Ontario's Trillium List
The Right to Read Inquiry has made many important recommendations. One of the key recommendations is for the Ontario Ministry of Education to revise the Trillium List. In recommendation 34, the Inquiry states:
The Ministry should work with external expert(s) to revise the Trillium list of approved textbooks related to reading, if any, to align with the scientific evidence by removing all textbooks that promote instruction and assessment approaches that have not been scientifically validated, and adding only textbooks that reflect effective instructional principles associated with mandatory explicit, systematic and direct instruction in foundational word-reading skills including phonemic awareness, phonics and decoding skills, and word-reading proficiency (accurate and quick word reading).
We have reached out to Curriculum Matters Inc., the company that manages the Trillium List, and they have provided clarity on this list. The Trillium List is a list of textbooks that are approved for use in Ontario schools. In their “Guidelines for Approval of Textbooks” (see link below), they provide a very clear definition of “textbooks”, as well as a definition of “supplementary resources”. By their definition, standalone readers are not textbooks, as they are not a “comprehensive learning resource designed to support a substantial portion of the Ontario curriculum expectations” (e.g., Reading, Writing AND Oral Communication). Rather, standalone readers such as SyllaSense Decodable Readers fall under the category of “supplementary resources”. As such, they are not included on the Trillium List. The selection process regarding “supplementary resources” is left up to the individual boards, as expressed below:
Boards have sole responsibility for the selection and evaluation of supplementary resources (see section 3 for definition) to support elementary and secondary programs. Boards are expected to ensure that an effective process is in place for the selection and approval of such materials for use in their schools.
Please click on the link below to see the full document outlining the guidelines for the approval of textbooks and the definitions used by the Trillium List.