Current Courses


Monday, October 29 is a Teen Workshop Day.

Block Two of the 2018-2019 year begins on Tuesday, October 30th and continues through Wednesday, December 19th. Block Three will begin on Wednesday, January 2nd, with a new set of classes.

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 Kamil Peters

This class is open by permission only with space for five LightHouse students. This is a three-hour class and will be held at DieselWorks, Kamil’s shop on Dwight Street. Students will get dirty, probably suffer minor, occasional burns, and learn to use professional tools to create both art and utilitarian pieces.

Registering for this class is an 15 class commitment, six hours per week. You may not miss class except for serious circumstances with written excuses. This is a major commitment. Please plan accordingly.

Students will be required to bring appropriate attire to every class, including long pants and boots. You may store your work clothes at the shop. (Class Size: 5 Student Max. – FULL)

Pathways: Arts

Led by Alice Ladley

In Queer Literature II, we will read 3 books. Starting with Emily Danforth’s “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” then Bill Konigsberg’s “Almost Straight,” and ending with Becky Albertalli’s “Leah on The Offbeat.”

We will read these books aloud in class, but reading outside of class will be necessary to finishing the books on time. While reading we will take breaks to answer questions or talk about the story, characters, and plot.

In addition to discussing the books themselves, we will delve into why queer stories are important (especially for queer youth) and other related topics like “queerbaiting.” Simple writing assignments will be assigned halfway through every book and at the end of each book. (Class Size: 8 Student Max.)

Students of all orientations welcomed.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Sofia Goetz

All Power To All the People: In this course the class will study revolutionary movements among Black and Latinx communities around the world.

In a world where the worth and safety of these communities are constantly being questioned, this class aims to highlight the movements working towards systemic change and equity among Black and Latinx communities.

Some movements that will be examined are: Puerto Rican Independence/Decolonization, Black Lives Matter, Ni Una Mas (Fighting against Femicide in Latin America), South African Apartheid, Prison Reform, and many more. 

All knowledge and skill levels welcome! (Class Size: 10 Students Max.)

Pathways: College Prep

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

Led by Alan Gilburg

Two powerful masterpieces to read: “Julius Caesar” by Shakespeare and “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. One, a gut-wrenching tragedy and the other, an honest, and timely, comedy. We’ll also be looking at various fairy tales from the Western Canon.

Let’s see how they all play out! In all works of these works, there are lessons for our lives. Let’s find out what they are! Meanwhile, we can download both plays on our phones with cool apps. (Class Size: 8 Student Max.)

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Manuel Nixon

This intensive portrait “people” photography course is by permission only with space for four LightHouse students.

Photographing from the Heart is a 90-minute intensive class. It will be held at Nixon Photographer, Nixon’s photo studios on Race Street. Students will learn to meditate before each class, arriving at a shoot theme they will develop and shoot over the course of two classes.

Shoot themes are open themes, such as ‘warmth’, ‘love’, ‘femininity’, ‘strength’, allowing the students to engage their own creativity, through photo storytelling, in one standalone image.

The students will work as one team, each student having their turn in the spotlight as ‘The Photographer’. The technical ins and outs of working with a DSLR camera will be learned organically on assignment. This includes exposure, composition and color.

As a student, you will learn natural, outdoor or studio strobe lighting as dictated by the shoot theme that comes to you, by meditating from your heart. Two Holyoke Community College professors will serve as judges to critique your work at the end of each assignment.

Their comments will be shown to you, the following week, before beginning your next assignment. You will use the critiques to help you to grow as a creative artist.

Registering for this class is an eight-week commitment, three hours per week. You may not miss class except for serious circumstances with written excuses. You must be on-time for each class. This course a major commitment to your self-exploration using portrait photography as the medium.

Students should dress comfortably, ideally wearing solid colors with no logos. Socks should be clean, since students will be asked to leave their shoes at the door.

There is a separate changing room for students who need to bring a change of clothes, for any reason. Students must bring their own DSLR camera with lens for this course. DSLR cameras are available at LightHouse for this course.

*All students must turn in the studio’s Release, signed by their parent or guardian, before attending this course. The Release is available at LightHouse. (Class Size: 4 Students Max.)

Pathways: Arts, Tech

Led by Darien Acero

Siembra is a workshop that will focuses on planning, producing, and promoting a new, staff-supported, student-run literary journal of the same name. The committee will meet two times a week, as a peer-run workshop, in order to brainstorm, create, and, ultimately publish, a semi-annual literary journal.

The journal itself, will consist, primarily, of fiction, art, prose, and poetry from students and, eventually, local contributors. Committee participants will be dedicated, diligent, productive, and able to meet regular deadlines throughout the year. (Class Size: 5 Student Max.)

Pathways: Arts, College Prep

Led by Carlos Peña

The term “Hip-Hop” encompasses an enormous cultural span of music, art, dance, and political outlooks. Hip-hop, as we know it, is a completely radical, and multi-faceted way of life.

In this class, students will aim to understand the indispensable global phenomenon that is Hip-Hop by looking at the movements and politics that inspired its birth as an art form, a style, a literary tradition, and a vehicle for social change. (Class Size: 10 Student Max.)

Pathways: Art, College Prep

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 Ashley Goodfellow Sulock

In this 8 week research class, five students will begin research projects on a topic that they are passionate about.

Some parts of class will deal with different research methods, data collection, and how to write a research report in a variety of ways.

Each class will be about 25% classroom discussion and about 75% independent research. Ashley will be helping each student get their research to completion and will aide in helping each student find resources during their research.

We will spend time specifically going over these things and much more:

  • Different research methods
  • Data collection
  • Surveying
  • Interviewing
  • Formatting
  • Bibliography

Any topic is fair game to research, and we will spend the first class exploring and brainstorming all of the many different topics that may be of interest.  (Class Size: 5 student max.)

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Catherine Gobron

Population growth, art, geography, history, and the poet Dante all wrapped up in one adventure story. We will use Dan Brown’s 2013 book Inferno as a guide to explore these interdisciplinary topics.

LightHouse will have the audio version of the book available (recommended). For students who like fast-paced adventure stories, talking about books, stories, and characters, and researching interesting topics.

Class format will be reading/listening on our own time, and then coming together to discuss and look stuff up. Students will create a final project on a topic related to the book. Project may be written or another art form. (Class Size: 10 Student Max.)

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Ryan Carnes

A beginner’s drawing class taught by local artist and illustrator, Ryan Carnes. Based on the landmark illustration manual, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” this class aims to equip students with the creative confidence and skill -et needed to start exploring this beautiful, fulfilling craft. (Class Size: 8 Student Max.)

Pathways: Arts

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

Tuesday/Thursday

Led by Dan Battat

This class is open by permission only with space for four LightHouse students.

This is a two-hour class and will be held at Brick Coworkshop, Dan’s shop on Dwight Street. Students will get dirty, probably suffer minor, occasional burns, and learn to use professional tools to create both art and utilitarian pieces.

Registering for this class is a five-week commitment, four hours per week. You may not miss class except for serious circumstances with written excuses. This is a major commitment. Please plan accordingly.

Students will be required to bring appropriate attire to every class, including long pants and boots. You may store your work clothes at the shop. (Class Size: 4 Student Max. – FULL)

Pathways: Arts

Led by Joshua Newman

Learn how to make art that’s technically demanding. Build electronics and robots, draw and bind your own comic and books, make puppet and clay animation, and draw from life to make your characters and scenes look the way you want them to.
Pathways: Art, Tech, College Prep

Led by Eric Ciocca.

This course will be led by video game programmer, Eric Ciocca, active, professional game developer at Hitpoint Games. In this class, students will go step by step through the Unity environment, learning each tool while learning how to integrate outside assets, sound, animation, game physics and much more. (Class Size: 6 Max.)

Pathways: Tech, College Prep

Led by Ashley Goodfellow Sulock.

This course is part two of LightHouse’s Introduction to Psychology Course (Psychology 101). It is highly recommended that you have taken part one in order to take part two.

This introduction to psychology course will continue to go over the major theories, concepts, and treatment approaches in the field of psychology (the study of our brain). Our goal is to go through the remaining topics:

1. Memory, intelligence, and states of mind

2. Motivation and emotion

3. Social psychology

4. Psychopathology

5. Psychotherapy

This class will focus on improving writing skills with everyday note taking, reaction papers, and research projects. Note taking is a requirement and your notes will be uploaded to your portfolio each week.

Each class will also be centered around class discussion and student participation, so be ready to talk! (Class Size: 15 Max.)

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 Rafael Fields

In this course we will learn the fundamentals of 3D CAD (Computer Assisted Designed) and 3D printing. We will focus on using Tinkercad, a free online 3D modeling software. It is easy to start using but the ability to make very intricate designs.

There will be a lot of freedom for each student to choose what and how they design, but we will spend the first few weeks of class developing the basic skills necessary through a series of design challenges.

These will include a simple wrench, a small model of the eiffel tower, a lego character, a nut and bolt pair, and more. Through these challenges and other projects, we will develop our understanding of design and geometric concepts such as scale, symmetry, proportion and ratio.

This class will use some amount of math, but requires no preexisting understanding or ability. DO NOT BE AFRAID THAT THE MATH WILL BE TOO HARD.

We will meet twice a week for 90 minutes at LightHouse. On certain occasions, we will walk over to the Holyoke Creative Arts Center, where we will use the two XYZ 3D printers to print some of our designs.

Printing costs around 25 Cents per gram. Depending on the volume of prints, students may be asked to cover some or all of this cost. DO NOT LET THIS STOP YOU FROM TAKING THE COURSE! We can figure the money out. Talk to Raffi if you are concerned.

Pathways: Art, Tech, Entrepreneurship

Led by Harold Burnett

In “Introduction to Theater,” students will be provided with a hands-on, entirely experiential introduction to acting, improvisation, and performance criticism. Throughout the class, students will gain an understanding of the history, practice, and humanistic aspects of this important, wonderful craft, while simultaneously learning the techniques of an effective actor. (Class Size: 8 Student Max.)

Pathways: Art, College Prep

In this class, students will effectively work on expanding their vocabulary by learning about etymology, parsing, inflection, and how to properly use new words. Word Smart can be taken by students who are interested in test or college prep, students who love reading and writing, and students who quite simply just want to “learn big words.”

Whatever the motivation, this class aims at helping students improve upon their communication skills and gain a better understand of the word. (Class Size: 10 Student Max.)

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Joshua Newman

Supported Maker Studio. Teacher Joshua Newman will be present, assisting any students who want help working on any making projects (electronics, art, carpentry…) Joshua will be working on his own professional projects during this time as well, à la artist in residency. 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.
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 Emmett Dupont

Ever thought about what it really means to make the world a better place? If you could change one thing about the world we live in, what would it be? What knowledge, power, tools, and understandings would you need to really affect change?

In this course, we will explore the 17 Global Goals identified by leaders from around the world as critical. The goals are as follows:

  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Well-Being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Life On Land
  • Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • Partnerships for the Goals

This course will examine these 17 goals through intersections of science, society, health and social change. We will take a close look at these most critical issues facing humanity, and learn what governments, scientists, businesses, and individuals can do to help us or hurt us as we strive to improve the world in which we live. (Class Size: 10 Student Max.)

Pathways: Arts, Tech, College Prep

Led by Valley Aikido/Epi Arias

Valley Aikido is a traditional martial arts dojo founded in 1985 with roots in the valley that date back to 1969. The art of Aikido was created in the early 20th century by Morihei Ueshiba or O Sensei who said “To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.”

Valley Aikido is a member of the United States Aikido Federation through which we are affiliated with Aikido world headquarters in Japan. Practicing Aikido provides many benefits for body, mind, and spirit—from increased balance, flexibility and strength, to improved awareness, concentration, and self confidence.

Aikido I is a collaborative class enabling all students to pursue their individual potential in a supportive atmosphere of sharing and fun. Aikido movements are circular and flowing and emphasize redirecting your partner’s energy using leverage and balance instead of strength.

Students develop coordination and poise, with a sense of cooperation and respect for themselves and others. (Class Size: 4 Student Max. – FULL)

Pathways: Arts

Led by Rafael Fields

Learn to play guitar, and become the musician you’ve always wanted to be! In these fun and informative lessons, you’ll build basic guitar skills step-by-step with the help of hands-on exercises. The guitar skills you’ll begin to study in this class will allow you to play any style of music, from rock to reggae to country-and-western.

There is no expectation of previous experience. Everyone is welcome! We will provide guitars to practice with, including to take home with you, provided that you agree to take care of the instrument and be responsible for it.

This class will work as a group, but with room for individual development. Do not be afraid to go at your own pace whether it be faster or slower than the general speed of the group. The class will focus on the actual playing of the guitar, but will introduce relevant concepts from musical theory.

We will begin with basic chords and strumming patterns, as well as basic scales. As we develop some basic skills, we will learn a variety of songs in different genres.

At the end of the course, the goal will be for students to be able to play basic major and minor chords, play one position of both major and minor scales, and be able to play at least 2 songs entirely.

Good guitar players know that the secret to making beautiful music is to practice, so there will be an expectation that all students are prepared to spend around 30 minutes each day (outside of class) practicing. (Class Size: 6 Student Max.)

Pathways: Arts

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.

Calendar

LightHouse begins the year on Tuesday, September 4 and follows a similar schedule to other local schools through early June of 2019.

Click to see our full calendar:

Tuesday, September 4: Opening Day and Orientation

Wednesday, September 5, Block 1 begins and continues through October 26

Monday, October 8, closed for Columbus Day

Monday, October 29, teen workshop day 1 (a day of learning workshops instead of classes)

Tuesday, October 30, Block 2 begins and continues through December 19

Tuesday, November 6, closed for Staff Development Day

Monday, November 12, closed for Veteran’s Day

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday November 21-23, closed for Thanksgiving

Thursday, December 20 through Tuesday, January 1, Closed for Winter Break.

Wednesday, January 2, Block 3 begins and continues through February 15

Monday, January 21, closed for Martin Luther King Day

Monday, Feb 18 through Friday, February 22, closed for February Break

Monday, February 25, teen workshop day 2 (a day of learning workshops instead of classes)

Tuesday, February 26, Block 4 begins and continues through April 12

Monday, March 18, closed for Staff Development Day

Monday, April 15 through Friday, April 19, closed for April Break

Monday, April 22, teen workshop day 3 (a day of learning workshops instead of classes)

Tuesday, April 23, Block 5 begins and continues through May 31

Monday, May 27, Closed for Memorial Day

Monday, June 3 through Thursday, June 6 (LAST DAY OF SCHOOL)- Presentations Week
(all students should be at LightHouse this week, half-time students welcome to come every day)

Friday, June 7, Graduation in the evening (NO SCHOOL TODAY)

Monday, June 10 through Thursday, June 13, End of year meetings with students and families
(one 30 minute slot per family—teens come in only for their family meeting, no school this week)

Questions?


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

-Ralph Abernathy