From media personalities and print writers to leaders and travelers, Dallas-Fort Worth is full of amazing women who have found ways to stand above a crowd. When we have the opportunity, we’re always thrilled to introduce you to some of those who help motivate us to be better moms, wives, and women.
This week, we’re continuing our series with another amazing mom we think you should meet!
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Meet Chrissi Cawthon, a local mom and educator, who had a vision of creating her own school. So that’s what she did!
Next year she, along with an impressive team, are opening their own charter school: Trivium Academy. The idea for Trivium Academy began around a kitchen table with a group of educators who wanted to build a school based on a program that would teach the whole child. After spending years in the classroom and witnessing the learning experience become increasingly standardized, they wanted an alternative for our children, grandchildren, and students.
The goal — offer a choice in public education for our community!
We wanted children to experience a school in which innovation and creativity are encouraged and a place where teachers can freely plan to meet the needs of each child in their classrooms. We wanted an individual approach which allows teachers, parents, and students to create a community where we celebrate success and diversity, encourage exemplary behavior, and enable students to work to their full potentials in an engaging and fun atmosphere.
Why a Charter School?
A charter school is an open-enrollment public school that offers a tuition free option for children. They receive state funds just like public schools, but do not receive local tax money. Often, charter schools provide a personalized learning environment while still meeting the rigorous academic standards dictated by the state for all public schools.
While traditional public schools are designed to provide a valuable education for many students across large districts, the number of students has made it difficult for most districts to cater to individual students. Oftentimes, students are caught in the middle and are lost in the masses. Charter school options offer a small school setting with attention to individual children. While charter schools are public schools and held to the same standard with objectives and testing requirements, they are able to use a more personalized approach to learning. Each charter school offers a focus unique to that particular school. When researching charter schools, parents are encouraged to find one that suits the needs of their children.
The Story Behind the School
Cawthon explains that once they researched the idea for a school, they decided that applying for a charter school would accomplish all of their goals and allow students a free education as well. They knew they would face hard work and enormous obstacles, but they persevered, created a 285-page application and delivered it to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in January of 2015.
In March, Chrissi Cawthon and her team were notified that their application made the cut score which meant they were eligible for an interview with members of TEA and the State Board of Education (SBOE).
We sat in front of the board prepared to answer any single question and were pleased to face a panel of educational experts who appreciated our vision and mission for Trivium Academy.
In June, they were notified that their charter had been granted approval by the TEA Commissioner. The final step came in July with a brief appearance before the SBOE who then accepted the commissioner’s approval, and their dream became real.
Trivium Academy will offer a classical education for the modern world that trains children to be life-long learners. They will meet students where they are and move them forward by providing them with an individualized learning plan. They will engage students in the learning process by allowing them to take ownership and have choices in their education. Genius Hour will be a hallmark of our program where all students will have the opportunity to engage in learning, examine information, and express themselves in a variety of formats. Each student will determine his/her own Genius Hour project based on interest.
Chrissi Cawthon saw a need, created a solution, and made it happen. Her goals have inspired us to not only think beyond public education (through charter schools), but shows each of us what we’re capable of when it comes to protecting our children’s future.
For more information about Charter Schools and to find schools in your area, visit:
http://tea.texas.gov/Texas_ Schools/Charter_Schools/ Resources_for_Parents_and_ Students/Charter_Schools_ Resources_for_Parents_and_ Students/