Letter from the Director

Posted by Kay

Welcome to the 2017-18 school year! It is hard to believe that we are already two weeks in, given that I spent most of the summer anxiously awaiting the return of students, with their small dramas, big personalities, and amazing transformations. As a former Trillium teacher and advisor, I know firsthand where they are coming from, where they want to go, and can be flexible when they change their minds. I appreciate that our students are not all the same, and have different needs and expectations.

In July 2017, I was nominated and approved to serve as your Interim Executive Director. Today, I am as thrilled and honored as ever. I love what we do in our classrooms. Across all programs, teachers are tailoring content, instruction, and assessment to their unique group of students; teachers are learning from students just as much as students are learning from them. On the administrative side, my exposure to the youth perspective is less frequent, but I am shadowing and attending student meetings whenever possible.

In addition to reinvigorating our commitment to youth voice and choice, I will prioritize the following goals:

  • Increase fundraising, to build capacity and increase retention of students and staff.
  • Streamline the parent complaint procedure and swiftly respond to past complaints.
  • Host more community events that reflect the diversity which exists within our walls.
  • Host more community conversations that don’t shy away from addressing racial equity, economic equity, and equity for students with disabilities.

 

No director is a one-woman show. I need your buy-in and support for these goals to become realities. First and foremost, this will require a cultural shift. Historically, our culture has been compartmentalized into adult, youth, and work culture. We have spoken past each other instead of collaborating, communicating in slightly different language. For example: “it’s going to be a great time!,” versus “lit,” versus *spirit fingers.* What we all really mean to say is “Trillium just wants to have fun!”

To resolve conflicts that may arise, create a healthy school climate, and process our feelings around change, we must come together in community, and have fun! Here are a few upcoming opportunities:

  • September 13th, 5:30-7:30pm Trillium Board Meeting
  • September 18th, 3:30-5pm Together for Trillium PTSA Meeting
  • September 21st, 6-7:30pm – Back to School Night
  • September 28th, 5-7pm – Life After Trillium
  • September 28th, 6-8pm – Parent Listening Session

Our Restorative Justice Discipline Policy will be available on the website by the end of the month. If you attend Back to School Night, you can engage in a Q&A session with those who wrote it, and pick up one of a limited number of print copies. The long and short is that RJ emphasizes correction and counseling over punishment, and seeks to replace strict zero-tolerance discipline policies with collaborative opportunities for restitution. Throughout the fall, we will track how RJ is working, and how it can be improved, and report back to you in the spring.

Sincerely,
Patrice Mays
Interim Executive Director

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