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Collaborative Education

Overview

Our collaborative education model features on-campus classes two days per week, with at-home learning occurring on the alternate days. Students, with the involvement and guidance of their parents, develop strong study skills and superior academic credentials.

Collaborative education integrates the best of private Christian schooling and home schooling into one hybrid model. Students spend two class days per week on campus with a professional teacher. Students receive at-home assignments for the other days, to be completed with guidance from their parents. Pre-K home day lessons are optional.

Over 170 schools across the U.S. are teaching with a collaborative, blended approach. Collaborative schools are known by several names, including "hybrid school," "blended model," "cottage school," and "university schedule."

At TCS, the on-campus days are Monday and Wednesday, and the at-home days are Tuesday and Thursday. Friday activities vary by grade level. 
For grades K through 4th, Fridays are a "flex" day and can be used for finishing reading assignments at home, completing work from Thursday's assignments, participating in enrichment activities, or spending time with family. For the Logic School, grades 5th and up, Fridays are used for additional coursework at home. 

Weekly schedule
Monday   
on-campus 
school day
Tuesday
at-home
school day
Wednesday
on-campus
school day
Thursday
at-home
school day
Friday
Friday activities vary by grade level. See above. 


Distinctives of the Collaborative approach at Trinity Classical School

High level of parental involvement

Collaborative schools recognize that the active participation of parents in a child’s life is a key factor for both academic success and character development. Collaborative schools support a high level of parental involvement in two ways. First, parents share responsibility for instruction and are considered to be co-teachers alongside the professional on-campus teacher who acts as a team leader and works with parents. Second, the school relies on parents as volunteers and participants in field trips and various aspects of school life.

Two on-campus days per week
Students are on campus two days per week (Monday and Wednesday). However, 
TCS should not be considered a “part-time” schooling option, since school does meet five days per week--some days are on campus, and the other days are at home. Parents guide students in completing assignments prepared by the on-campus teacher. This arrangement gives parents more time for imparting faith and values. It also offers flexibility in family schedules, allowing a range of other activities to supplement on-campus activities. The learning schedule during at-home days can be adapted to a student’s particular learning style.

Semester-based tuition
Parents pay for one semester at a time. Course fees, books, activities, and electives are purchased separately.
Tuition is typically lower than a five-days-per-week, private school. 

Superior academic preparation
High academic standards, college preparatory coursework, and a low student/teacher classroom ratio combine to provide a strong learning environment. TCS p
rovides a smooth transition to a university schedule, since the students are already accustomed to working independently on some days without classroom time (see graph below). TCS students in the upper grades can take courses across a range of subjects at different levels, just as they would at a university. 


Christian School Routes to College

Graph of hours per week in a campus classroom (from K through 12). 
Note the seamless transition to the college schedule for the "Gradual Route" (red line). 

Christian worldview
TCS uses a curriculum compatible with a Christian worldview, taught by knowledgeable, Christian teachers. 

Activities and extra-curricular programs
As our school grows, TCS will offer additional programs such as athletics and elective courses.

Character development and family support
TCS i
ntegrates academic and spiritual training through a close integration of school and home. Scripture memory encourages students to hide God's Word in their heart. Quarterly "Parents' Nights" allow parents to fellowship and be equipped.


History of Collaborative Schools in the U.S.

Collaborative schooling, also called the "blended model" or "hybrid model" or "university schedule" has grown rapidly over the last decade. The first schools of this type began as a result of parents needing a new way to participate in their children's education while partnering with professional, Christian educators. Nearly all collaborative schools have been founded by families who wish to provide this model of education for their children.

In 1985 a group of families founded Circle Christian School in Winter Park, Florida. This school used a new approach: a blended model with both on-campus and at-home days during each week. Soon other groups of families and homeschool parents began to start schools around the U.S. using this hybrid, collaborative model. Parents appreciated the flexibility of a schedule similar to a university, where students were on-campus some days, and at home other days. Beginning with this pioneering school, this model of education has grown and spread to other schools around the United States.

Currently there are more than 170 primary and secondary schools in the United States using a collaborative schedule combining on-campus and at-home days. These collaborative schools use several models including the following:
  • Classical, Christian schools, such as Trinity Classical School of Houston
  • Public schools, such as Trivium Charter School in Arroyo Grande, CA
  • Independent Christian schools, such as Cor Deo Christian Academy in Beaverton, OR
  • University-Model Schools ®, such as Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, TX 
  • Schools offering a blended schedule alongside a traditional 5-day model, such as Zeeland Christian School in Zeeland, MI.
Trinity Classical School of Houston began in 2009 and operates as an independent school which has been granted 501(c)3 non-profit status by the IRS.

Results

Collaborative schools have consistently produced National Merit Semi-Finalists, National Merit Finalists, and graduates who succeed at the most rigorous and selective universities.  Graduates of collaborative schools are able to transition to college without a difficult adjustment period since they already have been learning in a university-like atmosphere for many years.

Graduates from collaborative schools have attended top colleges and graduate schools across the country, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas, Wheaton College, New York University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Texas Medical Schools in Galveston and Houston, Rice University, Baylor University, Northwestern University, Tulane University, Rhodes College, Savannah College of Art & Design, Kings College, and many others.