Current Courses


Block One of the 2021-2022 year begins on Monday, September 7th and continues through Friday, December 17th.

Monday/Wednesday

Led by Carlos Peña

Through original case studies about Western MA entrepreneurs, students will learn from entrepreneur’s stories. Students also explore illustration and graphic design through accessible methods and software, and work towards creating an original product using Paper City Clothing Company resources and sales platform. Students can make money selling the product they design (either an article of clothing or household product with original student designed art or messages printed).

This class is designed for both students with previous or no entrepreneurial class experience.All students will move through the program curriculum, while receiving support to work at their own pace towards completing their Entrepreneurship & Design Program Portfolio.

Note: There are two sections of this class: “Section 1a” and “Section 1b.” Students would be taking one or the other, but no both. Though students may opt to take the “Shop Time” class that follows both classes.

Entrepreneurship and Design

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: Entrepreneurship, Arts

Led by Andy Kapinos

This course will use birding to introduce students to field research, wildlife photography, environmental science and ecology. Through field trips, online lectures, and individual identification practice, students will learn to locate and identify bird species, and to document them through photography, audio recording, and list-keeping. We will record our observations in an ongoing field journal and through submission of eBird lists.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Greg Eichler

This course will focus on the basics, background, history, and techniques of music performance. In this course you will:

  • Develop an understanding of fundamental musical concepts
  • Learn and utilize performance techniques
  • Develop listening skills
  • Dabble in music
  • Explore different styles of music and art, as well as where these worlds intersect
  • Discuss methods of promotion and explore ways to market oneself

No previous musical experience required. Come make some music!

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: Arts

Led by Zhana Levitsky

Our culture is obsessed with ghost stories. They thrill us, scare us and leave us unsettled. This class will explore why tales of hauntings are so compelling and what they may have to teach, remind us of, or warn us against. We will explore various media through the following lenses: historical, psychological and experimental, seeking a deeper understanding of this particular genre (which is a sub-category of horror).

We will view TV episodes and films in class and hold weekly discussions. Regular reading and responses will be required, and one term project in the form of a paper or a presentation will be assigned. There will be permission slips to view certain films.

Class Size: 8 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 Carlos Peña

Part of the Entrepreneurship & Design Program, Shop Time is all about hands-on learning and creating at the screen-printing studio of Paper City Clothing Company, a block down from Lighthouse (on the corner of Race Street and Dwight Street). Students can participate in shop projects (lower commitment) or commit to a personalized project plan to work towards producing their own original posters, cards, tee shirts, totes, or makeup bags (higher commitment).  Frequently this class will also feature guest speakers and field trips relating to art, design and entrepreneurship.

Case studies: ArteSana (Holyoke-based social enterprise) and Upscale Socks (Springfield-based company that fundraises with sock sales).

Note: There are two sections of this class: “Section 1a” and “Section 1b.” Students would be taking one or the other, but no both. Though students may opt to take the “Entrepreneurship & Design” class that precedes both classes.

Class Size: 6 Student Max
Pathways: Entrepreneurship, Arts

Led by Andy Kapinos

Towards a toolkit for intuitive cooking and eating: what should I eat and how do I do it? This course is an examination of food that frames our personal choices in the context of physical, social, environmental, and economic health. Lessons and discussions are based around specific cooking tasks and techniques. We will frame these techniques in their cultural contexts and examine the interplay between creating both flavor and nutrition.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: Arts

Led by Greg Eichler

Let’s make music! Each class period we take the necessary steps towards making a band! In this class, you’ll learn how to be part of a musical team, how to perform, and acquire the music basics needed for making music with others. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced, all are welcome! Let’s what you can do!

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: Arts

Led by Alan Gilburg

Superheroes are everywhere today—movies, books, comics, TV shows, Ads, Cosplay Events, et al. There must be hundreds of them as compared with the dozen or so some 50 years ago. How do these Superheroes serve similar roles as did the mythic heroes of ancient times? How do they engage us today in helping us figure out who we are and what we are called to do? We will investigate many Superheroes, based on favorites of class members, using all the media accounts we can find. It could be that we are entering the realm of modern myth. How ready are you to discover?

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Marc Miller

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: 5 Student Max
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.

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 Epi Arias

What are dreams? What do they mean? What are they about? Where do they come from? Is lucid dreaming real? Is life a dream?Are dreams mysterious or completely straight-forward? And on and on and on… If you’re human, you’ve probably asked yourself at least ONE of these questions. (And if you’re not human, we should probably talk. Hah.)

Dreams have forever posed one of humanity’s greatest philosophical, biological, and psychological mysteries to date. Explanations as to the nature of dreams vary almost as much as the dreams themselves do. So, this Fall, armed with imagination, critical reasoning, and a bold, courageous spirit, we’ll be exploring dreams along with the many of enigmatic questions they inspire. Throughout class, we’ll be learning about multiple cultural viewpoints and practices, the psychology of dreaming, dream interpretations and analysis, dream journaling, sleep studies, and doing some real soul-searching.

And of course, we’ll have fun in the process of diving into the mega-weirdness of dreams! One final thing, though it’ll be a fun, philosophical exploration, this class will require a strong commitment to dream journaling and following through on assignments/tasks, so be prepared to get into it! No dream wallflowers, k? :)

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led Emmett DuPont

In this hands on, highly interactive fiber sampler you will learn far more than just knitting. Viking tablet weaving, needle felting, carding raw wool, hand spinning and dying yarn, nuno felting, combining glass and fiber, and much more. You will be expected to complete a high-level project in each fiber competency, and your final will be a large fiber project of your choosing.

In this class, we will contextualize modern fiber production, while focusing on historic fiber techniques starting in 800 AD, all the way up to the most modern techniques for working with fiber in high-fashion. No previous experience necessary; this class will focus on unusual, rare and/or ancient techniques, and knowing the basics of knitting, crocheting etc. will not be useful. This class is only for in person students.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Steph Zello

History was once a major genre of performance. Shows like Hamilton, Six, and Les Miserables have brought back that trend! In this class, we will watch, discuss and perform different pieces of historically accurate plays, musicals, and movies. After each piece has been observed or read, we will discuss, and take notes on, the events that inspired the stories and performances. Each student will have the chance to perform a piece from one of the works that are covered in class.

Class Size: 8 Student Max Onsite
Pathways: College Prep, Arts

Led by Syl Simmons

Welcome to the world of group singing! In this class we’ll go over basic tricks for effectively learning parts in a chorus or round as well various skills like harmonizing and blending, and integrating dynamics. A group warm up will get us ready to dive into a 32-bar section of music we’ll aim to sing together, in full voice, by the end of each class! Along with warm up and vocal exploration, we’ll do a brief breakdown of each piece:

•What are the lyrics saying?

•Where are the significant dynamic choices in the music?

•How can a vocalists interpretation change the piece?

•What trends were they making or breaking at the time?

Reading Music/Music Theory are not required. Come analyze hits from the 1600’s, 1800’s, and today!

Class Size: 8 Student Max Onsite
Pathways: Arts

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

Tuesday/Thursday

Led by Carlos Peña

Through original case studies about Western MA entrepreneurs, students will learn from entrepreneur’s stories. Students also explore illustration and graphic design through accessible methods and software, and work towards creating an original product using Paper City Clothing Company resources and sales platform. Students can make money selling the product they design (either an article of clothing or household product with original student designed art or messages printed).

This class is designed for both students with previous or no entrepreneurial class experience.All students will move through the program curriculum, while receiving support to work at their own pace towards completing their Entrepreneurship & Design Program Portfolio.

Note: There are two sections of this class: “Section 1a” and “Section 1b.” Students would be taking one or the other, but no both. Though students may opt to take the “Shop Time” class that follows both classes.

Entrepreneurship and Design

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: Entrepreneurship, Arts

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 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.

Registering for this class is a 14-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.

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: 8 Student Max
Pathways: Tech, Arts

Led by Ashley Goodfellow-Ratliff

“In psychology, the psyche /ˈsaɪki/ is the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious.”

This “key” 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. Biology of Brain & Behavior
2. Cognition
3. Consciousness
4. Emotion
5. Learning
6. Infant Psychology/Development

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!

Class Size: 8 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 Carlos Peña

Part of the Entrepreneurship & Design Program, Shop Time is all about hands-on learning and creating at the screen-printing studio of Paper City Clothing Company, a block down from Lighthouse (on the corner of Race Street and Dwight Street). Students can participate in shop projects (lower commitment) or commit to a personalized project plan to work towards producing their own original posters, cards, tee shirts, totes, or makeup bags (higher commitment).  Frequently this class will also feature guest speakers and field trips relating to art, design and entrepreneurship.

Case studies: ArteSana (Holyoke-based social enterprise) and Upscale Socks (Springfield-based company that fundraises with sock sales).

Note: There are two sections of this class: “Section 1a” and “Section 1b.” Students would be taking one or the other, but no both. Though students may opt to take the “Entrepreneurship & Design” class that precedes both classes.

Class Size: 6 Student Max
Pathways: Entrepreneurship, Arts

Led by I-SHEA Shaikly

It is important to make connections about the past to understand where we are in the present. Have things really changed? Why? Why not? In this class, we will learn about the history of The Young Lords – a revolutionary community group composed of Latinx and Black New Yorkers who addressed and made change demanding better health care, improved living conditions, and a variety of workers’ rights for Black and Puerto Ricans in New York City.

Students should be prepared to participate in class discussions, take on reading assignments, and record their own ideas either through writing or video presentations.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Joshua Newman

What are symbols? How do we use them? WHY do we use them?

Our systems of symbols—writing, drawing, numbers—help us understand our world and ourselves. They even help us communicate with each other. From company logos (i.e. the Nike swoosh, McDonald’s Golden Arches) to religious icons (i.e. the ying-yang, the Christian cross, etc.), from art to chemical reactions, we’ll be looking at a range of symbols and how we use them to create effects.

We will emerge with new, powerful ways to understand the world, understand how we see it, and understand how we are participating in an evolution of consciousness every day. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions, ask questions, complete short reading and writing assignments both in class and at home.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep, Arts

Led by Emmett DuPont

So, you know how human babies are made, but what about jellyfish, slugs and barnacles? In this class, we will learn about the mysterious mating rituals of animals great and small, the biology of asexual reproduction, and come to understand the very foundations of life around us. Ever wondered how sperm whales got their name, or how to tell if a flower is sexually frustrated? No biology experience is necessary, just curiosity and willingness to talk about sex…a lot.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
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.

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 Steph Zello

Whether your goal is creative writing, video game design, or seriously upping your D&D game, this class will prepare you to construct a fantasy world that is so well put together not even a well-placed plot hole could take it down. Everything from map-making, currency, language development, and the creation of magic systems will be covered as we develop new worlds. By the end of this class, you will leave with a fully developed outline of your world and a template for future use.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep, Arts

Led by Maghan Baptiste

Poetry is For Everyone If you think you’re not a poet, think again! Poetry exists everywhere and for everyone. During this course, we will explore how to talk about poems while also writing poems that we’re excited to talk about! Each class we will read a selection of poems paired with looking at visual art, music, recipes — you name it — and begin building a vocabulary for the things that we notice in the work. We’ll make collages, read poetry reviews and make up our own words for the feelings we can’t quite explain.

During the generative part of the class, students will be given exercises to help them craft their own poems. We’ll move through odes to self-portraits and other poetic forms. This class honors and encourages play through language. By the end of this course, students will write their own short poetry reviews of each other’s work, using the set of tools and language that we’ve created as a class.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep, Arts

Led by Joshua Newman

We’re going to draw a lot of animals! Sometimes we’ll copy artists we like, and sometimes we’ll draw from photographs. The more we learn to draw, the more we learn to see, connecting our eyes to our hands and back through our eyes. We’ll learn to look through the fur and skin, into the structure of animals like us. We’ll learn how they (that is, we) move, learning how they move and evolve. You don’t need to know how to draw, and everyone is in the class to offer support as you learn new ways to see!

Class Size: 10 Student Max
Pathways: Tech, Arts

Led by Darien Acero

In this course, we think about national uprisings of last year as a starting point to look at the roots and branches of American policing and prisons:

  • What purpose do the police and prisons serve in our society, and how to they function?
  • How did the United States develop such an advanced series of systems of surveillance and punishment, and why?
  • Whom do these systems impact the most?
  • What is the composition of the struggles against such systems, what form do they take, and what are their objectives?

In answering these questions, we will look to the Black radical tradition and the abolitionist movement from the Civil War to the burning of the Third Precinct, considering many readings, films, podcasts, and interviews to inform our inquiry.

We should all leave this course with a greater understanding of the racial, gendered, and class dynamics of the United States and how we can move forward into a more free world.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

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 7 and follows a similar schedule to other local schools through June of 2021.

Click to see our full calendar:

Tuesday, September 7, Opening Day, New Student Orientation and Pre-Registration Week

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, September 8-10, All-Student Orientation and Shop Exploratory Days

Monday, September 13, Block One classes begin and continue through December 17

Monday, October 11, closed for Indigenous People’s Day (formerly known as Columbus Day)

Monday, November 1, closed for Staff Development Day

Thursday, November 11, closed for Veterans Day

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, November 24-26, closed for Thanksgiving

Monday, December 13 through Thursday, December 16, Pre-Registration Week and Portfolio Review Days

Friday, December 17, End of Block One

Monday, December 20 through Friday, December 31, Closed for Winter Break

Monday, January 3, Block Two classes begin and continue through March 25

Monday, January 17, closed for Martin Luther King Day

Monday, Feb 21 through Friday, February 25, closed for February Break

Monday, March 21 through Fri, March 25, Pre-Registration Week and Portfolio Review Days

Friday, March 25, End of Block Two

Monday, March 28, Block Three begins and continues through June 3

Monday, April 18 through Friday, April 22, closed for April Break

Monday, May 30, Closed for Memorial Day

Monday, June 6 through Thursday, June 9, LAST DAY OF SCHOOL – Presentations Week and Portfolio Review (all students should be at LightHouse this week)

Friday, June 10, Graduation in the evening (NO SCHOOL TODAY)

Monday, June 13 through Thursday, June 16, 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