“Difficult”, “Challenging” “I didn’t like it all.”
This is what Logan M says when asked about his experiences of school before he became a student at Trillium School in 2011. Hailing from Hanover, Ontario, Logan has found school to be a challenge for much of his young life.
As a student with a learning disability, Logan, like so many others with learning disabilities, has experienced first-hand the challenges of succeeding in school. But much of that changed when Logan was given the opportunity to attend the Trillium Demonstration School in Milton for the 2012-2013 school year
As a Grade 10 student, Logan has developed skills and strategies to help build his strengths and overcome the challenges that he faced. Logan learned the importance of routine, the skills needed for relationships and developed reading, writing and math skills to improve his overall academic performance.
“The best thing about this school is the way the teachers present the information. The unique teaching methods used at Trillium, knowing how we feel, that it if difficult for us . . . are really important. Also the small class sizes really help,” says Logan.
He adds that, “We also have a sense of family here. The atmosphere here is welcoming . . . more than a regular school.” In addition to the school, the emphasis on social skills and recreation as part of the residence program and the opportunity for students to live cooperatively with strong positive role models is also a unique feature of the school.
Logan feels that the school has done a good job of preparing him to return to his home high school in Hanover, Ontario and he is looking forward to his next step. “Academically, the school has opened my horizons to finally realize that school is not so terrible . . . Trillium has prepared me so that I am caught up in my reading levels. It has also helped me in math.”
When asked how Trillium has also helped in other ways besides academics, he shares that the school has helped him learn how to “use my skills – problem-solving, learning strategies, how to relieve anxiety and stress . . . I will use these when I go back. It has also helped me learn how to complete homework better. When I go back to Hanover, I will be entering grade 11 and I am feeling confident in myself and in my academic abilities.”
Logan is setting his sights on post-secondary education – he is not sure what he wants to do yet but he is very excited about his future.
His advice to new students is as follows: “It might be intimidating at first but as soon as you let the teachers do their magic . . . don’t fight it and learn as much as you can.”
“Tough, hard to get my work done, I needed more help to get the assignments done” are the comments shared by Damien, an elementary student at Trillium, when describing his experience at school last year. School was not always easy for Damien and coming from a northern community, it was pretty daunting decision to come to Trillium. Damien acknowledges though that “reading is something I really needed help with . . . and you can’t hide from it in life. ” Making the decision to attend Trillium has been one of the best decisions so far in his young life.
Damien shares that “school and residence help me . . all the programs are helping me and they are fun.” Specifically, Damien enjoys the Empower reading program that is taught on a daily basis, as well as the Lexia computer program used to support reading instruction. Damien knows that “If I am a better reader, it will help me with assignments, job interviews, reading stories and will help me get started as an adult”. His advice to students coming to Trillium is that “You just have to try . . . it might seem frustrating at first but in the end, it actually helps and it is a major opportunity so absorb all the time you have here.” Damien’s determination to work hard and improve his reading is a testament to his success here at Trillium. We are confident that Damien will take his skills and new found confidence with him when he returns to his home school.