Current Courses


Block Three of the 2021 year begins on Monday, March 29th and continues through Friday, June 4th.

Monday/Wednesday

Led by Carlos Peña

This class is designed for both students who participated in Block Two as well as for students who did not. With the new program structure starting in Block Three, all students will move through the program curriculum (see outline below), while receiving support to work at their own pace towards completing their Entrepreneurship & Design Program Portfolio.

Through original case studies about Western Mass 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).

See an overview of the entire Entrepreneurship and Design Program and the link below.

Entrepreneurship and Design

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: Entrepreneurship, Arts

Led by Emmett DuPont

Medical Ethics aims to grapple with some of the most contentious questions in modern medicine; animal testing, medical consent, abortion and stem cell research, human trials, the pain management industry, forced sterilization, sperm banks and egg donation, surrogacy, discarded biological material from surgeries, vaccination mandates, vaccine prioritization, trans youth healthcare, off label prescriptions, doctor-assisted suicide and so much more! Not sure what some of these things are? This class will invite you into the wide, deep, and complex world of confounding ethical gray areas, moral dilemmas and mind-boggling case studies of medical ethics!

This class will be rigorous, covering lots of ground and oscillating between presentations that will help you fully grasp the complexities of these topics, and in classroom discussions where you will hone and discuss your own opinions, developing your own sense of right and wrong within the nuanced world of medical ethics.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Greg Eichler

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

-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

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: Arts

Led by Tyler Perrone

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

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).

Entrepreneurship and Design

Class Size: 6 Student Max
Pathways: Entrepreneurship, Arts

Led by Sophia Eytel

A facilitator-led, tutorial where students work on writing projects with the help of our writing lab tutor. Creative Writing Lab is open to all students and operates on a walk-in basis.

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

Led by Alan Gilburg

You may think that Shakespeare is old, outdated and irrelevant to our fast moving modern world. And, in some ways, that may be partially true, particularly if you think all that counts is being in with the latest fads, and that the only valid education consists in STEM courses. If, on the other hand, you want to connect with an authentic genius who managed to probe the messy world of human strengths and limitations, virtues and vices, good and evil, you may find Shakespeare is a veritable gold mine.

In this course we are going to read and act out two of Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth, and OthelloMacbeth explores our human dark side, while Othello explores the consequences of jealousy, racism, and unchecked power over others.

If time allows we will also read Oedipus the King, by the ancient Greek playwright, Sophocles. This is a tragedy based on hubris (human overreaching) and the fragility of power and how power leads to blindness.

Class Size: 10 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

“Finite players play to win; infinite players play to continue play.” -James Carse. 

“Finite + Infinite Games: A Philosophy of Possibility” explores the super varied nature of human interaction, choice, freedom, space, and the social agreements we -or don’t make- with our world. Based on the book by same name, this class will explore a refreshingly different angle on the way we normally see things with the aim of reinventing how we see ourselves and CHOOSE to relate to the world around us.

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

Led Lillian Roberts

A birth doula is a professionally trained and experienced caregiver who provides continuous support and companionship before, during, and just after childbirth.

The word “doula” is derived from an ancient Greek word for a female slave who would assist with childbirth in the ancient Greek household. Although the modern professional term—defined as “one who serves”—first gained popularity in the late 1960s, this essential support role is timeless and prevalent throughout many historical cultures.

A birth doula provides guidance, emotional support, and assistance to the birthing person or family in getting the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. The doula’s role is non-medical and emotionally oriented, and a doula nurtures and protects the birthing person’s memory of their birth experience, recognizing birth as a unique experience that a parent will remember all their life.

In this class, you will become familiar with the physiology of normal labor and birth, learn how to care for the emotional needs of a person in labor, and gain skills to help birthing persons prepare for the birth experience they want.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Steph Zello

In this course, we will follow a typical costume design from script to stage, as well as analyze existing costumes and create our own designs. We will have basic lessons in the history of fashion, color, fabric, and being able to identify characters as costumes. You will also learn to scale and create patterns for clothing using mathematical formulas and practical measurements.

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

This class is designed for both students who participated in Block Two as well as for students who did not. With the new program structure starting in Block Three, all students will move through the program curriculum (see outline below), while receiving support to work at their own pace towards completing their Entrepreneurship & Design Program Portfolio.

Through original case studies about Western Mass 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).

See an overview of the entire Entrepreneurship and Design Program and the link below.

Entrepreneurship and Design

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: Entrepreneurship, Arts

Led by Dan Battat

In this hands on studio class in glass flameworking, students will gain basic techniques as needed in the creation of glass marbles, jewelry and sculptural forms. Using propane and oxygen fueled torches or burners, we will melt borosilicate glass in a 6500 degree flame. A series of exercises will lead to 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. In this class, we will also cover the safety and basics of glass flameworking. Students will create a series of marbles, pendants and figurines designed to teach competency in glass flamework.

Registering for this class is a 9-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: 10 Student Max
Pathways: Tech, Arts

Led by Emmett Wald with Holyoke Codes

Sick of being stuck inside because of winter and covid? This class will give you a chance to explore the great outdoors, whether you live in a city or on a mountain! This class will illuminate all the incredible things nature is doing right outside your window, from the life cycles of plants and animals to the formation of clouds.

Learn how to keep a field notebook, identify wildlife, participate in citizen science, track the passing seasons, and more. This class will involve several optional field trips. Homework mostly involves going outside and writing/drawing/measuring what you find.

Class Webpage: https://digitsandbytes.edublogs.org/nature-spring-2020/

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).

Entrepreneurship and Design

Class Size: 6 Student Max
Pathways: Entrepreneurship, Arts

Led by Joshua Newman

We’ll build machines that make easy things harder! We’ll use chains of simple causes — a marble rolling down a track, a fan blowing book pages, a rubber band releasing a pencil — to do tasks so simple, it would be easier to do anything else! It’s not about the results. It’s about the process. Which is great because the results are usually a mess. It’s gonna be ridiculous. You’ll love it.

Class Size: 10 Student Max
Pathways: Tech, 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 a third iteration of 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: 10 Student Max
Pathways: Arts

Led by Steph Zello

This course will focus on developing your craft as an actor, as well as your public speaking skills. We will work on script analysis, body awareness, and stage presence, as well as staying well while taking on the challenges of your characters. You will give performances and analyze your peer’s performances with the goal of making us all better actors.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Emmett DuPont & Stephanie Moore with Holyoke Rows

The Connecticut River is our classroom. From our kayaks, we will discover the local wildlife and monitor the nearby eagles nest as the parents hatch and raise their fledglings. We will participate in the Connecticut River Conservancy’s weekly river sampling and learn about its health. And because physics can actually be fun, we will explore why boats float and how to make them move. Dress warmly as it is always colder than you think on the river.

What to expect: On the first class of each week, we will be out on the river in kayaks, learning about river ecology, physics, biology, and nature conservation. On the second class of each week, we will go out to the river for some free paddling time. Bring your artists sketchpad, fishing gear, or even your lunch! On rainy days, class will be canceled.

This class takes place at Holyoke Rows, a 7 minute drive and 15 minute bike ride from LightHouse. Advisor Emmett DuPont will lead the free paddle days, as well as biking back and forth with students twice a week for class. If your parent is not able to give you a ride and you do not have a bicycle, LightHouse will provide a bicycle (please give us as much lead time as possible).

If you would like to take this class but do not want to bike back and forth, we are currently working on coordinating a carpool. You must wear a helmet while biking and a lifejacket while paddling. You are eligible to enroll in this class regardless of your advising cohort, as the class will be entirely outside on the Connecticut River in kayaks.

Class Size: 8 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Steven Stover

This is a comparative film discussion group that will use select films to explore how ideas are translated into image and story. The class will focus on relationship, both as a theme between characters within a narrative, and as a way to understand our role as the audience. Students will compare and contrast assigned media with aspects from their personal viewing history to explore their understanding of how art succeeds or fails at conveying a message, and whether that matters beyond personal interpretation or mere entertainment.

Class Size: 10 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep, Arts

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 I-SHEA Shaikly

Dive into the world of music through the eyes of Latinx artists like Pacheco, Celia, Tito Puente, Sheila E, Selena, JLO, Cardi B to name a few. How did African music influence Latin American music? Who are the keepers/griots of Afro diasporic traditional/folk art? Learn about music from the African diaspora: from Bomba, Palo, Salve to Hip Hop. The rhythms. The melodies. The conversation. Latin American music history runs deep!

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

Led by Joshua Newman

We’re gonna build cool little computers to be the way we want! We’ll be designing, constructing, painting, and til we’ve got computers we can wear, or stick beside our bed like an alarm clock, or jam in our purses, or that can drive themselves around! We’ll start with some specialized parts and some parts we have just lying around, taking stuff apart and repurposing them. What you build will be yours to keep, since you built it the way you wanted! We’ll be programming in Python, which Joshua doesn’t really know yet, so we’re going to learn together!

Class Size: 10 Student Max
Pathways: Tech, Arts

Led by Ashley Goodfellow-Ratliff

**IMPORTANT: This class is only open to students who took Just In Case – The First File in Block 2. Those of you who took The Ash Files will be familiar with the design for this class, except this year, we have a twist. Not only will we be talking true crime, but we will be studying some of the most prevalent theories in the field of criminology. This class will take place over two blocks, with this one being the second installment.

We will cover the following theories:

  • Rational Choice Theory
  • Trait Theory
  • Social Structure Theories
  • Social Process Theories

Recently, a wave of interest has washed over the true crime community. Documentaries, books, podcasts, and movies have become so popular that the “armchair detective” has been created. These “armchair detectives” study, research, and analyze these true crime stories and speculate on the who, what, when, where, why, and hows of the case.

Through the study of true crime, these armchair detectives learn about profiling, police procedures, and court proceedings. It also facilitates problem solving and critical thinking skills. In order to analyze true crime, the armchair detective must be willing to always think outside of the box and keep an open mind.

The following is a list of the cases that we will be studying (in no particular order – students will vote on the order that we will cover each case):

1. The Murder of Laci Peterson
2. The Mysterious Death of the Yuba County Five
3. The Infamous Dexter Killer
4. The Cold Case of Brian Shaffer
5. The Murder of Ron Stovall
6. The Cold Case of Tara Calico

CLASS REQUIREMENTS: This class will involve VERY heavy note taking (if this scares you it’s OKAY because I am here to help you develop those skills).

The class will also involve a writing assignment after every case. CAMERAS MUST BE TURNED ON FOR THE ENTIRE DURATION OF CLASS.

Class Size: 15 Student Max
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Darien Acero

What is a meme? What is the function of memes in the contemporary world? In this class we’ll discuss, create, and laugh at memes together. We’ll seek both to understand modes of iterative (meaning repeating, building on themselves/each other) internet information sharing and forms of pre-, post-, and non-internet “memes.”

Through memes we’ll discuss popular culture, politics, history, current events, and seek to unpack how narratives are built on a societal level and how sub- or counter-narratives and -cultures form, branch out, and establish themselves.

We’ll talk about propaganda, advertising, and media literacy and how these relate to truth and morality. Hopefully we’ll all come away with more humor and understanding of the world!

Class Size: 10 Student Max (Online Only)
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 8 and follows a similar schedule to other local schools through June of 2020.

Click to see our full calendar:

Tuesday, September 8, New Student Orientation (new, incoming students only)

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, September 9-11, All-Student Orientation

Monday, September 14, Block One begins and continues through December 18

Monday, October 12, closed for Columbus Day

Monday, November 2, closed for Staff Development Day

Wednesday, November 11, closed for Veterans Day

Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24 Mid-Block Workshops

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, November 25-27, closed for Thanksgiving

Mon, December 14 through Fri, December 18, Portfolio Review Days and Workshops

Monday, December 21 through Friday, January 1, closed for Winter Break

Monday, January 4, Block Two begins and continues through March 26

Monday, January 18, closed for Martin Luther King Day

Monday, Feb 15 through Friday, February 19, closed for February Break

Monday, March 8, closed for Staff Development Day

Thursday/Friday, March 24-25, Portfolio Review Days

Monday, March 29, Block Three begins and continues through June 4

Monday, April 19 through Friday, April 23, closed for April Break

Monday, May 31, Closed for Memorial Day

Monday, June 7 through Thursday, June 10, Presentations Week and Portfolio Review (all students expected at LightHouse this week)

Friday, June 11, Graduation in the evening (no school today)

Monday, June 14 through Thursday, June 17, 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