Current Courses


Wednesday, January 2nd is Teen Workshop Day.

Block Three of the 2019 year begins on Thursday, January 3rd and continues through Thursday, February 14th. Block Four will begin on Tuesday, February 26th, with a new set of classes.

LightHouse offers a variety of classes which meet twice per week, Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.  Students register in advance for each block, and keep a portfolio of their work. Classes are related to one or more Pathways: Entrepreneurship, Tech, Arts, or College Prep.  Learn more about Pathways HERE.

On Fridays students engage in optional service learning opportunities in our local community.  LightHouse teens work together to select partner organizations and projects.

Monday/Wednesday

Led by Dan Battat

This class is open by permission only with space for four LightHouse students.

This is a two-hour class and will be held at Brick Coworkshop, Dan’s shop on Dwight Street. Students will get dirty, probably suffer minor, occasional burns, and learn to use professional tools to create both art and utilitarian pieces.

Registering for this class is a five-week commitment, four 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: 4 Student Max. – FULL)

Pathways: Arts

Led by Ashley Goodfellow Sulock

Anatomy is the branch of science that discusses the bodily structure of humans, animals and other living organisms. In this anatomy class, we will be focusing specifically on human anatomy. Paramedics, physical therapists, occupational therapists, doctors, nurses, and almost all healthcare related jobs require knowledge of anatomy, so this may be a really great class for students thinking about working in this field in the future. It is also just important to understand how our bodies work!

We will discuss the following topics, which might take more than one block:

  1. Levels of Organization
  2. The Circulatory System
  3. The Digestive System
  4. The Excretory System
  5. The Nervous System
  6. The Reproductive System
  7. The Respiratory System
  8. The Support System
Pathways: College Prep

Led by Ellen Ferris

In this mini-course, we’ll explore themes inspired by the award-winning YA novel (now a movie,too) The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas (see description from author’s website below).

For the majority of sessions, students will choose among discussion topics including code-switching, police brutality, #BlackLivesMatter, Black Jesus, inter-racial dating, white feminism, consent, trauma, grief, social injustice, racism, finding hope, finding your voice, among many others.

How are these themes/issues expressed in our own lives and communities? How do we find, in our own way, the bravery to speak up or act? Where can we find hope when things feel hopeless? Students will complete a final project to be shared (if desired) in class that reflects a theme from the novel.

Projects can be either a written paper, video collage, poem, relevant interview, short story, song, visual art piece, or other pre-approved format. Students will be asked to read the novel outside of class (mostly) to facilitate more time for deeper discussions and activities.

Please note that some sessions may include video of police brutality, listening to music that includes strong language, and frank discussions regarding race, sex, and violence.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: her predominantly white, suburban private school and her poorer, mostly black neighborhood.

The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Everyone wants to know what really went down that night, and the only person who can speak up is Starr. But what she says—or does not say—could destroy her community and even endanger her life.

“You never know how strong you can be until being strong is the only choice you have left.” This song/poem, by Tupac Shakur -from The Rose That Grew from Concrete- inspired Angie Thomas to write her novel. (Class Size: 10 Student Max.)

Full song and lyrics here: https://www.vagalume.com.br/2pac-tupac-shakur/the-rose-that-grew-from-concrete.html

Pathways: English, 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.

Led by Rafael Fields

In a constantly changing environment, having life skills is an essential part of being able to meet the challenges of everyday life. The dramatic changes in global economies have been matched with the transformation in technology and these are all having an impact on education, the workplace and our home life.

To cope with the increasing pace and change of modern life, students need new life skills and abilities to deal with new challenges and stresses. The goal of this class will be to further develop many different skills to gain self-confidence and self-sufficiency, build social and professional skills.

We will cover everything from computer literacy skills like how to efficiently use email, search engines, and google docs, to basic home maintenance skills like how to patch drywall, to the basics of budgeting. We will start with a list of skills to work on, but there will be room for suggestions! (Class Size: 10 Student Max.)

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Darien Acero

Siembra is the new, staff-supported, student-run literary journal of the same name. The committee will meet two times a week, as a peer-run workshop, in order to brainstorm, create, and, ultimately publish, a semi-annual literary journal.

Picking up where we had left off, the student-run Siembra committee will brainstorm, plan, and workshop towards the second edition of LightHouse’s very own literary journal!

Pathways: Arts, College Prep

Led by Epi Arias

Ready to get fit and bulk up! Or maybe you just want to work on some cardio or play a game of basketball? C’mon, let’s get super fit and healthy at the Y! Make sure you bring some gear and your A-Game! (Class Size: 5 Student Max.)

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. 
Led Ryan Carnes

In this class we’ll be going over the basics of painting using a variety of mediums and methods as well as discussing some historical examples. No prior experience is necessary. A desire to create is all that’s required.

(Class Size: 8 Student Max.)

Pathways: Arts, Tech, Entrepreneurship

Led by Carlos Peña and Rafael Fields

Find out what it takes to create a successful podcast, from inception, to research, to recording and finally, getting it out there! We’ll also walk you through the best workflow to smooth-out the process of creating your podcast while simultaneously schooling you on the technical aspects of this booming and exciting field!

(Class Size: 8 Student Max.)

Pathways: Arts, Tech, Entrepreneurship

Led by Ashley Goodfellow Sulock

In this 8 week research class, five students will begin research projects on a topic that they are passionate about.

Some parts of class will deal with different research methods, data collection, and how to write a research report in a variety of ways.

Each class will be about 25{5b128d0e93d7a9f6330c62ad07a90d114acff0a757d73b21460feebca967f67c} classroom discussion and about 75{5b128d0e93d7a9f6330c62ad07a90d114acff0a757d73b21460feebca967f67c} independent research. Ashley will be helping each student get their research to completion and will aide in helping each student find resources during their research.

We will spend time specifically going over these things and much more:

  • Different research methods
  • Data collection
  • Surveying
  • Interviewing
  • Formatting
  • Bibliography

Any topic is fair game to research, and we will spend the first class exploring and brainstorming all of the many different topics that may be of interest.  (Class Size: 5 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 Kamil Peters

This class is open by permission only with space for five LightHouse students. This is a three-hour class and will be held at DieselWorks, Kamil’s shop on Dwight Street. Students will get dirty, probably suffer minor, occasional burns, and learn to use professional tools to create both art and utilitarian pieces.

Registering for this class is an 15 class 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. – FULL)

Pathways: Arts

Led by Joshua Newman

Learn how to make art that’s technically demanding. Build electronics and robots, draw and bind your own comic and books, make puppet and clay animation, and draw from life to make your characters and scenes look the way you want them to.
Pathways: Art, Tech, College Prep

Led by Eric Ciocca.

This course will be led by video game programmer, Eric Ciocca, active, professional game developer at Hitpoint Games. In this class, students will go step-by-step through the Unity environment, learning each tool while learning how to integrate outside assets, sound, animation, game physics and much more. Video Game Programming II will be more geared towards creative inspiration and coming up with programmable ideas. (Class Size: 7 Max.)

Pathways: Tech, College Prep

Led by Sofia Goetz

In Through Our Ancestor’s Eyes: Latinx Cinema Surrounding the Latinx Identity, we are going to be watching classic Latinx films in English and Spanish (with subtitles). At the end of each movie, each student in the class will write a film review (1/2- 1 full page). The schedule of the course will be Tuesday (Movie Day) and Thursday (Discussion/Review Day). The goal for the end of the course is to not only have a portfolio of film reviews, but work on writing and understanding the vast culture that is Latinidad. (Class Size: 10 Max.)

Pathways: Arts, English, College Prep

Led by Ashley Goodfellow Sulock.

Organized crime is a criminal enterprise that has existed throughout history with the goal to gain profit from illegal activities that are in public demand. These organizations have continued to exist in America through corruption of public office and tactics such as: intimidation, threats, or force.

Each class will involve extensive note taking and writing, as well as heavy class discussion. Each week we will discuss the theories of organized crime, the implications in society, and case studies on some of the most famous criminals in history:

Week 1: Definitions of Organized Crime & The Five Families

Week 2: Organizing the Commission of Crimes & Al Capone

Week 3: Organized Crime Markets & Mikey Cohen

Week 4: Infiltration of Organized Crime in Business and Government & Lucky Luciano

Week 5: Conceptualizing and Measuring Organized Crime & John Gotti

Week 6: Causes and Facilitating Factors of Organized Crime & Bugsy Siegel

Week 7: Models of Organized Criminal Groups & Sam DeCavalcante

Week 8: Law Enforcement Tools and Cooperation & Maria Licciardi

Pathways: College Prep

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

Led by Darien Acero

The Prison Industrial Complex and Prison Abolition: Histories and Futures: Prisons have become a ubiquitous element in the American landscape, with far-reaching and profound affects both within our country and globally. We can look to commonly repeated statistics, such as that the United States represents just under 5{5b128d0e93d7a9f6330c62ad07a90d114acff0a757d73b21460feebca967f67c} of the world population and yet is home to almost 25{5b128d0e93d7a9f6330c62ad07a90d114acff0a757d73b21460feebca967f67c} of all those incarcerated globally, to see how the incarceration industry in our country is booming.

Prisons are just one thread in the web of what’s called the prison industrial complex, a network of industries and institutions arrayed across the public and private sectors ranging from parole and probation to jails and bail bondsmen, to food distribution and communications companies, to police departments and school resource officers that are all involved in the project of, and often times profiting from, surveillance and punishment in the United States.

In this class we will work to disentangle this web to investigate the rise of mass incarceration in the United States, what the prison industrial complex is and all of its interconnected parts and processes, and its impact across race, class, gender, age, and national boundaries.

We will not stop at historical roots and present realities, however, but also work to imagine what a world without prisons might look like, and how folks are already, and have always been, building that dream into reality. (Class Size: 8 Students Max.)

Pathways: English, College Prep

Led by Rafael Fields, Co-Taught by Donevin Cubi & Jhaydon Santiago

This class will be an opportunity to learn and practice the skills of structured debate while being able to argue over video games.

Each class period will start with a specific question about video games. It could be a general question like which is the best racing game, or a specific question about which is the best long range weapon in a Black Ops. From this question two final answers will be chosen, and a team assigned to each one.

We will then hold a structured debate to decide on the ultimate answer. he structure of debate will consist generally of an opening statement from one team followed by a cross examination from the opposing team and a response from the initial team. Then the same process will occur with the opposite team presenting. Finally, there will be closing statements from both teams.

We will attempt to hone our skills in constructing and deconstructing arguments. We will practice playing devil’s advocate and build arguments for positions that we don’t necessarily support.

Students will be expected to engage in debate specific research outside of class on occasion, and possibly to bring in written statements in support of a position/conclusion.

(Class Size: 8 Students Max.)

Pathways: College Prep

Led by Harold Burnett

In Introduction to Theater, students were provided with a hands-on, entirely experiential introduction to acting, improvisation, and performance criticism. In Theater II, students will continue to hone their craft and fine-tune their upcoming theater performance! Actors needed!

(Class Size: 8 Student Max.)

Pathways: Art, College Prep

Led by Joshua Newman

Supported Maker Studio. Teacher Joshua Newman will be present, assisting any students who want help working on any making projects (electronics, art, carpentry…) Joshua will be working on his own professional projects during this time as well, à la artist in residency. Students must clean up after themselves.

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. 
Led by Brandon Pinkney

Students will be taught the fundamentals of geology, with a focus on mineral science. Topics will include crystal identification, morphology (the forms minerals take and how/why they grow the way they grow) as well as their current and historical uses.

Some experiments (crystal growing) will be done throughout the block to demonstrate the science behind the mineralization process, and as students progress through the course, they will receive minerals to start/add to their own collections. (Class Size: 10 Student Max.)

Pathways: Arts, Tech, College Prep

Led by Rafael Fields

As you may know, there is a lot going on in the world. This class will be an opportunity to learn a bit about some of it. We will talk about actual current events and news stories, as well as build some foundational skills for how to learn about current events, how to find information sources, and how to evaluate them.

We will learn about major news sources, as well as peripheral and alternative news sources in a variety of mediums. We will spend some time in class reading articles, as well as watching clips, along with lectures, individual presentations, and group discussion. We will discuss things like credibility, objectivity, balanced reporting, and bias.

We will try to build a portfolio of go to sources which each student will be responsible for checking throughout the block. A major news sources we will use for international news will be a blog written by Vincent Ferraro, Professor Emeritus of Politics at Mount Holyoke College (viewable here: https://vferraro1971.wordpress.com/). Students are expected to read this blog every day. Don’t worry, though, they are very short!

We will have 10 question quizzes each class period to help us commit some basic facts to memory. Much of this class will be on learning important historical information in order to give context and meaning to current events. As part of this class, each student will choose a specific story to track throughout the block. This could be a major headline news story or it could be something much lower profile.

The goal will be for each student to become the resident expert on that story and to keep the rest of the class updated throughout the block. Along with these updates, each student will be expected to write a short update on their story which will be posted on a class blog curated by myself. Posts can be as short as a paragraph or as long as a short article. (Class Size: 10 Student Max.)

Pathways: College Prep, English, Tech

Led by Carlos Peña

It’s absolutely crucial that we all know how to type, especially in 2019! It’s really easy to fall behind without this skill set. Good thing you don’t have to fall behind the competition! This course will help you type better, faster, and more efficiently!

Pathways: English, Tech, Entrepreneurship

Maker Space is open and available for exploration, experimentation, and general making of all kinds. Students must clean up after themselves.
Use this time for independent study, homework, personal projects, socializing, advisory meetings, and/or one-on-one tutorials.

Calendar

LightHouse began the year on Tuesday, September 4, and follows a similar schedule to other local schools through early June of 2019.

Click to see our full calendar:

Tuesday, September 4: Opening Day and Orientation

Wednesday, September 5, Block 1 begins and continues through October 26

Monday, October 8, closed for Columbus Day

Monday, October 29, teen workshop day 1 (a day of learning workshops instead of classes)

Tuesday, October 30, Block 2 begins and continues through December 19

Tuesday, November 6, closed for Staff Development Day

Monday, November 12, closed for Veteran’s Day

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday November 21-23, closed for Thanksgiving

Thursday, December 20 through Tuesday, January 1, Closed for Winter Break.

Wednesday, January 2, Block 3 begins and continues through February 15

Monday, January 21, closed for Martin Luther King Day

Monday, Feb 18 through Friday, February 22, closed for February Break

Monday, February 25, teen workshop day 2 (a day of learning workshops instead of classes)

Tuesday, February 26, Block 4 begins and continues through April 12

Monday, March 18, closed for Staff Development Day

Monday, April 15 through Friday, April 19, closed for April Break

Monday, April 22, teen workshop day 3 (a day of learning workshops instead of classes)

Tuesday, April 23, Block 5 begins and continues through May 31

Monday, May 27, Closed for Memorial Day

Monday, June 3 through Thursday, June 6 (LAST DAY OF SCHOOL)- Presentations Week
(all students should be at LightHouse this week, half-time students welcome to come every day)

Friday, June 7, Graduation in the evening (NO SCHOOL TODAY)

Monday, June 10 through Thursday, June 13, End of year meetings with students and families
(one 30 minute slot per family—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