Kay's Blog

Apr 15th, 2018

TFT Spring Plant Sale Fundraiser

Posted by Kay

The annual TFT Spring Plant Sale is here. Thank you to New Leaf Greenhouse Plant Fundraising for partnering with us to support Trillium staff, students, and families!

Products include annual and perennial flowers, in flats or hanging baskets; and vegetables in flats or 4″ sampler pots. All plant information is listed on the order form.

Submit your order form and payment in the SCRIP box and payment by Wednesday, April 25th. Your plants should arrive in 3 weeks, on Wednesday, May 16th.

TFT strives to organize fundraisers that are easy, fun, and provide something that the community wants. The plant sale is typically their greatest source of revenu, so please participate!

In recent years, TFT has contributed to playground equipment, microscopes, senior grants, events, and many other staff and student-initiated projects.

Learn more here: http://togetherfortrillium.org/about-tft/

Apr 15th, 2018

Runaissance 2018 is Friday, April 20th

Posted by Kay


Runaissance is a fundraising run and walk event that was created to raise money for the arts at Trillium. Students solicit pledges from family, friends, and neighbors. Sponsors pledge a certain amount per lap or a flat rate amount.

View the full event description here: http://www.trilliumcharterschool.org/news-events/events/runaissance-2018/

Apr 2nd, 2018

Important Re-Enrollment Info for 2018-2019

Posted by Kay

To hold your student(s)’ enrollment for the upcoming school year, you must return the attached form, 2018-2019 Returning Student Form, by Friday, April 13, 2018. It may be received by Sharon at the Front Office or by your student(s)’ homeroom teacher / adviser. This form also serves to enter any new student siblings that you hope to enroll in 2018-2019. They will be given priority in the lottery. Review the lottery process here.

The lottery begins the 2nd week of April. After re-enrolls are processed, any open slots will be filled with new families. Both new and returning families will be notified of their enrollment status by the end of the 2nd week of April. Registration packets, and the 2018-2019 school calendar, will be sent home with your student(s) on Monday, May 01, 2018, and are due back by Friday, June 01, 2018.

Enrollment often continues up to the last day of school, and beyond, with slots filled in the order that inquiries are received. Know of friends or family looking for a change in their child(ren)’s education? Be sure to encourage them to contact us! Things change throughout the summer; some grade levels may have a waiting list, while there will be openings in others.

But our office staff will be here, working hard to keep the enrollment information up to date. Do your part to support them, during this hectic Enrollment season, by responding with timeliness to this request. Questions? Call 503-285-3833 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

 

Mar 19th, 2018

Spring After School Program Registration

Posted by Kay

Trillium has partnered with Chess Wizards and Circus in Motion to provide school-based after school classes. Registration for Spring term must be completed before students return from Spring break, as programs will begin meeting in April. Review specific program dates and registration information below.

Chess Wizards is one of the largest chess academies in the nation. More than just a game of winning and losing, they challenge their students to think ahead, visualize their goals, treat others with respect, and learn from their mistakes.

Wednesdays: 4/18, 25; 5/2, 9, 16, 23, 30; 6/6.

3:30-4:30pm.

Minimum enrollment of 10.

Contact: Trishana Walker, email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Circus In Motion is a mobile circus arts company that provides enrichment programs throughout the Portland Metro Area. Studies show that creative movement and circus arts help with physical development and awareness, kindness, mental and academic focus and build confidence.

Fridays: 4/20, 27; 5/4, 11, 18, 25.

Starting at 12:15pm.

For 2nd-4th graders.

Maximum enrollment of 10.

Contact: Martina Oskarsson, email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Mar 19th, 2018

Trillium Kitchen Wants Your Feedback!

Posted by Kay

Trillium Kitchen wants your feedback! Complete the Trillium School Lunch Survey to let Preston know your favorite and least favorite items on the menu, and to submit your suggestions for new items. You just may see them appear! Can’t remember what you ate last night, let alone last month? Click here to review recent menus before taking the survey. Note: Paper surveys are available on the bulletin board outside the kitchen.

Feb 11th, 2018

Letter from the Director

Posted by Kay

The testing periods for the Smarter Balanced assessments in English and Math and the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) Science and Social Sciences assessments are fast approaching. Last year, we gleaned important insights into how Trillium students test, and where they stand in relation to other schools in the PPS district. Historically, we have tested very well; we have exceeded district averages across the board. Recently, however, test scores have gone down.

After an extensive review of the results, we have come to the following conclusions:

  • We need to raise our testing scores in Math, from 10% (grades 3-5), 18% (grades 6-8), to meet or exceed the district average of 50% in similar grades.
  • We need to raise our testing scores in Reading, from 26% (grades 3-5), 39% (grades 6-8), to meet or exceed  the district average of 59% in similar grades.

  • In meeting the needs of our specialized populations, economically disadvantaged, English Language Learners, students with disabilities, and historically underserved populations; we need to raise our scores an average of 35%.

Testing and graduation data is one of the few metrics that the school district has to measure our success as a school, locally and statewide; and so is very important. Knowing this, many parents have reached out to see what they can do to support us in raising our scores. One way is to have your student “opt-in” to testing. As years of testing data begin to accumulate, it is possible to analyze trends and identify broad areas of concern, such as a significant achievement gap between one group of students and another. Effort can then be focused on identifying the reasons for this gap, and finding means to address it.

We understand that many parents choose Trillium because we are less focused on testing and scores, and more on a whole-child curriculum. We understand your concerns around test anxiety, and are committed to supporting your student, to feel as safe and confident as possible while testing.

In an effort to ease the climate around testing, we will roll out the following interventions:

  • Administer practice tests

  • Offer tests in smaller increments

  • Develop shorter prompts that mirror official questions

  • Increase math instructional hours

  • Increase computer literacy instructional purposes

  • Share our approaches across grade levels

  • Ensure students receive accommodations tailored to individual needs

  • Ensure our specialized populations have no barriers to their education

Under Oregon Administrative Rule 581-022-1910, parents may request that their student be exempted from taking the OAKS Online Science and/or ELPA21 tests to accommodate a student’s disabilities or religious beliefs. To best support school planning, please download and submit the 2017-18 Parent Request for Exemption by March 12, 2018.

Thank you,
Patrice Mays
Interim Executive Director

 

Feb 11th, 2018

Reblog: Dear Parent, About THAT kid…

Posted by Kay

This post was originally posted on Miss Night’s Marbles, a blog by Kindergarten teacher Amy Night. Follow this link to read it in its entirety, and check out other popular posts while you’re at it.

Dear Parent,

I know. You’re worried. Every day, your child comes home with a story about THAT kid. The one who is always hitting shoving pinching scratching maybe even biting other children. The one who always has to hold my hand in the hallway. The one who has a special spot at the carpet, and sometimes sits on a chair rather than the floor. The one who had to leave the block centre because blocks are not for throwing. The one who climbed over the playground fence right exactly as I was telling her to stop. The one who poured his neighbour’s milk onto the floor in a fit of anger. On purpose. While I was watching.  And then, when I asked him to clean it up, emptied the ENTIRE paper towel dispenser. On purpose. While I was watching. The one who dropped the REAL ACTUAL F-word in gym class.

You’re worried that THAT child is detracting from your child’s learning experience. You’re worried that he takes up too much of my time and energy, and that your child won’t get his fair share. You’re worried that she is really going to hurt someone some day. You’re worried that “someone” might be your child. You’re worried that your child is going to start using aggression to get what she wants. You’re worried your child is going to fall behind academically because I might not notice that he is struggling to hold a pencil. I know.

Your child, this year, in this classroom, at this age, is not THAT child. Your child is not perfect, but she generally follows rules. He is able to share toys peaceably. She does not throw furniture. He raises his hand to speak. She works when it is time to work, and  plays when it is time to play. He can be trusted to go straight to the bathroom and straight back again with no shenanigans. She thinks that the S-word is “stupid” and the C-word is “crap.” I know.

I know, and I am worried, too.

You see, I worry all the time. About ALL of them. I worry about your child’s pencil grip, and another child’s letter sounds, and that little tiny one’s shyness, and that other one’s chronically empty lunchbox. I worry that Gavin’s coat is not warm enough, and that Talitha’s dad yells at her for printing the letter B backwards. Most of my car rides and showers are consumed with the worrying.

But I know, you want to talk about THAT child. Because Talitha’s backward Bs are not going to give your child a black eye.

I want to talk about THAT child, too, but there are so many things I can’t tell you.

. . .

Feb 8th, 2018

What’s Next for Trillium’s School Garden?

Posted by Kay

The Trillium School Garden Initiative began in 2007, in order to retrofit the new building to accommodate a garden. Trillium partnered with Edible Skylines to apply and secure an Ecoroof Incentives grant through Bureau of Environmental Services (BES). It was Portland’s first urban rooftop garden on top of a school, growing produce for the school’s scratch kitchen. For several years, AmeriCorps Garden Coordinators held garden class for all K-5 students, and elective Upper School students. In 2017, the grant cycle ended, and we sought new leadership and program structure for the garden. Stepping into this role, for the 2017-2018 school year, is 11th grade student, Maia McGaw.

In partnership with former Garden Coordinator, Lauryl Grimes, and our new School Chef, Preston Brennan, she hopes to reignite the garden-to-school program, maintaining previous levels of food production, while boosting community education programming. Help her gain insights into the factors that helped the garden to function effectively in the past, how future resources should be utilized, and what garden programming the community is interested in; by completing the following survey: https://goo.gl/forms/FoocvNicdaFHa7LA3. Follow Trillium Schoolyard Project on Facebook to stay informed of what is happening in the garden and school grounds as a whole.

Jan 1st, 2018

Enroll Now for Fall 2018

Posted by Kay

Hello, Prospective Families! Enrollment for Fall 2018 has begun. Start the process by touring our school at the first Open House of 2018 – Thursday, March 1st, from 5:30-7:30pm. If you already know that you will be applying, this is a great opportunity to drop off your application.

The TCS 2018-19 Application is available for download from our website and in print at the Front Office. All applications submitted by March 30, 2018 will be entered into a blind lottery, to be drawn on April 4, 2018.

Before you apply, we recommend a few things. First, attend an Open House. Open House is an informational meeting and an opportunity for self-guided tours of the building. There are no children’s activities, but children are still welcome. Your child may meet their future teacher!

Then, dig deep into our website. Make sure that you feel comfortable with who we are and what we stand for. A good place to start is our Trillium FAQs. Here, you will also find answers to questions you may have about Enrollment.

If you have further questions about our school, the enrollment process, or the application, please contact Patrice, email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Dec 30th, 2017

Letter from the Director

Posted by Kay

Some of you may have had an opportunity to read the article written by Shasta Kearns Moore in the Portland Tribune, on December 21, 2017, titled: “Trillium Charter School Roils in Turmoil: Racial Divide One Factor as Students Leave in Droves.” Another byline was:  “Kids Said to Be Out of Control.” Ms. Moore was present at the December 13, 2017 Board Meeting, alongside 80 staff, students, and parents. She interviewed current and former staff, parents at the board meeting and I was interviewed as well.

The article, I believe, provided a fairly balanced view of the current state of the school.  There are divisions.  There is tension.  Test scores are low, enrollment has declined; there is staff instability and poor staff morale, and student management issues.  There is dissatisfaction with the Trillium School Board and me as the Interim Education Director.  Despite the current state of affairs, I believe that improvements can be made that will enable us to sustain the mission and vision of Trillium.  I understand the importance of listening to the school community and gaining a deeper understanding of your concerns.  It is my intention to be open to your perspectives and points of view.  My decisions at all times are based on what is in the best interest of our students.  What will increase student achievement?

My effort is to continue to work diligently with school staff, parents and students to address the divides and other issues that are negatively impacting our school.  I cannot do this work alone.  I will need the collaboration of all groups as we work together toward accomplishing the goal of increasing student achievement, improving staff morale, increasing student retention and maintaining staff mobility.  I realize the importance of effective communication and am committed to increasing lines of communication with the school and community.

We have important work to accomplish.  Your children deserve a quality education here at Trillium. Having worked in this assignment for six  months, I am keenly aware of its dynamics. I will continue to strive each day to successfully fulfill the responsibilities of the Interim Executive Director and I look forward to us working together.

Respectfully,
Patrice Mays
Interim Executive Director