Current Courses


Block One of the 2018-2019 year begins on Tuesday, September 4 and continues through Friday, Friday, October 26. Block Two will begin on Monday, October 29 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.

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 Ashley Goodfellow Sulock

This introduction to psychology course will 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 ten different topics:
1. Introduction to psychology and research methods
2. Biopsychology
3. Personality development
4. Learning and behavioral psychology
5. Sensation and perception
6. Memory, intelligence, and states of mind
7. Motivation and emotion
8. Social psychology
9. Psychopathology
10. Psychotherapy
This class will focus on improving writing skills with everyday note taking, reaction papers, and research projects. Each class will also be centered around class discussion and student participation. Psychology is incredibly fun to learn, so I hope to see you there!
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

Connect with Shakespeare, an authentic genius who managed to probe the messy world of human strengths and limitations. Then we’ll move even further back in time to explore the roots of tragedy.

In this course we are going to read out loud two tragedies: Shakespeare’s Othello and the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex.

Pathways: College Prep

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Rafael Fields

Rethinking: Things, Their Origins and Their Stories We are surrounded by things. Things we buy. Things we use to exchange for the things we are buying. Things to put those purchased things inside of (to carry with us). Things we use for transportation to places where we walk into big things we call buildings… And so on. But these things are actually all made up of smaller things, and those things are made up of even smaller things. And again… and so on.

Each of these things has a story, or rather, an infinite number of stories. Things have an origin. They were made, or found, or bought, or sold, or generally…all of the above. A single thing can tell you the story of a person, or the history of the entire world. It all just depends on how you look at it.

This class will attempt to rethink our relationship to the things in our lives, and the relationships between those things and the entire world. We will each chose a thing to investigate. Investigations can be in many different directions, but we will be asking questions like:

What is this thing made of?

Where was it made?

How was it made?

Who or what was it made by?

Why was it made (this way)?

When was it made?

Our investigation will inevitably complicate these questions as we find out just how complex the stories of things are. This class will be divided between lessons we will tackle as a group and individual research. The first part of each class meeting will be focus on a specific theme. Some classes will be focused on a specific “thing” like a smartphone, or a toaster, or a shoe.

We will investigate such things as the mining (conflict minerals) in the Democratic Republic of Congo where many of the materials used in our smartphones and computers come from, as well as who sewed/glued together your shoes. We will talk about locally made things, nationally made things, and internationally made things. We will investigate all of these things through readings, watching documentaries/videos, and through discussion.

Though the amount and format of research that a class participant much engage in depends entirely on the individual, there is an expectation that some form of individual investigation be done. This could be reading a single book or part of it over the course of 8 weeks, or it could be a serious investigation of the history, mechanics, or logistics or a single thing.

My goal as an instructor is to provide each individual with some guidance and assistance in finding subjects and resources that interest them. The goal for each participant will be some form of written, auditory, or visual product which informs about the product of their research. Again, my goal as an instructor is to work with each participant to find a medium that communicates effectively the results of research, as well as that inspires the individual.

The central challenge of this class will be to make new connections between yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That is, about what happened in the past, how it influenced or produced the present, and what kind of future it is leading to. We will challenge notions of cause and effect, and even understandings of advancement. We will think about how things are invented and why, and whose stories of inventions get told.

Pathways: Arts, Tech

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.

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 Epi Arias

Lights, camera, ACTION! Do you love movies? Can’t get enough of those Netflix TV series? Or maybe you saw something on TV and thought: “Pssshh, I can do better than that?!” Well, maybe you can, but first, you have to learn how to write a basic screenplay. Think you’re up for it?

In Screenwriting, you’ll learn the language, rules, and basics of writing screenplays, whether you want to write a short film, create your own TV show, option (or sell) a full-length feature, or just want to learn how it all works behind-the-scenes.

This class will arm students with the tools needed to write a functional and marketable script, while also giving them an overview of the film/TV industry. Aspiring writers, actors, filmmakers, and movie fans are all welcome.

We’ll be doing a (reasonably) good amount of writing and taking on some fun assignments. Looking forward to see you there!

Pathways: Arts, College Prep

Led by Carlos Peña

Play kickball outdoors with Carlos up the street at the Boys & Girls Club. All welcome! But if you come along, plan to play (not watch)! On rain days, we’ll play dodgeball indoors at the Holyoke YMCA.

Led by Joe Trapasso

Learn the ins and outs of how to use our amazing recording studio at LightHouse. Record and edit audio for yourself and others. Record voice, instruments, make beats, and create mixes that you’re proud to share.

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 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.

Pathways: Arts

Led by Sofia Goetz

In history classes, the United States involvement in war is often limited to the Revolutionary and Civil War, and the the First and Second World Wars. However, in addition to these wars the United States has also been involved in Wars against Fascism, Communism, Crime/Drugs, and most recently, Terror/Terrorism.
This class aims to examine these historical events in a decolonized and uncensored way.  The class will use contemporary and recent examples in addition to the events of the past.  This class will be mostly lectured based, but students are always encouraged to speak up and comment on the subject matter being taught.

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Darien Acero

We will explore writing from the simplest forms of description, through narratives, poetry, and multi-genre work, consistently investigating voice, expression, language, and subject. We’ll read short pieces and excerpts together and talk about great stories and poetry, while also work shopping our own materials- incorporating some theory along the way. For a final project, we will be compiling a small collection by the end of the course.

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 Carlos Peña

This class is designed to help students evaluate the business skills and commitment necessary to successfully operate an entrepreneurial venture and review the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship. Begin to plan and develop your own business.

Pathways: Entrepreneurship

Led by Alice Ladley (LightHouse Student)

In this class we will be reading and discussing three YA books with queer main characters. Starting with Sara Ryan’s Empress of The World a light-hearted romance, then Julie Anne Peter’s Luna, an emotional story about being a trans teen in an unaccepting family and finally, Becky Albertalli’s heartwarming tale, Simon VS. The Homosapiens Agenda, which the movie Love, Simon was based off of.

We will read aloud these books 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, plot, whatever else comes to mind.

At the end of each book we will leave a class devoted to discussion and writing down some thoughts on the story for your portfolio. Students of all orientations welcomed.

Course Schedule:

Week 1: Introductions, brief overview of material and start reading Empress of The World.

Week 2: Finish Empress of The World, discuss it and write down thoughts.

Week 3: Start reading Luna.

Week 4: Continue reading Luna, talk about where you think the story will go.

Week 5: Finish Luna, discuss it further and write down thoughts.

Week 6: Start Simon VS. The Homosapiens Agenda.

Week 7: Continue reading Simon VS. The Homosapiens Agenda, talk about where you think the story will go.

Week 8: Finish Simon VS. The Homosapiens Agenda, discuss it further and write down thoughts. Wrap up class, talk about what you liked, didn’t like or would change. If class is successful, take your suggestions for a sequel.

Pathways: College Prep

This health course is designed to increase knowledge and skills in the areas of healthy relationships and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), HIV and unintended pregnancy. The interactive curriculum is based on cognitive-behavioral theories, and includes an 8-hour evidence-based curriculum entitled, Making Proud Choices.

COURSE ORGANIZATION: This course will be composed of discussion & activities designed to engage students in the subject matter. Class sessions will be run in small group discussion style with many additional handouts and classroom activities. Active participation is essential

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Increase knowledge of components of healthy relationships and effective communication. Increase knowledge of the human reproductive system and birth control options. Increase knowledge of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s), including HIV. Improve ability to negotiate abstinence/safer-sex practices. Increase ability to use condoms correctly.

GENERAL CONDUCT: A group conduct agreement will be developed during the first class, and students will be held to the agreement. Students are also expected to follow the code of conduct outlined by school policy.

ATTENDANCE: Attendance is expected for all class periods. If a student has excessive, unexcused absences from lecture, they may be withdrawn from the course. Attendance at 75% of class sessions is the minimum required to receive credit for the course.

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 Ashley Sulock

In this second part of the American Film History class, we will once again explore the timeline of cinematography. We will begin with the 1930s and work our way to modern day film. We will focus on animated films, comedies, dramas, musicals, horror films, fantasy, and science fiction films. Welcome to all, even if you were not enrolled in part one last spring.

Some movies will begin during lunchtime in order to keep the class flowing and to allow us to watch all of the films start to finish. Coming during lunch is OPTIONAL (all foods and snacks are of course welcome in class if you choose to come). The following schedule is subject to change based on timing and class decisions; however, this is a rough outline of the films that we will be watching:

1. Animation: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937 (G)
2. Comedy/Silent Film: Clips from the Great Dictator, 1940 (G)
3. Drama: Rebel Without a Cause, 1955 (PG-13)
4. Musical: TBD by class vote, 1960s-1970s
5. Horror: Jaws, 1975 (PG)
6. Fantasy: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, 1988 (PG)
7. Romantic Comedy: Clueless, 1996 (PG-13)
8. Science Fiction: Avatar, 2009 (PG-13)
9. Animation: TBD by class vote, 2010s

After each film, students will then write film reviews from the lens of a movie critic.

Pathways: Arts, College Prep

Led by Rafael Fields

Music Workshop: Take your musical interest to the next level. No musical or instrumental background needed! The basic goal of the class is to provide a dedicated time and some guidance form myself (and possibly others) for individuals or groups to work on improving as a vocalist/instrumentalist/songwriter/etc.
Part of this class will consist of group sharing/discussion/presentation/collaboration. This could be a simple as talking about music we love and why we love it / what we love about it, and talking about how to bring that aspect into our own music. It could also be sharing and getting feedback/support on your own musical creations (original or otherwise).
The other part of this class will be more open workshop time for individuals to practice, write, or record. If there is interest in recording, or digital music production (such as making beats) we can try to make that happen as well. The class is very open ended and if people just want to all learn the same songs and try to play as a group, we can do that too.
At the very least, this class is an opportunity to lean about a wider variety of music than you knew about at the beginning of the class, to try your hand at creating/emulating/playing/singing some of that music, and to work towards an individual goal set at the beginning of the class about your own skills or knowledge.

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.”