Current Courses


Block Four of the 2017-2018 year begins on Monday, February 26 and continues through Friday, April 13.

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

Throughout history the main source of dispute resolution has been done in courtrooms with formal trials. However, alternative dispute resolution techniques are becoming increasingly common due to their effectiveness and efficiency.

This class will look at three Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods (mediation, arbitration, and negotiation) to learn ways that conflicts can be solved in positive ways and without involving the justice system.

These techniques are also incredibly important to our daily lives, because we all deal with conflict in one way or another. I have certification in Social Justice Mediation, so a large portion of the class is going to be how to mediate conflicts with a social justice lens. This entails understanding where the other person is coming from, whether that be culturally, socially, economically, etc in order to successfully resolve a conflict. There will be group activities, daily note-taking, simulations, and a lot of class discussion.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Carlos Peña

This course will focus on preparing for the drivers permit test in MA, as well as  a variety of basic preparation for driving and car ownership.

Through lectures, videos, and games we will learn about the important things you need to know before owning and operating a car.

Our focus will be on subjects like:

How to buy a car

Things to look out for when buying a car

New car vs old car

How to change a tire

How and why to do an oil change

How to maintain your car

On alternate days we will focus on practice tests and answers using games and dialogue.

Tuesdays- reviewing test questions and taking practice tests together and individually.

Thursdays-  We will be focused on tangible things that we need to know about  so that you maintain your vehicle’s life.

We will also make some visits to different garages and car dealerships to get insight from professionals in the field.

Pathways: Arts, 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 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 Luis Salazar

We hear a lot nowadays about the importance of the art of Storytelling for our lives, professionally and personally, though of course this form of communication has been around us for hundreds of thousands of years, from the ancient myths about the creation of the world to the newest gossip in town.

While we have always been surrounded by stories, every single person connects with each story from a different corner, in unique and personal ways.

This class will meet twice a week. It will start with the self recognition of the kind of listener that you are (visual, auditive, emotional, etc.) and from that starting point we will work together to each create a finished story to put out into the world.

Any kind of tool, material, art form, or sound byte is allowed. These stories may be written, drawn, videoed, painted, collaged, spoken, and/or shouted from a rooftop.

But here is an important disclosure to consider about this class: there is the risk that you may find your own voice.

Pathways: Art, Tech, College Prep

Led by Alan Gilburg

Connect with an authentic genius who managed to probe the messy world of human strengths and limitations.

In this course we are going to read and act out two of Shakespeare’s plays.

Pathways: 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 Alonzo Mark

The High School Financial Planning Program specifically focuses on basic personal finance skills that are relevant to the lives of pre-teens, teens, and young adults, laying a solid foundation for financial independence and future financial decisions.

Program Goals

As a result of taking part in the High School Financial Planning Program, students build confidence, apply practical skills, and exhibit sensible behaviors related to money management. The goals of the program are to provide students with learning experiences to do the following:

  • Build confidence to make financial decisions related to managing personal financial resources, building earning capability, protecting assets, and adapting to unexpected events.
  • Apply sound foundational financial decision-making principles through the many stages of life.
  • Exhibit mindful money management behaviors that benefit themselves and their families.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Catherine Gobron

Ursula Le Guin is arguably one of the best science fiction and fantasy writers of all time. She died last month at the age of 88, leaving us more than 20 novels. In addition she was the author of a dozen books of poetry, more than 100 short stories (collected in multiple volumes), seven collections of essays, 13 books for children and five volumes of translation, including the Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu and selected poems by the Chilean Nobel Prize winner Gabriela Mistral. She also wrote a guide for writers.

This course will ambitiously take on five books in seven weeks. We will read and listen to some together during class, but a significant amount of reading (or audio book listening) will be required outside of class time. You won’t mind though, because these will be some of the best books you have ever read.

Le Guin’s most famous books are the Earthsea series, and so we’ll start the course with the first three books in this six part series: The Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore. After these three gems, we will move onto to another of Le Guin’s worlds through a collection of short stories, A Fisherman of the Inland Sea. And lastly, a collection of nonfiction writings for us to consider and discuss: No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters.

This is going to be awesome.

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.

Tuesday/Thursday

Taught by Kamil Peters

This class is open by permission only with space for five LightHouse students, to be joined by five students from The Success Center on Maple St.

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 eight-week 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.

Students who continue with the course for the rest of the semester (three blocks) will be prepared to enter an advanced certificate training program if they choose.

Pathways: Arts, College Prep

Led by Sofia Goetz

After Hurricane Irma and Maria, the Caribbean community was thrust into the spotlight. In this course we will be learning about several Caribbean islands and their histories, including Puerto Rico, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

We will discuss movements organized by Caribbean people in the US and on the island(s). Classes will be discussion based. I will share information and content, and we will discuss and analyze together.

This course will present some difficult subject matter, please be prepared for some controversy. This class will emphasize the amazing culture of these islands and the history behind their several social movements and/or revolutions.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Dianna McMenamin

Introduction to Genetics. This course will cover structure & function of DNA and proteins, mutations, patterns of inheritance, Punnett squares, sex-linked characteristics, and the human genome. All welcome.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Alonzo Mark

Podcasting continues to boom as 4 in 10 Americans tune in and smart speakers make their debut. In 2017 alone 112 million Americans said they have listened to a podcast at least once.

Podcasts perform so many functions:

  • They can educate.

  • They can entertain.

  • They can inform.

  • They can inspire.

  • They can garner laughs.

  • They can gather tears.

There is one grand function podcasts perform that incorporates all of these elements, and it is the single most important reason why you should seriously consider starting a podcast.

Podcasts connect.

In this course we will cover core concepts of podcast production and complete the following list of expectations together.

  1. Determine podcast topic

  2. Choose podcast format

  3. Name your Podcast

  4. Draw up contract with co-host

  5. Plan and record one or more episodes / Determine release schedule

  6. Create your podcast art

  7. Set up social media accounts

  8. Set up URL / Hosting / RSS Feed & Submit your podcast

  9. Launch your podcast

  10. Promote your podcast

Let’s get ready to create connections to future listeners.

Pathways: Art, Tech

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

Led by Josiah Litant

Contested viewpoints, firy debates, angry rhetoric…our society is constantly consumed by issues on which there is widespread and heated disagreement. In this course we will examine seven of these “hot topics.” We will learn about the different arguments being made on various sides of each debate, as well as the related legal, social, and societal implications.

The topics we will cover include: immigration, gun rights, education, elections and voting rights, environment, LGBT rights, and sexual harassment/misconduct. Students in this class should be prepared to have mature discussions about difficult topics and to explore ideas that may contradict their own views.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Jake Weissman

Positions: Necessary: Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, drums,bass and/or piano

Potential: Vocals, alt. Percussion,videographer/multimedia artist, manage

Course Outline: The purpose of this course is toget students more comfortable playing their respective instruments alone andcollectively, to get students to think about what goes into being in a band, tohelp students understand how to begin a musical career, and to aid in theprocess of songwriting.

Course objective: To be able to play one cover as afull band, and if time permits, one original song written by one or morestudents.

Pathways: Arts

Maker Space is open and available for exploration, experimentation, and general making of all kinds. Students must clean up after themselves.
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 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 Epi Arias

Do have a story to tell? A universe to create? A song to write out? Are you having a hard time getting it out of your brain? Look, the thing is, creative writing is not just about characters we create or the stories we craft, it’s also about you, who you’ve been, and who you are.

Ever experience writer’s block? Of course you have. Not many people will see it this way, but writer’s block is a pivotal aspect of the writing process. So not only are we going to learn what creative blocks are, but also, how to get past them…productively.

It’s not only possible but also deeply important to find out how to outsmart to your own inner limits and learn how to organize your ideas towards producing the writing you want. And that’s exactly what this class is all about: learning about the roots of creativity, how it relates to our everyday lives, getting awesome at accessing it, and learning to manipulate its crazy splendor to get it to do what we want!

In this class you’ll learn how to brainstorm, mindmap, and outline story ideas into something tangible. Whether you’re into writing non-fiction, novels, comics, poems, songs, etc., the goal of the class will be to develop a solid relationship with your creative impulse in order to produce something that makes good sense to you, as a writer, and clear sense to everyone else, as readers. Finally, it’s important to note that though the following will be considered, ultimately, this class is not about grammar, spelling, or syntax; it’s about creative output, dialogue, and finding your own voice and doing something with it.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Carlos Peña

Part Two. Open only to students who have participated in a previous silkscreening course. Learn to create designs, put those designs on a screen, and transfer them to clothing.

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.

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.”