The Effort System

It’s our mantra. Our ethos. Our inspiration.

The Effort System is Trinity-Pawling’s distinct approach to inspiring and measuring student growth. It assesses students in multiple dimensions: academics, dorm life, athletics, work program, and extracurricular involvement. Through this ethos of effort, we challenge young men to become ambitious, well-rounded individuals in all aspects of life.

We prepare our students to be in charge of their own learning and their future accomplishments. The School’s focus on effort fosters the self-awareness that allows students to recognize the areas where they need to grow — while at the same time, opening their eyes to the talents and potential they never thought possible.

A group of Trinity-Pawling students clap and cheer on the quad in between classes

The Effort System stuck with me. I see it coming through in my professional work and my work in law school, both where I have to give 110% of my life. T-P kept me organized and taught me how to manage my time and maintain a disciplined schedule.

Jacques Zelnik ’11

How it Works

Every six weeks, each student receives an effort grade from faculty members with whom there is a direct relationship: teachers, dorm parents, coaches, and advisors. Group placement is not based solely on academic achievement, as with a traditional academic honor roll, but on overall effort. Students are placed in Group 1 (highest) through Group 5 (lowest), depending on the commitment they’ve shown to their teachers, coaches, brothers—and most importantly, to themselves. Group 1 privileges includes a more flexible use of free time — mornings, evenings, and weekends. The greater a student’s overall effort, the more independence he earns. 

Alumni Success Stories

Join Headmaster Bill Taylor, Dean of Students Josh Collins ’95 P’23, and a panel of accomplished alumni to learn about how the Effort System helped them graduate as ambitious, well-rounded individuals and find success in all aspects of life.

Alumni Panel
  • JP Burlington '95 (Director of Admission, Millbrook School)
    Jean "Osei" Mevs '94 (President, Maxx Content)
  • Jay Philpott '96 (Director of Admission, St. Andrew's Episcopal School)
  • JB Ferrarone '98 (President, Plath & Company, Inc.)
  • Kevin Emore '99 (Global Partnerships Manager, Food and Fitness at Nike)