The alumni community of TCS is like no other I have seen, remaining strong in many parts of the world. From Toronto to London to Bermuda to Hong Kong, the community stays tightly-knit to their roots and events are held on a regular basis. This offers fantastic opportunities for networking, developing business relationships, and mentorship programs. At the school, parents are more than welcome on campus, often found wandering the halls looking at historic cricket team photos, or admiring the architecture. Further, groups like the "Guild" offer opportunities for parents to be involved in the running of school affairs and events. The alumni newsletter is one that almost everyone is excited to receive in the mail, updating everyone on life achievements and developments that go far beyond what facebook can provide.
TCS is very engaged with its alumni. There are branch dinners in major cities around the world and we are always excited to go and see one another. Parents are actively encouraged to be a part of the community and to visit for sports games, musical or theatre performances and debates. Some of my closest friends from TCS are still my closest friends as an adult. We attend eachother's weddings, visit when we happen to be in the same city anywhere in the world and talk on a regular basis. It is a community that continues to give.
Being an international student who lived in a completely different continent and had never left home I knew that coming to this strange place and calling it my home would prove difficult. As a result, during the first few months, I could not call this place "home". It all started when I first got to TCS, everyone really welcomed me with open arms and tried to reach out to me but I was a bit hesitant and slow to trust. However, as the school year went on and I was no longer considered a "new student" everyone gradually dispersed into their circle of friends and stopped the constant reaching out that was associated with my first few days in school, I did not feel included because everyone had found their close friends and I found myself as more of a wanderer. Then I realized, in the middle of the year, that I could not expect everyone to constantly come to me if I did not go to them, I was not giving what I initially received. From then it became aware to me that I needed to show I was an open person in order to feel included, by doing that I found that many close circles of friends were willing to extend their circles to include me and even appreciate me. Therefore, it gradually started feeling more and more like home to me. As I said earlier, I am sure that not every single person in the school feels included and appreciated, but that tends to be more of their decision and how they choose to reciprocate what people welcome them to the school with.
The Parents’ Guild is a volunteer group of parents who help out at the school. There are many different ways to help out with this group. Such as, being a member of the executive team who organizes the volunteers, or maybe you chose to help out weekly in the school store or help out once in awhile decorating for holidays or assisting with school organized events. Everyone is welcome and appreciated. Occasionally throughout the year, the Guilt will organize events just for the parents. Like a Virtual Cooking Class, a Christmas wreath-making class and even an evening out at one of the local restaurants. Being part of this group allows you to get to know other parents from both the Junior and Senior Schools.
The community of TCS students, parents and alumni was a huge draw for our family when deciding to send our children to TCS. My brother is an alumnus of TCS and it is a meaningful part of his identity. For current parents, there is the opportunity to volunteer with the Parent Guild, attend Guild workshops, social activities, work in the school store, etc. Pre-covid, parents are welcome on campus for teacher visits, sporting events, theatre productions and awards ceremonies. One of my favourite TCS traditions is the running of the Oxford Cup (oldest footrace in North America) which is an event for Alumni and students and parents to race around the beautiful campus. In the fall, homecoming is called Bear Fair and it is a blast for students and alumni too.
Trinity College School reaches out with the great intention to the broader community of the school. As a family, we have seen that broader community involvement from two different perspectives. First, my husband is an alumnus of the school. The Alumni network is extremely strong and the school manages, leads, encourages and supports those efforts to stay connected to TCS after graduation. Second, my husband and I are now TCS parents. The school welcomes parent and guardian involvement in the life of the school. They do an outstanding job to reach out to parents and guardians and to communicate those opportunities. The Parent Guild is a long-standing and dedicated organization to support parents and students while attending the school. Even during the COVID pandemic, the Parent Guild is connecting and encouraging parents.