At Chrysalis, state-certified teachers use advanced methods and real-world applications to increase interest, learning and retention.

“I have referred families to Chrysalis. Without a doubt, our families have loved the school.”
– Referring Educational Consultant 

artArt

We offer a comprehensive art experience through detailed exploration of learning new techniques and processing skills as they relate to art expression. Students explore their skills with drawing and painting, ceramics, mixed media, and fibers and textiles.

Students gain confidence and proficiency through working with a variety of mediums not limited to photography, printmaking, fibers, watercolors, acrylics, oils, graphite, or digital art. They also learn more about art history, criticism, production, and aesthetics.

The emphasis of these courses are based on skill building and experimentation, enabling students to better understand materials and the creative process.


biologyBiology

Students develop a foundation in biological principles by exploring the fundamental processes and science that shape modern biology. To enhance learning and retention, teachers focus on a student’s inquisitive nature and how the science applies to real-life scenarios – lessons that endure beyond the classroom. The first three quarters are dedicated to building a knowledge framework, and the last quarter is devoted to studying living systems through dissections and research.

The course is modeled after the philosophies of the National Research Council outlined in the National Science Education Standards, the Montana Content Standards Framework and the Montana Common Core Reading and Writing Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects. Modern Biology by Holt, Rinehart and Winston is the text for the course.


chemistryChemistry

This is an introductory chemistry course that includes hands-on laboratory activities. The course fosters experiences that help develop a foundation of knowledge, including algebraic skills, for further studies in science.

Course goals are threefold:

  1. Students will learn the facts, formulas and principles of introductory chemistry.
  2. Students will learn the fundamental concepts that underlie the facts, formulas and principles of introductory chemistry.
  3. Students will learn and practice skills that are integral in critical thinking and problem solving.

This course was developed from Chemistry: Connections to Our Changing World (2000), second edition, published by Prentice-Hall, Inc.

 


frenchFrench I

This introductory French course puts the student on a path to fluency. Beginning conversational topics are stressed as well as reading, writing, grammar, listening and culture. Various French-speaking countries and cultures are explored, illuminating insights into our own culture. A wide range of learning styles is applied, including activities and assignments such as songs, games, workbooks, writing and art-influenced projects. Assessments are made through daily work, open-book quizzes and closed-book tests. Tools include individually made flashcards. There are no prerequisites for this class.

French II

This course is a continuation of French I. Conversational topics and cultural similarities/differences continue to be explored. Fluency, reading, writing and listening are further developed. Conversation becomes more sophisticated as vocabulary and comprehension increase. Learning activities are varied and presented as games, songs, workbooks, writing and art-influenced projects. Assessments are made through daily work, open-book quizzes and closed-book tests. Tools include individually made flashcards. French I is a prerequisite for this course.

French levels III, IV and V are offered as the need arises.


historyHistory

World History

World History is a year-long required course that explores the key events and historical developments that have shaped the world we live in today. Students discover connections between our lives and those of our ancestors around the world. Using the course textbook, primary documents and current events, students study all aspects of the human experience: economics, science, religion, philosophy, politics and law, military conflict, literature and the arts.

U.S. History

Throughout the year, this course surveys American history from the pre-colonial period to the present day with an emphasis on the 20th century. Using the course textbook, primary documents and current events, students learn about various political, social, religious and economic developments that have shaped and continue to shape the United States and its citizens.

American Government

Students gain the necessary knowledge of the United States government that enables them to effectively participate in American civic life. Topics covered:

  • Fundamental constitutional principles
  • Organization of government at the federal, state and local levels
  • Rights and responsibilities of citizenship
  • Policy-making process
  • Political parties and elections
  • Comparative government and foreign policy
  • American economic system

mathMathematics
Typically, students at Chrysalis are enrolled in Algebra I, Geometry or Algebra II, which are all teacher-led courses. Each of these subjects is taught in a classroom setting and includes assigned homework, quizzes and tests. All lessons are taught on an interactive SMART Board, which provides advantages like allowing students to better visualize mathematical concepts and manipulate figures. Every lesson is saved daily and is available in printed form to accommodate students with an individualized education program (IEP) and those who may need to miss class.

Courses such as Pre-Calculus, Calculus and AP Calculus are also offered and, depending on class size, may also be held as a teacher-led course. However, students choosing to tackle higher-level math usually take these courses independently – sometimes for college credit – under the supervision of the math teacher. Students may also set up daily meeting times with teachers to receive one-on-one instruction.

Algebra I

Aligned closely with Common Core standards to provide students with common skills that are applicable with nearly any school district or private school in the country.

Topics include:

  • Interpreting the structure of expressions
  • Writing expressions in equivalent forms to solve problems
  • Operations on polynomials
  • Understanding relationships between zeros and factors of polynomials
  • Rewriting rational functions
  • Creating equations to describe relationships
  • Solving systems of equations and inequalities in one variable
  • Expressing logical reasoning
  • Problem-solving abilities

Geometry

Aligned closely with Common Core standards to provide students with common skills that are applicable with nearly any school district or private school in the country.

Topics include:

  • Understanding basic concepts and language of geometry, including lines, angles, congruence, polygons, etc.
  • Proving geometric theorems
  • Making geometric constructions
  • Understanding similarity, right triangles and trigonometry
  • Understanding and applying theories of circles and arc lengths
  • Expressing geometric problems with equations
  • Applying geometric measurement and dimension

Algebra II

Aligned closely with Common Core standards to provide students with common skills that are applicable with nearly any school district or private school in the country.

Topics include:

  • Those covered in Algebra I with a greater emphasis on extending the domain of trigonometric functions using the unit circle
  • Proving identities
  • Representing and solving equations graphically
  • Using polynomial identities to solve problems
  • Complex numbers in polynomial identities and equations

personalFinancePersonal Finance

This course is designed to help students to become financially responsible and conscientious members of society. A student’s understanding and skills are developed in money management, budgeting, financial goal attainment, wise use of credit, insurance, investments and consumer rights and responsibilities.


physicalSciencePhysical Science

This course studies the nature of physical science and how human activities have affected it. Topics covered include magnetism, electricity, electromagnetic waves, climate, energy changes, chemistry, rocks and minerals and astronomy. The ultimate objective is to create a learning community that embraces the joy of discovery and interdisciplinary connections.

Enhanced learning is achieved through student inquiry and hands-on laboratory experiences. Textbook lessons are supplemented by applications to current events and studies whenever possible. Students engage in various problem-solving activities, strengthening their investigative skills, enhancing their ability to process information and helping them make rational decisions.

The course is based on Physical Science with Earth Science (2006), published by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.


spanishSpanish I

This introductory course to Spanish puts the student on a path to fluency. Beginning conversational topics are stressed as well as reading, writing, grammar, listening and culture. Various Spanish-speaking countries and cultures are explored, illuminating insights into our own culture. A wide range of learning styles is applied, including activities and assignments such as songs, games, workbooks, writing and art-influenced projects. Assessments are made through daily work, open-book quizzes and closed-book tests. Tools include individually made flashcards. No prerequisites are required for this class.

Spanish II

This course is a continuation of Spanish I. Conversational topics and cultural similarities/differences continue to be explored. Fluency, reading, writing and listening are further developed. Conversation becomes more sophisticated as vocabulary and comprehension increase. Learning activities are varied and presented as games, songs, workbooks, writing and art-influenced projects. Assessments are made through daily work, open-book quizzes and closed-book tests. Tools include individually made flashcards. Spanish I is a prerequisite for this course.

Spanish levels III, IV and V are offered as the need arises.


englishEnglish

9th Grade

Introduction to Literature Forms and Themes, Writing MLA Response Essays, Grammar, the Writing Process, Writing Mechanics

English 9 students will be introduced to high school-level English expectations while engaging in the first literature selection. Typically this will be either Two Old Women by Velma Wallis or The Call of the Wild and To Build a Fire by Jack London. The themes of nurture vs. nature are evident in both selections. Students respond to the reading selections in their journals, in class discussion, in projects and in paper writing.

An introduction to MLA format is taught and students produce their first papers in this standardized format. The writing process of pre-writing, writing, revising and editing is taught and implemented.

A Word of the Day is presented and taught. Words are drawn from literary selections, other readings or a list of words used to prepare students for standardized tests. The word is presented and a prediction is made as to its pronunciation, definition and usage. The word is analyzed for roots, prefixes and suffixes, and the meaning of these parts is taught so that students can begin to guess definitions of words from their parts. Vocabulary development is achieved in this manner.

A Picture of the Day also is presented. Students are asked to write a sentence about the picture posted. Some days they simply write what they want. Other days, they are given parameters to include in their sentence. One day the parameter might be to write a cinquain or a 17-word sentence that includes two concrete nouns, a transitive verb, an adjective and a preposition. The sentences are gathered, read aloud and then students try to identify the writers. After a sentence is read, it’s peer- and teacher-edited for mechanics, proper grammar and word choice. Students keep and turn in their sentences at the end of the grading period for points.

Students also read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. During this reading unit, students look at the themes of fate, chance and destiny. They question “love at first sight,” consider the consequences of actions and impulsivity, and compare and contrast this tragedy with the modern world they live in. Students work together to produce a folio of the book, one scene at a time, with artwork and textual citations summarizing the theme. The folio is then presented orally. The integration of art, writing, drama and public speaking makes for an entertaining production.

Writing objectives for English 9 include:

  • Using complete and coherent sentences
  • Composing a variety of essays for different purposes
  • Following the writing process of pre-writing, organizing drafts, editing and producing a final piece
  • Revising compositions for proper grammar, word usage, mechanics and flow of writing
  • Composing a variety of sentence structures in writing
  • Recognizing the eight parts of speech and using them for proper sentence structures
  • Using punctuation and capitalization correctly in sentence and paragraph writing
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Engaging in the research process and presenting collected information in written/graphic form
  • Using technology for written work and presentations
  • Improving spelling and correcting errors in usage
  • Constructing developed paragraphs using topic sentences, supporting details and concluding sentences
  • Transferring skills to other content area subjects

Reading/literature objectives for English 9 include:

  • Recognizing different kinds of literature: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, biography, etc.
  • Defining and using a variety of literary terms
  • Developing vocabulary through various means, readings and presentations
  • Reading, reading, reading
  • Comprehending material read as witnessed in class discussion, journal response and writings
  • Analyzing selections read and relating them to personal, cultural and historical events
  • Developing critical thinking skills to make inferences, draw conclusions, make judgments, compare, contrast and make connections
  • Composing in a variety of literary formats such as poetry, short story and narrative
  • Reading for a variety of purposes
  • Understanding story line
  • Describing text as it relates to plot, character, setting, point of view, tone, mood and theme

Students also participate in a school-wide Poetry Out Loud recitation competition, memorize a poem monthly and present it. November is National Novel Writing Month, and students write as much in class as they can to work to complete their very own novels. National Poetry Month in April finds students exploring various kinds of poetry, writing various kinds of poetry, and creating their own poetry anthology based on a theme chosen by them. They learn the process of hand binding a book for their anthology, which they must create and illustrate.

Other suggested texts include The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie or student-chosen books. The textbook used for the basis of the mechanics and grammar section of the course is Elements of Language, Third Course, by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Other supplementary material will be used as needed.

10th Grade

World Literature, Critical Thinking, Writing Informative and Narrative Texts, Methods of Persuasion

Students begin this course by examining their own paradigms through an “outside” viewpoint and analyzing their personal impact on the world around them. Probing higher-level themes, such as the concept of good vs. evil, will be the primary focus.

To enrich their understanding of other cultures throughout history, students will read texts that loosely parallel their World History course. For example, the Daniel Quinn text, Ishmael, will offer an alternate viewpoint on the birth of humanity in the Fertile Crescent. Classical Greek texts, such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid, enhance their World History curriculum by examining:

  • The history of epic poetry
  • Storytelling
  • Memorization
  • Description
  • Heroes
  • Poetic devices such as simile, metaphor, alliteration, assonance and symbolism

Students will understand the relationship between historic mythology and modern superheroes, as well as the role of cultural identity through commonly known stories. Continuing the good-versus-evil theme, students will read more contemporary works like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies or Elie Wiesel’s Night and examine how the written/spoken word and underlying themes have evolved.

Poetry is studied through various national venues, including Poetry Out Loud and National Poetry Month. All students will participate in Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation contest. This program helps students master public speaking skills and builds self-confidence. During National Poetry Month, age-appropriate poems are interpreted and students create their own poetry.

The focus then becomes more writing-intensive, with students crafting informative, explanatory, persuasive and analytical texts in standard MLA format. Students also examine the media’s methods of persuasion and use their new understanding to challenge accepted norms and create their own persuasive texts. A research paper will be completed on an academic topic of personal interest to the student, improving her ability to source, research, notate, synthesize and structure information.

By the end of the course, students have a better understanding of format, voice and word choice, enhancing their ability to write various materials.

11th Grade

North American Literature, Critical Thinking, Writing Persuasive and Expository Texts, Methods of Persuasion

To begin the year, students brainstorm both all the North American authors they are familiar with and those they would like to become more familiar with. This ensures the longer texts selected for that year are of interest to the students.

Throughout the year, this class moves chronologically through the Adventures in American Literature textbook, beginning with the arrival of Europeans and the interactions they experienced with the natives. Students explore the myriad reasons for and hardships from emigration and colonization. Using supplemental texts such as The Scarlet Letter, they analyze the lives of Puritans and use modern articles and movies, such as Easy A, to compare and contrast their lives with our own lives. Students gain an understanding of how the past has shaped the present.

As we move forward through the textbook, students examine key documents from the founding of our nation, such as the Declaration of Independence, and learn the importance of writing clearly and effectively to convey meaning. Using this as an exemplary text, students write a persuasive research paper on a controversial modern topic that they feel passionate about. Students are encouraged to stand up for a cause they believe in and are required to research the opposition’s point of view thoroughly in an effort to teach students that through the acquisition of new knowledge comes the responsibility of self-reflection and possibly the necessity for re-evaluating and amending one’s stance on a subject.

As students move forward in time and text through American history, they will gain a better understanding of the relationship between culture and literature. By examining the juxtaposition of an author’s life experiences with his or her writing, students learn that no text exists hermetically and that all texts serve a purpose, each made more or less effective through its execution.

Finally, students will read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale to continue the work begun with The Scarlet Letter. Where students first learned how the past influences the present, they will now explore how the present influences the future. They will be asked to reflect upon the importance of their lives today and to respect the necessity for acting in a manner to design and manifest a future of their deliberate choosing.

Throughout the year, students also will participate in nationwide celebrations of the literary arts such as National Novel Writing Month and National Poetry Month. These events will show students how to continue to appreciate reading and writing throughout life after high school by exposing them to a nationwide annual movement. Students will write novels or sections of novels, not only to gain a greater understanding of the complexity of novels and to practice their writing skills, but also to develop confidence in their general ability to write. During National Poetry Month, students will appreciate the breadth and scope of poetry and how it relates to them on a personal level. They will create their own anthology to memorialize poetry that can inspire them for a lifetime.

Suggested texts:

  • Adventures in American Literature, Athena Edition by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Of Mice and Men or The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Major works to be supplemented by excerpts from online and print anthologies.

12th Grade

Foundations of British Literature, College Preparatory, Media Literacy in the Modern Business World

This course motivates students to reach their full academic potential and prepares them for the more rigorous demands of college courses, beginning with the composition of a college admissions essay. Students research various universities and uniquely address each response accordingly. All final drafts are completed in the standard academic MLA format.

Traditional early British literature is also studied, familiarizing students with the origins of storytelling, the foundations of the English language and the history of English cultures. Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, selections from Norton and Prentice Hall anthologies and other early texts are covered. With a grasp of English literature origins, students transition to the present and future of evolving communication arts. The focus is on more progressive forms of communication:

  • Periodical publications
  • Speeches
  • Videographies
  • Social media

Poetry is studied through various national venues, including Poetry Out Loud and National Poetry Month. All students will participate in Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation contest. This program helps students master public speaking skills and builds self-confidence. During National Poetry Month, age-appropriate poems are interpreted and students create their own poetry.

The course culminates with an examination of a classical piece of literature, such as Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Students use the skills they learned to examine and comprehend, interpret, analyze and evaluate the text. By splicing traditional texts with modern communication arts in a final project, students demonstrate their understanding of classic literature’s longevity.