Current Courses


Block One of the 2017-2018 year begins on Tuesday, September 5 and continues through Friday, October 27, followed by a day of reflection and planning workshops on October 30.

Block Two begins on October 31 and continues through December 20. Following please find the Block Two calendar.

LightHouse offers a variety of classes which meet twice per week, Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.  Students register in advance for each block, and keep a portfolio of their work. Classes are related to one or more Pathways: Entrepreneurship, Tech, Arts, or College Prep.  Learn more about Pathways HERE.

On Fridays students engage in optional service learning opportunities in our local community.  LightHouse teens work together to select partner organizations and projects.

Monday/Wednesday

Led by Ashley Sulock

This criminology course will examine sociological theories of crime, deviance, and social control in order to understand and analyze criminal behavior. In short, we will be analyzing the different reasons of why people would commit crime and those policy implications are.

Mondays will be very discussion and “lecture” based, meaning that we will go over effective note taking skills and also actively engage in discussion throughout the whole class.

Wednesdays will be media days. Every Wednesday we will watch a show or a movie and the students will write response papers connecting the theories we learn to the media shown! Most of the media we see in the class will be intense, so if certain material makes you uncomfortable come talk to me!

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Carlos Peña

A study in the ecology and behavior of primates. We will learn about evolution as a concept as well as the specific evolution of several species of primate in their environments over time. We will see how studying primates helps us to understand ourselves, the most common primates of all.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Fadia Hasan

History is most often crafted and written by male voices. The voices of women in creating herstories is often marginalized, if not systematically silenced. This course will explore national and international history from the specific vantage point of diverse women and their experiences.

Our course features intensive readings and class discussions focusing on primary documents from antiquity to the present. At the end of the course students should be able to:

· Understand several major trends in diverse herstories

· Understand the relationships between the interconnected elements of history, including music, philosophy, literature, religion, and the fine arts.

· Understand the importance of diverse voices in constructing social realities and structures and challenging power hierarchies that are sustained by silencing “her” voices.

Pathways: College Prep

Use this time for independent study, homework, personal projects, socializing, advisory meetings, and/or one-on-one tutorials.

Music studio is open and available for exploration, experimentation, and general racket-making. Recording equipment may only be used by students who have completed a training.
Led by Z Stevens

Led by a LightHouse student. This creative writing class will mostly consist of writing independently, followed by sharing with the group. Writers will be encouraged to write short stories and poetry. Focus will be placed on the writers refining what they already know, and optionally learning how to write of prompts.

The class will be split into two writing and reading sessions, where writers will be required to write and given the option of reading.

While some may be inspired by events encountered by writers, classmates will be asked to treat all work as fiction unless the writer discloses the work as being based on their life.

Led by Josiah Litant

The way we approach death and dying in the United States is a constant source of intense public debate, and yet how we approach death is also extremely personal.

This course will explore the many facets of death and dying, in an effort to better understand the cultural, financial, emotional, religious, and historical context behind the American culture of death.

Topics will include: Stages of death, philosophies about death, the deathcare industry, grief and loss, end of life, and the postmortem (after death).

This class will be reading intensive, and students should be prepared to complete weekly reading assignments outside of class. Teens who take this course should be prepared for serious discussion about complicated, challenging, and occasionally emotional issues.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Alonzo Mark and Jay Metcalf

This course will take you through the basics of how to treat a studio environment for mixing and mastering music. Using the physics of how sound travels through the air we will find all the issues our room contains and treat those problems. Some issues are standing bass waves, reflective surfaces and much more.
Want to make beats and write songs? Well, music production is an area of focus for you! In this course we take a hands-on approach to music production. Each class we will break down some of our favorite songs and define the elements that make them so popular. By the end of the class, we will know how to compose multiple genres of music and write for TV, film, apps and video games.
Pathways: Art, Tech

Use this time for independent study, homework, personal projects, socializing, advisory meetings, and/or one-on-one tutorials.

Students are encouraged to bring lunch, which can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and heated up if necessary. 
Led by Catherine Gobron

Ethics: “Moral principles that govern a person’s behavior.”

In this class we will discuss morality and debate ethical dilemmas with a focus on violence. What counts as “violence?” When do we feel like violence is justified? What should society do about it?

Students will be expected to complete multiple written assignments every week exploring topics discussed in class. Along the way we will learn about mindfulness, meditate together, and develop our personal mindful practices.

Pathways: College Prep

Taught by the team at The Transformative Culture Project

This class will take place at 295 High St. Students will walk back and forth from LightHouse.

In this intro to video course, students will gain an understanding of film production with an emphasis on video for social impact. We will explore video production that not only educates and informs, but also serves as a tool to spur action and engagement. Students will learn basic video production skills, including planning, filming, and if time allows, editing.

Students will learn basic lighting, sound, composition, and how to use DSLR cameras, while strengthening communication and storytelling skills. Together we will explore issues through videos, discussion, research, and debate, and will develop a short video that is centered around a social issue that communicates a clear impact message. The video may be of any genre, including stop motion animation, music video, public service announcement, news show, documentary, or narrative fiction.

Working on collaborative film production draws from many art forms: drawing storyboards, writing treatments, learning theater and acting skills, making sets and props, and grasping the technical roles of directing, sound, and cinematography. With young people at the helm, the script is flipped on who typically gets to create media messages and youth can have an opportunity to share their perspectives widely.

Pathways: Art, College Prep

Use this time for independent study, homework, personal projects, socializing, advisory meetings, and/or one-on-one tutorials.

Maker Space is open and available for exploration, experimentation, and general making of all kinds. Students must clean up after themselves.
Music studio is open and available for exploration, experimentation, and general racket-making. Recording equipment may only be used by students who have completed a training.

Tuesday/Thursday

Taught by Michael DiPasquale, facilitated by Catherine Gobron

Human Habitation is a UMass class taught at UMass by Professor Michael DiPasquale. Class begins at 8:30 at UMass. Students will meet Catherine at LightHouse at 7:40 am to travel to Amherst, or students can meet on campus if that is more convenient. Class ends at 9:45 and we will return to LightHouse by 10:30.

New students welcome for Block Two! Though only four spots available in Catherine’s car.

Full syllabus, schedule, and readings available HERE.

Course Overview:

In this course we explore the relationship between society/culture and the physical environment (all you see around you). Through readings and class exercises, students are encouraged to look critically at ways that the environment can be seen as a physical expression of multiple, diverse experiences and different points of view.

By analyzing the physical environment students will begin to understand the complex and dynamic interaction among individuals, societies and the physical structures comprising their worlds. This provides the basis for examining different social values and “ways of seeing” found in a variety of societies. We will discuss ways that these values influence concepts related to the use and design of
physical space, from the scale of the home to the larger neighborhood and community.

Importantly, students will be encouraged to explore ways that their own experiences/cultures inform their relationship to the built environment. For example, how does the design of the built environment influence your behavior, and your enjoyment of a space? Why do certain spaces feel better than
others? Who are these spaces designed by, and what messages do they send to whom?

Specifically, students will gain a working knowledge of the basic concepts of human-environment relations: density, privacy, personalization, personal space, proxemics, territoriality, defensible space, appropriation, class, gender. The course is arranged in three main parts, building up in scale from “personal” space to “home” space, and finally to “community” space. We end with a discussion about
“sustainability” as a way to bring things together, while examining the role that our individual attitudes and personal values play in addressing public health and climate change.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Dianna McMenamin

From the origin of life to climate change; from shifting continents to the ocean inside of you; from dinosaur extinction to the plight of modern coral reefs… This course will involve a lot of hands-on with real fossils, a bit of genetics and biochemistry, some geology and evolutionary theory, and the mind-boggling vastness of geologic time, to help us understand our place in the long weird history of life on this planet, and the possibility of life on other planets.

Along the way we will develop some new perspectives on modern problems. We will make a field trip to the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College.

Pathways: College Prep

Use this time for independent study, homework, personal projects, socializing, advisory meetings, and/or one-on-one tutorials.

Maker Space is open and available for exploration, experimentation, and general making of all kinds. Students must clean up after themselves.
Music studio is open and available for exploration, experimentation, and general racket-making. Recording equipment may only be used by students who have completed a training.
Led by Joshua Newman

Make stuff that’s interesting, useful, or just beautiful by learning how to make art that responds to the real world. Your art will feel the world and move or write or light up, and maybe act like a living thing. Learn how to solder, how to design circuits, how to get frustrated when the circuit doesn’t work, how to program a micro controller to listen to its world and take action on it, and how to try again when now it’s broken in a different way! Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do it yet. The teacher doesn’t, either, and his stuff works fine.

Pathways: Art, Tech, College Prep

Led by Hector Rodriguez

Explore the art of comics. Learn technique, develop your skills, create your own characters and stories.

Pathways: Arts

Use this time for independent study, homework, personal projects, socializing, advisory meetings, and/or one-on-one tutorials.

Music studio is open and available for exploration, experimentation, and general racket-making. Recording equipment may only be used by students who have completed a training.
Students are encouraged to bring lunch, which can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and heated up if necessary. 
Led by Alex Liebowitz

“Programming computers was so fascinating. You create your own little universe, and then it does what you tell it to do.” — Vint Cerf, co-creator of the internet

In this class, we’ll learn hands-on how software is made. Each week, we’ll cover a core topic in programming: input/output, looping, data structures and more.

Like playing music, programming makes no sense until you try it yourself. Working mainly in Python, we’ll be building working programs from day one. Students should plan to bring a laptop and follow along in class, or rebuild the examples at home. Working in groups is encouraged; in the real world, programming is a very social and collaborative process. Optional homework assignments will be given every Thursday; on Tuesday we’ll review and discuss the solutions. By the end of the block, we’ll be building real programs including 2D graphics and possibly even very simple games.

One of the best things about programming is that everything is built up from just a handful of core concepts. This class will give you all of the basics that you need to dive into any area of software development, from websites to mobile apps and games.

Pathways: Tech, Arts

Led by Alonzo Mark

Believe it or not, strong fundamentals in mathematics are necessary for just about every career choice and are used every day. Yet math is commonly thought of as dry, boring, and many times unnecessary.

Evidence shows that hands-on learning and real-world applications are more effective at engaging student interest and recall of material. Everyday Math uses that approach.

Included are lessons for how to budget finances on a minimum-wage salary, how to cut fat from your diet, how much a light left on all night will cost on an energy bill, and how to determine which car has the best value.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Carlos Peña

Part One. Learn to create designs and put those designs on a screen. Printing the designs will happen in Block Three.

Pathways: Art, Tech

Use this time for independent study, homework, personal projects, socializing, advisory meetings, and/or one-on-one tutorials.

Music studio is open and available for exploration, experimentation, and general racket-making. Recording equipment may only be used by students who have completed a training.

Workshop Day, Monday, October 30

A day of reflection and planning workshops between blocks. Let’s reconnect, regroup, and get pumped for Block Two.

Block Two begins on October 31 and continues through December 20. Following please find the Workshop Day schedule.

There are two workshop sections of the day, as well as a variety of group activities. Students will register with their advisor for the workshops they are most interested in.

Morning


9:00-9:15 Gathering, Games, Awards

9:15-9:45 Student Presentations

9:45-10:00 Break

10:00-10:45 ProSkills with Jim Fitzgerald (at BigVoodoo next door)

10:00-10:45 Exploring Purpose with Jessica Gifford (large classroom)

10:00-10:45 SLANT interview techniques with Alonzo Mark (maker space)

10:00-10:45 Reflecting on Block One/Portfolio Work with Carlos Peña (small classroom)

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-11:45 Self-Advocacy in Challenging Situations with Jessica Prodis (large classroom)

11:00-11:45 Life Hacks with Ashley Sulock (small classroom)

11:00-11:45 World as Classroom with Catherine Gobron (maker space)

11:00-11:45 Reflecting on Block 1/Setting Goals for Next Block with Josiah Litant  (music studio)

11:45-12:00 Gathering, Sharing

Afternoon


12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:00 Special effects makeup workshop with Twix

1:00-2:00 Halloween crafting workshop with Kayla Reno

1:00-2:00 Halloween Cooking with Janine Chevalier

2:00-2:15 Gathering, Reflection, Closing, High Fives

Calendar

LightHouse begins the year on Tuesday, September 5 and follows a similar schedule to other local schools through early June of 2018.

Click to see our full calendar:

Tuesday, September 5: Opening Day and Orientation

Wednesday, September 6, Block 1 begins and continues for seven weeks, through October 27.

Monday, October 9, Closed for Columbus Day

Monday, October 30, Teen Workshop Day 1

Tuesday, October 31, Block 2 begins and continues for seven weeks, through Wednesday, December 20

Monday, November 6, Closed for Professional Development Day

Friday, November 10, Closed for Veteran’s Day

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday November 22-24, closed for Thanksgiving

Thursday, December 21 through Tuesday, January 2, Closed for Winter Break.

Wednesday, January 3, Block 3 begins and continues for six weeks, through February 16

Monday January 15, Closed for Martin Luther King Day

Monday, Feb 19 through Friday, February 23, closed for February Break

Monday, February 26, Teen Workshop Day 2

Tuesday, February 27, Block 4 begins and continues for six weeks, through April 13

Monday, March 19, Closed for Professional Development Day

Monday, April 16 through Friday, April 20, closed for April Break

Monday, April 23, Teen Workshop Day 3

Tuesday, April 24, Block 5 begins and continues for six weeks, through June 1

Monday, May 28, Closed for Memorial Day

Monday, June 4 through Thursday, June 7- Presentations Week

Friday, June 8, Last day of programming & Graduation

Monday, June 11 through Thursday, June 14, Individual end of year meetings with students and families

Questions?


“I know not what the future holds,
but I know who holds the future.”