Block Three of the 2023-2024 year begins on Tuesday, April 2 and continues through Friday, June 14, 2024.

Current Classes

The class schedule at LightHouse is divided into "Blocks", or trimesters, Fall (Block One), Winter (Block Two), and Spring (Block Three). 

Classes are divided into three periods Monday through Thursday. Students work closely with their advisor to develop a fully personalized schedule that is both challenging and meaningful. Most students co-create a schedule comprised of a mix of classes, one-to-one tutorials, and independent studies. As students progress in their time at LightHouse, many youth choose to add community college classes through our dual enrollment relationships, internships, paid and volunteer work, and other offsite learning opportunities.

LightHouse is a competency-based program. Graduation requirements entail completing a robust set of competencies, which are both academic and personal. LightHouse graduates move into the world with strong academic skills, but also with deep understandings of themselves as learners, plans and understandings around self care and general wellness, and developed sensibilities around social justice, personal ethics, and environmentalism, ready to contribute to their communities and to the world as competent and engaged citizens, leaders of their own lives.

Each class at LightHouse focuses on a specific selection of competencies, but competencies can be developed and attainments completed in any learning context, inside or outside of LightHouse. Learning happens everywhere, all the time. One of the goals of our program is to support students to see the whole world as a place of learning, full of resources for growth, with vast, meaningful opportunities. Life is much more flexible and more beautiful than we are sometimes led to believe, or have had the opportunity to experience. LightHouse is changing what school can be.

Between first and second period we hold a daily Advisory Circle. All students gather with their Advisor and Advisory Cohort of peers for 30 minutes every day, connecting on a variety of topics. LightHouse is a highly diverse and intentional community. We thrive together through guided and compassionate communication, one of the many positive and useful skills students develop over time through our relationship-based curriculum.

Fridays at LightHouse are half day "Community Days", with staff professional development every Friday afternoon. Fridays have their own schedule with multiple options each week including field trips and group volunteer projects as well as onsite workshops, academic support offerings, sports and games, and capstone guidance for seniors.

Please reach out with questions!
Monday / Wednesday
Tuesday / Thursday
9:00 am - 10:20 am Cash Flow: Empowering Financial Literacy
Led by Nate Maynard

Welcome to Financial Literacy 101! In this course, you'll embark on a journey toward financial empowerment, equipped with essential knowledge and skills to navigate the complex world of personal finance. From mastering the art of budgeting and saving to understanding the intricacies of consumer credit, we'll cover key topics including setting and achieving financial goals, managing loans and debts responsibly, and the importance of insurance for protecting your assets. We'll also shine a light on common scams and frauds, empowering you to recognize and avoid potential pitfalls in the financial landscape.

Competencies:  Self-Awareness and Identity, Foundational Computation, Financial Literacy
Class size: 13
9:00 am - 10:20 am Comic Book History
Led by Steph Zello

War and comic books have always been closely related. It's difficult to separate the idea of our world and the fantastical comic book worlds we all enjoy reading. It's often difficult for the writers to separate them as well. That's why we see beloved comic book characters being affected by current events. In this class, we will go over changes in comic books and how they relate directly back to both US History and World History.

Competencies:  Media Fluency, Effective Research, Global Thinking
Class size: 20
9:00 am - 10:20 am Guided Study Hall
Led by Jayde Thomas

This class is for students looking to prepare for college, catch up on grade-appropriate material, and ready themselves for other educational opportunities. Students of all levels can work one-on-one with me or in class to learn the materials they need for their next step in education.

Competencies:  Perseverance, Foundational Computation, Effective Research
Class size: 10
9:00 am - 10:20 am Advanced Guitar Workshop
Led by Greg Eichler

Let’s play guitar! This time a little differently. This class is for my more advanced students. If you sailed through the first guitar workshop then let's work on advancing your skills, or if you already have the basics down on your own you're welcome to join too. Study with professional guitarist Gregory Eichler alongside your fellow peers, as we work to advance our skills and become more confident musicians! We will also be enjoying various listening sessions of some of the greatest guitarists and musicians who ever lived.

Competencies:  Voice, Self-Awareness and Identity, Collaboration
Class size: 15
9:00 am - 10:20 am Bomba y Plena
Led by Ailey Verdelle & Jailyne Torres

This will be a class rooted in performance and music history. We will spend some of the time discussing Plena and similar musical styles and the history of how they were formed.

Competencies:  Experiential Learning, Voice, Self-Awareness and Identity
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.

Competencies:  Experiential Learning, Problem Solving, Foundational Computation
Class size: 20
9:00 am - 10:20 am Math Lab
Led by Aidan Chappuis

This class provides 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.

Competencies:  Problem Solving, Foundational Computation, Advanced Mathematics
Class size: 15
9:00 am - 10:20 am Stop Cop City: Defending the Atlanta Forest
Led by Kenzie Helmick

This class will take a deep dive into the ongoing movement known as Stop Cop City, which is currently fighting to block the construction of a police training facility in Atlanta, Georgia. The Stop Cop City movement sits in the intersection of several social justice movements: environmental activism, indigenous land rights, global imperialism, and prison abolition. From religious leaders chaining themselves to the construction site to children-led marches to anarchists burning equipment, there are a variety of faces and actions present in the movement.

Together, we will learn about how the movement got started, why it matters, what tactics are being used (and why), and how the state has responded in the face of mass community mobilization. This class is action-oriented! Students should be prepared to use the last third of the block to plan group or individual projects that directly support the Stop Cop City movement or that support other movements involved in related issues.

Competencies:  Experiential Learning, Social Justice Concepts, Environmental Activism
Class size: 15
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Fashion Design and Making
Led by Sarah A Stolwijk

This is a design and creation class that encourages independence. Students will be tasked with generating their own project ideas to execute. While prior sewing experience is not necessary, a willingness to learn is essential, whether by hand or machine. By the end of the block, participants must complete a minimum of three projects. During the final week, we will convene to present our work to one another. The paramount goal is for students to pursue projects that ignite excitement and joy within them.

Competencies:  Experiential Learning, Problem Solving, Self Care and Wellness Strategies
Class size: 15
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Introduction to Filmmaking/ Holyoke Media
Led by Arjuna Jayawardena

This class will be an opportunity to develop a creative project using sound and image in any way wished. You could work on a script; a storyboard using illustrated or photographic images; a video journal; a short film; a soundscape; and more! You will have the opportunity to work individually or in groups, and to workshop ideas with your peers.

Competencies:  Voice, Collaboration, Advanced Technical Skills
Class size: 15
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Open Music Studio
Led by Greg Eichler

The Open Music Studio course at Lighthouse is a largely self-driven experience. Students are free to explore their on musical endeavors, with guidance and support from professional musician Gregory Eichler. Although a primarily independent course, collaboration and community among students in the Open Music Studio is encouraged, and an ultimate goal. Performance opportunities will be available for those seeking them. Come hone your voice, discover new sounds, and share your musical passions with the community of Lighthouse!

Competencies:  Voice, Self-Awareness and Identity, Collaboration
Class size: 15
10:50 am - 12:20 pm The Ride Out
Led by Carlos Pena

This comprehensive bike riding class is designed to foster self-awareness, promote physical exercise, and integrate various academic subjects through exploration of Holyoke and its surrounding towns, including the Ashley Reservoir bike jumping course, the Holyoke skate park, and the Northampton bike trail that leads to Amherst.

Competencies:  Experiential Learning, Collaboration, Advanced Wellness
Class size: 15
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Advanced Recording and Production
Led by Ailey Verdelle

This class is for students who have some experience with recording/computer music or production, or who have taken one of Ailey's classes previously. We will go deeper into using music software as a creative tool and discuss sampling and explore how to work with recording/audio in different capacities.

Competencies:  Experiential Learning, Voice, Foundational Computation, Advanced Technical Skills
Class size: 8
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Knowing Yourself
Led by Joshua Newman

We’re going to meditate, we’re going to share our experiences with each other as we gain trust, and we’re going to play a lot of Go because it’s a great way to learn about our own and each other’s minds.

We’re going to do some art together, too. We’re going to look into our selves and figure out what we can heal, what we can grow, and what we can accept.

And we’re going to learn how to be kind in the ways that make us all stronger.

Competencies:  Empathy, Self-Awareness and Identity, Self Care and Wellness Strategies
Class size: 20
10:50 am - 12:20 pm Mindfulness & Journaling
Led by Jayde Thomas

Mindfulness is an awareness of ourselves and our environment. We can be mindful in a number of different ways. In this class we'll be focusing on mindfulness as it pertains to journaling. Students will have the opportunity to engage in various writing prompts that can promote a deeper understanding of themselves.

Competencies:  Voice, Self-Awareness and Identity, Effective Communication
Class size: 20
10:50 am - 12:10 pm Pre-Algebra
Led by Aidan Chappuis

This class will teach the skills necessary to succeed in algebra classes. It will cover fractions, factors and multiples, order of operations, simplifying expressions, and solving equations.

Prerequisites: the ability to consistently do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Competencies:  Perseverance, Problem Solving, Foundational Computation
Class size: 15
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Introduction to World Cinema
Led by Arjuna Jayawardena

In this class, we will view, reflect on, and discuss films from around the world. These films will likely challenge what you think a movie is and should be. They will at times be confusing, seeming to lack a clear story and conflict; they will embody a different rhythm and pace than most films, one that is slower and seeks a slowing down from us; most importantly, they will share with us worlds and lives that we would, without them, not have the chance of meeting.

Competencies:  Empathy, Media Fluency, Global Thinking
Class size: 15
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Let's UpCycle
Led by Jailyne Torres

In this class, students will have the opportunity to work with recycled materials and practice UpCycling by giving items new life. Students will be able to work on projects of their choosing, by UpCycling clothing, accessories, furniture, home decor items, etc. This class will allow students to explore the art of UpCycling and repurposing. We will also learn and talk about how UpCycling minimizes waste and is a practice that supports our natural environment.

Competencies:  Self-Awareness and Identity, Collaboration, Environmental Activism
Class size: 15
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Algebra I
Led by Aidan Chappuis

This class will cover an abbreviated version of the standard algebra 1 curriculum, focusing on line equations, functions, quadratics, and systems of equations. We will also spend some time covering/reviewing inequalities, absolute value, and exponents.

Prerequisites: the ability to solve equations and simplify expressions

Competencies:  Perseverance, Problem Solving, Foundational Computation
Class size: 15
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Primitive Technology
Led by Liam Russel & Nate Maynard

From the dawn of Mankind, humans have developed technology to improve daily life. For instance, the creation of fire remains one of humans' greatest inventions that we still use today.  In modern society, we may not think of harnessing fire, making a wheel, or even a simple screw as technology yet all civilization was built on these “simple” inventions. In this class, we will cover humans' technological progress throughout history. We will mainly do hands-on work and be outside for most of the class. All students should be attentive and ready to participate

Some of the classes may include textile making, primitive pottery, and cold-working metal.

Competencies:  Experiential Learning, Problem Solving, Advanced Technical Skills
Class size: 13
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Strategies of Chess III
Led by Molly Brown-Hill

Do you want to learn how to play chess, get better at chess, or already know how to play and love playing? Join this class! We will learn the basics as well as dive into different strategies, have fun, and play some chess!


Competencies:  Experiential Learning, Perseverance, Problem Solving
Class size: 15
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Youth Leadership: YPAR
Led by Molly Brown-Hill & Domi Lora
**High School Students Only**
Class size: 15
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Flying Machines
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.

Class size: 20
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Introduction to Film Photography: Capturing Moments in Analog
Led by Jonathan Davila

Unlock the magic of film photography in our immersive course designed for beginners, "Introduction to Film Photography." In this hands-on class, you will embark on a journey into the timeless art of analog photography, exploring the nuances of 35mm film and the captivating world it unfolds.

Course Highlights:

  • A Glimpse into Film Photography History: Take a nostalgic journey through the history of film photography.
  • Creative photo Artwork: Transform your Polaroids instant pictures into tangible art pieces
  • Getting Acquainted with Film Cameras: Learn to operate a variety of film cameras understanding the mechanics behind each click.
  • Mastering Photographic Fundamentals: Fundamentals of photography, exploring composition techniques
  • On-Location Photography: Venture out into the streets, applying the knowledge gained in class to capture compelling images
  • Film Development Techniques: Learn the film development process, from loading the reel to developing your film.
  • Class Critiques: Engage discussions as we collectively appreciate the unique perspectives captured by your classmates.

What to Expect: This course is not just about learning the technical aspects of film photography but also about embracing the artistic journey. You will gain hands-on experience, develop a discerning eye, and cultivate the skills to bring your creative visions to life. Whether you're an aspiring photographer or someone simply curious about the analog world, "Introduction to Film Photography" promises to be an inspiring experience. No prior experience is required. Come join us and uncover the magic of capturing moments in analog!

Competencies:  Experiential Learning, Media Fluency, Collaboration
Class size: 10
1:10 pm - 2:30 pm Writing Lab
Led by Steph Zello

During this class, I hope to provide a welcoming environment for students to write and create in whatever medium best speaks to them! This class would be ideal for anyone wishing to advance their writing skills, both creatively and academically. The class structure will include days that are dedicated to writing as well as workshops geared toward specific skills that students are interested in advancing.

Competencies:  Voice, Effective Communication, Self Care and Wellness Strategies
Class size: 20
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