About Us » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you give me an overview of the Trivium Charter School program?

Trivium Charter School operates learning centers in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Santa Maria, Arroyo Grande and Atascadero. We also have an independent study check-in center at Blochman Union for students who are not attending learning center classes. Our program is a hybrid program in which most students attend Trivium Charter School classes two days a week and homeschool three days a week. Our learning center classes we refer to as ACE days (A Classical Experience). In the ACE days students cover history, science, art and music from 9:00 to 3:15. The upper grades also participate in a writing curriculum and literature circles. You are your students’ primary teacher and are responsible for instruction in math and language arts, as well as any supplemental subjects you choose. Students are not required to attend ACE days and can master all coursework in an Independent Study environment. In addition to the ACE days, Trivium provides elective classes as an option on a third day. We have offered an array of elective courses during this third-day option such as art, Spanish, Drama, and Ukulele.

Can I really homeschool my child if I have never done it before?

Absolutely! There is a lot of support provided. There are online classes for homeschool subjects for older grades. You will have access to a Homeschool Coordinator and your child’s teacher plus the school staff and parent meetings. We build a community so everyone can be successful.

Is there a fee for attending Trivium Charter School?

Trivium Charter School is a free, public school. There is no tuition!

What if English is my or my child’s second language?

Many families who have learned English as a second language are intimidated by the thought of homeschooling.  We have a lot of support for you!  Please come in to one of centers, call or email us – we are happy to explain all the ways we can help you be successful.

How are the classes organized?

The classes at Trivium Charter School are generally split level classes. This allows students to be bound less by their age than by their academic needs. Since you are your students’ primary teacher and know them best you will be able tell us which class might best meet your student’s needs. If changes ever need to be made the staff and teachers at Trivium Charter School are happy to work with you to find the best fit.

How many students are in each class?

Trivium Charter School plans to keep the student numbers to 20-22 students per class. Sometimes classes become a little larger or smaller because a different class level is appropriate for a student and we will move the student to the “best fit”.

How do I know what’s happening during the ACE days?

Every week before your student’s ACE days, their teacher will email an agenda for the week. The agenda will list topics that will be covered in your student’s class that week. It will also let you know if there are any special materials you student needs to bring to class. The teachers at Trivium Charter School recognize that you are your student’s primary teacher and they always work to ensure that you know what is happening on school days. And of course, you’re welcome to arrange to volunteer at school to see firsthand what’s going on.

Does my child have to bring his own lunch?

Yes, but sometimes there is a hot lunch day put on by parent volunteers and you have the option of paying for that instead of sending a lunch.

What is taught in history and science?

Trivium Charter School follows the four year cycle of history and science followed by most classical curriculums. History and science are broken up into the following segments- 1) ancient history & biology, 2) medieval history & earth science/astronomy, 3) early modern history & chemistry 4) modern history & physics. History and Science are taught through first hand experience whenever possible.

What literature is used?

Literature used in classroom literature circles is linked to the period of history being covered. Both nonfiction and fiction books are read; most are well known or considered classics. Parents are free to request titles in advance if they would like to pre-read books.

Is homework given?

There is no daily homework given in the lower grades. Occasionally students will have projects or presentations that they work on at home and then present in class. In the upper grades students will do their literature circle reading at home and complete an assigned role sheet to be discussed at the following group meeting. Topical writing assignments and research are common. There are also occasional projects requiring research or additional refining that takes place at home. There is absolutely no homework for homework’s sake.

Do I have to submit work samples from home?

Yes.  Each student must bring in two Language Arts and two Math samples each learning period.  Trivium has eight learning periods a year.  In addition, a Daily Engagement log is required.  This one is easy because only one thing is listed for each home learning day –  for example, an entry might read- Math: Saxon Math 2 lesson #84 Finding the Area of a Square.  

Is there a behavior contract?

Yes, which state that students will participate and be respectful and spells out specifics such as appropriate language and making good choices. Character development is an important aspect of a Classical education.

Is there a dress code?

Yes, the students and parents will sign the dress code policy at enrollment. The dress code is simple – clothes have to fit (no baggy, falling down pants), shorts and skirts must be of reasonable length (extend past fingertips when arm is at side), make-up must be natural/common looking, hair must be natural/common looking, etc.

How are discipline issues handled?

Trivium Charter School works from day one to create a community at school. All ACE days start with the entire student body, teachers, and staff together for the pledge of allegiance and a brief morning meeting.  Break and lunch periods are conducted school-wide.  Students are encouraged to treat each other with respect and there is clear communication from the staff members about acceptable and unacceptable behavior.  If a student is doing something unacceptable, they generally correct their behavior with a little reminding because a strong culture has already been established.  Parents are involved in any discipline issue that isn’t quickly resolved and a behavior modification plan is put in place that may include a written statement, essay by the student, some form of restitution, restriction from a fun activity, or temporary restriction from ACE days.  

Do students have to participate in state testing?

Yes, state testing is a requirement for all public schools. While we encourage our students to do their best, Trivium Charter School realizes that testing uses valuable learning time and therefore we attempt to minimize the disruption it can cause.

Is Trivium Charter School a religious school?

No, Trivium Charter School is a public school. It is not religiously affiliated. Our schools are often located in church facilities as they have classroom facilities available to rent.

Does Trivium Charter School require me to use a specific curriculum at home?

Trivium Charter School does not require the use of a specific curriculum. You may choose what works best for your child. Trivium Charter School will provide you with materials if you choose to use those on the schools approved curriculum list. The choices on the list are very broad and include many popular classical curriculum choices. However, if you have a curriculum you’d prefer to purchase privately you are free to do so. Religious based curriculum cannot be included in the learning log record you submit to Trivium Charter School.

Is there a PTA?

Trivium has a PACE group.  (Parents of ACE)  PACE groups meet at each learning center at least twice a year to help support Trivium.

Are there parent meetings?

Yes, there are regular (optional) parent meetings. In addition, Trivium Charter School is glad to have parents involved. We maintain very open communication between home and school.

Are parents allowed to volunteer?

Absolutely! Parents are welcome to volunteer. Teachers are delighted by classroom help and there are volunteer opportunities school-wide from lunch monitoring to creating the yearbook.

Are there field trips?

Parents are welcome to organize field trips. However, since Trivium school days are only twice a week, we do not normally take school days off for field trips.  There is a private Facebook page for Trivium parents where outings and get-togethers are routinely posted.  This group is only for currently enrolled families.