faculty professional development by creating and implementing a regular speaker series for faculty after school. This includes lecturers from FIU, Vanderbilt University, and PTS Head of School.
    • Investigated programs with opportunities for faculty travel: i.e. Chaplain's Diocesan excursion to Israel.


  • STRATEGIC PRIORITY #6 - Ensure Our Financial Stability

    Today’s independent schools must plan for the future and balance a number of competing needs. Compensation levels must be competitive; tuition levels must be acknowledged as reasonable; the School should be accessible to various national, religious, and socio-economic groups if we are to broaden diversity in all its forms. The academic and co-curricular programs must be engaging and stimulating; facilities and physical plant improvements must be planned and monitored in a constant, consistent fashion; and the School must secure long-term financial stability. Success depends on prudent fiscal management, a commitment to building increased endowment, a strong and stable development program, and the active contribution of every member of the PTS community.

    INITIATIVE
    Enhance a rolling three to five year operating budget including projections for capital expenditures, debt service, and tuition increases.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Completed and implemented three-year budget rollout completed in 2013.
    • Finalized and continue to review ten-year forecast.
    • Purchased new, facilities maintenance tracking software, Capital Forecast Direct. Trained staff in tracking and predicting ongoing and future capital expenditures for facilities.

    INITIATIVE
    Expand the School’s philanthropic fundraising program and programs for parent and alumni engagement as the School prepares to embark on a significant capital campaign.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Hired special events person for fundraising and events coordination.
    • Appointed Director of Auxiliary Programs, Director of Parent Relations, and new Director of Development.
    • Created additional grandparent events to bring awareness about academics, athletics, and arts programming, as well as school fundraising efforts.

    INITIATIVE
    Redesign summer programs to generate revenue, and continue to explore mission-centered auxiliary revenue streams.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Hired Director of Auxiliary Programs who created Summer Programs, After-School programs, and proposed facility rental opportunities.  
    • Reviewed and updated budget, revenue stream, and goals.

    INITIATIVE
    Explore and identify additional opportunities for greater efficiency, particularly within administrative processes, as well as outright reduction of resource consumption.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Redesigned office spaces, and increased overall paperless communication on campus.
    • Improved efficiencies with continued automation of processes/cloud based solutions (i.e. Magnus, Results+, Blackbaud, etc.)
    • Streamlined security, maintenance, and operations teams.
    • Inaugural State of the School address to be held by Head of School and CFO in March 2016 with intent to better educate faculty and staff regarding finances and benefits.
    • Required meeting of all travel leaders was held  in 2015 to share experiences and protocols for future travel.

    INITIATIVE
    Increase risk mitigation and management to lower the School’s exposure.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Required all adults on PTS campus to participate and receive certification in specific modules of "Safeguarding God's Children", a program that educates the community about how to keep our children safe. This program must be completed by all members of PTS faculty and staff by June 2016.
    • Approved and published Travel Leaders Guide, after review by PTS attorney.
    • Established bullying hotline.
    • Added liability insurance, including money in budget for workman’s comp fund and special "Longshore and Harbor Workers Comp" coverage for all programs that are water based.

    INITIATIVE
    Establish reserves to accommodate unanticipated expenses, and to grow the School’s endowment.

    ACTION AS OF MARCH 2016:
    • Reached 100% for both Faculty and Staff participation and Board of Trustee participation in Annual Fund for 2015-2016.
    • Raised $30K required to cover new experimental programs (S.E.A. Program, Agents of Change, etc.) as well as additional training/support with on-going costs.

7900 SW 176 Street, Miami, FL 33157
Tel: 305.251.2230 | Fax: 305.251.2917
An independent, college preparatory, co-ed, Episcopal day school serving a community of students grades 6-12.