TCS Application can be downloaded and filled out. Please mail it or bring it to the Trillium front office.
Admission Dates to remember:
December 3: Middle and High School Open House, Thursday, 5:30 to 7:00 pm
January 4: 2016-17 Application available online and in school office. Application submission to school office by US mail or in person.
February 3: Kindergarten through 5th Grade Open House, Wednesday, 5:30 to 7:00 pm
February 25: Middle and High School Open House, Thursday, 5:30 to 7:00 pm.
The Open House will be an informational meeting and a self-guided tour of the building. There are no children’s activities during this event.
March 31, 5 pm: Lottery application deadline.
March 20: 5pm: Deadline for Currently Enrolled Families to submit Re-Enrollment form
April 11: Lottery drawing completed.
Late April: Families notified of student acceptance status.
Shadow days take place in May
Who is Eligible?
Any child residing within the Portland Public School District is eligible to attend. Trillium charter School is allowed by law to admit out-of-district students after all Portland Public School students who have applied at the time of the lottery have been placed. There is no tuition.
All applications received after March 31 at 5:00pm will be placed on the wait list in the order received.
Frequently Asked Questions
Basic School Information
How many students attend Trillium, and in what grades?
We currently have up to 365 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
What are your hours?
Our K-8 school is in session from 8:30-3:00 every day except Friday, when school is in session from 8:30-noon. Our middle and high schools are in session from 8:30-3:20 every Monday-Thursday and 8:30-noon on Fridays. Students may be dropped off as early as 8:15am, when the front doors open.
How many different classes are in your school?
There are three K-1st grade blended classes, three blended 2-3 grade classes, three blended 4-5 grade classes, four middle school (6-8) advisings and five high school (9-12) advisings.
How many students are in each class?
The K-1 classes have 20 students each, the 2-3 classes have 22 students each, and 4th through high school have sizes of approximately 23 students.
Do I have to pay tuition?
There is no tuition. We are a public school. There is a small activities fee at the beginning of the year.
Is there before and after school care?
There is onsite after school care for grades kindergarten through grade 6 . Aftercare is available 3:00 to 6:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, and noon to 6:00 pm on Friday. There is no scholarship for aftercare.
Charter School Information
What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school of choice with the ability to create a mission and hire teachers independent of the school district they are sponsored by. Charter schools receive about 80% of the funding per student of neighborhood public schools for grades K-8th and 95% for grades 9-12. Additionally, the school is responsible for all local expenses including their school building, and all technology, maintenance and facilities expenses.
Charter schools must meet the same Oregon diploma requirements as all Oregon Public Schools, but are able to determine the educational approach to get there. Trillium students receive a PPS diploma.
Charter schools are not required to use district adopted curriculum, students are required to participate in state testing. Students are selected through a blind lottery based on availability by grade level. Staff are not Portland Public
What is the purpose of a charter school?
Through the authorization of public charter schools, the Oregon Legislature has created an avenue for parents, teachers, and community members to “take responsible risks to create new, innovative, more flexible ways of
educating all children within the public school system.” (Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 338.015)
Does Trillium receive additional funding?
It is the school’s responsibility to cover all of its own expenses (including the cost of the school building) with the money it receives from the state. Anything beyond those funds must be made up through fundraising and grant writing. We do encourage all families to become involved in supporting the school through financial means, as well as volunteering at the school in a variety of capacities. We are a school that encourages family involvement in ways that work best for each family.
What does democratic education mean at Trillium?
Students have the ability to carve out the social, emotional, and physical climate of the school. Through class meetings, all school meeting, and the proposal to vote process, students can make and pass proposals to make rules, create policy, and change the appearance of the school. Another corner stone to democratic education at Trillium is the belief that students have a right to have a say in their own education. Students have many opportunities to lead the direction of their own learning, both on individual and large group levels.
Can I tour the school?
The school, including all classrooms, will be open the night of our Open Houses in January, February and March. At that time, you can walk through the school, investigate the classrooms, and ask the teachers questions. Please check the website for Open House information. Due to limited staff resources and our desire to not have the lottery process impact our current students, we will not be offering group or individual tours at any other time.
Will I be able to enter the lottery if I am unable to attend Open House?
Yes, Open House is not required to enter the lottery. The only requirement is that you submit an application for your student
Can I observe a classroom?
In order to keep the learning level at its highest for enrolled students, we do not schedule classroom visits.
Can my child visit?
Upon offering admittance, your child will have the option to shadow. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applicants, we are unable to allow shadow days before you have been offered a space.
When will I know if my student got into Trillium?
We will be mailing letters in late April.
How do I know if I got in?
We will notify you be mail in late April. Your letter will either welcome you to Trillium or inform you of your number on the wait list.
What happens if my child does not get one of the openings?
All students who are not offered a space are placed on a wait list in the order assigned from the lottery. We use that wait list to fill spaces that may become available throughout the summer and the school year.
If my child does not get in at all, am I automatically entered into the lottery for the next year?
No, you must submit a new application each year you would like your child to be entered into the lottery.
If I live in another school district, can my child attend Trillium?
State law requires that we place all Portland Public School District residents before accepting any out-of-district students. If there are still spaces in a class once all in-district residents have been place, then the out-of-district students will be accepted in the order determined by the lottery. You cannot attend Trillium if you are not living in the state of Oregon.
How do I know if my child has moved up on the wait list?
If one of my children gets into Trillium, does that mean that my other children will automatically get in too?
We give priority to current students’ siblings. If your child is admitted this year, their sibling will have priority the following school year, assuming that the enrolled child is staying at Trillium.
How long do I have to accept a spot at Trillium?
If your student is chosen in the lottery, we hope that you will accept right away. You do have a couple of weeks to make your decision. Your letter offering your student a space will designate a date by which you need to reply to accept the space. After that, we begin calling names on the wait list. If you are called during June or July, you will have a few days to make your decision. During August, we ask that you make your decision within 24 hours.
Do spaces ever become available during the school year?
Once in a while spaces do become available during the school year. At that time, we call the first person on the wait list.
Do you have grades?
Trillium relies upon a balanced set of assessment tools. Along with the Oregon state-mandated tests, these may include individual Education Team assessments, academic descriptors, student-led conferences, and student work portfolios. They may also include performance projects, community service logs and project evaluations, and exhibitions. By using a variety of assessment tools, we increase the likelihood of gathering accurate information. We also use narratives as an alternative to letter or number grades in K-5th grades.
What are the classes like?
Trillium School curriculum engages students in inquiring, exploring, comparing, collecting information, predicting, testing, justifying and defending ideas, and synthesizing the results of their inquiries. Higher-level thinking is taught and expected. The school is a place of research and innovation, from our youngest to oldest participants. Students, teachers, and families are required to construct and reinvent continuously. All students have opportunities to experience art, dance, theater, and music as part of their education. Skilled discussion and reciprocity lie at the heart of successfully keeping our curriculum alive.
See the high school page for more information on the high school curriculum.