kieran's Blog

Aug 14th, 2014

Board of Directors Annual Meeting

Posted by kieran

The annual meeting for Trillium Board of Directors is Sunday, August 18th from 10 AM-4 PM.  It will be located at 1825 NE 43rd Ave. Portland OR 97213.  It is a public meeting, please email email hidden; JavaScript is required if you wish to attend.  The agenda for the meeting is posted at the school.

May 11th, 2014

Oregon School Board Training

Posted by kieran

Tomorrow, preceding the Trillium Board Meeting will be a training on policy from the Oregon School Boards Association.  This meeting, as all board meetings, is open to the public.

Apr 28th, 2014

Coffee Klatches

Posted by kieran

We will host two more coffee klatches at the school this year.  We plan to host them from 8-10 AM on Friday, May 23rd and Friday, June 6th.  Topics to come.

Apr 28th, 2014

Jobs at Trillium

Posted by kieran

Hiring Season is upon us!  Make sure to check our “Jobs at Trillium” page under the “About” tab to stay abreast of any openings!

Apr 25th, 2014

Mediations at Trillium

Posted by kieran

In conversations I’ve had with families and students that have been at Trillium for a long time one of the things they cite as missing is the presence of mediations in the school.  I’ve heard countless stories of the power of seeing a student engage in mediation, or a student coming home proud that they are a certified mediator.  This is something we have believed and continue to believe in deeply at Trillium.  I’d like to take a moment today to talk to you about how mediation shows up currently at Trillium, some changes we’ve made this year, and changes we hope to make in the future.  When I began at Trillium, veteran teachers talked about the power of mediation, but new teachers, while supportive of the process, also weren’t sure how the process worked. This, unfortunately, has been part of the Trillium experience over the past few years.  Teachers who have been here for a while hold and carry important parts of the past, but there has not been intentional training in what a mediation is or how and when to utilize them over the past few years.  We are working on changing that.

For several years we have had a single “mediation mat” that has lived in the classroom of Lauren Kristensen.  The mat is a thing of beauty; clearly outlining the steps a student needs to walk through to engage in mediation.  However, we’ve only had one, not everyone knows where it lives and not everyone has known how and when to use it.  We spoke about mediations at the beginning of this school year, Sarah Cramer, our Assistant Director is a highly skilled and trained mediator and does the majority of our mediations with students.  We are working, however, on bringing them back into the class more fully.  A group of 4-5 students recently designed new mediation mats and purchased 5 new ones to live in K-1, 2-3 and 4-5 classrooms as well as in both the Director and Assistant Director’s offices.  Next year we will begin the year by training older lower school students in mediations and having them train younger ones.

Mediations at the upper grade levels look a bit different but are just as important.  For years the high school has had a mediation process though, like the lower school, it was held by veteran teachers and not made formal policy and a part of new teacher training.  This year we are changing that.  Recently we all began using the same mediation process and protocols with all upper school students whether facilitated by a staff member or by a fellow student.

The power of this process is truly astounding.  Seeing students walk through very difficult situations, listen to each and come to sustainable resolutions is one of the most amazing things that happen at our school, and it happens every day throughout the school.

Furthermore, it doesn’t stop with students.  We use the same mediation process with our staff that we use with our upper school students.  We believe in talking through our problems and coming to a mutual agreement.  I believe that our students pick up on staff dynamics quickly, regardless of their age, and are able to see how and when we are able to work through our problems or if we let them fester into something larger.  We believe in walking the talk and do our best to live that every day.

The process of building a sustainable mediation program mirrors the process of rebuilding Trillium that we are going through.  It involves a). Identifying powerful practices that have existed for years at the school b). Recognizing the nuances of those practices and taking measures to institutionalize them c). Training new community members (teachers, students and parents) about those practices and ensuring that they live on beyond specific individuals.  This is a time consuming process, but I believe it is the way to ensure we have a strong school not just now but for years to come.  It gets better every day.  Every day we get closer to restoring the ideals that Trillium was founded upon and marry them with sustainable systems to ensure they are there for a long time.

 

Apr 17th, 2014

Final Preschool Open House

Posted by kieran

Our final preschool open house is tonight, April 17th from 6-9 PM!

Apr 17th, 2014

Need for Community Members on Senior Project Committees

Posted by kieran

Hi friends and colleagues. Our high school seniors are completing their senior projects right now and have one last defense to their committees before they present publicly. We need some community members to attend and you all would be such welcome attendees. If you are interested and available let me know. We would ask for an hour of your time between May 7th and May 9th depending upon the project. Here is a list of projects.

1. Research into malaria and prevention of malaria in Kenya.

2. Making shoes with wooden soles and fabric uppers, in addition to writing a paper about my process and various cultural factors that have influenced shoe design.

3. For several months I have been interning at the Applied Archaeological Research firm (AAR). There I have re-articulated a tortoise from its remaining bones.

4. I made a graphic novel Mom, look at me!

5. My project is an investigation into the struggles, hard labor and emotional outlooks of what it is to be an EMT or Firefighter.

6. Learning to live after the collapse: how to survive in the world of domesticated humans gone wild.

7. “[Bad Guise] is a collection of interconnecting stories… …with sharp wit and darkly earnest humor, Bad Guise consistently begs the question: what makes someone a bad person?”

8. Producing an album of music to start a career as a musician.

9. I am investigating the question, “What habits in life are most effective in keeping oneself healthy?”

10. My project is an explanation of mindfulness and its importance to well being in the context of my own practice of music.

11. It’s my recovery from the addiction of mood-altering substances, primarily marijuana, and the research into the topic including what addiction is, how the addictive personality is formed, and recovery. I will also be sharing my story.

12. My project focuses on the importance and values of service learning. I have both physically participated in service projects throughout the year as well as assisted in the logistical pieces that go into developing a sustainable service learning program. My physical component is a collection of writing, journal entries, reflections and what I have been doing throughout my senior year.

13. Writing fiction.

14. Loralei is a video game that can be played on the computer, made entirely by me with my own art and storytelling. My main focus as an artist is storytelling and a video game is an interactive, art based story, as well as something I have always wanted to do.

15. I taught Ballroom dance to middle and high school students throughout this year and have choreographed and taught a Swing team performance piece that will be performed during Senior Project Night. I have also written about the history of Ballroom dance, a few critiques of other ballroom performances, and reflected on different teaching styles I have been exposed to as well as my journey through teaching my own class.

Apr 15th, 2014

Coffee Klatch Next Friday, April 25th

Posted by kieran

Come join us next Friday, April 25th from 8-10 AM to hear about our Development Plan for this and next year and enjoy coffee, snacks and our community!

Apr 4th, 2014

Senior Project Night, May 16th

Posted by kieran

Come support our seniors and learn about the incredible work they do.  More details to follow.

Feb 12th, 2014

Board Meeting Rescheduled

Posted by kieran

Our next Board Meeting is on Tuesday, February 18th from 6-8PM.  All meetings are open to the public, the proposed agenda is posted in the front hall of the school.