Chrysalis Program

At Monarch School, our Chrysalis Program attends to students at the preschool, elementary, middle, and high school academic levels. Serving students grades preK-12 in their development, we help them reach their milestones in the Four Core Goals™ through a holistic developmental level system that is both academic and therapeutic.

Academic Competence

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.

In the Classroom

When enrolled in The Chrysalis program, your child is placed within a primarily self-contained classroom students work with the same set of professional educators for most of the day, similar to the format used in elementary schools or special education classrooms within secondary schools. We organize Chrysalis classrooms by wings, placing several classrooms at similar levels of development. This allows us to create significant and frequent planned interactions between classrooms to enhance social development alongside academic achievement.

Each student is assigned a multidisciplinary team comprised of professional educators, therapeutic faculty, and therapy services. This team develops relationship-based behavioral and learning plans for each and every student, complete with design tracking and reflection systems that support the individual students’ growth toward ownership of their specific objectives and targets within the Four Core Goals.

Thanks to our low student-to-teacher ratio, experiences and opportunities have been designed to provide a gradual release that follows your child’s progress from one classroom and wing setting to another. By meeting each student where they are within their individual zone of proximal development, faculty are able to intentionally scaffold more challenging tasks within the Four Core Goals.

  • The professional educators in each classroom are trained and have the primary responsibility for carrying out each student’s treatment plan
  • The educators within each wing are supervised by a therapeutic faculty member possessing both a graduate degree in a mental health field and extensive experience in a combined educational-therapeutic environment
  • Students in the Chrysalis program are supported by our Therapy Services team through teacher training, classroom consultations, parent training, and direct therapy to the students

Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation

In the Chrysalis program, students are encouraged to identify their own strengths, weaknesses, and affinities. One example of this is putting together an All About Me book. Students also learn how to regulate themselves and formulate a toolbox of self-regulation strategies, as individualized motivational plans are developed and faded as needed to support self-regulation.

Frequent and purposeful movement is also a pivotal part of the regulation plan. Our enriched environment typically engenders natural motivation within the student, resulting in fewer students requiring a specific reinforcement plan.

Executive Functioning

  • In the Chrysalis program, we encourage learners to learn about past, present, and future-based thinking with intentional and direct support
  • Past thinking = coaching and reflection activities planned regularly throughout the day
  • Present thinking = visual tools and mindfulness strategies
  • Future thinking = preview strategies such as social stories, schedules, and calendars

Relationship Development

The Chrysalis program promotes relationship development with individual students and groups of students through guided practices. This can include daily guided social partners, therapeutic social groups, planned enrichment groups, and special community gatherings. The ultimate goal is to acquire social skills and to have meaningful relationships with adult mentors and peers.

Potential for Progress


When your child reaches the adolescent developmental period, they are provided opportunities to move throughout The Monarch School continuum of care. As appropriate for each student, the Bridge Program serves students when they are ready to 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 for a broader experience that the secondary program provides.

Beyond the Horizon

As part of our commitment to future Employability, students are given an interest inventory at three different ages; 12-14, 15-17, 18- adult.

Monarch elective offerings are aligned with both the survey interest areas and the state endorsement categories in an effort to help students explore electives in their area of interest that will also develop their employability skills. Some of the elective offerings in our Life Academy include Culinary Arts, Business, Marketing, Production, Art, Photography, and more.