Open main menu

Trinity School is a highly selective independent, preparatory, co-educational day school for grades K-12 located in New York City, USA, and a member of both the New York Interschool and the Ivy Preparatory School League. Founded in 1709 in the old Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Street, the school is the fifth oldest in the United States[1] and the oldest continually operational school in New York City.[2]

Trinity School
Trinity School logo.png
139 West 91st Street


Coordinates40°47′25″N 73°58′15″W / 40.790298°N 73.970861°W / 40.790298; -73.970861Coordinates: 40°47′25″N 73°58′15″W / 40.790298°N 73.970861°W / 40.790298; -73.970861
School typePrivate
MottoLabore et virtute
(By hard work and virtue)
FounderWilliam Huddleston
Head of schoolJohn Allman
Student to teacher ratio6:1
Color(s)Blue      and Gold     
Athletics conferenceIvy Preparatory School League
Athletic Association of Independent Schools
NewspaperThe Trinity Times
YearbookThe Bruner
139 West 91st Street


Trinity School was founded by William Huddleston, working under the aegis of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, in 1709 as a charity school for Trinity Church. Originally open to both boys and girls, classes were held in Trinity Church in lower Manhattan, but in 1749, Trinity moved into its own building across the street. The building burned down two months later and had to be rebuilt. Columbia University, then King's College, was founded in that building's first floor.[3] Trinity traditionally educated its students for Columbia given their close ties.

In 1789, Trinity's 56 boys and 30 girls were under the instruction of John Wood, clerk of St. Paul's Chapel at 29 John Street. No longer a charity school, its tuition stood at seven dollars per quarter, in addition to a one guinea entrance fee. In 1838, Trinity closed admission to girls. Girls would not be readmitted until 1971.[1] In 1889, Trinity School moved to 627 Madison Avenue (at 59th Street), and moved again a year later to 108 West 45th Street. In 1898, the trustees established the St. Agatha's School for Girls at 257 West 93rd Street as a sister school for Trinity. St. Agatha's eventually closed its doors.[4]

In 1895, Trinity moved to its current location at 91st Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Trinity currently occupies six connected buildings: 151 and 149 West 91st Street house the admissions, advancement, and business offices; 139 West 91st houses the Lower School; 121 West 91st Street houses the Performing Arts Department, Middle School Science Labs, and Physical Education and Fitness Offices; 115 West 91st houses the Middle School and two gymnasia; and 101 West 91st houses the Upper School, the swimming pool, and the John McEnroe '77 Tennis Courts (opened in 2012).[5]

Shortly before the completion of the new upper school building in 1968, Trinity severed its Episcopal ties with Trinity Church, and is now non-sectarian, thus receiving no endowment from the Church. The school does, however, retain an Episcopal priest who is paid by Trinity Church. He delivers weekly chapel services at the school, as well as the annual baccalaureate service held at Trinity Church each May.

Forbes Magazine named Trinity the country's best private school in 2010.[6] In 2004, The Wall Street Journal ranked Trinity as third best at getting its students accepted to some of the country's most exclusive colleges.[7][8] A 2019–20 survey ranked Trinity as the 2nd best K–12 private school in the country and the 5th best private high school in the country.[9]


The Lower and Middle School courseloads are highly structured, and ninth and tenth graders are offered limited flexibility in their courses. Juniors and seniors, however, are much freer to flexibly select electives and other such courses. English is the only subject mandated through four years in the Upper School. Math is mandated for three, the languages for three, and the lab sciences for two. There is a requirement for religion and Physical Education. Trinity is also notable for having a full Classics department, which is widely recognized as one of the strongest in the nation. Nearly 40% of the student body takes either Latin or Greek, while more than 60% take two languages.[10]





Ivy Preparatory School League championshipsEdit

New York Sports Association of Independent Schools state championshipsEdit

Performing artsEdit

Trinity School has musical groups ranging from instrumental music – jazz groups, orchestras and chamber ensembles – to vocal music – choruses, both accompanied and a cappella. Musical performances figure in all three divisions with concerts, assemblies and chapel performances during the school day and in the evening.

The school also has a dynamic dramatic arts showing with performances ranging from plays to musicals, both as classes and as extra-curricular events.

The SenateEdit

One of the most notable student organizations is the Trinity Upper School Senate.[citation needed] The Senate is composed of sixteen representatives; four Senators are elected annually from each class. The Senate is run by four officers: the President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, and the Speaker. The Senate has existed since the late 18th century; Trinity Times and yearbook archives show the many iterations that the group has gone through such as a council of four class presidents, the Student-Faculty Senate, and the Community Meeting. The Senate oversees the majority of student life functions at Trinity and works with the administration towards improvements in the school. As well, they work as the liaisons between student-run organizations and the school administration.


Trinity offers a variety of club program run by its students. The school offers clubs such as Public Forum and Parliamentary Debate, Model UN, Model Congress, Academic Quiz Bowl, Mock Trial, and student-run publications. At the beginning of every year, Trinity holds a "Club Fair" for students to sign up for these groups. Service and support groups are also available for students to participate in. All clubs require a faculty advisor to oversee operations and organize potential trips or competitions. The school also offers a multitude of service opportunities, including language tutors, PS 84 tutoring, and various fund raising organizations like Baja Bound.

Notable alumniEdit

Notable attendeesEdit


  1. ^ a b Currivan, Gene (February 12, 1971). "Trinity School Will Admit Girls; Institution Founded in 1709 Plans Change Next Fall". The New York Times. p. 35.
  2. ^ "Trinity School Viewbook" (PDF). Trinity School. 2005. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ "Trinity Church schoolhouse". Columbia University. Archived from the original on February 8, 2005. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ "St. Agnes School Sold To Condo Developer". West Side Rag. December 4, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  5. ^ "139 West 91st Street". Google Maps.
  6. ^ Ewalt, David M. (23 January 2013). "America's Best Prep Schools". Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ "Admissions Watch". College Bound. Vol. 18 no. 9. May 2004. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  8. ^ "Your Tuition Dollars at Work" (PDF). The Wall Street Journal. April 10, 2004. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  9. ^ "National rankings". August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "Trinity School". Prep Review.
  11. ^ "Past Champions" (PDF). New York State Association Of Independent Schools. 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  12. ^ "Trinity Board" (PDF). Trinity School. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  13. ^ "John McEnroe - Growing Up".

External linksEdit