Block Three of the 2022-2023 year begins on Monday, March 27 and continues through Friday, June 9th.

Current Classes

Monday / Wednesday
Tuesday / Thursday
9:00 am - 10:20 am Global Perspectives
Led by Bea Sullivan

Global Perspectives examines the social, political, and economic forces of the past 500 years that have helped create the world as we know it today. From the first time that explorers set foot in the “New World”, right up until the present, the lives of people all over the world have become increasingly intertwined (sometimes willingly, sometimes not). Since 1492 the world has seen the global rise, and subsequent fall, of the great European empires who colonized the globe and used lands and peoples for their own gain. Throughout this course students will study the world as it was, examine the world as it is, and make predictions about the world that is still to come.

Compentencies: Effective Research, Global Thinking, Ethical Decision Making
Class size: 20
9:00 am - 10:20 am Math Lab
Led by Aidan Chappius

This class provide individualized tutoring and instruction within a small group setting for students working in a wide range of math concepts, from pre-algebra skills through advanced mathematics, including skills such as Algebra 2, Pre-Calc, or Calculus. The course provides computer programs for various math courses, tutorial videos, and worksheets to supplement classroom instruction. The teacher will work with students individually at their own pace to craft goals based on their specific math needs.

Compentencies: Perseverance, Problem Solving, Foundational Computation, Advanced Mathematics
Class size: 10
9:00 am - 10:20 am Making What You Want
Led by Joshua Newman

There’s no dividing line between robots and sculpture, drawing and science, engineering and crafting. You’ll learn to make what you want to make as long as we can find you the materials. Come with an idea or asking for one. Come with a favorite art and learn a new one to add to it. Use your mind and hands and eyes in concert to make things that are beautiful, that work, that you can use to express yourself and teach others.

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Curiosity, Understand Self as Learner
Class size: 20
9:00 am - 10:20 am Crochet What You Want
Led by Sarah Molano

Crochet what you want is a class that will teach you the skills and gives you the guidance to crochet whatever your heart desires. In this class, each student will have a chance to explore the endless possibilities of crochet and walk away with a product of their hard work and the knowledge and skill to do more. Crocheting is an easy and useful skill that you can do anywhere anytime! This class is perfect for anyone who finds themselves fidgeting while they're in class, watching tv, or trying to relax because crocheting can be a simple fidget or a complex activity that requires your full attention depending on what you choose.

Compentencies: Problem Solving, Self Care and Wellness Strategies, Perseverance Amidst Struggle
Class size: 10
9:00 am - 12:10 pm Adventure Time
Led by Carlos Pena

The Pioneer Valley is FULL of amazing gems, from museums and colleges to hikes and pagodas. Let's go explore them together! This course has a student capacity of 5 students. Enrollment will be by instructor approval only.

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Self-Awareness and Identity, Global Thinking
Class size: 5 (instructor selected)
9:00 am - 10:20 pm The Basics of Music
Led by Greg Eichler

This course offers students an introductory opportunity to study musical concepts and explore different instruments. Come learn about chords, scales, key signatures, performance techniques, and more! It’s all about practicing new instruments, getting comfortable with repetition and engaging with new concepts.

Compentencies: Voice, Perseverance, Collaboration
Class size: 10
9:00 am - 12:10 pm Community Mural Painting
Led by Sophie Groenstein

This studio art course introduces practice-based aspects of public art and mural painting, focusing on art as both personal growth and community development. The course will begin with planning and practice sessions along with reviewing different styles of public art. The course combines an immersive design and conceptualization process for participants to find their inner artist, resulting in a large-scale mural painting here at LightHouse- or maybe two!

The objective of this course is for participants to work together as a group, explore and develop their ideas visually, and consider the impact of public art in communities. Through this course, participants will learn how murals can be created to promote cultural awareness, express community values, and beautify public spaces. Creating murals can foster teamwork, originality, and a sense of pride and ownership in one's community. The course incorporates a social outreach component by creating a collective mural as both a representation of and a gift to the LightHouse community.

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Voice, Collaboration
Class size: 8
9:00 am - 10:20 am Emergent Strategy
Led by Molly Brown-Hill

This will be a text and discussion based class. At its core Emergent Strategy is a book about racial justice. Emergent is defined as, "The process of coming into being or becoming prominent." This course will be about understanding that we can make individual changes in how we see each other and the world. The author of the text says it best, "I think there are many ways to find that simple path within ourselves, and I think that those of us who wish to see a truly, radically different world must demand of ourselves the possibility that we are called to lead not from right to left, or from minority to majority, but from spirit towards liberation." This class is founded on the concept that we all have infinite potential. If you have wanted the tools to create change while keeping your power, or are interested in changing oppressive systems, this is the class for you.

Compentencies: Self-Awareness and Identity, Social Justice Concepts, Perseverance Amidst Struggle
Class size: 20
9:00 am - 10:20 am Storytelling
Led by Nina Swart

This class will focus on developing reading, writing, and speaking skills. We will explore the history of storytelling, modern platforms it exists within, the importance of storytelling, and its unreliable nature. We will tell strangers’ stories, the stories of our community members, and our own stories. At the end of the block, students will have the option of hosting a live storytelling event or working with the micropublishing class to publish a collection of stories.

Compentencies: Voice, Effective Communication, Collaboration
Class size: 20
9:00 am - 10:20 am 4 Square
Led by Bea Sullivan

Come and play 4 square with Bea. We will go outside on nice sunny spring days. We will hang out and play something else if it is yucky and rainy.

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Effective Communication, Collaboration
Class size: 12
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Physics of Flying
Led by Joshua Newman

In this class students will design, build and crash aircraft to learn about the physics and engineering of flight. The focus will be on practical and collaborative problem solving. Students will learn basic construction of rockets, airplanes, and potentially hot air balloons. This course will hit on the materials that make sense for "flying things" as well as abstract principles.

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Curiosity, Understand Self as Learner
Class size: 20
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Human Sexuality
Led by Carlos & Elizabeth

Using a holistic approach, students will familiarize themselves with the essentials of physical, mental, and social health. Participants will gain vital insights into how to protect, enhance and maximize their well-being throughout their lives. In this safe space, topics will include reproductive health, sexuality, and gender identity. With students’ suggestions and agreement, this classroom will be open to exploring other areas as they arise.

Compentencies: Self-Awareness and Identity, Human Sexuality, Social Justice Concepts
Class size: 20
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Introduction to Sociology
Led by Ashley Ratliff

This course will introduce sociology’s basic concepts, theories, research methods, and subfields, covering such topics as socialization, deviance and crime, family, economic inequality, culture, gender, religion, and social movements. Throughout the course of the block, we will come to understand the many ways in
which people’s lives are shaped by the social world and the many ways in which human behavior and interaction serve to reinforce or challenge and reshape or social world.

This course is open to both middle and high school students. Students will be required to practice note taking and turn in 2 projects throughout the course of the block.

Compentencies: Self-Awareness and Identity, Perseverance, Global Thinking
Class size: 20
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Applied Music
Led by Greg Eichler

Ever wonder how to write a song? How about how to perform with other musicians? Outside of "learning" an instrument there are so many other ways to engage with music. This class is for more advanced musicians who already are fairly comfortable playing. Whether listening, performing, theorizing, or just talking music, this class applies the basics to more advanced concepts.

Compentencies: Voice, Perseverance, Collaboration
Class size: 10
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Fashion and Identity
Led by Sarah Stolwijk

In this class we will start with focusing on what really moves us. What are we inspired by? What do we love? What do we find beautiful? We will bring inspirations to class every week and share and talk about it. Simultaneously we will translate that into an incredible outfit for yourself. We will document everything that comes up during this class and is of importance so that by the end you will have a book or folder with things that inspire YOU!

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Self-Awareness and Identity, Problem Solving
Class size: 10
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Journalism III
Led by Steph Zello

This group has been working together all year to create a monthly in-house newspaper. New writers and participants welcome!

In this class, we create an online and printed newspaper with articles, quizzes, featured students/staff and anything else you would like in your publication! You will gain skills in interviewing, writing, research and marketing. Not only will we create a newspaper together but you will also learn law, history and ethics through journalism. This class is perfect for anyone who wants to work on their writing/editing skills, or anyone who is interested in research and media! event

Compentencies: Voice, Effective Communication, Collaboration
Class size: 20
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Introduction to Programming
Led by Aidan Chappius

This class will go over the basics of Linux and the command line, including how to use tools like git, bash, and gcc to write programs and automate tasks. We will use single board computers similar to a raspberry pi. We will learn to install Linux, practice the command line and hopefully the GUI, learn to write scripts to automate tasks, and use these tools to start writing our own programs. If any students have spare or old laptops they are alright with losing the data on, we may also try out Linux on them. This class is a good pick for anyone who wants to learn a new operating system, the standard tools used in programming and IT jobs, or how to make a program interact with their files and do useful things. Prior programming experience is not required, but a general comfort around unfamiliar technology helps.

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Problem Solving, Advanced Technical Skills
Class size: 5
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Holyoke Past and Future
Led by Aidan Lane and John Gobron

Co-taught by Aidan Lane (Mondays) and John Gobron (Wednesdays). Mondays will focus on Holyoke PAST (and present.) LightHouse is one of the first planned cities in the world. How and when did that happen? HOW does urban blight happen in Holyoke and in other cities? Mondays with Aidan will focus on exploring this history and our neighborhoods and connecting with our local resources and historians.

How does urban renewal happen? Other cities have found their ways back from decay and decline. How did they do it? What is happening now in Holyoke to move us in that direction. In addition to connecting with local leaders and organizers, Wednesdays will focus on envisioning an improved city, using AI and other software to actually visualize those possibilities, culminating in an art show to publicly share some of these ideas and visions.

Compentencies: Effective Communication, Collaboration, Community Leadership (Advanced), Effective Research, Global Thinking, Social Justice Concepts
Class size: 20
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Micropublishing
Led by Nina Swart

Bookbinding, zine-making, poster making, online publishing, oh my! This class will go over the history of DIY publishing, teach skills for publishing your own distributable ephemera, and culminate in a final project of the student’s choosing. We can go to Mount Holyoke College’s library to see their zine collection and to UMass Amherst’s Renaissance Center to see a letterpress setup. This class will also have the option of collaborating with the Storytelling class to understand how commissioned editions are created.

Compentencies: Voice, Curiosity, Establish and Achieve Goals
Class size: 20
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Algebra 1
Led by Mackenzie Gowans

Algebra 1 and Intro to Algebraic Geometry.

Prerequisite: In order to take this class, students should already be able to solve simple single variable equations.

Recap of pre-algebra skills before moving on to more complex topics which will include the fundamental operations on algebraic expressions, solutions of equations and inequalities, exponentiation, graphs of algebraic, exponential and logarithmic functions, systems of equations and inequalities, and an introduction to algebraic geometry.

Compentencies: Perseverance, Advanced Mathematics, Establish and Achieve Goals
Class size: 7
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Circle Practice
Led by David Lane

What is this?

This learning experience is not a “class,” exactly. It is rather an opportunity to develop skills related to participating in and facilitating circle practice at LightHouse. Circle practice is a way for healthy communities to communicate and grow together. Circle practice originally comes from indigenous people of the Americas. Learning about these origins will be a key component of time together. We will engage in 1 to 2 circles every week of Block 3.

What skills and competencies will we practice?

We will touch on many skills included in our Light Cycle competency-based curriculum, with an emphasis on these three:

  • Self-Direction: Voice
  • Self-Direction: Understanding Myself as a Learner
  • Community: Collaboration*

Who is this for?

  • Everyone: All students at LightHouse have valuable skills, talents, and experience to contribute to any circle, so this opportunity is for everyone.
  • Students who participated in the student leader training facilitated by Pa’lante in February 2023 are strongly encouraged to participate in this Block 3 learning opportunity.
  • Students may participate in this Circle Practice learning opportunity on a week-to-week, drop in basis, when they feel that the topics we are addressing are relevant to them. 
  • Students who participate regularly and who produce artifacts of learning related to their experience in circle practice may earn credit toward their competency-based transcript.
  • David will facilitate the weekly circles. Students will learn to lead circles.
    • Our hope is that both LightHouse and Pa’lante staff members can visit or join in circles when they are available.
Compentencies: Voice, Collaboration, Understand Self as Learner
Class size: 20
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm History of Board Games
Led by Steph Zello

Way before friendships were ruined over a game of Monopoly or Uno, someone had the idea to make these games. If you have ever wondered where your favorite board games come from, then this is the class for you! During this class, we will explore the origins of board games and what the makers of them were hoping to convey with them. The class will allow students to first play the game, then learn about its origins and message. After that, we will play the game again and try to explore the ways that our feelings/views of the games have changed. Students will be expected to keep a journal, participate in gameplay and be willing to engage in discussions about the game's history and play.

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Effective Communication, Collaboration
Class size: 20
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Web of Life
Led by Nate Maynard

Ecology is the study of living organisms and the way they interact with each other and the world around them. This class will explore how all living things are connected through the web of life. An emphasis will be placed on the role of human beings within the environment and the impact they have on the natural world. We will spend as much time outdoors as possible and class will involve writing in field journals, nature readings, and exploring the natural world that surrounds LightHouse Holyoke.

Compentencies: Voice, Applied Scientific Reasoning, Environmental Awareness
Class size: 20
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Conversation & Creativity
Led by Alice Ladley

In Conversation & Creativity, students will get in touch with their artistic side while socializing with their peers. After a long day, it's great to have time to relax, this class provides a fun environment to do so. Students will be encouraged to work on independent art projects, optional creativity exercises will be provided to those who need some inspiration, and there will be games to get to know each other. Conversation & Creativity will provide students with time to nurture their creativity and friendships.

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Voice, Empathy
Class size: 20
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Lost Arts
Led by Liam Russell & Nate Maynard

This class will focus on different types of crafts from collecting to casting molten metal. We will first research each hobby, learning about its history and uses. We will then go out and try the hobby for ourselves. Our first 3 hobbies will be coin collecting, metal detecting, and building our own terrariums with plants collected from the wild. Other hobbies to explore will include wilderness survival skills, gardening, and radio technology. Students will be encouraged to express their interest in what they want to learn and course topics can be modified based on student preferences.

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Curiosity, Establish and Achieve Goals
Class size: 20
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Outside Time
Led by Carlos Pena

This is a recess class! At Lighthouse we know that play is an important part of development. As the weather gets nicer we will have more opportunity to play outside!

Compentencies: Experiential Learning, Collaboration, Self Care and Wellness Strategies
Class size: 20
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Courage, Compassion & Wisdom
Led by Joshua Newman

This is a learning environment where curiosity drives the class. We will use processes that make our minds stronger and more flexible. This will include aspects and practice in mindfulness, Go (a strategy game), research and discussion. Joshua will lead students through finding small ways to show the core values of his artistic practice; courage, compassion, wisdom.

Compentencies: Empathy, Self-Awareness and Identity, Ethical Decision Making
Class size: 20
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