PO Box 1366, Freeland WA 98249

office: 360.331.4811


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Calyx's school-year program operates as a supportive learning environment for home-schooled children and as an Approved Learning Center for Whidbey children enrolled in Orcas Island's alternative public school program (OASIS). Calyx students receive academic mentoring in the areas of literacy, science, social studies, math, fine arts, and health which often correlate with OASIS and homeschooling academic standards. Our approach in these subjects is through a social justice lens - one of inclusivity, compassion, and curiosity, and rooted in a deep connection to place. Calyx mentors and families work closely together to ensure our children experience a well-rounded education that prepares them with the knowledge and skills so deeply needed in our rapidly-changing world. Above all else, Calyx children are encouraged to develop into their authentic selves and to find their individual roots within a collaborative community.

Academic Accountability

Calyx families of children aged 8 and above are responsible for reporting child progress to the State, either through homeschooling reports, OASIS reports, state testing, and/or the creation and presentation of academic portfolios. Calyx uses performance and observation-based assessment methods for our students and assists children in creating and presenting portfolios.

Funding and Fees

Calyx is a fee-based, cooperative program. Our program and operational costs are largely supported by generous donors, making it possible for us to offer our programs at low or no cost. Calyx is committed to inclusion and diversity, and will turn no child away solely because of the family’s inability to pay.

About Calyx

Calyx School is the 347-acre classroom at South Whidbey State Park (SWSP) on Whidbey Island, Washington. Founded in 2011, Calyx works to connect children with nature, community and self, and to nurture the next generation of environmental and social justice leaders by providing low and no cost place-based, nature, and service learning experiences for children and families. Calyx has served more than 300 children through its year-round outdoor learning programs, which include its core school-year program, and 4 weeks of summer camps.


As a founding member of the Nature Education Network, Calyx partners with Service, Education and Adventure (SEA) and Washington State Parks, to provide a nature-based, arts rich, service learning environment to support children’s intellectual, physical, and emotional development.

A message from Calyx's co-founder, Lisa Kois

Finding Our Way Home


Our Philosophy

Calyx’s philosophy is centered on the child, the community and the earth. We practice 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.


Our Network

Calyx Nature School is a learning community for ages 5 – 11 (and growing), supported by the creative energy of families, who actively contribute in the ways they are able.


We are a collaborative work in progress, with a dynamic group of individuals and families – parents, grandparents, educators, and children – working together to create a progressive alternative learning community on Whidbey Island.


Our Team

We understand education to be a process of drawing out the learner through responsive facilitation of learning experiences. Rather than filling a learner with knowledge, we help guide them through a process of inquiry, reflection, critical thinking and discovery so that they can construct knowledge from within and, ultimately, embody that knowledge in a deep and meaningful way.

About our School-Year Program