Trillium Academy Educational Program 2012 Update
I. School Vision and Mission
Trillium Academy commits to cultivating lifelong learners to be productive members of a competitive society by embracing academic excellence, strong character values, disciplined artistry, and individual student passions. In providing this type of educational opportunity Trillium Academy believes in the following statements as an understanding of what our program can bring to the community it serves.
We believe that learning is a life-long process. We believe that high expectations promote high student achievement and that a commitment to academic excellence will enable our students to be productive members of a competitive society. We believe parents, students, teachers, governance and the community share the responsibility for the support of the school's mission. We believe that all students must learn to become self-directed, independent thinkers. We believe that a focus on strong character values, disciplined artistry, and individual student passions, will contribute to an environment conducive to learning.
Through these initiatives our purpose at Trillium Academy is to enrich the mind, body, and spirit of every child with principles of excellence and self-worth. Our vision is that our students will leave Trillium Academy as:
• Life-long learners
• Innovative, critical thinkers and problem solvers
• Responsible and productive citizens who display good character values
• Professionals with the means to communicate in a global society
Through the collaboration of school, home and community, every Trillium graduate will be well prepared for the demands of the 21st Century.
The mission of Trillium Academy is embedded throughout our program. It can be found in printed material including handbooks, on our website, and throughout our hallways and classrooms in poster and mural forms. Additionally, it is found in the foundation behind policies and procedures implemented in the school such as the No Rescue Policy. It can also be found in interview questions for staffing candidates, professional development binders guiding and organizing educator training and staff team building activities. Finally, it can be found in community and stakeholder partnerships with the school such as Showbiz Inc., youth activities for local church programs, charitable organizations and community programming such as our parent support group and Parent Educator Organization.
II. Mission Specific Goals
Trillium Academy utilizes its mission, vision, and beliefs to fulfill its educational program through a focus on goal planning and attainment. In order to attain our mission and vision, Trillium Academy has five mission specific goals. The five goals are the core of our program. These goals are often referred to as pillars because they act as the foundation for our entire program.
These goals are used for monitoring the progress of our program as well as for decision-making purposes for alterations, deletions, and additions to our program. We utilize the “big arrow” philosophy in working with program planning. What this means is that we make decisions to ensure that all elements of our program are designed to help us achieve our goals. If an element does not align properly with the attainment of a goal we must choose to take a different route or course of action.
Each goal includes a research-based rationale to explain its importance to the growth and development of our students. Additionally, each goal includes performance indicators, which help us to understand how to attain that goal. Our goal progress is monitored throughout the year and assessed annually. Over time, it is essential that goals are adjusted and revitalized as educational, community, and societal needs change.
Goal 1 Academic Excellence
What will our school accomplish?
Academic excellence will produce academically proficient and competitive students in all core and encore areas with an emphasis on post secondary preparation.
How will we know we have achieved this goal?
• Students will demonstrate proficiency on the MEAP by meeting the performance levels as indicated in our School Improvement Plan.
• Students will demonstrate a 90% graduation rate when entering Trillium from Trillium MS or transferring to Trillium Academy High School on track.
• The school will meet an 80% graduation rate overall.
• Students will demonstrate a 90% post secondary education entrance rate.
• Students will demonstrate proficiency on College Readiness Exams by meeting the following performance targets: 21 ACT; 19 PLAN; 17 9th grade EXPLORE; 15 8th grade EXPLORE
• Students will demonstrate proficiency on the Performance Series by meeting the 60th Percentile in Reading and Math.
• The school will meet all criteria for Adequate Yearly Progress.
According to Tony Wagner’s article Rigor Redefined, “Yesterday’s answers won’t
solve today’s problems.” Excellence can be described as being better tomorrow than today and our students will strive to be better tomorrow and continue through their future in all areas core, encore and citizenship. The assessments will show the students where they are today so they can devise plans and make future goals. They are not only attempting to build on their previous successes, but also to contend with their peers, who are their future competitors .Possessing an attitude of excellence in all endeavors will bring them success throughout their lives.
Specific Strategies of Attainment
Core Classes: In addition to teachers implementing Trillium teaching tools, strategies, and curriculum in core academic areas, the School Improvement Team will work on writing annual activities and strategies to work towards attainment of MEAP, MME, and EPAS performance indicators based on our data analysis.
Graduation: Alumni Success Program will employ an Alumni Success Coach responsible for building relationships, encouraging and supporting graduates and post-graduates for success in post-secondary placements. Tracking of graduates will be utilized to inform of success of our students and program.
Performance Series: Utilize Individual Student Plans to collect data and have each student set goals for reaching individual target assessment scores.
Teachers also will incorporate performance series suggested objectives into daily teaching to assist students in growing towards target NPR reaching for catch-up growth of 2 years for students between the 0-25th percentile, 1.75 years for students between the 26-49th percentile, and 1.25 for students between the 50- 59th percentile.
Encore Classes: Encore classes are opportunities to apply cross-curricular learning and are held to standards of excellence. Policies and procedures incorporated in the student handbook emphasize the importance of all taught subject areas core, encore and citizenship.
Goal 2 Strong Character Values
What will our school accomplish?
Character Education will promote a culture of positive habits of character at school and in the community with an emphasis on students making responsible choices and being held accountable for their actions.
How will we know we have achieved this goal?
• School will provide common traits of character language to be utilized by
staff, students, and parents integrated every month.
• Students will demonstrate age appropriate behavior management skill growth every year by having a continued reduction in the number of disciplinary incidents from the previous school year.
Our mission is to instill character values into the fiber of our curriculum both in and out of the classroom, causing our students to make the best possible choices not only impacting positive interpersonal relationships, but developing a lifestyle of excellence resulting in overall student achievement. According to Thomas Lickona, Ph.D. & Matthew Davidson, Ph.D., the authors of “A Report to the Nation, Smart and Good High Schools: Integrating Excellence and Ethics for Success in School, Work, and Beyond,” developing the 8 strengths of character empowers students to make responsible personal choices that contribute to continuous self-development, a healthy lifestyle, and a positive future. Attainment of such skills will better prepare our students for success in life. Based off of the Steven Covey Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, Trillium Academy will utilize the Leader In Me Program to promote habits of character and success in our students.
Specific Strategies for Attainment
Displays: K-12th grade teachers will be required to create a designated character education bulletin board each month based on a rotating schedule created by school counselor.
Integration: K-12th grade teachers will be required to integrate character education lessons into their classrooms each week based on the designated school theme determined by school counselor.
Communication: School counselor will create and maintain character education webpage with monthly themes and suggestions for support.
Partnership: School will develop and maintain a partnership with a charity organization.
Student Participation: HS students will participate in 2.5hours per year or 10hours per 4 years of service learning activities for graduation requirement. All students will be provided the opportunity to participate in service learning activities through school partnered charity organizations.
Communication: Administration/school counselor/ or designee will create and maintain a service learning component webpage 1. For partnership activities and
2. For graduation information with extended opportunities for service learning participation in the community.
Policies: Administration will develop student expectations documenting in a student parent handbook which will be provided each year and require signature
from all Trillium families. In addition, student expectations will support the three foundational R’s; Respect, Responsibility, and Resourcefulness. Teachers will also utilize a common classroom management plan for clear understanding.
Lastly, teachers will implement positive behavior support in addition to consequences for misbehavior.
Procedures: Administration will provide guidelines and professional development to staff on behavior management each year.
Communication: Teachers will utilize a common continuum of consequences and utilize common school forms such as the parent contact form to help students and parents clearly understand expectations.
Goal 3 Disciplined Artistry
What will our school accomplish?
Fine Arts Education will give students the opportunity to become disciplined Artists and/or patrons of the arts through student participation in performing, viewing, and/or creating the Arts as well as other cultural activities.
• School will provide experiences in the Fine and Performing Arts at a high level as a performer and audience member in school and community based settings. These experiences will be scheduled in a Fine Arts Calendar, which will be produced each year to include a wide variety of student participation in the Arts.
• Classroom Teachers will grade students on Viewing, Listening, and Participating in the Arts based on Rubrics.
• Teachers will integrate the Fine and Performing Arts into the Core curriculum and document in lesson plans
• Graduating Seniors will produce a final Art portfolio or exhibit in the Art of their choice.
Trillium Academy has a focus in the Fine and Performing Arts. This is a specialized area of education that is lacking in our surrounding community. Providing instruction in the Fine and Performing Arts teaches our students to be creative thinkers and doers. Based on current research, which can be found in places such as Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind, the recruiting workforce of today is very different than in past times. It is seeking and embracing creative designers and problem solvers. In addition to teaching the creativity involved in the Fine and Performing Arts, focusing on “disciplined” Artistry also related to the professionalism associated with presentation and viewing. Our students will be more prepared for success in the workforce as professionally displayed creative thinkers.
Specific Strategies for Attainment
Establish Trillium Foundation to work towards securing additional funding to
enhance the theater facility.
K-6 grade levels will participate in at least 2 performances during the school year, 1 in music and 1 in drama.
MS students will participate in at least 1 performance each year in either music or drama.
HS students taking performing classes will participate in at least 1 performance during the respective trimester of enrolled class.
K-12 students will take place in at least 1 public speaking presentation each trimester in any subject core or encore.
K-6 grade levels will view a performance 1-2 times per trimester MS students will view a performance at least 1 time per trimester HS students will view a performance at least 1 time per trimester.
K-8th grade classes will visit the Art Gallery for viewing 1 time per trimester.
K-6 grade levels will display self-created artwork in a visual Art exhibition at least 1 time per school year.
MS/HS selected students will display self-created artwork in a visual Art exhibition at least 1 time per school year.
Maintain partnership with Showbiz Productions, Inc. offering students of all ages the opportunity to participate in high-level theater performances for the Trillium Community.
Continue to explore relationships with other community resources in the area of the Arts.
Classroom teachers will implement and document an “I” for integration with the first letter of subject they are integrating (ID for drama) in their lesson plans. They are to integrate the Arts 3-4 times per week for K-8 and HS integrating Arts and other Core into their lessons 3-4 times per month.
Specials teachers will implement and document through a letter I in their lesson plans for activities that they are integrating Core with the Arts 2-3 times per month.
Goal 4 Montessori Growth in Learning
What will our school accomplish?
The Montessori Philosophy will be implemented and demonstrate student learning progression toward individual goals to equal one year of growth annually through the specialized teaching and learning process.
• Teachers will implement differentiated lessons utilizing the students learning styles, interests, and developmental levels as evidenced in observations and lesson planning.
• 90% of students will meet their individual target growth as measured by the Performance Series.
• Teachers will provide purpose designed learning environments in which the classroom is arranged for optimum student learning as evidenced in their observations.
• Teachers will provide learning opportunities though real-world and experiential application as documented in their lesson plans.
• The School will provide a culturally relevant atmosphere, which promotes well-rounded, empathetic, independent, and responsible individuals as evidenced in student/parent expectations in handbook.
• Students and teachers will set and work toward goals for student, school and life achievement as documented in Individual Student Plans.
According to the North American Montessori Center, “The Montessori method of teaching aims for the fullest possible development of the whole child, ultimately preparing him for life’s many rich experiences…A quality Montessori classroom has a busy, productive atmosphere where joy and respect abound. Within such an enriched environment, freedom, responsibility, and social and intellectual development flourish!” Trillium believes that all children can and will learn in a style and pace that is best for them and designs the learning environment to do just that. By utilizing this specialized teaching and learning process, we are preparing them for their life goals and ultimately reaching their full potential. We will be setting up each individual child for success in society.
Specific Strategies for Attainment
Individual Student Plans will be created for all students by the classroom teacher and contain pertinent information to assist in goal setting and progress for each student.
Differentiated Instruction strategies will be provided to Trillium staff through workshops, resources, peer coaching, and observations and evaluations throughout each school year in order to assist in student learning.
All K-3 teachers will receive Montessori Training within two years of working at the Academy learning to utilize and facilitate a multi-age Montessori focused classroom.
Counseling department will supervise 4th-12th grade mentoring program and seek out community mentors in addition to providing training and assistance for community and student mentors.
On-point Model Teachers will provide professional development training to teachers at the start of each school year and assist in development of a child centered classroom.
Whole Child Development:
School scheduling will be done to preserve the specials programming.
The Kids College After School Program will have a well-rounded selection of offerings including Arts, Academics, Athletics, and Service.
Policies and Procedures documented in the student handbook for student expectations will be focused on creating respectful, responsible and resourceful young citizens. Students and parents will sign an agreement to the student handbook that they also understand and abide these guidelines.
School Counselor will determine school wide monthly character education themes and provide resource suggestions for teacher implementation.
Real World/Experiential Application:
A portion of student material funding will be set aside for the purchase of hands on and experiential learning materials including Experiencia; Earthworks for fourth grade and Exchange City for fifth grade.
All Social Studies teachers will implement Social Studies Alive real world application activities.
All Science teachers will utilize the science lab monthly for hands-on exploration and application in science.
Goal 5 Committed Community
What will our school accomplish?
Trillium Academy will recruit and retain a community of committed students, families, and high quality staff members who will support and participate in the accomplishment of our mission.
How will we know that we have achieved this goal?
• Trillium Academy enrollment will produce sufficient funding to meet the Board of Director's approved yearly budget.
• Trillium Academy will meet a student retention rate of 90% from the previous year.
• Parent, student, staff surveys will be conducted yearly.
• 90% Mandatory Parent Attendance at Parent Teacher Conferences to receive students report card.
The success of Trillium Academy and attainment of our mission is directly related to the commitment of its community. According to the National Resource Center
on Charter School Finance & Governance, “A high caliber of parents and teachers who assume active roles as parent involvement facilitators is one key to success.” They also explain that, “dedicated parents and teachers provide the human capital to make things happen for the school. Having parents and teachers who are determined to keep motivation high and ensure plans are implemented is essential. This is not limited to a single well-intentioned individual; collaboration and ongoing communication between parents and teachers is required to create a sense of community.” We need students, parents, and staff members that are invested in the school and ultimately the student’s learning. They need to feel that they have a place at the school and are accountable for the success of the individual students and the school as a whole. This accountability and belonging will in turn create a commitment to the success and fulfillment of our mission from students, parents, and staff members.
Specific Strategies for Attainment
Student commitment agreement/description – in student/parent handbook. Academic and Social Activities – provide activities which value students and their relationships within the Trillium Community such as Mentoring Program, Dual Enrollment, National Honor Society, Prom, Homecoming festivities, Spirit Days, Symposium, Talent Show, Student Work Displays, etc.
Develop Alumni Association
Parent commitment agreement/description – in student/parent handbook Comprehensive Marketing Plan
Parent Educator Organization (PEO) – monthly meetings.
Parent Support Group – weekly meetings led by school social worker
In-school involvement opportunities – Such as lunch volunteer, cross walk volunteer, chaperone, etc., full list available in the main office.
Family Meetings – At least two per year Welcome Back Night and Curriculum Night.
Family Activities – At least two per year such as Bring a Friend Night, Family Harvest Day, Parent/child dances.
Consistent and Frequent Communication – website, weekly Friday Folders, and academic progress reports, access to Powerschool database.
Develop Staff commitment agreement/description – including participation in extra-curricular activities.
Comprehensive Marketing Plan Staff support/Mentoring Program
Staff recognition and incentives – such as service awards and performance pay.
III. Educational Program Implementation
The Trillium Academy educational program, instructional strategies, and methodology are founded on current research of best practices in education. Staff members, administration, and governance conduct research continuously. When top research is found our entire teaching staff conducts action research through book studies and collaborative discussions, which are continuous throughout each school year. Additionally, our entire teaching staff is exposed to the top educational practices and methodology through professional development, which takes place annually and throughout the each school year. The professional development experiences extend into professional learning communities where teams of teachers work together continuously on book studies, online sessions, workshops, and weekly house meetings. During house meetings activities include assessing student work, data exploration, content coaching, lesson planning, etc.
Data Driven Differentiated Instruction
All instructional decisions within the classroom should be founded upon student data. Student baseline data should be used to determine background understanding and pre-tests should be given two weeks prior to teaching a unit of student to make adjustments to learning. Tiers should be constructed based on pre-tests to ensure learning progression for all students.
Teaching students to think about learning. Teachers model thinking aloud and have students practice to then recreate the process on their own.
Mode of Instruction: Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract; Kinesthetic, Visual, Auditory Lessons should start with a concrete component where students are physically moving and manipulating materials. Next, move to a visual component where students are drawing out problems and answers or pictures and connections. End with the abstract (the algorithm or traditional way of doing the problem in math), or auditory part of the learning, applying the knowledge to its context.
Probing questions and answers
Student probing questions and proving: when asking questions or having them demonstrate a problem – ask them to defend in words – why is this your answer. Then ask – does anyone have something different tell us and defend why. Going back and forth in this way will help them all to build their understanding of the concept. Encourage students to think deeper and defend their responses. Do others think differently? Why? What connections can be made with the topic – text to text, text to self, text to world?
Connections to Learning (Board Objective)
Bridging the learning together for students through their understanding of the purpose of what they are being taught and the big picture of how it applies to the real world and why it is important to them will greatly increase student engagement and in turn student achievement. Begin at the start of the lesson to introduce with your “kid language” learning objective. Write it on the board to refer to throughout the lesson and summarize or conclude the lesson with a reflection of it.
Explicit Coping for Learning Strategies
There are coping strategies that should be taught to students to assist them in independence of learning tasks. These strategies need to fill a weakness for students so that they can move easily forward on their own. For example when a student struggles with comprehension of a passage we teach them “tracks of thinking.” This strategy teaches the student to write down comments and connections the brain is making as they read the passage. This will help them to retain the information as well as serve as notes for quick reference. Instead or in addition to comments, quick draw pictures also serve as good reference.
Common language is essential to the continuity of learning for students. To ensure the fluidity of our program we select materials that align with the methodology and strategies of our program and can be maintained as a foundational resource from grade to grade. Based on these factors we currently utilize the following core resources:
Writing Reading Math Social Studies Science
- Kindergarten Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits, DRA2 determined leveled readers; Words Their Way; Literacy Mats, Singapore Math Essential Mathematics, Social Studies Alive, Me and My World, Harcourt
- First Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits, DRA2 determined leveled readers; Words Their Way; Literacy Mats, Singapore Math U.S. Primary Edition, Social Studies Alive, My School and Family, Harcourt
- Second Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits, DRA2 determined leveled readers; Words Their Way; Literacy Mats, Singapore Math U.S. Primary Edition, Social Studies Alive, My Community, Harcourt
- Third Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits, DRA2 determined leveled readers/ Chapter Books; Words Their Way; Literacy Mats, Singapore Math U.S. Primary Edition, Social Studies Alive, Our community and Beyond; Adventures in Michigan, Harcourt
- Fourth Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits, DRA2 determined leveled readers/ Chapter Books; Words Their Way; Literacy Mats, Singapore Math U.S. Primary Edition, Social Studies Alive, Regions of Our Country; Adventures in Michigan, Harcourt
- Fifth Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits, DRA2 determined leveled readers/ Chapter Books; Words Their Way; Literacy Mats, Singapore Math U.S. Primary Edition, Social Studies Alive, America’s Past, Harcourt
- Sixth Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits, DRA2 determined leveled readers/ Chapter Books; Words Their Way; Literacy Mats, Singapore Math U.S. Primary Edition, History Alive, Ancient History, Harcourt
- Seventh Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits, DRA2 determined leveled readers/ Chapter Books; Words Their Way; Literacy Mats, Singapore Math, New Elementary Math 7th grade, History Alive, The Medieval World and Beyond, Harcourt
- Eighth Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits, DRA2 determined leveled readers/ Chapter Books; Words Their Way; Literacy Mats, Singapore Math, new Elementary Math 8th grade, History Alive, The United States Through Industrialism, Harcourt
- Ninth Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits; Word Power, Short Stories "Most Dangerous Game", "A Sound of Thunder", "The Lottery", "Cask of Amontillado", "The Monkey's Paw", "Gift of the Magi", "The Necklace",
"To Kill a Mockingbird" "The Odyssey - printing from the internet, need actual copies Othello", Holt, Algebra I, History Alive, History in the Modern World, Spectrum Science; Foundations in Science
- Tenth Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits; Word Power Short Stories "Of Mice and Men", "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", "Young Goodman Brown", "The Legend of Sleepy Hallow", "Rip Van Winkle", "A Worn Path", "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", "Common Sense", "The Black Cat", "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Tell Tale Heart", "Claude McKay poetry", "Langston Hughes poetry", MLK " I Have a Dream" and "Letters from Birmingham Jail" , "Ann Bradstreet poetry", "Philis Wheatley poetry", "Walden excerpts", Holt, Geometry, History Alive, Pursuing American Ideals, Modern Biology pub. 2006 by Holt, Rinehart, Winston (Text)
- Eleventh Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits; Word Power Short Stories "The Kite Runner", "Jekyll and Hyde", "Brave New World", "1984 - not enough copies", "Beowulf - printing from the internet, need actual copies", Holt, Algebra II History Alive, Government Alive Power, Politics, and You; Econ Alive, The Power to Choose, Holt, Chemistry Visualizing Matter
- Twelfth Step Up to Writing; Six Plus 1 Traits; Word Power Short Stories "Frederick Douglass' Slave Narrative", "Beloved", "Philis Wheatley Poetry", "Equiano's Slave Narrative", "Claude McKay Poetry", "Zora Neale Hurston Poetry", "Langston Hughes", "Arc of Justice", McDougal Little/Houghton Mifflin, Advanced Mathematics: Precalculus with Discrete Mathematics and Houghton Mifflin, Understanding Basic Statistics, History Alive, Geography Alive, Conceptual Physics by Paul G. Hewitt, Prentice Hall, publ. 2009 (Text)
IV. Student Engagement
Our program engages students in the learning process to prepare them academically for success in college, work and life. We do this through a multitude of ways.
Academically we utilize a system for ensuring that each student has an Individual Student Plan. On this plan students and teachers are responsible for working together to include assessment scores, basic educational knowledge of students, and goals for attaining academic standards. Our standards are based on preparing students to achieve target scores, which have been researched to prove a proficiency level of standard college entry. That level aspires our students to reach approximately the 60th percentile on the Performance Series Assessment in grades 2-8 in both Reading and Math. Additionally, we utilize the Explore, Plan, and ACT to strive for a college readiness standards attainment.
In order to work towards attainment of these goals, at Trillium, we recognize the need for learning connections. Learning Connections to the student is one of our strategies of implementation. What this means is that students need to know what they are learning for each lesson. They need to understand what the goal of the lesson is, in addition to why it is important to them and how it applies to their life. It is a requirement of our teachers to ensure that students are aware of this and can directly relate this to the lesson and task they are assigned. Seeing this objective written on the board is one way to monitor this engagement. Teachers know this as their board objective, which is written in student level language and includes what they are learning and why or how it applies to them.
Fine and Performing Arts programming is a focus component of our program for preparing students for college, work, and life. Our students are exposed to visual arts, vocal and instrumental music, theater arts, and some dance opportunities. At Trillium Academy, string instruments have become a paramount. Our classes range from orchestra serving elementary, middle and high school, to guitar.
Students can begin participating in orchestra in the third grade as long as academic progress is not hindered. Additionally, integration of the Arts and Academics takes place both in the art courses as well as in the academic courses. Integrations assemblies are prepared and conducted to incorporate core and arts education into one project based theme for K-6th grade. Middle school integration focuses on a culminating wax museum project which incorporates arts and academics. The Symposium project is the high school integration project, which incorporates a cross-curricular study and presentation of material by each individual student. All of these components help to build not only the creative and academic elements of our students education, but also the professional skill they capture such as public speaking, polished articulation, active listening and viewing, creative problem solving, etc. The Fine and Performing Arts programming offers a dynamic edge to the full educational program.
In our High School Program we utilize multiple programs to prepare students for college, work, and life. We have scheduled an EPAS homeroom into the extended school day. The focus of EPAS homeroom is to teach Explore, PLAN, and ACT preparation skills. In addition to test prep, students can be assigned to other activities and supports. Some activities are job placements throughout the school that students can apply for such as teacher assistants. Additional activities are college test preparation skill lessons and others are mentoring relationships and support services.
In addition to EPAS assignments, Trillium Academy, also has courses which are designed to help students to succeed in college, work and life. We offer dual enrollment with Wayne County Community College where students who meet qualifying test scores can take college course and receive high school and college credit for them. We also offer the opportunity for all of our students to
take a course in Exploring College and Careers where they develop a detailed portfolio to utilize in college, scholarship, and job applications as well as offer Personal Finance as a graduation requirement.
The Alumni Success Program is another resource we offer to students in preparing them for college, work, and life. In this realm, Trillium Academy employs an Alumni Success Coach with the responsibility of building and maintaining relationships with our Juniors, Seniors, and Post-Graduates. During their time at Trillium Academy, this coach meets with them to assist in college planning in addition to scheduling college visits both on and off campus. Once they are Alumni, the coach tracks their success and serves as a support system to them to help them connect with the appropriate resources for success in college.
Real world exploration and application is an essential component to learning at Trillium Academy. All classrooms K-8th grade are required to participate in a field study trip each year. Teachers are responsible for planning and arranging of the trip. In addition to regular field trips, fourth through eighth grades have designated field study trips, which are aligned with curriculum and character education components. Fourth and fifth grades participate in Experiencia, which includes fourth grade attending Earthworks and fifth grade attending Exchange City. Sixth grade participates in an overnight camp experience, which includes instructional lessons and character building. Middle school rotates every other year traveling and staying overnight in Chicago and Washington D.C. Finally, our senior class participates in a character and independence building trip at the culmination of their Trillium experience. The senior trip must be to a place where the students have the opportunity to exhibit the three R’s of our foundation; respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness, while being in a safe and fun atmosphere to celebrate their accomplishments.
After School Programs are an important component to preparing students for college work and life. Students need to learn how to manage time between school-work and other activities as well as learn to work with others and better themselves. Trillium Academy offers a wide variety of after school opportunities. Our after school program also known as our Kids College, is mainly run and directed by our full time teaching staff. Full time teaching staff members are required to participate in this program the equivalent to one hour per week for the duration of the school year. When our staff members or student body cannot support certain extra-curricular programs we explore cooperative agreements with similar culture schools to increase the program benefits of our students. The offerings range from Academics, to Arts, to Athletics to Service Learning.
V. Multiple Learners
The Trillium Academy program allows for adaptation and modification to meet the needs of all learners including but not limited to advanced students, struggling
students, students eligible for special education services, and English Language Learners.
Individual Student Plans (ISP’s) are snapshot educational plans that every student has. The teacher and student fill out the ISP’s as new tests and goals are set throughout the year. The ISP’s are passed on from grade to grade in the student’s portfolio each year, so that the new teacher has a historical snapshot of learning needs and progress.
Classroom Action Plan’s (CAP’s) are developed by the Student Achievement Coordinator based on the results from the Performance Series Assessment each test period. The CAP’s are designed to assist teachers in grouping students together with similar suggested learning objectives. Then the teacher can more efficiently plan for intervention and differentiation within the classroom for all students no matter what level they are.
Trillium Academy offers many intervention strategies to students who are at risk of not meeting academic growth standards. Our RTI (Response to Intervention) program serves students in a very focused and targeted way. It is considered to work with students in both Tier II and Tier III of the formal RTI process. It is mainly a pull-out service program, which addresses small groups of students working on similar targets based on the Performance Series assessment results. In addition to those groups of students, the program also services ELL students identified through ELPA testing, and students with behavior and social skill building needs. These groups are scheduled and meet daily during the regular school day schedule.
Neuro-Reading is another Tier III leveled intervention. It is a 10-week program, which works with students one on one. It utilizes a specialized way of teaching reading to students who have failed to learn in the traditional method.
Elective and Enrichment Classes are offered to grades 3-12. In elementary electives for grades 3-6, students are placed into academic electives based on limited attainment of growth goals on the Performance Series Assessment.
Electives are assigned based on similar performance, therefore some electives are for high performing or advanced students that were unable to achieve their growth goals as well as low performing or at-risk students that were unable to achieve their growth goals. Middle School and High School Elective and Enrichment follow traditional terms for placement in credit recovery or advanced level electives. Middle School, however, is also based on report card performance in conjunction with receiving an incomplete or failing grade. The student must then be placed in Enrichment so they can make up the missed learning opportunity.
Trillium Academy offers a summer program that consists of a targeted tutoring plan with 16 contact hours scheduled in a small group setting over the course of the summer. Students meet with staff members at the school during hours based around an agreed upon individual schedule. Students in most critical need are offered the first round opportunity. The window is opened to others, as they are available.
Trillium students have the opportunity to participate in Dual Enrollment based on the achievement of specific scores outlined by the state on the PLAN and ACT test. Dual Enrollment students may take up to two academic courses at Wayne County Community College during their Junior and Senior year of High School. Students participating in dual enrollment may graduate from High School with 24 credits on their college transcripts.
Students with Disabilities
Trillium Academy offers a full spectrum of special education services including speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work services, resource room, and co-teaching. The goal of special education services is to teach the necessary skills and coping strategies to close the gap of performance and potential. We offer these skills through programming that follows all compliance requirements through state and federal laws. Our program is a fully inclusive program where we strive to implement services into the core program and utilize minimal pull-out services. Additionally, we have a special education transition planning coach, which helps special needs students in planning and preparing for college, work, and life. We have also developed a relationship with the Joe Brighton Skills Center. We can refer students to this program if they meet the eligibility criteria. At this center they will learn job skills to help prepare them for functional independence after high school.
In accordance with section 504, Trillium Academy provides students with appropriate educational services that are designed to meet the individual needs of qualified students to the same extent that the needs of students without a disability are met. Essentially, the section 504 services are intended to "level the playing field," to ensure full participation by individuals with disabilities. The Section 504 coordinator helps to identify students who meet certain criteria under section 504 and works with the educational team, including teachers, RTI staff members, and administrators to remove barriers to academic progress.
VI. Curriculum Standards
The Trillium Academy educational program assists students in the attainment of the Common Core State Standards and the Michigan Curriculum Framework.
All courses have been redesigned to align with the recently adopted Common Core Standards. The curriculum is horizontally and vertically aligned to ensure a common pacing and implementation across grade levels and spans. The
curriculum pacing-guide includes standards, essential questions, strategies, vocabulary, a board objective for student connections, resources, and assessments. This guide serves as the starting point and the check and balance system to ensure that all learning standards have been taught and in a sequence that is fluent.
A lesson plan template and process has been provided for teachers, which begins with the standard. Teachers are taught a thorough thinking process to use when lesson planning to ensure that the standard is taught to the level of thinking required and assessed on the State and National assessments. Teachers submit lesson plans on a weekly basis to monitor the implementation of curriculum.
Additionally, goals are set for teachers and students to work towards a target level of attainment as measured by designated assessments. These targets are set at levels that move students toward National proficiency and ultimately college readiness levels. Student achievement scores on the Performance Series Assessment and Explore, Plan, ACT are the main measure of the attainment of the Common Core State Standards and Michigan Curriculum Framework. When students show levels of progress below the proficiency, targets interventions are put in place, which are described in the Multiple Learners section above.
Trillium Academy utilizes multiple assessment measures through formative and summative assessment to ensure that progress is being made toward our educational goals including our contracted educational goal. In addition to measuring our program and using assessments to drive instruction, Trillium Academy utilizes placement testing measure to place new students into grade levels and/or classrooms based on results as well as utilizing assessment protocols to determine grade promotion for second, fifth, and eighth grades.
Explore, Plan, ACT (EPAS), Performance Series, Achievement Series, MEAP, Terra Nova, DRA, Final Exams, Unit Tests, Science Fair Projects, Symposium, Concerts/Performances, Presentations, Wax Museum.
Performance Series, MLPP, Bear Assessment, 1 Minute Reads, Unit Pre-tests, Mid-Term Exams, Student Work, Think Pair Share, Talk to Partner, Exit Slips, Presentations, Projects, Portfolios,
VIII. Middle School and High School
The Trillium Academy Middle and High School Programs address the skills necessary to prepare students for success in college, work, and life.
As a foundation to the academic program, Trillium Academy teachers and staff emphasize rigor and high expectations to prepare students for the demands of
post-secondary life. The high school offers a challenging, college preparatory curriculum in grades 9-12, ensuring that students understand the academic requirements for college entry and success. Students in grades 8-12 take nationally-normed assessments each year that help them to be aware of their relative readiness for college and expose areas of deficiency that need to be addressed prior to graduation. Staff members help students to understand the importance of the Explore, PLAN and ACT test as well as the minimum scores required for admission into various colleges and universities. Trillium Academy employs professionals who help support the students in completing the required steps for post-secondary education and work. When applicable, Trillium partners with community organizations to assist special education students in making a successful transition to post-secondary life.
Trillium Academy teaches character and behavioral expectations that are consistent with those necessary to be successful in the workplace and post secondary education. Students are exposed to the world of work through guest lectures from the business community, career days, and opportunities to develop interests and skills through meaningful elective choices. All Trillium Academy students must complete a course in Business and Personal Finance to equip them for competence and success beyond the doors of the school. Additionally, students may elect to take a course in Exploring Colleges and Careers where they develop an extensive job and college application portfolio for use in their post-secondary endeavors.
Challenging middle and high school courses at Trillium Academy are designed to help students develop effective study habits and learn critical thinking and writing skills they will need to succeed in college. Teachers engage in ongoing professional development to assist them in creating lesson plans that not only are aligned with the curriculum, but also develop the problem solving and analytical skills that students need to be successful in college and careers.
Administrators monitor and assist teachers to help them work effectively with all their students, from the most gifted to those who are struggling, so that all students can be realistically expected to meet the demands of post-secondary life.
To meet the rigorous demands of the Michigan Merit Curriculum while providing students the opportunity to take meaningful elective courses and remediate students who fall behind, Trillium Academy adheres to a trimester schedule at the High School level. This consists of five classes per term, each of which is approximately 75 minutes in length, which allows students three more class selections each year when compared with a traditional semester schedule.
Students who fall below the College Readiness Benchmarks as defined by the ACT or who fail classes will be scheduled in additional academic courses according to their individual needs, moving them towards mastery of the course content and a timely graduation.
IX. Middle School Educational Development Plans
Trillium Academy teachers and counselors provide the opportunity for each student to develop and educational development plan during grade 7, and ensures that each pupil reviews his or her EDP during grade 8 and revises it as appropriate before he or she begins high school. This plan provides a framework for career development and is revised throughout high school under the supervision of high school advisors and counselors.
X. Graduation Requirements
Trillium Academy has graduation requirements that not only meet, but exceed the Michigan High School Graduation Requirements.
Trillium Academy adheres to an academic program that exceeds the minimum requirements laid out in the Michigan Merit Curriculum. In accordance with the MMC, Trillium Academy requires that students take four years of mathematics including one year of Algebra, one year of Geometry, one year of Algebra II and a senior level math course. Additionally, to meet the Language Arts requirement, all students at the Academy take English 9, 10, 11, and 12 during their high school career. In the area of Social Studies, the MMC states that students must complete .5 credits in Economics, .5 credits in Civics, 1 credit of World History and Geography, and 1 credit of American History and Geography. Trillium Academy graduates take all of the social studies courses required by the state along with an additional credit of Social Studies during their senior year. Similarly, the MMC requires students to complete Physics or Chemistry, Biology, and one other science credit. Trillium students must complete Foundations in Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in order to graduate, which exceeds the MMC requirements by one credit. All students at Trillium take a minimum of 2 years of a world language during their high school career. Additionally, the Academy requires a minimum of 2 years of visual, performing, and applied arts credits. The state sets a minimum requirement of one year. All students complete one year of health and PE and the Academy has integrated online learning experiences throughout the high school curriculum. All of the above coursework meets or exceeds the MMC and the Academy also requires students to complete one course in Business and Personal Finance to be eligible for graduation.
Michigan Merit Curriculum
4 credits required by MMC
4 credits required by
Algebra I Algebra II Geometry
One math course in final year
of high school
Algebra I Algebra II Geometry
Pre-‐Calculus or Probability
4 credits required by MMC
English 9 English 10
English 9 English 10
4 credits required by
3 credits required by MMC
4 credits required by
Physics or Chemistry
One additional science credit
Foundations in Science Biology
3 credits required by MMC
4 credits required by Trillium Academy
.5 credits Civics
.5 credits Economics
World History and Geography American History and Geography
World History and Geography
American History and Geography
.5 credits Civics
.5 credits Economics
One additional social studies
PE & HEALTH
1 credit required by MMC
1 credit required by
1 credit PE & Health
1 credit PE & Health
& APPLIED ARTS
1 credit required
2 credits required
1 course or integrated
Integrated throughout high
2 credits required
2 credits required
BUSINESS & PERSONAL
*Students who transfer to Trillium Academy during high school are required to meet all
of the Michigan Merit graduation
XII. Evaluation of the Trillium Academy Educational Program
Trillium Academy evaluates the effectiveness of the implementation, delivery, and support of the educational program continuously through multiple measures.
Our main evaluation of our program is through student achievement measures. We utilize the Performance Series assessment and look at the data points from different perspectives to evaluate different portions of our program. We look at growth to measure classroom instruction as well as intervention programs. We look at National Percentile Ranking to measure our overall programming and view from a broader approach. We then look and compare the historical
trends of students as well as their projected growth to ensure we are making the appropriate amount of progress to position our students for success in college,
work, and life. In addition to annual expected growth, we have expectations for catch-up growth. This growth will help those students performing below college readiness standards to increase progress beyond the typical yearly expectations. We understand that this is the only way to close achievement gaps for students and the school.
Our next evaluation metric is the Explore, Plan, and ACT (EPAS). We utilize these scores to determine college readiness of individual students as well as overall school performance. These test results help us to better understand how our K-8th grade program is preparing students for success in high school. We look for trends of weakness and strength in these scores.
Our third evaluation method is the MEAP. The MEAP scores are used as available to help us try to close gaps with the implementation of our school program. Additionally, with the use of Orange Grove, MEAP data can now be used to help drive instruction at the formative level directly with the students.
Our fourth evaluation measure is teacher observations and evaluations. Teacher observations and evaluations are conducted multiple times throughout the school year. These metrics help us to evaluate the effectiveness of program strategies, resources, professional development, instructional implementation, etc. Quality teaching and program implementation fidelity are keys to meeting our performance goals.
Our fifth evaluation measure is alumni tracking. The tracking of our alumni after high school, including scholarship attainment, and their post secondary success in college, work, and life are true testaments to the effectiveness of our program.
Our final evaluation measure is our satisfaction surveys. We conduct annual satisfaction surveys for students, parents, and staff to guide improvement plans and strategies as well as inform our assessment of the effectiveness of our program.