Our Programs
Upper School

Upper School Minimester

The Trinity Upper School Minimester is a week-long course between the Fall and Spring semesters. Students choose from a menu of forty courses designed by the Upper School Faculty and taught in teams. These dynamic courses have included intensive cooking workshops, songwriting and production, a behind the scenes exploration of the New York City Art World, dance workshops, a study of film noir, a flight simulation course, and many more. The program invites students to slow down, to focus on an area of inquiry or activity that they feel passionate about, to experiment with something new, and to have serious fun halfway through the school year. The experience encourages individual growth and a sense of community through collaboration, engagement, and discovery. Each course is graded Pass/Fail and most consist of a mixture of classroom activities and off-campus excursions around New York City and beyond. At its heart, Minimester enacts John Dewey’s belief that the best learning results from the reciprocal interplay of doing and thinking.  

Minimester Program

The Trinity Upper School Minimester, debuting in January 2020, offers week-long, intensive coursework between the Fall and Spring semesters. Consider this coursebook to be an invitation: an invitation to slow down, to focus on an area of inquiry or activity that you feel passionate about, to experiment with something new — to learn because it’s fun. Minimester courses are divided into five areas: Make, Magnify, Explore, Move and Unplug. These five areas ensure an impressive diversity of courses not otherwise available within the Upper School curriculum. As you look over the fabulous offerings described across the pages of this book, we encourage you to sign up for courses that genuinely intrigue you. Allow yourself to pursue a talent or interest that life’s frenetic pace might otherwise keep you from discovering. Take risks. Make mistakes. Be open! At its core, we hope that the Minimester will be a joyful educational experience that will not only provide fora for individual growth, but will also bring us closer together as a community, encouraging us to learn and collaborate in new, exciting ways. Welcome to Minimester. Let’s get started."
-Andrew McCarron (Director of Minimester) 
I am so pleased and proud to be able to introduce you to our newly created Minimester program!  This new initiative has been in the works for a long time and is the result of the creative and intellectual effort of every single member of the Upper School faculty and staff.  The idea for this project came from the work of the Student Wellbeing Committee (SWBC), which involved 85 members of the Trinity community who spent the entirety of the 2016-2017 school year delving into the various ways students at Trinity thrive and struggle and work and play.  It was the strong recommendation of the SWBC that Trinity devote significant energy and resources toward the task of creating time for all of us to be together in new, creative, inspiring, dynamic ways — toward creating space for serious fun, away from the normal pressures of grades and assessments and achievement.  We wanted to carve out time for learning and engagement that would be “pure” ­— learning for the sake and for the love of it. The mini courses offered here in this catalog are the result of that recommendation.  Your teachers have been working hard to come up with ideas designed to open new physical, intellectual, and imaginative doors for you.  The five categories of experiences — Make, Move, Unplug, Magnify and Explore — represent the pillars of our thinking; each offering has been built in the name of generating curiosity and enthusiasm. What a great opportunity this will be for all of us! I know I speak for all of your teachers when I say that we simply cannot wait to launch this reimagined form of school.  
-Alexis Mulvihill (Assistant Head of School)
I am so excited to be able to introduce you to Trinity’s first incarnation of the Minimester program. I’m fairly certain that you have no real idea of what to expect, and that, in short, is part of the magic of this project. On most days that we go to school, we can have a pretty clear sense of our expectations. What Minimester is about is to reinject a sense of surprise into your daily interactions at school. Regardless of what course you take during this special week, you will encounter modes of learning that will cause you to think about school, the environment in which you live, and even yourselves in a new way. School should be — and Trinity always is ­— about allowing you to develop and then to explore intellectual passions. This idea is at the core of the Minimester. Our sincere hope is that by the end of the week you will have made new connections, engaged in stimulating conversations, and grown as a learner. Maybe you’ll even discover something about yourself and your interests that will spur you to follow new and exciting intellectual paths. I can’t wait for this week to occur, and just as critically, I look forward to hearing about all of your experiences. Enjoy the ride!
-Stephen Kolman (US Principal)
Located on the Upper West Side of New York City, Trinity School is a college preparatory, coeducational independent school for grades K-12. Since 1709, Trinity has provided a world-class education to its students with rigorous academics and outstanding programs in athletics, the arts, peer leadership, and global travel.