Our K-7 program is the first step in a Chrysalis education. It’s where our younger students gain strength and confidence as learners, and awaken new passions. Every student engages in a personalized course of study based upon their learning needs and preferences. We offer both individual appointments and group classes, instructed by an enthusiastic team of teachers who love what they do, and provide loads of project-based learning!
Individualizing is a key practice that leads to success in learning and what Chrysalis does best! We allow every child to work at their “just right” level of challenge, which minimizes stress and optimizes learning. One-on-one appointments are the optimal choice for individualization where teachers can use student interests to drive learning, answer student questions on the spot, and continually assess and adapt to their progress. We also offer small (12 or less), multi-age classes that are determined by students’ personalities, social maturity, and academic ability. Our ultimate goal is for every child to experience success and develop a love of learning.
Our academic program is paired with a strong respect for child development and a focus on encouraging age-appropriate independence. Our commitment to the arts supports both emotional and academic growth. We also purposefully promote kindness, cooperation, and the importance of everyday life lessons. Maintaining a positive school culture where every student feels safe and valued as a member of their school community is our priority.
Neurologist Judy Willis argues the importance of eliminating stress from the school environment to promote learning. Just as the brain needs stimulating input, it also needs rest to be able to process it. Overstimulation can lead to burnout, which engages filters in the brain that limit the flow of information and inhibit learning. Neurologists often subscribe to the saying, “the brain downshifts under stress.” By contrast, the brain works at optimal levels in positive emotional states. At Chrysalis we know we need relaxed brains to work with, so we create conditions that allow for them: allowing students to work at their “just right” level of challenge, reducing competition, creating a positive social culture, allowing students a say in their scheduling, and giving them time during their day to process what they’ve learned and prepare for their next task.
Countless studies conclude that free play is essential in the development of the child. Child-driven, unstructured time is important for developing executive functioning (including problem-solving, decision-making, and goal-setting abilities), social and emotional maturity, self-direction, and a sense of control. This means it’s important for students to have a voice in their program and choices about the activities they engage in during the day. Time to “play” and process information is highly valued.
Our academic program runs Monday through Thursday and elective classes are offered on Fridays. Every student’s program looks different, but most students have a combination of individual and small group classes. Group class eligibility is determined by the availability of like learners who are interested in the class and the ability to meet group class expectations. Full and half day programs are available for all grades. See Sample Schedule.
Transition to High School
Our middle school program encompasses the 7th and 8th grades and is all about keeping our students engaged and preparing them for high school. Seventh graders spend 4 days at SC and Fridays at our high school campus, where they start to gain familiarity with the environment, staff, and students. Our 8th graders make the full transition to the high school, where they take courses with their friends and begin to interact with the high school students. In preparation for a successful high school experience, they take a personalized study skills class and are taught school guidelines and cultural expectations during this very formative year. Our middle school teachers are rock stars! They love this squirrely bunch and even travel back and forth between the two campuses to maintain continuity.