Current Courses


Block One of the 2022-2023 year begins on Monday, September 12th and ends Friday, December 16th.

Monday/Wednesday

Led by Carlos Peña

Rediscovering Holyoke, playing basketball, looking at the clouds. The day is our blank canvas. Sometimes you need to just have a block of time to hang out, have good conversations, and know every minute whether scheduled or not has the opportunity to be educational.

This course has a student capacity of 5 students. Enrollment will be by instructor approval only.

Class Size: 5 Student Max
Pathways: Self-Designed

Led by Nate Maynard

Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and it attempts to reveal the secrets of the physical world that surrounds us. Everything that you can see and touch is made up of incredibly small particles known as atoms. Scientists have identified 118 different kinds of atoms, or elements, that serve as the “ingredients” for the physical world. We will work on unlocking the mysteries of the Universe by better understanding how these atoms interact with each other to create the material world we live in. We will also explore the history and experiments that have led to our current understanding.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: Self-Designed

Led by Greg Eichler

This course offers students an opportunity to study musical concepts, explore different instruments, and discover new music to listen to and enjoy. Come learn about chords, scales, key signatures, performance techniques, and more! It’s all about making music listening and performing easier, more stimulating, and more enjoyable!

Class Size: 10 Student Max
Pathways: Arts

Led by Bea Sullivan

Science fiction is not just entertaining, it also serves as a means to evaluate the ideas and actions of our society. What if robots replace our friends? Should we let the government decide our jobs and roles in society? Are we more productive if we all conform to one lifestyle or maintain our individualism? Is progress an illusion? We will explore these and other questions through a variety of literary works.​ We will analyze science fiction as cautionary tales.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

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

Led by Steph Zello

Let’s create a publication! In this class, we will create an online 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!

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Ashley Ratliff on Zoom

This introduction to mythology will explore a cross-cultural perspective on myths, mythologies, and folklores from around the world. A lot of us have probably learned a thing or two about mythology from popular culture, particularly film. We are going to explore all of these, watch movies, read excerpts from books, and discuss if we even believe any of it is real! We have a lot to cram in, so this class may potentially span two blocks.

Here are some of the topics to look forward to:

  • Creation Myths
  • Pantheons
  • Archetypal Gods
  • Flood Stories
  • The Dying God
  • Tricksters
  • Apocalypses
  • Heroes
  • Mythical Places

This course will be taught in a college prep format; meaning that there will be note taking, weekly homework, and required participation in discussions. With this said, I am only here to give you the utmost best learning experience, so please connect with me if you need anything!

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Jay Leonard & John Gobron

Overview:

Entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful forces in the world. The capacity to build and or invent new things is one of the primary drivers of our economy. In this class we will explore how entrepreneurs use these tools to achieve their goals and how we can apply these same tools to our goals.

Course Description

This course provides a broad view of entrepreneurs as people and entrepreneurship as a process with a primary goal of helping students broaden their understanding of the many different ways we can be entrepreneurial and some of the tools we can bring to problem solving/achieving our goals.

Course Materials

There is no textbook for this course. Tentative assignments/readings are on the course schedule and will all be publicly available podcasts, articles, or videos representing a diverse set of founders/leaders

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of goal setting in an entrepreneurial context
  • Develop understanding of hypothesis testing process
  • Learn simple Work Breakout System (WBS)
  • Understand the very different skills entrepreneurs bring to their projects.
  • Begin to understand the steps and commitment required to achieve our goals
  • Project will entail setting a goal developing a list of resources necessary to achieve the goal and a plan to get the resources and accomplish the goal

Class Size: 10 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Greg Eichler

This course provides a loose in free musical environment for students to explore their imaginations. Any musical endeavor one may be curious to undertake is on the table, whether listening, performing, theorizing, or just talking music. It’s a musical workshop to do what you’d like with, guided by class leader Gregory Eichler.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: Arts

Led by Lucy Slate

In this class we will be exploring ourselves and our environment (physical, social, and political) through various mediums like drawing, painting, sculpting, collaging, and print making. This exploration will be informed by examining the work of influential artists, walks in nature, and engaging with the work of local artists. Together we will discover new ways to drop in to the creative process!

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: Arts

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. All lunch containers and eating utensils brought in from home, must be cleaned at home during the COVID pandemic.
Led by Molly Brown-Hill

Explore the layers of Anthropology! This course aims to help us uncover the answers to the question “what makes us human?” We will look to the four subfields in Anthropology to help us answer this. Woven throughout the course will be underlying themes of social justice, identity, privilege, and oppression. This class will push you to think critically and will be lecture and discussion based.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by John Regan

Pop-Up creations are incredible works of art that combine engineering and artistic design.  In this class we will look at the design process behind Pop-Up Art (cards, books, puppet stages, etc).  Students will work with the instructor to learn the techniques behind the mechanisms used to make pop ups possibile.  The class will begin with students making samples of simple/common pop up mechanisms which will lead them to move onto a project of their own design.  The envisioning of tactile materials allows students who prefer working with their hands and following rules to find creative ways to make visually interesting pop-up projects. 

Class Size: 10 Student Max
Pathways: Arts

Led by Ashley Ratliff

Do you want to work on an independent study on something but have a hard time staying on track? Do you have projects you want to complete but need to set aside a time to do so? Do you have homework for any classes and need school time to complete it? Do you need help with any subject? Do you need assignments to complete to work towards gaining credit? If any of these apply to you, this is the perfect class for you!

I will be hosting an online Study Hall/Independent Space where you can come work on your projects and have me there for support and constant help! However, this is not a class you can come in and out of. If you sign up, I expect you to come with something to work on every class or with a willingness to work on an assignment that I will give you.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep and Self-Designed

Led by Alice Ladley

In Queer History: From Pharaohs to First Ladies, we will be delving into the lives of around thirty influential LGBTQ+ people from across the globe. We will also delve into three major “events” in American history that have impacted the LGBTQ+ community in our country.

The accomplishments of LGBTQ+ people become ignored due to their queerness. Queer History is a class that aims to change that. LGBTQ+ individuals have been to space and saved thousands of lives. So why is queerness unheard of in a typical history class?

This class will show how LGBTQ+ people have always existed and contributed to society. Queer History is a class for everyone of every identity. No prior knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community is required. We will go over relevant terminology and cultivate a safe space where questions are encouraged!

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

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

Tuesday/Thursday

Led by Dan Battat at Battat Glass

In this hands-on studio class in glass flameworking, students will gain basic glassworking techniques by creating glass marbles, jewelry, and sculptural forms. Using bench-mounted burners, we will melt borosilicate glass in a 6500-degree flame. A series of demonstrations and skill-building exercises will lead to the independent creation of finished marbles, pendants, and figurines, and students will be able to explore their own unique ideas as well. History of glass and current applications will be discussed in class, and interested students will gain knowledge of outside resources in the field of glass art and sciences.

Class Size: 5 Student Max
Pathways: Tech, Arts

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.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: Tech, Arts

Led by Maghan Baptiste and Lucy Slate

In this college-prep class for students age 15+, we will be reading Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. This book is written with language that is intentional, accessible and creative, weaving together Auto/Biography, nature writing and scientific research to explore the history of land and the importance of fostering a connection to it.

Classes will be divided into reading/discussion days and activity days, with homework assignments in between. On activity days, we’ll engage with writing prompts, outdoor activities and other creative assignments.

We will help students prepare to co-lead at least one class discussion during the course of the block. Through this work, students will develop skills in researching, annotating, writing, and presenting.

Though advanced and geared toward college prep, this class is designed to be a playful and creative environment where risk-taking and mistake-making are happily expected/encouraged. We are so excited to meet you and guide you through this learning process!

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Carlos Peña

Through looking at the design process students will be able to focus on what makes a creative work marketable and easy to sell.  They will develop problem solving skills, design work and collaborate with each other. Partnerships with the community will include working with businesses and other organizations to enhance connection

Class Size: 10 Student Max
Pathways: Tech and Arts

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

Led by David Lane

Know what you want to say, just not sure how to put it into words? Want to participate in group conversations, just not sure how to? Have questions and ideas, just not quite sure how to express them? Are you a good listener, and you want to show others how you can contribute to discussions? Are you already good at speaking, and you want to use your skills to encourage others to share their ideas?

This is the class for you.

Everyone has something valuable to contribute to discussions, and nowadays communication skills are more important than ever. Listening forms the basis for all communication skills, and everyone can become a better listener. In this class, we will focus on building communication skills by exploring a wide variety of topics and materials. We will employ a particular approach to group discussion called “Socratic Seminar,” which focuses on developing new and deeper questions and on listening to each other. In this class, questions will be far more important than answers, but we will also develop new and possibly surprising answers to all kinds of important questions about ourselves, our community, and our world.

Some topics and material that we might explore: works of art, movie clips, TED talks, poems, song lyrics, current events in the news, and issues related to the Holyoke community. Participants will also have the opportunity to produce a variety of learning artifacts if they choose to. Because communication skills are so key to every part of our lives, the class may also help learners navigate topics they encounter in other classes, tutorials, or in aspects of their lives outside of Lighthouse.

Communication is a process. That process can be interesting and sometimes complex, but “complex” does not mean it has to be complicated. This class can show you how.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Joshua Newman

What is it we do to the air around us that makes our ears receive it as sound? …that makes our nerves receive it as a tone? …that makes our brain perceive it as a sound? …and that our mind then perceives it as music? What’s the difference between a beat and a tone? A rhythm and a timbre? Noise and music? Let’s find out!We’re going to build acoustic, electroacoustic, and electronic instruments to explore and find new kinds of music in our minds!

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: Arts and Tech

Led by Steph Zello and Savannah Gosselin

Cryptozoology is the study of monsters, myths and all things that go bump in the night! In this class we will work together to create a field guide for creatures that may or may not exist. This will require us to draw monsters, determine their origin, and discover their strengths and weaknesses. We will study the origins of each monster focusing on the cultures where the myths originated and studying the regional differences in creatures. This class is for anyone who would like to write better monsters, or anyone who just likes spooky stuff!

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: Self-Designed

Led by Nate Maynard

When we see mushrooms popping up out of the soil, we often fail to recognize that they are part of a much larger organism living underground: Fungi. They can be compared to apples fruiting from a tree, but the tree being underground and unseen by our eyes. Because they are usually hidden from view, fungi are often misunderstood and underappreciated – yet they are essential to life on Earth as we know it. In this class we will learn about the evolution of fungi and their roles in the environment; with a particular focus on their impact on human beings. Students will learn some basic identification techniques and will have the opportunity to grow and study their own oyster mushrooms in class.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
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. All lunch containers and eating utensils brought in from home, must be cleaned at home during the COVID pandemic.
Led by Maghan Baptiste

There’s a growing belief that feminism as a form political ideology is outdated or non-inclusive. While there is much space for growth, I believe that that belief is separated from and lacks the context and knowledge of the hard work and organizing done by Black women that began nearly a century ago and continues to shape many movements to this day. This class will introduce students to the writings of Ida B. Wells, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, June Jordan and other black feminist thinkers and artists. We’ll explore introductory ideas around feminism as it relates to race, sexuality, homophobia, xenophobia and building safer communities.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Joshua Newman

A bike gets you places fast by yourself and makes your body strong! It feels like flying and it fits your body like clothes!I’ll teach you how to ride and take care of your bike, from filling the tires and oiling the chain, to replacing cables and chains, to modding it so it fits your body, fits the way you want to ride, and fits your sense of style. We’ll be working on donated bike parts but you can bring your own bike to work on, too!

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: Tech

Led by Steven Fontana

A facilitator-led, tutorial where students engage in learner-specific modules (i.e. IXL, Khan Academy, etc.). Class facilitators will support students in their own individualized mathematical journeys. All skill levels are welcome.

Class Size: 10 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Carlos Peña

In this course, students will practice the art of multimedia storytelling, whether personal, journalistic, persuasive, or fictional, through the use of audio and video technology. Students will be expected to produce their own work and, whenever possible, to publish, submit, or exhibit their work to an authentic audience.  This will include work being highlighted and showcased on Lighthouse Social Media platform.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: Self Design and Arts

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

Calendar

LightHouse begins the year on Tuesday, September 6 and follows a similar schedule to other local schools through June of 2023.

Click to see our full calendar:

Tuesday, September 6, Opening Day, New Student Orientation and Pre-Registration Week

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, September 7-9, All-Student Orientation 

Monday, September 12, Block One classes begin and continue through December 16

Monday, October 10, closed for Indigenous People’s Day

Monday, October 31, closed for Staff Development Day

Monday, November 1, closed for Staff Development Day

Friday, November 11, closed for Veterans Day

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, November 23-25, closed for Thanksgiving

Friday, December 16, End of Block One

Monday, December 19 through Monday, January 2, Closed for Winter Break

Tuesday, January 3, Block Two classes begin and continue through March 24

Monday, January 16, closed for Martin Luther King Day

Monday, Feb 20 through Friday, February 24, closed for February Break

Friday, March 24, End of Block Two

Friday, March 24, closed for Staff Development

Monday, March 27, Block Three begins and continues through June 2

Monday, April 17 through Friday, April 21, closed for April Break

Monday, May 29, Closed for Memorial Day

Monday, June 5 through Thursday, June 8, LAST DAY OF SCHOOL – Presentations Week (all students should be at LightHouse this week)

Friday, June 9, Graduation in the evening (NO SCHOOL TODAY)

Monday, June 12 through Thursday, June 15, End of year meetings with students and families (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