Today I visited the PK-Grade 3 programs at Trafton Academy located in the Willowbend area of Houston. Trafton has been a highly respected school serving grades 4-8 for over 40 years and was able to buy the adjacent Mrs. Wagner’s preschool-third grade school when it closed a few years ago. It took no time at all for Trafton to fill the remodeled classrooms with bright new furnishings and happy children eager to learn “The Trafton Way”. That “way” is what some may call “old fashioned” – even my student guide used that term, but he said he has not minded because he feels truly prepared for high school. High school admission directors like to see Trafton applications because these students have strong academic knowledge and skills, are polite, confident and respectful and have leadership skills, have had opportunities to play lots of sports, compete in PSIA academics against top schools in the state and nation, learn to play a band instrument, and have had an age-appropriate middle school social life. Trafton is not fancy on the outside, but the students care about what goes on inside the classroom where they are offered a “reach” and their efforts are rewarded. Small class size, mastery learning, caring teachers, solid curriculum with a wise infusion of technology, and a school community that honors good choices. No wonder the tour was full.