Trinity Hits Student Population Record

On+Thursday%2C+August+26%2C+the+Trinity+Saints+pack+in+the+auditorium+for+senior+investiture.+This+year+marks+the+largest+number+of+students+at+Trinity+with+a+total+of+879.

Olivia Kortman

On Thursday, August 26, the Trinity Saints pack in the auditorium for senior investiture. This year marks the largest number of students at Trinity with a total of 879.

Alec Diaz, Staff Writer

This school year, Trinity is facing its largest enrollment in history with 879 students. According to Director of Admissions Denise Turner, 6,000 people move to Florida each month, which contributes to the increase.

The COVID-19 pandemic also played a role in parents wanting to send their children to Trinity, as it was one of the only schools to continue offering face-to-face education during the pandemic.

“Parents became very frustrated with public schools, so they started pulling their students out of public schools and looking for private schools where we quite frankly managed [the coronavirus] a lot better,” Turner said.

Head of School Byron Lawson said that part of the reason Trinity has gotten more students is due to Trinity’s reputation. Trinity has both gotten positive reviews from parents and grown the school’s college matriculation data during the pandemic.

“It’s the equivalent of, ‘I don’t know what to do right now, but I know I can’t go wrong if I [go to Trinity],’” Lawson said. “We are that school, you’re not going to go wrong if you choose Trinity Prep.”

Lawson said that the school could possibly exceed its current limit if there was more space, though it might lead to unintended consequences.

“I will honestly say that I do think this school has a limit, and it’s limited by space,” Lawson said. “How we use the current space that we have, the school could probably get to 1,000 if we built out space just for teachers to [have] offices not in their classrooms.”

With a significant interest in Trinity, there are some that the school has to turn away, at least initially.

“As high as [applications have] been, we have turned away more students than we have in the past,” Lawson said. “We are getting more students from more areas than we have in the past.”

The waiting list at Trinity is an unranked waiting list, which means that a student is just on the waitlist and it does not matter if there are people ahead on the list. en, every applicant is reevaluated to see what they bring to the table. ere is currently a waiting list of 37 people across all grades, with the most being in 9th grade.

As a result of the large student body size, the school is being forced to adapt to its large number of 879 students. All school assemblies have been moved to the gyms instead of in the auditorium. e teacher to student ratio for the core classes this year is 12:1 for upper school and 11:1 for middle school.

According to Turner, if Trinity ever did get to 900 students, the possibility of purchasing land is not o the table.

“If [the growth] necessitates new property, if that necessitates moving the school a couple of grades to a different building, then potentially you’ll have to do that,” Turner said.

Turner said that having the middle and upper school at different locations is not ruled out either.

“I don’t think anything is out of the realm,” Turner said. “It’s just that [this] is a strategic answer that the board of directors would have to come up with [and] the board of directors would have to say to Mr. Lawson, ‘This is what we want to do and let’s go.’”

There has been some property purchased, most notably an office park with four buildings that can be seen when going towards Howell Branch Road.

Since admission is always a year ahead, Turner said that there are 180 students being looked at for the 2023-2024 school year.

“You think about the fact that we’ll be graduating 142 students this year, right, so essentially we would be looking to have at least 142 new students join us next year, as new students to replace our graduating class,” Turner said. “So to try to keep our enrollment about where it is, year over year, which is around that 800 mark, when you graduate out, you have to bring in new.”