Trinity Catholic to Remain Open

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At the Trinity High graduation on May 30, 2019, Dr. Steven Cheeseman, the superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Bridgeport, said: “this is not the place to do this but I would like to tell everyone that this will not be the last Trinity graduation!” The whole gymnasium filled with cheer as they were excited to have their school remain open and proud to be a part of this community. About a week before the graduation the students heard rumors that their school was going to possibly shut down for the next school year due to the lack of enrollment and inability to afford to stay open. As this filled them all with fear it was quickly pushed away at the news of them staying open.

However, in order for them to remain open Trinity is now required to make numerous cuts to keep the lights on. Two of the biggest cuts are the termination to some of their sports programs and the elimination of their learning academy program which fosters help for kids with special needs. But there were also cuts to the types of classes being offered. There will no longer be any Advanced Placement (AP) classes offered and now many of the classes that they will remain to provide will be taught on computers.

Now, they have reached their necessary enrollment of about 175 people but with the cuts to all of these programs the students currently enrolled will be forced to go to a school without the specialized curriculum that they had originally anticipated. This puts a damper on the student’s resumes; the athletes won’t be able to add more to their recruitment or put down that they played sports for at least one year of their high school career, the students with special needs will not be receiving the attention and care that they would much appreciate, the lack of AP classes does not allow the students to challenge themselves or put on their college resumes that they took advanced classes, and many students additionally have a hard time learning on computers. All of these cuts may help them stay open currently, but by not offering more programs to the students, it may cause more people to leave in the end.

Since the football program has effectively been cut, the idea of renting out their field to create more funds is an idea that they have been looking towards. They already rent out the newly renovated football/soccer field to teams such as the Beachside Soccer Club and for the city of Stamford to have flag football games. Therefore since their own team won’t be using it in the fall after school or on the weekends anymore, it opens up more slots for other teams to rent it out. This will inevitably help them gain some more money that will hopefully go back into the school.

Amidst their struggles, the many cuts don’t change the fact that they are the only Catholic high school in Stamford and many people still desire that religious school education. By not enrolling at Trinity those kids that want a religious education would have to travel by train or a long car ride to get to the closest Catholic schools in Trumbull or Fairfield. However, they would have many more options going to those schools.

Many Trinity High community members are indecisive on whether the school should remain open on not. Recent Trinity alumnus (class of 2019) Zachery Therrien said, “I think the fact that they are making an effort to try and keep the school open is good, however, the situation that they are in now doesn’t leave a very bright future for the present and incoming students. Therefore, I think that it would only be fair to the staff and students if they were to close down now, instead of struggling to stay open for the next few years.”

Students are hopeful, but many are also confused as to why they are keeping the school open if there isn’t much to be offered.

The Diocese has been doing all that they can to help Trinity stay open as the bishop had explained at the graduation. The near future of Trinity High is set, but the later future will either have them fail from lack of activity causing enrollment to drop even more, or prosper through income from renting out sports fields. Although Trinity is currently facing several problems, they have some time to figure out a solution and in the meantime, they will continue to care and provide all that they can to their remaining students for the next year.

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