Departments & Curriculum

Course Description Guide 2020-21

Trinity’s mission to help students discover their paths is reflected in our curriculum and course offerings. A variety of subjects are offered in each discipline and at different levels. All levels are college preparatory and the goal is to place each student in courses at levels that are challenging yet developmentally appropriate.

Scheduling Considerations
The regular course load is six credits per year. Students may only sign up for six core academic classes per year.  This is the maximum number allowed for any student, including IB diploma candidates. Seven classes is the maximum number of scheduled courses a student may take each semester.  All students new to Trinity may register for only six total classes in their first semester. Seniors must earn a minimum of six credits in the senior year, with at least five of them through year long courses. During the senior year, a student may take a maximum of 4 IB HL courses or 4 AP courses.

While Trinity makes every effort to place students in the courses that they request, sometimes the creation of the master schedule means that students may need to choose alternatives.

Requests for an exception to an academic rule should be made in writing to the Associate Head of School.

Course and Graduation Requirements

List of 2 items.

  • Grade 8

    Students entering Trinity as an eighth grader must take six credits to include the following:
    • English 8
    • World Geography
    • Integrated Science
    • Math (determined by placement/prior mathematical coursework)
    • World Language (determined by prior world language coursework)
    • Electives (one year-long or two semester courses)
    8th graders also take Titan Prep, a course that gives students skills and tools for success as they grow at Trinity, as well as helping them understand what it means to be a Titan. The class includes units on: character development, service learning, executive functioning skills, time management, goal setting, critical thinking, social media/digital citizenship, research and technology skills, mental health and more. Throughout the year days will also be spent mixing in physical activity through games and competitions along with classes focused on building camaraderie, morale and spirit.
  • Grades 9-12

    The minimum requirement for Trinity graduation is 23 academic credits in grades 9 through 12. Specific subject and course requirements are listed below. The regular course load is six credits per year. The maximum course load is six core academic courses.  Seniors must earn a minimum of six credits in the senior year, with at least five of them through year long courses.

    Requests for an exception to an academic rule should be made in writing to the Associate Head of School.
    Curricular Requirements
    One credit is given for successful completion of each year of study in a subject area. One-half credit is given for semester-length elective courses.
    English (4 credits)
    Students are required to take English each year.

    Mathematics (4 credits)
    Students are required to take Math each year. Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 are required.
    Social Studies (4 credits)
    Students are required to take Social Studies each year. Both United States History and Government are required.
    Science (3 credits)
    3 years of laboratory science are required.  The 9th and 10th grade required sequence of semester courses, Conceptual Physics and Scientific Research for 9s and Biology and Chemistry for 10s, earn 2 laboratory credits.
    World Languages (3 credits)
    All students must complete level three of a language and be engaged in language studies for at least three years.
    Fine Arts (1 credit)
    One year-long or two semester courses are required in the visual, musical or performing arts.
    Religion (.5 credit)
    One semester course in religion is required.
    All courses beyond the minimum graduation requirements are considered elective credits. Yearlong and semester classes designated as elective courses are intended to supplement a student’s regular program.

Co-Curricular Graduation Requirements

List of 6 items.

  • Community Service

    Because Trinity recognizes the importance of service, each student is required to complete a minimum number of service hours each academic year, based on his/her entry grade. Click this link for specific information on the school’s community service program.
  • Junior Work Week

    All members of the junior class must participate in Junior Work Week, an opportunity for students to explore a career or specific job of interest. The experience culminates in a series of writing assignments (journal and “college essay”). Click this link for more information about the specifics of Junior Work Week.
  • Physical Education/Activity Credit

    Students are required to earn two activity credits during each of their 8th, 9th and 10th grades; one activity credit during their junior and senior years. For grades 8-10, at least one of the activity credits must be earned from a Trinity team sport (non-manager), strength and conditioning, yoga or the outdoor program. For grades 11 and 12, credits can be earned from either participation in a Trinity team sport, approved Trinity group activity or from an approved off campus activity. Group activities can include drama productions (on-stage or backstage), pep band, robotics and athletic team managers. Off campus activities, such as horse-back riding, ballet, ice-skating, etc. can count for activities credits (grades 8-12) once they are approved by the Athletic Department. 
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)

    The INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE diploma programme (IB DP) is a two-year, intellectually challenging curriculum with an international perspective for students in grades 11 and 12. The IB diploma candidate takes six IB tests in the following subject areas: English Literature, Social Studies, World Language, Mathematics, Science and an elective. In addition, each student writes a 4,000-word research essay and fulfills an extra-curricular and community service requirement. A valuable component of the program is a course called Theory of Knowledge, which teaches how knowledge is acquired and validated.  Additionally, qualified students can choose to be an IB course candidate, taking individual IB courses instead of undertaking the complete IB Diploma Programme.

    Academic Expectations: Students are expected to maintain at least a C average at the end of the first semester in SL courses and at the end of the first year of HL courses.

    Exam Expectations: Students enrolled in IB courses are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking an IB exam.
  • Course Selection and Exam Decisions

    Additional Note about IB Science SL Exam Decisions:  Students in an IB Science SL course in grade 11 who plan to continue HL in grade 12 are encouraged to take the IB SL exam for formative assessment and for a contingency plan. If a student is unable to take the IB SL exam due to IB requirements or special circumstances, the student will take a mock IB SL exam before the end of the school year. If the student does not continue with HL in grade 12, the mock exam will contribute 25% of the student’s second semester grade in the SL subject.

    Additional Note about IB Spanish B SL, IB French B SL or IB Latin SL Exam Decisions: Students in an IB Language SL course in grade 11 who do not plan to take the HL course in their senior year are required to complete a virtual component of the course outside of class that will total 28 hours throughout the year. These students are also expected to take the IB exam.  A fee applies to all students taking the exam. The decision to complete the virtual component of the course must be made prior to October 1.
  • Advanced Placement

    Advanced Placement denotes courses which are part of the curriculum of the College Entrance Examination Board. They are designed to allow students to do college-level work in high school. To be admitted to AP courses, the student must meet prerequisites.

    Academic Expectations
    Students are expected to maintain at least a C average at the end of the first semester.

    Exam Expectations
    Students are expected to take the AP exam at the end of the year. A fee applies to all students taking an AP exam.
For additional academic information regarding grading scales, exams, progress reports, etc., please consult the Student-Parent Handbook (login required).