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Admission Office Reflections

Value Over Cost

It's a great feeling to get more for your money than you thought you would. Retailers know it and offer us "Buy One Get One Free" - who doesn't want to receive more in value than the actual cost? I was thinking today about this concept as it applies to our kids' education, particularly the decision to send them to, and thus pay for, a school like Trinity Christian School. As a parent of two Upper School students, certainly the "cost" of sending our children here was an initial concern for our family. When we made the decision to enroll them both, we adjusted aspects of our lifestyle to accommodate this new "cost." Very quickly after starting the school, and really even before the first day of school, what we began to receive was value. There was value in the way I was personally welcomed and aided by my assigned "Mentor Mom," who, by the way, has turned into a friend. There was value in a sports team that welcomed my kids to practice over the summer, even though they had never done that sport before. There was value in the New Family Dessert event we were invited to the week before school began, in the chapels we were invited to as parents, in the annual Fall Family Picnic (a Trinity tradition), in the Parent Forums, in the tremendous ways the school communicates with parents. Most of all, there is value in the way the teachers and staff care for my children. Just this weekend, my son received a postcard from his art teacher, telling him how she prayed for him that day, and how she wanted to get to know him even better so that she could better pray for his needs. Trinity is bursting at the seams with a staff that, of course, is ready to teach at a high level, but also is given an environment where they can nurture, connect, and see value in each student. That is the best value, one that makes our "cost" seem worth every bit of adjustment and planning. This extra value of a Trinity education is what will pay us and our children back in dividends for the whole of our lives.

Fairfax County Parkway or Almost Home?

A school hallway is a great location to catch all kinds of sound bites! Here are two that relate to Trinity's requirement that all seventh and eighth grade students take speech and logic.

Seventh Grade Student: "Arrghh, and I have this dumb class on logic – like anybody will ever use that!"

Parent: "Since reason has been replaced by feeling and perception, is there any point teaching our children logic and debate?"

It's likely that you have seen some version of the interview in which random college students are asked if it is acceptable for a person to identify as something he is not; what if a 5'2" female Caucasian wants to identify as a 6'4" male Asian? Today, it is not difficult to find those who believe this is indeed acceptable. While outrage at these interviews is easy, usually, it is not persuasive. Persuasion may stand a better chance when connections are made to other parts of life . It is important to help make such connections and encourage right thinking because when truth is what I want it to be, society will be dysfunctional. If it is fine for me to identify reality however I wish, what will limit me from applying my own "identification" not merely to self but to all things? I never liked Route 66, it's just one digit away from an unappealing number, and I will identify that highway as Route 77. And Fairfax County Parkway...? Well, that's entirely too much of a mouthful so I will identify that as A.H. (Almost Home.) So, if you have just moved to Aldie and you're coming to dinner at our house, I might tell you to leave Allive (so much more pleasant than Aldie!), hop on Route 77 and get off at the exit for A.H. at which point you're almost there, or are you?

Do we need to teach logic? Yes! Should we still teach our children to debate? Yes! Those who reason well, winsomely, and persuasively will be of great service to society. The sum of your word is truth, the Psalmist writes, may it be the sum of our words as well.

The Three-Legged School: Church, Home, School

Often when giving tours at Trinity, I find myself referring to a three-legged stool, where one leg represents our school, one the parents and the home, and one represents the church. A stool needs three legs for balance and stability. We would not place our children on shaky stools at the kitchen island; we don't even let them wiggle around for fear of an unexpected tip-over! In this same way, we must assure that each leg of our home-church-school stool is strong, compatible and doing its job to support the other two legs.

To provide the strongest foundation to our students, we desire that what is said and done at home is in alignment with the church and with the school. All three "legs" play a part in the spiritual nourishment of the child, but none of the legs can do the work without the others. Moreover, while I cannot substitute parenting with church attendance and/or school attendance, neither will just any "leg" do for my stool. I choose to partner with a school that understands the eternal weight of glory at stake. Trinity takes its role as a "leg of the stool" seriously. From the Admission Office to the commencement stage, TCS partners with you to uphold your student and provide stability. Come check it out!

College Advising is in Full Swing

College Advising is in full swing; students are learning Naviance, the financial aid seminar is in the rearview mirror, and the list of visiting colleges continues to grow. In the second half of September alone, we are welcoming representatives from 14 colleges and universities! These visits are held during the school day, and allow our juniors and seniors to meet representatives and ask their questions about the college or university face to face. Just today we kicked off "college advising season" by welcoming Hillsdale College, an academically challenging school from Michigan. Later this week, we welcome the University of Virginia, Seton Hall University, and the University of Georgia, to name a few. Representatives travel to visit Trinity Christian from within our home state of Virginia, but also from states spread across the country. Sometimes in the admission process, parents looking to transfer their students from the large public school express concern that colleges will overlook a "small" Christian school. At Trinity, our students are not being overlooked. The reps are visiting, our students are applying, and, most importantly, our students are being admitted to some of the strongest schools in the country. Trinity's reputation of academic success and college preparation facilitates many colleges wanting to be here to meet our students, and wanting our students to be at their schools. As the Assistant Dean of Admission AND a parent of two Trinity students soon heading to college, I rest easy knowing that my children are so well supported in the college application process. Trinity has the reach, resources, and reputation to launch our students to the next level of academic success.

Be sure to visit the College Advising page.

She Missed Learning About Jesus

They had moved from the Southwest, toured, applied and been accepted. Then, Northern Virginia sticker shock set in while several neighbors asked, "Why would you do that? Don't you know that you've moved to one of the best school systems in the country?" Soon after, the offer of admission was declined.

The family spent some time in the local school before their daughter voiced how much she missed learning about Jesus. Another look at Trinity resulted. This time the family enrolled. When at the end of day two a teacher came my way to share a good story, I anticipated an anecdote about the student's interest in Bible time or faith connections; instead she shared how the student mentioned she was sad that her friends at her old school are learning so much less than she is.

Because He does all things well, we must pursue excellence in all that we do also.

The Road to the Right School

September. How did that happen? Are we really finishing our third week of school already? The new year has caused me to reflect back to just over a year ago when my own children started high school at Trinity.

We are a military family, and we have moved almost more times than I care to remember. We have tried all types of school as we traversed the globe. When we received our orders to come back to Northern Virginia, my husband and I prayed earnestly for direction from the Lord as to the best fit for our two kids to finish high school. The lure of public school is strong in this area- phrases like "best in the country" are tossed around liberally. But our plan was made clear to us- Christian school. The challenge became finding a school that "had it all"—a love and knowledge of biblical truth imparted through all areas of the school, very strong academics and academic offerings, a full slate of activities and athletics, a beautiful campus that could serve as a respite from the "crazy busy" life of this area, and a faculty and staff that would love and support my children. A tall order, perhaps, but one I thought would be easily met in an area like this, which offers so many choices.

Wow, was I wrong. We searched and searched. We read countless school websites. We toured several schools. We even expanded our target search area, and still, all roads led back to just one school- Trinity Christian. Surely we were missing other options, and surely we could come up with a list of ten (or twenty!) schools, right? No. There was one, and the Lord made it clear this was THE One.

For our family, and perhaps for yours as well, no other school could meet all of these needs and wants. If you are searching for a Christian education home, visit Trinity. Poke your head in a classroom while on tour, talk in a play, come to a basketball game, talk to our faculty. Trinity may become for you what it is for us- a family; a family of fellow believers, sharing goals for our children, and working diligently under God's guidance to do our best to see them to fruition.

May 5, 2016

Future Gryphons,

I was 22 years old when I first came to the United States. While I had a decent, working knowledge of the English language, there was plenty that left me puzzled. I heard this strange song, "Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam..." I pictured one or two of them in the kitchen, a handful in the living room, maybe one in the hallway – it's a narrow place after all. I certainly failed to see why even a diehard animal lover would desire this. Eventually I figured out it meant ...there where the buffalo roam... Countless other occasions followed when I understood the words but not the meaning.

Being new to a school (and for many of you, new to the state or even the country!) can feel just like that. "LS lunch training will take place in the OHM conference room; please sign up on the Parent Portal and be sure to park in Lot C." What ??!!??

The Admission Office at Trinity Christian School works with a super group of Mentor Moms who reach out to assigned new families. Each Mentor Mom calls or emails her new families when they accept our offer of admission, shortly before school starts, once during the first month of the new school year, and beyond that as seems helpful, desirable, or necessary.

If you have postponed applying because the transition to a new school seems daunting – it can be, but the Trinity community stands ready to help you.

(Oh, and on our campus the buffalo roam most after the last bell of the day, but your Mentor Mom will tell you all about that!)

Admission Office Contact Information

Margot Clenance,
Dean of Admission
703.273.8787 x112

Jennifer Frey, Assistant Dean of Admission
703.273.8787 x111

David Moore, International Coordinator


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