A Climate of Possibility.

image1 (1)Research: Education reformer Sir Ken Robinson uses his expertise in business and education to outline the crisis in education in America in his Ted Talk, “How to Escape Education’s Death Valley.” He argues that education must be centered on the concept of human flourishing. According to Robinson, this rests upon three main assumptions: (1) that humans are naturally different and diverse, (2) that curiosity drives learning, and (3) that humans are inherently creative. When schools force standardization they effectively limit the ability for children to flourish, and as a result we see children who are stressed, disengaged, and at risk for dropping out altogether.

Practice: At Chrysalis we recognize that learning is personal. Every child learns differently, has different strengths and challenges, and has unique interests. In response, we offer different programs for every child to obtain the balance that’s right for them–a place where they are challenged appropriately, supported when needed, and allowed a place to shine. To use Robinson’s words, we create the conditions in which children thrive by offering a climate of possibility.

Our Beloved Smartphones Prevent Sleeping

smartphone-clipart-smartphoneResearch: A new study focuses on the effect of small screens (phones and tablets) on children’s sleep and concludes that they are worse for sleep than television screens. The problem is that we hold them closer to our faces, which prevents the increase of melatonin that drives us to fall asleep. They are also more interactive, which tells our brains to stay alert.

Practice: The prevailing recommendation for children and teens is to remove technology (TVs, computers, phones, tablets, etc.) from their bedrooms at night. Having a technology curfew is one great way for parents to protect their sleep. Teens especially just can’t resist the temptation of getting to the next level on their favorite video game or checking who “liked” their last post. This is where we as parents have to step in to ensure their ability to function the next day and their overall health.

Guide Dog Puppy Shower

Woofs and Waggy tails!

Woof! I’m Yanna, a yellow Labrador Retriever.  My black Lab puppy-pal, Yuri, and I just arrived at Chrysalis! Everyone was so excited to meet us last Friday, November 2nd. Maggie and Sarah picked us up in Oregon and brought us to our new, ‘temporary’ home, in Washington. We came all the way from California! Here at Chrysalis, after a much needed puppy potty break, we had a ‘green carpet’ ceremony where we got new toys and everyone petted and loved on us! I wagged my tail so much! People took lots of photos and videos and they even got to eat some really tasty looking ‘bone-shaped’ cookies. Yuri and I are going to become Guide Dogs one day. For the next 18 months, you’ll probably see us learning the ropes (and maybe chewing on them) as we get trained by our handlers here at Chrysalis.Yuri and I love being part of the Chrysalis family and we are excited to be part of the only school in Washington that will guide us from being untrained puppies to future Guide Dogs! Woof!


Guest Speaker – Lisa Yeeles

On Wednesday, October 17th, we welcomed Photo Editor, Lisa Yeeles from Eddie Bauer, to speak with us at the Chrysalis North Campus. In her fifth year as Editor, Lisa shared her experiences conducting and directing the design elements in a fashion catalog photo shoot. Eight of our fashion, design, drama and photography students participated, in preparation for our own in-school fashion shoot, this Friday.

Yeeles discussed the importance of collaboration and coordination within the team in order to make the magic happen. Other crucial elements come into play as well, such as location decisions, thematic direction of the shoot, current fashion trends and lighting, just to name a few. Ultimately, she stated that the number one driver in a photo shoot is…budget. Because catalog shoots are usually done a year in advance, staff members need to thoroughly prepare the numbers before they can research market trends, plan set location and start the the detailed process of catalog execution.

One student that attended was astonished by the complex process the photography undergoes and remarked “she showed us one progression of photos, how they looked right after the photos were taken and then with all the final editing.” Another student wondered about breaking into the fashion photography industry. Lisa replied with encouragement about pursuing passions, continuing education, the importance of making industry connections, building relationships and obtaining internships. It was a pleasure having her speak to our students and we appreciate her taking the time to educate us on the exciting process of catalog production.

Thank you Lisa!

This Is Not an Implementation Dip. It’s Just Bad Practice!

Education Week posted a great article, This Is Not an Implementation Dip. It’s Just Bad Practice! , on how the public school systems implements standardized tests. It discusses how testing has become about money and bragging rights, rather than how students learn. “Education should be about learning, educational resources and building relationships with students and families. It should not be about testing.”