While Chameleon Campus’s current owner is celebrating 10 years of ownership this year, the school’s heritage goes back nearly 30 years to when it was first founded as a creche called Katies.
Katies, named for the woman who started the creche in 1987 in Eike Avenue, Sybrand Park, launched with 12 teachers, less than a third of the 40 teaching and support staff currently employed by Chameleon Campus. Katies was then taken over by Stacey Bailey in 1995 and two years later she changed the school’s name to Chameleon Campus.
The current principal, Delia Cupido, then bought the school from Ms Bailey in 2006 and 10 years later, she has expanded the school to five more properties in the same road.
The school, which started out as only a pre-school, now goes up to Grade 4.
Chameleon Campus also caters for children with special educational needs who are not able to learn as fast as the other children.
Ms Cupido said that while her school teaches children to think out of the box, and make their own choices, when they reach primary school level all of that is changed.
“While we are teaching them to be independent, outspoken, and versatile, all of that is thrown out of the water when they got to mainstream schools and that is why our parents have requested that we go higher,” said Ms Cupido.
She said that while there is a lot of red tape, she is determined to extend the school to Grade 7 by 2018.
When asked what keeps her motivated, Ms Cupido said the children were excited to come to school, and watching them grow and develop into young people was more than enough to keep her motivated.
“We are constantly training our teachers to match the kids’ excitement, to be vibrant, energetic, and engage with the children. We believe that children should use their own imaginations and ideas which they sometimes astound us with. Every child has a genius, we just need to find it,” she said.
She added that the education system needs to change because at the moment it is not catering for all children’s needs.
“They need to start taking responsibility for the outcome of society not just standing back and judgeing it,” she added.
On Saturday November 5 the school held a snack dance at Wynberg (formerly Wittebome) civic centre, to mark the 10th anniversay of Ms Cupido’s ownership of the school.