The Chrysalis Program serves learners at the preschool, elementary, middle and high school academic levels (ages 3-21) in their development within the Four Core Goals ™. These core goals are addressed through a developmental level system. This educational approach is holistic being both academic and therapeutic.
The Chrysalis program operates primarily self-contained classrooms where learners are with the same professional educators for most of the day in the format common to elementary schools or special education classrooms within secondary schools. Chrysalis classrooms are organized by wings with several classrooms at similar levels of development, which allows for significant planned interaction between classrooms to expand social practices. There is no set age for progression across our continuum of care, however learners are typically grouped within a three year chronological age range.
With a low learner to teacher ratio, experiences and opportunities are designed to provide a gradual release as learners’ progress from one classroom and wing setting to another. By meeting learners where they are at, within their zone of proximal development, faculty are able to intentionally scaffold more challenging tasks within the Four Core Goals ™.
As learners reach the adolescent developmental period, they are provided opportunities to move throughout The Monarch School continuum of care. A bridging program serves learners as they transition into the Butterfly Program, which allows for a more traditional Middle and High School experience. Starting from the self-contained Chrysalis class, learners are able to gradually spend more time in the Butterfly program until they are ready to change their placement.
Each learner is assigned a multidisciplinary team (comprised of professional educators, therapeutic faculty, and therapy services) that develops relationship-based behavioral and learning plans, as well as design tracking and reflection systems that support the learners’ growth toward ownership of their specific objectives and targets within the Four Core Goals ™. The classroom professional educators are trained and have the primary responsibility for carrying out each learner’s Four Core Goals ™ treatment plan. The professional educators within each wing are supervised by a therapeutic faculty member with a mental health field graduate degree and educational/therapeutic experience. In addition, Chrysalis learners are supported by our Therapy Services team through teacher training, classroom consultations, parent training, and direct therapy to the learners.
Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation
In the Chrysalis program, learners are encouraged to identify their own strengths, weaknesses, and affinities. One example of this is putting together an All About Me book. Learners also learn how to regulate themselves and formulate a toolbox of self-regulation strategies. Frequent and purposeful movement is also a pivotal part of the regulation plan. Individualized motivational plans are developed and faded as needed to support self-regulation. Our enriched environment typically engenders natural motivation within the learner, resulting in few learners requiring a specific reinforcement plan.
In the Chrysalis program learners are encouraged to learn about past, present, and future-based thinking. Past thinking is supported through coaching and reflection activities that are planned regularly throughout the day. Present thinking and focus is supported through visual tools and mindfulness strategies. Future thinking can be supported through preview strategies such as social stories, schedules, and calendars.
The Chrysalis program promotes learners relationship development through guided practices. This can include daily guided social partners, therapeutic social groups, planned enrichment groups, and special community gatherings. The ultimate goal is not just to acquire social skills but to have meaningful relationships with adult mentors and peers.
Evidence-based academic interventions are used to individually address specific deficits a child may present with. These are addressed through individualized instruction, small group lessons, independent practice, computer-based instruction, and homework as appropriate for each child. In addition to addressing weaknesses, it is also critical that areas of strengths and affinity are encouraged. Often the motivation for the remedial instruction comes from harnessing these strengths and affinities within the work. Project-based learning and enrichment activities provide opportunities for learners to showcase and build up their talents. Work is given perspective and contextual meaning by way of community jobs and service projects. These can be to benefit the local Monarch community or expanding to the larger community off campus.
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