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One-Hundred-Fifty-Thousand Dollar Gift Helps Day School

Trinity Episcopal Church Plans Summer Opening

By Vanessa de la Torre

March 13, 2012

A retired city school teacher has anonymously donated $150,000 to help establish a day school at Trinity Episcopal Church on Asylum Hill.

The Rev. Johan Johnson, the founding head of school, said Monday that the woman's gift is part of more than $200,000 that has been donated toward the middle school's first year of operation, which is scheduled to begin this summer with an inaugural sixth-grade class.

The donor is a church member who taught in the Hartford school system. In a statement released through Trinity, the woman noted the school's plans for small class sizes and an "integrated curriculum" serving students from the neighborhood and around Greater Hartford.

"Our mission is to create a diverse group of learners," Johnson said. "To do that, we are aggressively fundraising."

Trinity Episcopal Day School, or TEDS, will be housed in the church's educational wing at Farmington Avenue and Sigourney Street and begin with 20 sixth-graders who will attend the school from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Grades 7 and 8 are expected to be added in subsequent years. If enrollment grows, the church will consider relocating the school, Johnson said.

Church officials plan an 11-month academic year, including a three-week summer immersion program that starts in July. Annual tuition is based on a sliding income scale -- the lowest rate will be $1,000, with the wealthiest families expected to pay $10,000. Applications for the sixth-grade class are being accepted, Johnson said. "We're still trying to get the word out. I don't expect this to be the 'Field of Dreams' -- if we build it, people will flock to us."

But he considered TEDS "a welcome addition to the terrain of Hartford schools" that aims to make its own impact on the achievement gap with high expectations, a teacher for every 10 students, and a focus on the arts and building student confidence while "infusing faith and values," Johnson said.

Families interested in applying can call Johnson at 860-527-8133, ext. 203. The first open house is planned for 7:30 a.m. March 22.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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