Trinity School (New York City)

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Trinity School
Trinity School logo.png
Labore et virtute
By hard work and virtue
139 West 91st Street
New York City, NY, 10024-1399
Coordinates 40°47′25″N 73°58′15″W / 40.790298°N 73.970861°W / 40.790298; -73.970861Coordinates: 40°47′25″N 73°58′15″W / 40.790298°N 73.970861°W / 40.790298; -73.970861
School type Private
Religious affiliation(s) Non-sectarian
Episcopal (historical)
Founded 1709
Founder William Huddleston
Head of school John Allman
Grades K-12
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 986
Student to teacher ratio 6:1
Schedule Day
Color(s) Blue      and Gold     
Athletics conference Ivy Preparatory School League
Athletic Association of Independent Schools
Mascot Tiger
Yearbook The Bruner
139 West 91st Street

Trinity School is an independent, preparatory, co-educational day school for grades K-12 located in New York City, USA, and a member of both the New York Interschool and the Ivy Preparatory School League. Founded in 1709 in the old Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Street, the school is the fifth oldest in the United States[1] and the oldest continually operational school in New York City.[2]

In April 2010, Forbes Magazine named Trinity the best college preparatory school in the United States.[3]


Trinity School was founded by William Huddleston, working under the aegis of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, in 1709 as a charity school for Trinity Church. Originally open to both boys and girls, classes were held in Trinity Church in lower Manhattan, but in 1749, Trinity moved into its own building across the street. The building burned down two months later and had to be rebuilt. Columbia University, then King's College, was founded in that building's first floor.[4] Trinity traditionally educated its students for Columbia given their close ties.

In 1789, Trinity's 56 boys and 30 girls were under the instruction of John Wood, clerk of St. Paul's Chapel at 29 John Street. No longer a charity school, its tuition stood at seven dollars per quarter, in addition to a one guinea entrance fee. In 1838, Trinity closed admission to girls. Girls would not be readmitted until 1971.[1] In 1889, Trinity School moved to 627 Madison Avenue (at 59th Street), and moved again a year later to 108 West 45th Street. In 1898, the trustees established the St. Agatha's School for Girls at 257 West 93rd Street as a sister school for Trinity. St. Agatha's eventually closed its doors.[citation needed]

In 1895, Trinity moved to its current location at 91st Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Trinity currently occupies six connected buildings: 151 and 149 West 91st Street house the admissions, advancement, and business offices; 139 West 91st houses the Lower School; 121 West 91st Street houses the Performing Arts Department, Middle School Science Labs, and Physical Education and Fitness Offices; 115 West 91st houses the Middle School and two gymnasia; and 101 West 91st houses the Upper School, the swimming pool, and the John McEnroe '77 Tennis Courts (opened in 2012).[5]

Shortly before the completion of the new upper school building in 1968, Trinity severed its Episcopal ties with Trinity Church, and is now non-sectarian, thus receiving no endowment from the Church. The school does, however, retain an Episcopal priest who is paid by Trinity Church. He delivers weekly chapel services at the school, as well as the annual baccalaureate service held at Trinity Church each May.

The Wall Street Journal consistently ranks Trinity as one of "the top three" high schools in the United States, as measured by students' admission to exclusive colleges.[6]


Trinity's Upper School (its high school, grades 9-12) differs from other private schools in its relatively small offering of Advanced Placement classes outside of mathematics and languages. It offers AP classes in Statistics, Economics (macro and micro), Calculus, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, French Language, Latin Caesar and Vergil, and Art History. As in most schools, students have the option of preparing for these AP exams independently, and many do. The school administers many, but not all, of the AP tests within its building. Though no strict core curriculum exists in the Upper School, the Lower and Middle School courseloads are highly structured, and ninth and tenth graders are offered limited flexibility in their courses. Juniors and seniors, however, are much freer to flexibly select electives and other such courses. English is the only subject mandated through four years in the Upper School. Math is mandated for three, the languages for three, and the lab sciences for two. There is also a Physical Education requirement.

Trinity is also notable for having a full Classics department, which is widely recognized as one of the strongest in the nation. Nearly 40% of the student body takes either Latin or Greek, while more than 60% take two languages.[7] Students from Trinity place high in the New York Classical Club High School Sight Translation Contest, which is held every year for New York City private school students.[8]

While Trinity is known for the strength of its humanities departments generally, the academic program is also unusual in that it mandates for all students at least one semester of religion. These courses range from those examining religious themes in literature to those analyzing world religions to those relating ethical or religious issues to modern life.


Athletic awards[edit]

For decades, Trinity has awarded a number of athletic awards each year to athletes participating in school sports. The awards are voted on by participating athletes, and there are three awards given per sport. In addition, there are two higher honors bestowed, chosen with faculty input and presented by the Headmaster. The JV Sportsman award is given to the Junior Varsity athlete with the best sportsmanship. The Alumni Award is defined as the athlete that has contributed the most to their sport, and is usually given to a graduating senior. Some sports, such as soccer, have other specific special awards.

Ivy Preparatory School League championships[edit]

Independent Schools state championships[edit]

Performing Arts[edit]

Trinity School has musical groups ranging from instrumental music: Jazz Groups, Orchestras and Chamber Ensembles, to vocal music: Choruses, both accompanied and a cappella. Musical performances figure in all three divisions with concerts, assemblies and chapel performances during the school day and in the evening.

The school also has a dynamic Dramatic Arts showing with performances ranging from plays to musicals - both as classes and as extra-curricular events.

Student organizations[edit]

Trinity boasts many student-run organizations. They include:

  • Academic Quiz Bowl - A trivia game group that holds weekly practices and regularly competes in city tournaments
  • Adventure Club - A group that explores the neighborhoods of lower Manhattan
  • Black Affairs Club - A very active club which appreciates different aspects of black culture and society
  • Breakdance Club - An extremely active club built to expand the art of B-boying in the Trinity Community. The club meets frequently and performs 3-5 times a year.
  • Bridge Building Club - A club that designs and builds model bridges, and organizes the annual Trinity Interschool Model Bridge Competition.
  • Canadian Affairs Club - A club that gives students the opportunity to achieve a greater knowledge of Canadian heritage and lifestyle
  • Chocolate Lovers Club - A student group dedicated to the enjoyment of chocolate
  • Cinematic Film Club - A dedicated group of students who enjoy making films and organize student film festivals
  • Classics Club - A long-surviving club that appreciates the work of the classics and has hosted events such as the traditional Latin scan-off
  • Columbus Magazine - The school's student-run and student-published literary magazine
  • Debate Program- The recently founded debate team has quickly risen to national recognition. In the 2012/2013 academic school year Trinity sent eight teams to the State Championships, with 4 octafinalists and a duo taking second place.
  • Investment Club - A newer club that discusses the economy and looks at potent investing strategies.
  • Correspondances - The school's student-run and student-published French art and literary magazine
  • Discourse - The school's student-run and student-published political magazine.
  • French Club - Trinity's French Club promotes the study of the French language and culture. There are regular cultural outings and club dinners. They also host and plan an annual trip to Quebec for students who speak French.
  • Trinity Business Class - Formally known as the "Trinity Hatchery," the TBC organizes and operates a for-profit entertainment series. Trinity Alumna Nicole Schmidt of Oberon Securities regularly leads classes for group members about entrepreneurialism and the fundamentals of successfully starting and running a business.
  • Jewish Affairs Club - Hosts the Great Trinity Latke-Hamantaschen Debate, in addition to providing other services to both Jewish and non-Jewish Students
  • Men's Cooking Club- A cooking club which hosts barbecues and other cooking affairs.
  • Microfinance Club- A community-service club which makes non-profit loans to small, local businesses
  • Model Congress - Trinity's award-winning student delegation that writes legislation and holds mock sessions of Congress with other schools across the country. Trinity's team won the James Madison Award for Best Delegation at Princeton Model Congress for the fourth time in five years in 2012 and is widely considered the strongest delegation in the country.
  • Model United Nations - Trinity's Model United Nations Club.
  • Musicians Club - A student-run club that practices and performs music at various school events.
  • Nothing But Treble - Trinity's all-female a cappella group
  • Novus Libellus - Trinity's Classics publication.
  • Phonic - The school's publication dedicated to music
  • Rasgos - Trinity's Spanish literary magazine
  • Quidditch - Trinity's Quidditch team won the high school division of the 2011 International Quidditch World Cup, and is currently the #1 ranked high school team in the world.
  • Theater Tech Club - This club organizes the technical crews for the school's many productions. Members build sets, work as stage hands, designs and operates the lights, and operates the sound systems.
  • Trinity Student Senate - Elected student government body that passes legislation, communicates with the school administration, and controls club funding
  • The Trinity Times - The school's long-running student newspaper
  • The Shakespeare Appreciation Society - A club that has produced entirely student-run and directed Shakespeare plays since 2000
  • Sons of Pitches - Trinity's all-male a cappella group
  • The South Asian Society - An active club that raises South Asian cultural awareness and appreciates aspects of south Asian society
  • The Trinity Ultimate Tigers - A student-run Ultimate Frisbee team that meets during the day and has weekend games
  • Urban Safari (Formerly: Village Adventure Club (VAC)) - A club dedicated to the exploration and enjoyment of NYC's downtown advised by the Head of School John Allman

The Senate[edit]

One of the most notable student organizations is The Trinity Upper School Senate. The Senate is composed of sixteen representatives; four Senators are elected annually from each class. The Senate is run by four officers: the President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, and the Speaker. The Senate has existed since the late 18th century; Trinity Times and Yearbook archives show the many iterations that the group has gone through such as a council of four class presidents, the Student-Faculty Senate, and the Community Meeting. The Senate oversees the majority of Student Life functions at Trinity and works with the administration towards improvements in the school.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable attendees[edit]


External links[edit]