Knightly News

Trivium Academy Weekly Newsletter

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Continue reading to the end for all of the latest updates!
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Please make sure you child has a water bottle with them each day, with the temps still being high, we want to make sure they are hydrated. Staying hydrated can help to decrease headaches and nausea.

Also, please make sure your child has a complete change of clothes in their backpacks. Lunchroom spills and mud puddles just to name a few are the reasons why "just in case clothes" are good to have on hand.

Lastly, with the ragweed and other pollen's blowing around in Texas, understandably sinus issues arise leading to cough and cold symptoms. It is a school rule that NO medications, even over the counter cough drops, allergy meds or stomach aids are to be given to a student unless a doctor's note accompanies the medication. Please do not send ANY MEDICINE IN YOUR STUDENTS BACKPACK. It must be brought to the front desk or to the First Aid Office upon arriving at school.

As always, thank you for partnering with us to take care of all our wonderful students at Trivium Academy.


For questions or concerns please feel free to email me or call my office at 469-249-8290

Thank you!

Tori Maki-First Aid

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Natalie Parker-8th & 9th Grade: US History, World Geography, and AP Human Geography

College: University of North Texas – BA and MS

Teaching History: I have been in education since I graduated from my undergrad and have taught in Houston and The Woodlands, TX. I have recently moved to the DFW area to work on my PhD in Information Science and am excited to be a part of such an innovative community!

Family:I am married to Andrew Parker who also teaches World Geography in McKinney ISD and have one betta fish name Winston Fishill.

Interests/Hobbies Outside of School: I have a passion for Harry Potter, the British Bake-Off, and camping when I’m not studying or working!

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Melissa Johnson-Kindergarten

College: I graduated from UNT with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. My certification is in Early Childhood through 6th grade, English as a Second Language and Special Education.

Teaching History: This will be my 7th year teaching. I previously taught 3rd grade special education and 4 years in Kindergarten for Plano ISD. I am so excited to join the Trivium Knights and the Kindergarten Team.

Family:I have been married for 6 years. I have one son named, Tucker and a daughter named Abigail. We have a small dog named, Buddy. We are proud home owners in Plano. I come from a big family and am the oldest of 6 children.

Interests/Hobbies Outside of School: ​I like to spend time with my family, sew, and to teach young minds!

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What is MAP testing?

MAP stands for Measurement of Academic Performance

Schedule for MAP:

K-2nd: Math and reading three times a year: beginning, middle, end

3rd-9th: Math and reading twice a year: beginning and end (since these grades participate in benchmark testing and STAAR testing)

4th & 7th: Language Usage twice a year

5th & 8th: Science twice a year

There is no at-home preparation needed by the students for this testing!

Top 6 Questions Parents Have About MAP Testing:

Genius Hour

Are you a Genius? Do you consider yourself to be smart? The vast majority of kindergarteners answer both of these questions with a resounding, “YES!” Sadly, as children get older, fewer and fewer of them identify themselves as smart or a genius. Only people such as Albert Einstein are viewed as genius in society, and as children become more aware of social norms, they become more critical of themselves.

Therefore, we must provide outlets for our children to celebrate that everyone has gifts, talents, expertise, passions, and everyone is a genius at something! At Trivium, Genius Hour is that time where students are able to explore their passions and interests. They are given the opportunity to grow as individuals while applying skills like researching, collaborating, creating, presenting, and the list goes on and on. Some students can be seen sprawled out on the floor in hallways crocheting, drawing, making a poster, or conducting an experiment. Others students are huddled around a laptop doing research on topics they are interested in, visiting the librarian to find a book that answers a driving question, or filming stop motion animation films which are student created.

Genius Hour should look differently for each student because it is individualized. Passion based learning looks like engaged students chasing their questions and teachers cheering for them on the sidelines, and sometimes stepping in to coach. The beauty of it is that students learn to take risks, pursue passions, embrace failure, and create something that is all about them. Genius Hour wasn’t invented by Trivium, I wish it was. It is a model adopted by teachers from companies that started allowing their employees to have time each week to work on choice projects. The result was two-fold with happy employees who felt a sense of value and ideas that helped their companies grow. The same results can be seen in our school.

This year, we are using Angela Maiers’s new book, Genius Matters, to launch the first 20 days of Genius Hour. It’s helping train the students and set them up for success in Genius Hour all year long. Lessons include: setting up Genius Hour Notebooks, Defining: Genius, Exploring Passions, Solving Problems, Taking Risks, Effective Collaboration, Documenting Findings, Sharing our Genius, and more! We can’t wait to see the creativity bloom this year with our Knights.

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Gabriella Sosa

Fun Facts

Grade: 8th Grade

Homeroom Teacher: Mr. Morgan

Siblings: Her TWIN sister (fraternal, haha) Isabella AKA Bella

Pet: Doodle named Guiseppie AKA 'Seppie

Interests/Hobbies: ART, watching movies, learning about real life stories and people

For Gabriella's Genius Hour project at the end of last school year she chose a project very close to her heart. While visiting her grandfather at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital she was inspired to create art for the white ceiling tiles that patients so often have to see. She wrote a letter to Hospital President Josh Floren about her project after her grandfather passed away, detailing her vision and he was so moved that he agreed for the her tiles to adorn the hospital ER rooms immediately. She has painted 10 tiles with an ultimate goal of creating 40.

To read more about Gabriella's project visit

**At the time the article was written she brought in 5 for the tile placing ceremony and picked up 5 more which she has since completed and those are now installed. She is currently working on her next 5.

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North Texas Giving Day

We are gearing up for North Texas Giving Day! We have had wonderful success with NTGD in the past, and we believe that happens because we have amazing parents!

For more information visit:

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PIE Updates

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Room Parent or Grade Level Lead

If you are interested in becoming a Room Parent for your child's class or Grade Level Lead, please complete the form below and your background check before Monday, September 16th. The selected Room Parent and Grade Level Leads will be notified by Friday, September 20th. A Room Parent orientation meeting will be held the following week - day and time to be announced.
Background Check Link!

Volunteers must re-do the background check each year.

Amazon Smile

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Trivium Academy (Portico Foundation) every time you shop, at no cost to you.

Go to and when prompted to select a charity enter Portico Education Foundation. Make sure to select the organization in Carrollton!

Bookmark this page for all of your Amazon purchases!

Calendar Instructions Below