As schools have scrambled to transition to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chrysalis School showed once again what's possible.
During the major snowstorms of the last couple of years, the school encouraged teachers and students to continue their learning online, despite the distance between them. It was a timely experiment that worked well and created a foundation for the necessary transition to distance learning this spring.
“Our small size and flexible nature make it so much easier to adapt to changing circumstances. And our focus on individualization lends itself to always put the needs of students and families first,” said Chrysalis Founder Karen Fogle. “Chrysalis students already met one-on-one and in small groups with their teachers, which made for a smoother transition.”
Flexible scheduling allowed changes to student schedules on the spot to make them workable for families. The school’s tech team developed a new platform for teachers to document online learning and student progress from afar and provided support to both teachers and families.
Teachers turned on a dime to create online lessons and experiences. Students only missed one day of school in the turnaround. High school classes are keeping up with their schedules and students will receive credit and grades for their courses this semester. As they look ahead to the next school year and possible closures or openings, the school will be able to transition back and forth between on-site and distance learning as needed.
As students grapple with the anxieties of the current situation, their fears, and the virus's impacts on their families and communities, the most important thing we provide is connection and routine. If we can provide some sense of reassurance or normalcy during these times, we’re doing right by our students. Some are excited to continue learning, which is fantastic. Others are struggling, so we adapt our goals with each student accordingly.
The school conducted a parent survey just two weeks in to gauge the effectiveness of the new online program and adjust as needed. It received overwhelmingly positive responses. Parents were pleased with the online program, grateful for teachers’ efforts to make it happen, and saw it as a beneficial way to continue their child’s education during this time of crisis.
One parent noted, “I really appreciate your seamless transition to online school. So many things were up in the air at that time, the consistency of school was a blessing.”
While in-person school is preferred by parents, they valued the quality of a flexible online platform.
Chrysalis School is an independent K-12 school with two campuses in Woodinville. For more information, please visit chrysalis-school.com.