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K-12
Public charter
Portland, OR
Students enrolled: 346

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5420 North Interstate Ave
Portland, OR 97217

(503) 285-3833
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Trillium address.

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May 23, 2014
We have a Kindergartner at Trillium and over the last 9 months we have been very happy with the academic rigor, education philosophy and general community feel at this school. The process of selecting a Kindergarten in the Portland Metro area was arduous. After evaluating private school and public school options (including charter, alternative and focus programs), we applied to Trillium as an option. After getting accepted, we still had lingering concerns -- was a K-12 school appropriate for our 5-yr old? Is the location and facility a safe environment? Will the Democratic/Constructivist education philosophy meet our standards for academic rigor? Is the environment too liberal for us? Our experience to date has been extremely positive. Our Kindergartner is excelling academically and socially. I believe the small class size, blended age groups (K-1 blend) and exceptional teachers are major contributing factors. We are also very pleased to see that the education philosophy goes beyond academics and teaches kids how to be good citizens. They are learning about conflict resolution, caring and respect. I believe that Trillium is arming my child with skills they need to be a good person.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2014
Trillium is a Portland Public School based around Democratic and Constructivist education and has been such a vibrant engaging place for my two boys. They are learning in an environment that values their voice, empowers them resolve conflict through mediation, and challenges them to keep asking questions.

- submitted by a parent
September 01, 2012
My children have been attending this school since 2004. One of my students has struggled there (but is now in a new grade level and will have a different teacher which I think was an aspect in his struggles), and the other has thrived. I think both of them are learning what they need to know to operate in the real world. They are both thoughtful, smart and well spoken. There is a great sense of community. Regarding the changes in the administration, there were a couple of very turbulent years, and some tough decisions had to be made, but now they are on solid staffing ground and I have confidence that the new director has the experience and leadership skills necessary to help the school reach its full potential fulfill and exceed its mission.

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2012
I have been a parent of a student at Trillium for 7 years, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants their children to learn problem solving, conflict resolution, and community involvement. It may not be the best choice for every child, but it certainly is for mine.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2011
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this school to anyone. We spent a total of 5 years with this school and it was a disaster. I didn't realize how much of a disaster until I moved my eldest child out of the school and into a traditional public school. My daughter was horribly mistreated AND emotionally harmed by her last teacher at Trillium. My husband and I pulled her out of the school after an especially traumatic event. Unfortunately, the staff involved in the decision to suspend my child after the fact, never bothered to meet with us nor did they make any effort to resolve the situation. Had this occurred in a traditional school, this teachers would have been fired. My child entered her new school two full academic years behind, she could barely read or compute simple math problems and she had no knowledge of punctuation. She was referred for special ed testing and had a very severe learning disability, something all the teachers at Trillium failed to notice. My son had a great experience at Trillium. His teacher was amazing. Unfortunately, she was forced out by the new administration. Before you decide to send your child to Trillium, attend a Board Meeting.

- submitted by a parent
June 01, 2011
Trillium was once a great place where the kids were the main focus. The new administration systematically forced out the founders of the school. Most staff members who started with the school have been let go or have quit. The new administration has not one bit of experience in running a school and would rather decorate her office then buy books for kids. Most programs that made trillium unique are being phased out. Such as garden and traveling. The new administration would rather the school be filled with upper middle class white children.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2011
This school has seriously taken a turn for the worst. They used to care about the students. Now they care about making the administration look good. I wish that it was the same place that I loved once, but it just is not. It is a twisted place that needs to get it's head back on straight.

- submitted by a community member
May 18, 2011
As a parent of both current and former Trillium students I must express an extreme disappointment with the school as a whole. They profess to subscribe to a democratic process, but I have seen that fail on many occasions. There isn't continuity between classrooms and boundaries are almost nonexistent. While much energy is spent on community activities, there isn't enough focus on academics. Services for special needs students are hard to get. I spent 4 years trying to get extra help for one of my kids to no avail. In less than 3 weeks of dis-enrolling from Trillium and enrolling at our neighborhood school we were getting the remedial help that Trillium refused to provide. There is a complete lack of accountability from students to teachers to administrators. Family involvement is strong. Unfortunately the needs of the students and school can take second place to the beliefs of the parents. There is a core of dedicated staff and parents that are keeping the school afloat. The kindergarten program is phenomenal and I would recommend it to anyone, but beyond that I would advise people to make alternate educational plans for their children.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2011
I have had three daughters attend Trillium. It is a wonderful school. Unusual is the decision making process where the children learn that their opinions truly count and they learn to resolve conflict with words. At times this takes a long time and a lot of care, but what a skill to learn. Two of my daughters had Rob Van Nood, who teaches 3,4,5. He is an amazingly creative teacher. This year, he decided to start the year in an empty room with no furniture. They have developed a learning style that is fluid and hands on, with the kids moving around the room in all sorts of interesting explorations. The school is not for everyone, but it is truly a kind a loving place.

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2010
I Love Trillium because they Care! Also in the upper grades they allow the students to work together & help one another. My Son Loves Trillium & he's a Senior this year! Yeah!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 13, 2010
This is a great, innovative school that really helps the kids that are ahead of their grade level, while gently pulling up those who are below their grade level. Their full-spectrum programs don't focus entirely on the simple math, history, english area, but also include humanities, music, and other less common areas (horticulture, anyone?) For a small charter school, they do a great job - heck, for a big school they do a great job.

- submitted by a community member
May 16, 2010
I love the school's focus on sustainability, democracy, and nonviolent communication skills.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2010
Individualized learning for each child

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2010
We love Trillium because of the focus on the local and global communities. My 9 year old is aware of the importance of recycling, composting, reusing as much as possible, the value of arts education and the value of being part of a respectful, compassionate community of amazing people! Trillium is truly unique and we can't imagine sending our children anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 25, 2010
Trillium is a public school with a strong sense of community and in addition to preparing our kids to be a beneficial member of society it encourages them to become a part of the greater community now and engages them on many levels.

- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2010
There are lots of pluses: A K-12 environment where kids interact with students of all ages, a high level of creativity, lots of child decision making, and kids are empowered to take charge of their school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 24, 2010
Trillium Charter School is a public school that nurtures each child's inherent curiosity, creativity and connection to community. We support diverse learning styles and use democratic processes to help students grow fully as human beings and contribute to and enhance the world.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 24, 2010
A small K-12 (plus pre-school) school where students really have a say about what and how they learn each day. This makes for a wonderful learning environment. Plus families are actively encouraged to be involved in many ways making for an awesome community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 24, 2010
the teachers at Trillium seem to really like kids - they are warm and kind and creative, and the parents are involved.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 24, 2010
My child loves to go everyday. The program teaches to the whole child. The staff works with each child on an individual basis. Individuals needs and interests are developed.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 24, 2010
Mixed age classes, experiential learning, very little 'sitting still', great teachers

- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2010
This school thrives on community involvement. In this democratic environment, the students are involved in just about every decision making process in the school. They truly care about how their decisions affect the members of their community, and democracy is key in every facet. They spend their money on what matters to the students and place a great deal of importance on the arts, as well as teaching students to be good stewards of the earth. Even their hot lunch program focuses on balanced, healthy, organic meals. I could send my daughter to the neighbourhood school here, but love Trillium so much that we send her there. My child is truly saddened when she has to miss a day. The teachers are wonderful, caring, incredibly patient, and really love children. They focus on positive conflict resolution, and work through mediation rather than strict punitive consequence when there is a problem. They involve the parents early when they sense there is a problem that can be resolved quickly and with minimal drama. The kids don't fall through the cracks at this school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 24, 2010
Trillium is not just a school, it is a community. It is a place where the voices of all it's members, be they staff, parents or students, are heard. It is an advanced educational model fostering a love of learning and nurturing each students individual learning style. I only wish I had received such an epic education during my school years.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2010
Trillium's democratic process empowers kids to resolve conflict peacefully and turn their ideas into reality. Trillium's commitment to community partnership and sustainability are inspiring.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 20, 2010
I have watched my nephew blossom at Trillium. He is more confident, outspoken, and willing to try new things and experiment to figure out his world.

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 20, 2010
Trillium is an amazing community! The students are active participants in their learning experiences, engaged in the community and included in decision making through the democratic process. We couldn't have asked for a more supportive environment including the students, families and advisors!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 20, 2010
Trillium is a brilliant community where the children take responsibility for their learning and through their learning their world. My son is a more passionate volunteer and citizen for his experiences at Trillium.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 20, 2010
The dedication of the staff, families, and students is amazing. I feel so lucky that my boys get to be a part of this wonderful community.

- submitted by a parent
April 06, 2010
This is more like a kindergarten then a K-12 school. Teachers are inadequent in most cases.The Principal is a joke. They need a much more educated and professional leader in this school. Parent involvement is good and this helps alot. Safety is not good in and out of the building that they are in. I would not reccommend this school to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 22, 2009
Democratic structure, sustainability, inclusive values

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
no rating September 18, 2009
Trillium is an amazing place empowering kids to be active in their own learning process, as part of the communities they inhabit, and as part of the natural world. It's also full of wonderful staff and parents who are dedicated to supporting the kids and the school and each other.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 17, 2009
Trillium is a unique school that teaches kids to live in a democracy like the one they will join as an adult in this country. I believe when kids a taught to make choices based on thier passions and belifes they will be stronger and happier members of society. Besides both of my daughters love it.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 17, 2009
Trillium is the best thing that has happened to my grandchildren. All five of them attend this school and I have watched them grow and become awesome beings. This school really nurtures the individual in each child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 17, 2009
Trillium is an unusual school in a land of ordinary. Our future is brighter thanks to the unique education these kids are getting

- submitted by a parent
September 17, 2009
What a great way for children to learn! Trillium is fostering fun, independent learning, supporting the child's choice to learn in ways that work with them rather than against them! Wow!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 17, 2009
I love the fierce independence of the students, the engaging elective courses, and the truly democratic system. My kids are happier at Trillium than they've ever been at any school across the nation!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 17, 2009
It's a fantastic environment that fosters creativity and responsibility !!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 17, 2009
Trillium School is what every school should be like: its way to encourage students to learn in an independent, natural and fun way and environment really does make every student want to learn! As an adult, I would love to go to Trilllium myself. It's the way I'd love to see every public school be.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 17, 2009
Trillium Charter school was the first school in Portland, that I found could answer my question 'What is your discipline policy?' with an intelligent answer. The answer - all the faculty and staff are trained in a style of non-violent conflict resolution, and when there is a conflict, a mediation is called. Grades K-12. It is consistent. The students learn it as well, thus learning great conflict resolution skills. And, for a parent of a boy, who would probably have been labeled a discipline problem in the conventional schools, this has been a blessing. I watched my son mediate a conflict in the park after school one day, and knew I had made the right choice. Trillium doesn't just teach academics. They teach skills that are necessary in this world that we live in. The more people growing up learning these skills, the better off all of our futures will be. For this, I am grateful for Trillium.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
Trillium Charter School is a public school that nurtures each child's inherent curiosity, creativity and connection to community. We support diverse learning styles and use democratic processes to help students grow fully as human beings and contribute to and enhance the world.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
Trillium has such wonderful advisors that provide so much opportunity for learning outside the box. I have never been to a school where everyone is so school proud and sincerely involved beacuse they want to be. I love the Trillium community and the local community it services!

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
Wonderful attitude and teachers, creative learning environment, happy kids!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
Trillium charter School provides my children with an excellent education while stimulating their curiosity and desire to learn.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
It is a playful and creative place. Project-based learning. Teachers that are fired up because they get opportunities to teach what they are most passionate about. Democratic education teaches students leadership and responsibility. My daughter is excited to go to school every day. She can tell Trillium is up to fun and exciting things.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
It is a very close-knit community; the K-12 students all interact and serve as great role models for each other. The school teaches the kids to be active in their community; to connect with people on a personal level; that each person has something special to contribute. The teachers are dedicated, creative, engaging and really care for our kids.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
A wonderful student lead, free choice learning environment based on a curriculum of urban/world studies. The teachers are extremely talented, committed and diverse practitioners that care deeply about their students. The teachers work individually and collaboratively to meet the academic needs of their students. Trillium is a wonderful and inspiring school/community preparing students to be life long independent, self-motivated learners.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
My granddaughters love the variety of classes...even though they have to explain what the names of the classes mean!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
Trillium is an amazing place where families, students and teachers work together to create an environment for learning that is remarkable!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
it's simply the best school ever. It's small and has mixed age classes. My 3rd grader gets to interact with kindergarteners and high schoolers. from day one they learn conflict mediation skills. It's a democratic school, with a bill of rights and responsibilities, a place where kids know from a young age that they can affect change by creating proposals and presenting them to the entire school for a vote. I grew up in a democratic country where the school system left me feeling entirely disempowered until I was 18. Schools talked about democracy, and how important it was to go out there and participate in it as an adult, but gave us no practical experience with this. It is wonderful seeing kids actually experience democracy in a way that will truly empower them to be fully engaged citizens in later years.

- submitted by a parent
August 06, 2009
This is a fabulous school in every way. Nearly every student feels safe and comfortable, while learning always to the best of their abilities. Teachers are friendly, informative and approachable, and are always finding new ways to help each student reach their highest potential.

- submitted by a student
April 30, 2009
My grandson went to Trillium for most of second grade then came to live with me in AZ. He is so far behind in math and writing that he has to have tutoring. Trillium has not prepard him in academics and it appears that the 'democractic' style did not work for my grandson.

- submitted by a community member
October 01, 2008
Its my second year in Trillium and I love everyone and everything, great classes, great people, great experiences, and a major part of my life. 123/10!

- submitted by a student
February 29, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
November 19, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 27, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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Trillium
5420 North Interstate Ave, Portland, OR  97217
(503) 285-3833
Last modified Trillium is a Charter school that serves grades K-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Trillium Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 57 reviews. Top