Welcome to Calyx

Nurturing Healthy, Whole Child Development through

Progressive, Multidisciplinary, Nature and Arts Based Learning

Calyx School Photo 2016.jpg

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The 347-acre Classroom at South Whidbey State Park

Think one room school house but without walls… And in lieu of those walls, there are 347 acres of  forest, wetlands, saltwater shoreline and tidal lands. This is Calyx Community Arts School, the 347-acre classroom at South Whidbey State Park, a model of what education can be. Calyx has spearheaded an innovative response to cuts in public funding of Washington State Parks, by working with WA State Parks and two non-profits, to transform a state park into a year-round outdoor classroom, and reactivate the former ranger house as an indoor learning center to support outdoor education. Calyx has accomplished this through a creative agreement with WA State Parks in which Calyx students (ages 5 – 11) serve as stewards of the Park, monitoring trails and reporting findings (downed trees, broken bridges, etc.), helping to identify and remove invasive species, creating interpretive trail maps by and for kids, and serving as a much needed presence in the park throughout the year when there is no ranger on site.

Stewardship is a core element of Calyx’s progressive, multidisciplinary, arts and nature integrated curriculum, and provides opportunities for applied science, math, literacy, history and social studies through hands on research and documentation of the Park, its trails, its inhabitants and its history.

Calyx believes nature is the most complete developmental opportunity possible, and strives to make this opportunity available to all children through its year-round learning cooperative, after school and summer programs, collaboration with public schools and non-profits, advocacy, and community education.


Our Philosophy

Calyx’s philosophy is centered on the child, the community and the earth. We value children’s play as meaningful work. We believe that education is a process of drawing out the true self. We practice progressive and responsive education, and work to meet the needs of the body, mind and spirit of each child, as well as the needs of the community and the earth. We believe that the journey is the destination and that life and learning are in the questions. We strive to nurture life-long learners and engaged and empowered citizens.


Calyx Offers

A small, mixed age learning community that has traded in its rows of desks for winding trails, the forest floor, gardening, story and the arts.

Respect for the way each child learns through play, hard work, relationships, questioning, direct experience, experimentation, and the creative process

A rigorous and cooperative learning environment that emphasizes outdoor learning, mentoring relationships, community, the creative process, and care for self, others and the earth.

A large community of adult teachers and mentors who work with the children and nurture children’s innate sense of wonder and love of learning.

A professional educational team comprised of certificated teachers and specialists in their fields.

An affordable tuition-based program, with four-day (Monday-Thursday) and two-day (Monday-Tuesday) enrollment options.

An expanding age-range that will grow each year with the children.

An opportunity for families to partner with a larger community of support for the development and education  of their children.


Thanks for visiting us here! For more information click on any one of our programs above.

For More Information Contact Lisa Kois (Director) at:

Email:    CalyxCommunityArtsSchool@gmail.com

Telephone:  (917) 859-4522

Address:  4128 S. Smugglers Cove Road, Freeland, WA 98249

Facebook: www.facebook.com/calyxschool

One Comment on “Welcome to Calyx”

  1. Kate Poss says:

    Dear Lisa, Calyx school is part of the story Floating Forests of South Whidbey. Here it is. I enjoyed meeting you. Miss Kate

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