Natural Latin II (Michael J. Coffey)

We continue where we left of in Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata: Familia Romana and extend our understanding of Latin.  In villa Iulii, Iulia plorat et Marcus ridet.  Aemilia irata est.  Iulius et servi ad villam venit.  

In this term we’ll finally see the rest of the possible cases that Latin has to offer.  We’ll learn how to talk about kissing, and about buying and selling things.  We’ll differentiate between ‘this’ and ‘that.’  And we’ll find out where that dastardly Medus went and why he stole nummi Iulii.

As with Natural Latin I, you will be expected to do some daily practice with your Anki flash cards between sessions.  Prerequisite:  Natural Latin I.

Buying a copy of the book is optional, but previous students have found it helpful.

About the instructor: Michael Coffey magnus magister est.

Food Bank (Chrissy)

This is a mega class.

Head down to the Rainier Valley Food Bank, help them unload and prepare several pallets’ worth of food to give to people who need it. Physical labor! Cool people! Max of 12 students

Your Own Words (a class for Summarize THIS! graduates and some others) (Scobie)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

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Ok, you’ve got your basic writing act together. You know what it means to wright tightly from a source, and your grammar and punctuation is getting mostly reliable. You can produce reasonably polished work without an editor.

Now you need the challenge of flexing all these muscles more creatively and generating your own words and awesome ideas!

I’ll give a project or a prompt or a format to write in each week, and you’ll loosen up, get brave, and produce something original within the scope of that week’s work.

In class we’ll read your work aloud, or sometimes quietly, and share thoughts, and I’ll give coaching. Some weeks we’ll re-issue the assignment to refine or expand or improve it. Other weeks, we’ll move on.

  • This class is listed as HS-only, but middle schoolers may join with instructor permission, which may include getting an advisor recommendation, and or doing a writing sample.
  • 70 minute slot minimum.

Geometry, Spring Term (Scobie) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Ok, let’s make this a complete Geometry class!





We’ll continue to explore the major geometry topics through spring term to complete the course. You know who you are!

  • planning on using a block slot to get three classes per week
  • expect in-class tests, quizzes, and puzzles
  • expect collaboration on some work,
  • expect homework, which will vary in size, small assignments during the week, occasional larger assignments during the 4-day weekend gap between block meetings

Geography of Asia (Sam) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Asia! One of the most complex regions on the planet earth. It is a beautiful place that holds so much ancient history, mystery, and fascination. This class will study an area of the world that we don’t always focus on. We will be on a virtual journey traveling to each country and discovering what awesome things each territory has to offer. Some will be familiar, but most will be brand new. Also, we will talk about how this continent’s exports benefit the world as a whole.


Newspaper (Sam)

Writing! One of the best ways to share ideas, thoughts, and current events. Wouldn’t it be great to have a school newspaper in the form of an online blog? Let’s make our dreams into reality and create the school’s very first online newspaper. We can share our daily happening on campus and beyond. This will help our community (and beyond) hear a little more about what makes PSCS a great place to be!


Desert Ecosystems (Chrissy)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This will be the third ecosystem class installment that will focus on the earth’s deserts. In this class, students will focus on all types of desert ecosystems which make up around 1/5th of the total landmass of our earth. While students will study different kinds of deserts, one thing they all have in common is they are all arid or dry. That does not mean they are lifeless areas – on the contrary, deserts are home to vast numbers of plants, animals, and organisms.

Students will have weekly homework that will build their knowledge of these unique and sensitive ecosystems.

Antarctic Desert

Atacama Desert – Chile

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Art and Journaling (elizabeth) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

This class will be focused on writing, documenting and creating in a journal or journal-like book AND mixing art and different creations into your journal.

Journaling is one of the most effective ways to get yourself writing, expressing yourself and understanding yourself better. We will do just that in this class and will find ourselves at local coffee houses/tea houses occasionally.

This class is perfect for you if need to slow down, reflect, write and engage in your personal creativity.

I will have prompts and provide some fun supplies.

If you are not one to “normally” take a class like this, please consider how alil slow down and write/create for yourself could support your mental and emotional well being.

Middle School Read Aloud (Scobie)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

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If you love listening to writing and stories read aloud, this is for you. Some discussion. Mostly just listening.

Dictionary Game (Scobie)

Yup, it’s that game where you make up plausible definitions for inscrutable words and then try to guess which one is the REAL definition. Sometimes we do it the other way around: read a definition and make up the word! Over the years, we have had more fun and hilarity with the dictionary game than should be allowed in a lifetime, but we’re going to keep on playing, regardless. Newcomers welcome: you’ll get whatever coaching you need to play well.

Summarize THIS! (Scobie)


The in-school coached work session! See “Coached Writing Session (for Summarize THIS!)” in the class blog, and talk to your advisor!

This class is primarily a homework class in which you’ll do one piece of edited, finished writing, from a half page to two pages per week, to a specific word count. Expect to listen to the audio or video source piece several times (Excerpts from  This American Life, The Moth, and other well-produced audio/videos are common). Then you’ll take notes, make a draft, improve it using a check-list. Finally, you’ll work with your editor to further improve your work every week. For most students, it’s a several hours of work each week, but a great investment in becoming a competent writer.

  • As usual, credit for the class requires all summaries to be complete and up to the checklist standards for the class.
  • If this is a repeat class for you,  I’ll be asking you to up your game.
  • IMPORTANT: All writers are required to find and work with a qualified and willing mentor/editor for every assignment. I can be editor for up to two students this spring term. If you hope to have me as your editor, ask early. I reserve the right to choose who I will edit for.
  • Must be scheduled in a 70 minute slot.
  • All students are encouraged to use the in-school coached writing session offered this term.

MS Math Lab (Nic)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

Math is an art, even if our culture does not usually see it that way. Mathematicians make patterns out of imaginary ideas. (Whoa.) Math is wondering, playing, asking questions, and finding ways to do it beautifully.*

This is the math I want to do with you: math that will make you think “Oh, so this is math too? I actually like this!”

I won’t be teaching you how to calculate this, that, or the other thing. (Though you might find yourself doing some of that.) I won’t be having you practice some specific technique over and over until you’ve memorized it. (Though you may find yourself getting better at some techniques.)

Mostly, I’m just going to get you playing math.

I’ll bring in activities for us all to do together, with me facilitating. This won’t be the choose-your-thing-and-go-in-a-room model of Math Jam; it’ll be all of us in one room doing the thing I’ve brought in.


* Credit for some of this language to Paul Lockhart’s famous essay.

Soccer in the Grass (Nic)

What? You mean we can kick the ball around twice a week?!

Yes: Once in the gym, and once outside.

Let’s jog up to Yesler Terrace, set up some cones, and have a lot of fun. Maybe we’ll even try playing on that little kiddie field some times…

A Visit From The Goon Squad (Nic) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

A Visit From The Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan’s (are-they-short-stories-or-is-it-a-)novel, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve ever read.

I’d like to read it again. With you.

Here are some things reviewers have said about it:

  • it’s a “star-crossed marriage of lucid prose and expertly deployed postmodern switcheroos”
  • it’s about “how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, and lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn”
  • it’s “a frequently dazzling piece of layer-cake metafiction”

It’s about rock ‘n’ roll, getting older, how fast the world changes, and the elusiveness of happiness.

We’ll average ~30 pages of reading per night.

Required texts/materials: A copy of the text. The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Poetry II (Sam)

Creative thought expressed through the written word. In this class, we will experiment, play with words, ideas and the devices people use to make poems. Let’s explore how poetry impacts our society both in America and abroad through different styles, subject matters and how poems shape our lives as a whole.

Sociology of Gender (elizabeth)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is open to HS and 8th graders who come chat with me. The reading and content is upper level and I want to make sure we both feel confident in your ability to keep up.

Gender is arguably the most salient characteristic determining one’s place in any society. Gender is the first thing you notice about another person and your assessment of a person’s gender often shapes your expectations of that person. These expectations (which are often requirements) can greatly impact individuals in their moment to moment experiences.

The sociology of gender focuses on the historical and social construction of gender. We will look at how gender is constructed at the level of society as well as how we engage in the re-creation and construction of gender in our everyday lives. Gender will be explored as an institution and a system as well as how it influences individuals. Because gender does not exist in a vacuum, gender will be discussed in relation to its intersection with other social locations such as race, class, sexuality, age, and ethnicity..

In this class we will be reading excerpts from one of the MOST influential and well-known books in gender studies and sociology “Paradoxes of Gender,” by Judith Lorber and reading the book “Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School” by CJ Pascoe.

This class will involve discussion, reading and completing a personal project on gender.

Would love to get a variety of students who’ve never taken a Queer History class or feminism and students who have!

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Choir! Choir! Choir! (Liana and Chrissy) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Love singing? Join us!

Don’t know if you are a singer but want to try it out? Join us!

All are welcome.

We will use popular songs from the Toronto based drop-in choir group Choir! Choir! Choir!

We are also hoping to open this up to the community as well and get more voices to come join us!

Electronic Music Collective (Sam & Shane)

An exploration of composition, production, and keyboard musicianship through the use of electronic musical instruments, computers, and a variety of compositional, production, and instructional software. Students develop increased fluency in note-reading, ear-training, listening, keyboarding, and music vocabulary.

(Teacher approved)

Please have a computer and headphones.


Required texts/materials: You need to have a computer that can run specific music software. Also you must have you own headphones. Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: 4/15/19 The first day of Spring Term

Mishmash (Liana)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

Continuing from previous term, new members by permission only.

Required texts/materials: You will need your instrument, your music, and a pencil at each rehearsal.

Chrissy and Shane’s Walk and Talk (Chrissy)

Back in the day I led a class called walk and talk and Shane always joined! In honor of Shane’s final term at PSCS – we are going to do a cafe walk and talk. Each week we will enjoy the hopefully nice spring weather walking to various cafe destinations. Students will be able to get a beverage if they like but we will enjoy them outside so as not to overwhelm the spaces. Join us for a walk and talk and beverage!

If you would like a beverage, you will be responsible for bringing your own money.

What Are We Fighting For? Part 2 (Larry Metzger)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

What Are We Fighting For? Part 2


This class is open only to those students who took my winter term class, “What Are We Fighting For: The Vietnam War.”


During the winter term we saw how, over a period of twenty years, the United States became increasingly involved in Vietnam, until 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson sent combat troops to that country in an effort to defeat the Vietcong and their North Vietnamese allies. This term we will study that war (called American War by the Vietnamese) and its aftermath. How did the United States, its allies, and its enemies fight that war? Why did Americans inflict so much violence against Vietnamese civilians? To what extent did that violence constitute war crimes? How does the violence and brutality of such wars affect the soldiers who fight in them? Why did the United States lose? What were the legacies and lessons of the Vietnam War?


There will be two required books for the course, The Lessons of the Vietnam War, edited by Jerold Starr (which you already have) and If I Die in a Combat Zone, a memoir of Tim O’Brien’s time in Vietnam. Both new and used editions of If I Die in a Combat Zone can be purchased online from Powell’s Books in Portland,, and Elliott Bay Book Company. Assume that it will take about 5 days for the book to be delivered after you have ordered it. I’ve listed a price range (rather than a single price) for If I Die in A Combat Zone, because the prices of used copies can vary significantly.

About the instructor: I am a retired history teacher who has been volunteering at PSCS for four years. I keep coming back because the wonderful students and staff make being at PSCS so much fun. When I am not at PSCS I can be found spending time with my beloved wife and my delightfully crazy dog; reading; hiking; snowshoeing; and attending theater, ballet, concerts, and opera.

Required texts/materials:

  1. The Lessons of the Vietnam War, edited by Jerold Starr (which students already have)
  2. If I Die in A Combat Zone, by Tim O'Brien (which students will have to purchase)
Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: April 15

Ultimate (Nic)

Springtime! We’ll jog back up to the grass field at Yesler Terrace to run, throw, catch, swat, and maybe even dive for a disc or two!

Bridge (Jack & Vince)

This class will be pretty self-explanatory. We will convene once a week to play the wonderful game of Bridge. Please have a basic understanding of the game — knowing some conventions may be useful, but we will use flowcharts to remind ourselves.

Music Theory Sandbox (Liana) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

This will be an open session for taking your music theory abilities to the next level and/or applying them to something you are interested in. I can help you develop ideas, and will be on hand to answer questions/help, but ultimately you’ll be picking a project or setting a course of study for yourself and going about your business.

Here are some ideas for taking your theory to the next level:

  • Practice existing skills on ToneSavvy and/or Teoria
  • Pick some new topics to delve into using online/print resources
  • Work on transcriptions
  • Work on arranging projects
  • Do some harmonic analysis
  • Write bass lines
  • Compose (using notation)

I will support each of you, providing some instruction as needed and hold you accountable to whatever your goals are, but I will not be leading the entire class through a specific curriculum — it’s up to you to think about what you want to study/work on.

Before the first class, you will need to communicate with me about your intentions. If you are unsure, chat with me before stickering so we can develop a loose plan for you before you commit to the class.

Required texts/materials: You'll likely need your computer and headphones, perhaps a midi keyboard (the school has limited resources for you to use), and probably a mechanical pencil!

Soccer in the Gym (Olivia & Bryce)

Get your game on in the gym. Maximum 14 students.

1,000 Crowns (Wyatt, Charlie, Brayden, Olivia)

Only sign up for this class if you know you’re in it

Crashing Cymbals (Liana) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Rumor has it that there are students among us who are intrigued by the idea of jazz but have little or no experience actually listening to or playing jazz. Jazz is at the root of most of the music you listen to, and the ability to play it (even at a basic level) will make you better at almost any other form of music that you play.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a quick read on why every musician should study jazz. (It has bullet points, so you can get right to it!)

This is a class for learning about and practicing the art of jazz and improvisation. Think of it as an intro: some simple basics to get you going. From there, you’ve got to find your inspiration and work to hone your craft.

The class will include a smorgasbord of things that will give you a better understanding of jazz: some light music theory, a wee bit of jazz history, some listening, and of course, some playing.

Open to any instrument/vocals (horn players: please join us!), and you need not be an expert to partake in the fun! You will, however, need to step outside of your comfort zone, take some musical risks, and contribute to an encouraging, positive musical environment.

Note: This class is for people new to jazz. If you’ve already taken Crashing Cymbals, this isn’t for you… Come talk to me if you think you are the exception — I’ll take 1 or 2 more experienced folks who can help keep us going while being an encouraging cheerleader for those new to the art form.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nic) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Four young lovers, in a bizarre love quadrangle. Six buffoonish actors, making off-color jokes as they rehearse a play (within the play). A world of fairies and sprites, manipulating the behavior of everyone. Themes of love, magic, transformation, gender, and the supernatural.

We’ll read it out loud together, tease apart the 400-year-old poetry, and watch some clips of film adaptations as we go.

No prior experience with Shakespeare necessary!

Required texts/materials: A copy of the text. The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Data Analysis and Statistical Reasoning (Nic) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Given our data-rich world, I believe every citizen should know how to draw and evaluate conclusions based on large amounts of information.

In this class, we will work together through an online course from Duke University — yes, an introductory college-level course. I led a group of PSCS students through this course three years ago, and I found the materials to be excellently put together. I’ve done a lot of online courses; this one stands out as high-quality.

You will learn “how to collect data, how to analyze data, and how to use data to make inferences and conclusions about real world phenomena.” We’ll also learn to use R, a programming language used by many data scientists for processing information.

There are lectures, problem sets, projects, and quizzes. Outside of class, you will watch lectures on your own time. There will be a lot of lecture-watching homework for this class, as the course is estimated to take 100 hours of time to complete, but we’ll have only 24 class hours. We won’t get through the entire course, but we’ll cover quite a bit of it.

During our class meetings, we’ll work problems and projects together, helping each other understand the content.

To get the most out of this course, you should be very comfortable with basic math, and ideally have some algebra under your belt. Given the pace of this college-level course, having a strong affinity for math will certainly make this more enjoyable. There are no programming prerequisites for this course. If you have any questions about whether you qualify, talk to me.

Current Events Jam (Nic)

We get together to share interesting articles from the news of the week, and dig a little deeper into questions that come up.  We do spontaneous research, I share my (limited) expertise, and we come out on the other side with answers to some of our questions about what’s going on in the world, country, region, and city.

You don’t need to already be a news geek to take this class, but you do need to be interested in exploring current events.

Each participant is required to bring in at least one article per week, summarize it in front of the class, and be prepared to talk about why it interests them.

Musical Drawing, Doodling, & Discussion (Kaniya)

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This class will meet once per week in a 55 minute slot. I will have pre-selected 30 minutes of music for each meeting. While the music plays, we will all draw or doodle, with the specific intention of being influenced by the music as we work. When the 30 minutes is up, we’ll share our work and discuss how the music influenced us.

Please take this class if you’re interested in letting your drawing be influenced by music that I’ll choose each week, and you’re excited to try this experience and discuss it!

Please don’t take this class if you’re just looking for somewhere to hang out and draw or doodle. You can do that in the commons.

Writer’s Workshop with Amy and Occasionally Simon (Amy Hollinger)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

I believe that writing is an essential skill for everyone. Come and join me in a language arts class using Columbia Teachers College Professor, Lucy Calkin’s, Units of Study Writer’s Workshop approach. This class is geared towards the middle school writer. It is really perfect for anyone from those that love to write to those that are reluctant and avoid writing classes. The format will be to present some general instruction and then to personalize pathways through the material based on where you are as a writer.

Here is how Lucy Caulkins describes her program, “I couldn’t be more delighted to be sharing this work with you. It is the understatement of a lifetime to say that Units of Study grow out of years of work in thousands of classrooms. This series also grows out of the greatest minds and most beautiful teaching that I’ve seen anywhere. To write the Units of Study, my colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and I have done what teachers throughout the world do all the time. We’ve taken all that we know—the processes, sequences, continua, books, levels, lessons, methods, principles, strategies…the works—and we’ve made a path for children, a path that draws all we know into a cohesive, organic progression. Our hope is that this path brings children along to the place where they can write clearly and skillfully and read flexibly and joyfully—and can live together as caring, thoughtful readers and writers.”


P.S. Added bonus will be occasional visits from “Professor Simon” as he loves writing almost as much as I do!



About the instructor: I love teaching and learning, I love animals and I LOVE PSCS!


Continuing from previous term, new members by permission only.

Required texts/materials: You will need your instrument, your music, and a pencil at each rehearsal.

Coached Writing Session (for Summarize THIS!) (Scobie)

Ever wanted to take Summarize THIS!, but been intimidated by the outside work requirement? Ever taken it and failed to complete all the work? Do you know you need help being a productive writer and learning how to put together a draft? This will be an in-school work environment for the Summarize THIS! class. What if most of your draft could be completed in school, in a quiet environment, with relaxation coaching, technique coaching, and productivity coaching?

I’m hoping this opportunity will get some brave new writers into the Summarize THIS! class in Winter term. And I’m hoping some who have struggled with it in the past will use this to try again. I can’t promise all your work will get done in school, and you’ll still need to respond to your editor’s notes, but this should provide a huge boost in getting the work done each week.

  • Depending on your history and experience, your advisor may require you to take this if you want to take Summarize THIS! in spring term.
  • Must be scheduled in a 70 minute slot minimum.

An Evening with Eli (Bailey)

Continuing from last term, new members by permission only.

Handwriting and stuff! (Chrissy) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

Want to work on improving your handwriting and expand your vocabulary and spelling at the same time? Then this is the block for you! Each class we will most likely have stations that will include hand strengthening, letter practicing and repetition. While we work on improving our handwriting, we will also work on building vocabulary and spelling. For each class there will be 20 minutes of practice homework. Middle school only – if you are a high schooler and really want to join, talk to Chrissy.

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Required texts/materials: Can-Do Print The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

First Peoples (Sam)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

When we hear about the start of this awesome place, it always begins with the landing on the East Coast. We all know by now that much more was going on way before then. This class will talk about the many people groups and tribes that were a part of the these great United States before the invasion of British settlers. We will be learning about groups that lived in many regions and how they survived and thrived while doing some amazing things. Also, we will learn about the similarities that we come across in our state that reflect Native cultures, practices, and ideas.


Bucket of Jam

Continuing from last term, new members by permission only.

Volleyball (Olivia & Shane)

We’re all getting pretty good these days, don’t you think?

The Bears (Liana)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Continuing from last term, new members by permission only.

Required texts/materials: You'll need your instrument, your music and a pencil at each rehearsal.

Typography & Design (Scobie)

This is a mega class.

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Image result for typographyRelated imageImage result for design

What makes the design of letters beautiful? Useful? Boring? Exciting? Readable? Attractive? What would it mean for letters to be efficient? What is the relationship between letters and logos? Why are certain letterforms used for certain messages?

This Megaslot course will be a 7-session deep dive into the topic of typography and its role in communicating information through design. We’ll take walks to look at typography in the world, watch a documentary about one of the most powerful typefaces ever designed, learn about the language and history of letterforms, practice designing letters from scratch, and even take a first stab at designing your own font. This class is intended to be at the pre-college level, so I’m restricting it to high schoolers only. Don’t worry, I’m happy to teach it again.


Sumi-e (Chrissy) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Sumi-e is the Japanese word for black ink painting. Emphasis is placed on the beauty of each individual stroke of the brush so students will need to be patient, focused and determined in this class. You will spend majority of each class working on one or two specific skills. Sumi-e artists learn to paint by copying the Old Masters’ paintings, stroke by stroke. We will spend time learning a new skill at the beginning of each class and spend time practicing that skill for the rest of the class. This class is designed to be a quiet learning space.

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Workout and Climb (elizabeth)

This is a mega class.

The focus of this class will be both working out/strength building and improving your climbing skills. You don’t need to be a certain physical fitness level but you do need to be willing to work hard, sweat and improve your endurance and abilities from where you began.

It will feel hard at times and I’d like you to be excited about growing thorough your physical strength and endurance ability.

This class can accommodate a max of 10 people.

We will be climbing 6 times over the term (due to no school days)

Here are your options:

  • SBP punch card at 10 punches for $125
  • $14 cash each Friday
  • or a monthly climbing pass at $62 a month.

Please talk to Admin staff if this creates financial hardship for your family — we can help

Diverse Voices & Yummy Things (Liana & Elizabeth) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

In this block class, we’ll gather daily to consume and discuss media by and about diverse humans. We’ll hear from various voices on topics like identity, cultural appropriation, queerness, institutional racism and human rights, and we’ll pull from assorted forms of media including podcasts, documentaries and tv/sitcoms. Each class one of you will provide either a yummy treat or a yummy beverage for everyone to share!

Whiteness/straightness/cis-ness/male-ness etc. in media is the norm; this is an opportunity to approach important topics from a different viewpoint and perspective. 

No homework, just come ready to contribute to discussions each day.

This class is very similar to other iterations of POC Podcasts and Diverse Voices, except we are expanding to include media beyond podcasts!

Beginning Baking (Chrissy)

What do we love that involves baking? Uhhhhh everything! Bread, cookies, cakes, ya know… the good stuff! We are going to be learning the basics of baking in this class. We will build our skills in the kitchen: kitchen safety, measuring tools (and math! gasp), how to read recipes, cleaning up our messes etc. Since most baked goods require time in the oven, when we are done with our clean-up we will watch small parts of The Great British Baking Show. Max 4. If you were in previous Beginning Baking classes, please do not sticker the class this term.

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Sex Ed. and Relationships (elizabeth)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

IMPORTANT: This class is open to 8th graders who come talk to me and I agree and have parent permission. 

Sexual health, sex and healthy relationships is something all young people should have access to. One that is inclusive of various genders, cultural backgrounds and one that is focused on the real world and real life experiences.

Learning about sex and relationships is life long journey.

One that might include thoughts like this…

Woah! I feel embarrassed.

Really!? I didn’t know that!

I can’t believe we’re talking about this!

ahhhh, this is uncomfortable!

Hm, I’m curious, tell me more.

We all come to know about sex through SO many different roads.  Maybe what you know about sex has come from friends, religion/spirituality, your families, the big world wide web, your cultural background, the media, memes, gifs, an awkward older sibling, your super down aunt, discovering a book at the library and secretly trying to read it, the possibilities are endless.

Here in this class, I want to create a space where you can learn relevant information about sexual and relational health.  Talking about sex and our bodies openly and honestly can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.  It can also be enlightening, informative and exciting!!

Each one of you has the right to resources and information about making safe, healthy and enjoyable decisions.  If you are looking at this class and saying “you know, I haven’t really had much sex ed.” or “YEAH, I have a ton of questions but I’m nervous!” or “nah, I know plenty on my own…”  This is the class for YOU.

Each student in this class will get a copy of “S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties” by Heather Corinna. She is a local youth sex educator who is local, lives on Vashon and offers a real life, queer inclusive and honest approach to sex and relationships. 

Required texts/materials: I suggest ordering on Amazon used for the cheapest copies or you could by new in most book stores.

S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties

Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: before first class-(1st very important hw assignment)

Young People’s History (cont.) (Chrissy)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

You know who you are! Continuation of the year long Young People’s History class.

Required texts/materials:

Just Write (Sam) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

This class is what the title says, Just Write. I want us to gather and work on building up our writing skills in a relaxed way. I find that just taking the time to write and process thoughts and ideas helps us to stay connected to the great skill of writing. We will have time to free write (journal), work on specific projects, blog and even the chance to do collaborative work. If you’re looking to get more into writing or take the time to just write more, this is the class for you!



Psychology (Sam)

Psychology is a beginning study of the subject of psychology. We will analyze the behaviors and mental processes of human beings and animals. Students will be processing psychological facts, principles, and phenomena. Some of the topics we will cover are principles of learning, types of personality, understanding human behavior, patterns of behavior, emotional and behavioral adjustments, group influences, and psychology and society.


Body by Science (Scobie)

Important: This class requires direct permission from the instructor. Get it before prioritizing the class.

It’s not comfortable or easy. In fact, it’s the hardest thing you’ll do all week, I promise, but it only lasts about 10 minutes. Plus, it’s an opportunity to dramatically increase your physical strength, increase your cardio-vascular fitness, and explore your own mental and physical discipline, using some of the most up-to-date science in fitness and muscle development. As long as you rest enough and eat well, you will get stronger every week. 

You’re also required to help support the other workouts by staying quiet and alert, helping to record data, and making weight changes smoothly and effectively.

Homework is in the form of good nutrition, hydration, and adequate sleep. This may require special support from your family.


  • 80 minute class slot STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
  • Maximum of 7 students in a 70 minute slot
  • Your commitment helping to run the class efficiently is mandatory

Discussion, Debate and Tea (elizabeth)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This class will involve drinking hot beverages and discussing pressing social/cultural/political topics. Some topics discussed in this class are related to mental health, relationships, climate change, racial/cultural issues, queerness, gender, identity, plant life, earth health and sexual health.

We will listen to each other, listen to ourselves and hopefully gain some more clarity and insight into tricky or confusing subjects.

The format of this class will be fishbowl discussion and structured debates.

In a Fishbowl discussion, students seated inside the “fishbowl” actively participate in a discussion by asking questions and sharing their opinions, debating, while students standing outside listen carefully to the ideas presented. Students take turns in these roles, so that they practice being both contributors and listeners in a group discussion.

Required texts/materials: subscription to YES magazine

Machine Learning Study Group (Vince & Jack)

This class will take the form of a study group more than a facilitated class. For homework, we will watch videos from one of these courses. When we meet in class we will either continue to watch/discuss the videos or work on machine learning problems as a group. We are in no way experts in this field, so most of the problem solving/instruction in this class will come from the online course.

Python is the preferred program language of machine learning. The course we will be following is solely in Python. Additionally, understanding machine learning inherently requires some mathematical and algebraic proficiency. If you feel comfortable doing Algebra I, you know probably know enough to get by.

If you are unsure if you meet these prerequisites, please inquire to either of us.

The Grapes of Math (Nic)

About five years ago, English author and math geek Alex Bellos published a cool collection of essays about math in the world: The Grapes of Math: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life.

Each chapter covers its own topic. Here are a couple of his descriptions of chapters, as an example:

Chapter 4: In which the author explores proportional growth. He gets feedback from a YouTube celebrity in Colorado, and provides a biography of the special number behind capitalism, matchmaking, and Catalan architecture.

Chapter 6: In which the author shines his torchlight on the cone, and sees its reflection in rockets, planets and towers. He learns about the joy of rolling balls—either dipped in ink in Renaissance Italy or bouncing off the cushion in upstate New York.

Each week, you’ll read one chapter before class, and we’ll come together to discuss it. In class we’ll play with the math, make sure we understand it, and do some rabbitholing.

Required texts/materials: A copy of the book. The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Washington State History (Sam)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

Washington my home

Wherever I may roam

You are my land

My native land

Washington my home

Your verdant forests green

Caressed by silvery streams

With nests of pines and brandied wines

Washington my home

Come join me as we learn about the beauty and versatile land we call Washington State. This class is for those who are wanting to know all about the history, culture, and geography of what people call one of the most beautiful states in the US! We will look at maps, timelines, stories, interesting facts and activities that will help us to become more familiar with this great place we call home.

Pro Wrestling (Ian)

NOTE: This is a second term of Professional Wrestling: The Class. You don’t have to have been a member of last term’s class in order to join and you don’t have to sticker it if you did last term.


Professional wrestling is an artform. Yeah, I know.


In this class, we will investigate the history and the unique storytelling potential of the medium of professional wrestling, long thought of by the consensus of television and art critics as nothing more than a bloodsport for meatheads. From high flying maneuvers to careful, methodical rest holds, a match in a repurposed boxing ring can make a story all but unknowable to the untrained eye.


I’m here to teach it. I’ve been watching wrestling since a young age. I went to New Orleans so I could watch Wrestlemania and witness the re-debut of Aberdeen’s own Daniel Bryan, after meeting him and getting him to sign his book. My brother used to work for WWE and got me in whenever WWE was in town. I am dedicated to teaching you the best thing ever, which is wrestling.


In PW:TC, which our official acronym is, we’ll be learning about the terminology of wrestling, the ins-and-out of a pro wrestling match, the wildest wrestling moves, and, most importantly, the stories told inside and outside the ring. While wrestling can be crude, violent, and dangerous, there is no doubt that when wrestling is good, it’s really dang good. Of course, when it sucks, it sucks bad, but that’s half the fun. Here, there is one rule and one rule only: Wrestling is real.


I invite you to join me on this quest through the mythos of professional wrestling, whether you’re a diehard fan, someone interested in the athleticism or story, or simply want to watch some people bodyslam each other. This class has something for everyone.

NOTE: Professional wrestling has its litany of bloody moments and the occasional swearing. While I’ll try to keep this stuff to a minimum and only when necessary to teach about pro wrestling, it’s going to be pretty hard for me to remove it completely. Therefore, this class has been pitched as mature themes.

Midrange Frequency

Continuing from previous term, new members by permission only.

Required texts/materials: You will need your instrument, your music, and a pencil at each rehearsal.

Science of Flight (Scobie) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Image result for flight scienceI’ll be partnering with “The Great Courses” here to co-teach alongside video lectures by Professor James Gregory. We’ll look at both the history and scientific principles behind most kinds of flying, with occasional math, and more for those who want it.


Nihon (Red)

Japan, land of the rising sun!!! A beautiful place with so much history, tradition, and culture. In this class, you will learn about Japan in a whole new way.  Lessons will be fun and interactive with an emphasis on both traditional and pop culture. You also will have the chance at hands-on activities as well as learning the language in a unique way.


Required texts/materials: Pencil, Notebook, Device (Laptop, Ipad) Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by:

Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind (Scobie) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Note: This class is open to high school students only.


‘Sapiens’ is a fascinating, provocative, and occasionally problematic book about the history of the dominant human species, our species, Homo Sapiens. This will be a book discussion class, requiring significant careful reading each week: approximately 40-60 pages. “Reading” here includes taking notes and coming to class prepared, meaning that you have specific questions and/or other ideas to talk about directly from the reading.

You should be a strong reader, note taker, side researcher, and thinker, or be willing to work very hard on your own (or with outside help that you find),  to compensate for any difficulty you may have with any of these areas.

You WILL be expected to ask questions and share ideas and opinions from the book in class every week. If your plan is to follow along quietly, and occasionally skip the reading, don’t sticker this class.

There will be a timeline project associated with the class to visualize the human timeline. Talk to me if you are interested in that particular aspect of the class!

Required texts/materials: A paperback copy of the book, plus a notebook, pen or pencil, and highlighter Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: long enough before first class meeting to complete a first short assignment

Habla Español Conmigo (elizabeth)

This class is for you if you’d like to try your hand at speaking Spanish. If you know some, great! You can support others and therefore learn it better yourself. If you’ve never been around it and are intimated but are game to try, then great! It is the second most spoken language in this country and worth your spongy brain space.

We will have a lot of fun! NOS VAMOS A DIVERTIR MUCHO!

We will be studying from the book/workbook “Beginning Spanish for the Utterly Confused” the 2nd Edition

This book will guide class in Spanish grammar, verbs and vocabulary, pronunciation, and verbal confidence to try speaking and failing and try speaking and failing. It’s the ONLY way you learn!!

Come practice and learn Spanish 101 basics and conversation.

Art & Aesthetics (Sam)

This is a mega class.

One of the many forms of expression, Art, is expressed in so many mediums. In this class, I want to explore the idea of what makes something Art. How do we look at different pieces and express the deeper meaning behind them? Let get into great conversations about the things we experience and do some creating of our own.






Black Panther: American Lit/History (elizabeth)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This is a high school lit class and history class.

This book is a crucial piece of American literature that captures the heart and soul of America (in it’s darkness and light) through the eyes of black folks in this country. The class will also include the history of the past and current impacts of the colonization of Africa as a continent and traces that history through the slavery of black folks in this country, to current events.

As a mini history lesson: Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965. The Black Panther Party (BPP) started in 1966. Malcolm X served as a deep source of inspiration to the foundation of the BPP among so much more. The Marvel movie, Black Panther came out last year, in 2018.

The American stories and histories through Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party are intertwined and complex. We will dive into the themes, literary devices, historical content and perspective writing.


Required texts/materials:

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley 

Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: before first class-(1st very important hw assignment)

Hawaii (Chrissy)

While Hawaii isn’t a country, it once was a independent nation. For this term, we are shifting to a state that was once a kingdom instead of a country focus. Hawaii will wrap up the years focus on Oceania.

We will look at Hawaii’s early history, monarchy and it’s involuntary shift into US statehood. Students will have weekly reading and note taking. The text students will use will be a first person account from the last Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani: Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen. 

Like other country classes, the class will be made up of group discussion, lecture, film, geography, and music.

While this class is open to all, I would like middle school students to talk with Chrissy to see if it is the appropriate level for them.

Maui History Engraving American Boat Hawaiians in Canoe

Required texts/materials: Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen by Queen Liliuokalani The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Plant Wisdom (elizabeth)

The earth is full of healing. Plants can teach us a lot about how to be healthy and happy. There are thousands of herbs and plants that support our well being if we can learn to work with them. One of my passions is natural health and understanding how different plants, roots and flowers can help us as humans live a more grounded and connected life.

This will be a research based and hands on intro class to understanding natural remedies and plant wisdom. The students in this class will help guide the direction we go, depending on who joins.

So, are you interested in learning more about natural remedies?!

We will be sprucing up the apothecary chest and making essential oil and plant based sprays, balms and salves.

We will visit a couple plant healing spaces in Seattle.