Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Reblog: Dear Parent, About THAT kid…

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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.

. . .

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

What’s Next for Trillium’s School Garden?

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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.

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Enroll Now for Fall 2018

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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.

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Letter from the Director

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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

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Help Us Fulfill Our 2018 Goals

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From the outside, Trillium is unassuming — a converted warehouse that appears too small to house a preK through 12th grade student body.

“The staff is tireless, and the teachers are downright extraordinary. It looks very different from traditional schools: students work together, solve problems as a community, and ‘normalness’ is not considered a virtue. Critical thinking is encouraged and kids are allowed to make choices within a structure they can thrive. I predict that Trillium will someday be revered as a leader in the paradigm shift in education.”
- 4/5 Parent 

The current funding crisis for education has been widely reported, and schools across the country are experiencing severe difficulties as a result. Trillium is no exception. What’s more, since Trillium is a charter school, we receive 20% less funding than traditional public schools. Our vision at Trillium has always been to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable place. To follow through on this, we need to be proactive about establishing renewable sources of funding.

As we enter our 16th year of operation, we are feeling a renewed sense of passion and idealism. Where is it coming from? It is coming from you! — from all of the voices chiming in with excellent advice and inspiration for Trillium’s future. Community involvement is climbing, with staff, parents, and students teaming up, to organize interest in leadership, preparedness, and volunteering; to breath new life into tried and true fundraisers, while launching new and innovative ones.

However, direct giving is the most efficient method for you to positively impact our future. When you make a cash, check, or online gift, 100% of your dollars stay at Trillium to benefit your child. We offer giving levels for every budget. Review them at tinyurl.com/GiveTrillium. What will the funds be used for? The funds from your donation will be put toward the areas where they are needed most. Help us fulfill these goals in 2018:

  • Technology Upgrades – Network, ChromeBooks for Students, Projectors for Teachers
  • Schoolyard and School Building Upgrades – Playground, Fencing, Garden, Bathrooms
  • Competitive Teacher Salaries
  • Field Trips and Experiential Learning Opportunities
  • Afterschool Programming

 

If every family gave $10 per month of 2018, we would raise over $40,000 dollars. To break it down, that could mean 250 new ChromeBooks, salary increases for every teacher, a free breakfast program, or a safer play surface. Imagine the possibilities with us, and make them happen! Since Trillium first opened its doors in 2002, we have been pooling our collective resources, and making amazing things happen. Let’s keep the tradition alive, and keep building a better future for our kids.

Ever Forward,
Trillium Staff and Board

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

We’re Hiring!

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Is your New Year’s resolution to explore other Employment opportunities? If so, you will be glad to know that Trillium has several openings coming up in the next term. Both teaching and staff positions available. We highly recommend that you review our Trillium FAQs before applying, and volunteer or sub if possible. The majority of our current staff and teachers were volunteers or substitute teachers before arriving in their current positions. Like their students, they work hard, but they love this place that they get to create, and are dedicated to its success. Learn more about Employment at Trillium.

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

Prepare Out Loud! Presentation

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Interested in improving earthquake safety in schools? We recommend that you attend Prepare Out Loud! at Trillium, on Wednesday, February 2nd, from 6-7:30pm, presented by Trillium parent and Red Cross staff member, Steven Eberlein. Learn practical steps you can take to protect your kids at school, and at home, in the event of “The Really Big One.” Brought to us by Together for Trillium PTSA and Parents4Preparedness.

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

Still Enrolling for 2017-18

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We currently have openings in the 1st, 3rd, and all Middle and High School grades, for the 2017-18 school year, and will begin accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year in January. Please download and print an application from tinyurl.com/TrilliumApplication. Once you complete the application, you may submit by US Mail or in person.

Trillium Charter School
Attn: Debra Lazzaretti
5420 N Interstate Ave
Portland, OR 97217

Debra (email hidden; JavaScript is required) is also your contact person for scheduling an alternate school tour, and for questions regarding the application.

Applicants are highly encouraged to review our website and attend an Open House before applying.

The Middle and High School programs at Trillium provide students with a framework for understanding the larger community in which they live, centering on people, culture, identity, and politics. Through engagement with and service to “the real world,” they develop a skill set that can be used throughout their lives, to solve problems at work, in their personal relationships, and in their communities. From 6th-12th grade, the scope of community studies broadens from a focus on the local and regional, to a focus on national and international; as skills-based learning narrows to writing, research methods, and computer literacy.

The K-5th program at Trillium Public Charter School provides a platform for safe exploration of the three core study areas, and a variety of enrichment areas, such as art, music, movement, and drama. Our mission is to promote students’ discovery of the ways their experience is interconnected with others in their community and their world.

Learn more about our school on the About Us page.

 

Monday, November 27th, 2017

12 Days of Giving

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In the spirit of the holiday season, Trillium is sharing ideas for “12 Days of Giving.” Each school day, from Monday, November 27th to Tuesday, December 12th, there is a suggested action for Trillium community members to take, to send a strong message of support to our staff, students, and teachers. If every family gave $10/month of 2018, we would raise over $40,000. That could mean 250 new ChromeBooks, salary increases for every teacher, a safer play surface. Imagine the possibilities with us, and make them happen! Donate now.

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Giving Season is Here!

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#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, when many start to focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Please visit our campaign page, by clicking the Donate button on our website or here. We encourage sustaining support, in the form of a recurring donation. These can be set from bi-weekly to annually, for as little as $10. Every dollar counts!