Chess Class (Ori)

Come join me to play and learn about chess.

You must already know how to play chess.

Friendship 101 Class (Kirsten Harrison)

HS Only (exception can be made with Advisor recommendation)


We are living in a time where humans have never been more “connected” through technology, yet many adults and teenagers are reporting a distinct lack of actual embodied connection. Loneliness has become a significant public health crisis, according to the US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

I listened to a podcast interview of Dr. Murthy recently and this answer surprised me:

“So people who struggled with loneliness live shorter lives, and the amount by which their life is shortened is about the same as the amount by which smoking 15 cigarettes a day shortens your life. It’s greater than the impact of obesity or not exercising. And so it’s hard to escape the fact that loneliness is an important issue when you recognize how common it is.”

What resources are available to equip us in caring for ourselves and others that will contribute to our overall health?

In this class, we will engage with content and practice skills related to friendship. What tools are important to being a friendmaking friends and sustaining friendships?

Here is a sampling of topics we will explore:
Listening well
Being curious/asking questions
Growing in self-awareness and others-awareness
Learning about boundaries
Practicing vulnerability
Practicing kindness
Practicing hospitality
Navigating conflict
Keeping in touch
Outside work – About 1 – 1.5 hours per week listening to a podcast and/or reading an article about the week’s topic. I promise to keep them interesting!

About the instructor: I am the mom of 1 adult and 2 teenagers (one of whom is Mallory/Marshal). I believe everyone is our teacher. I am not an expert, but a fellow traveler.

Habits and Grit (Hilery Avritt)

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

Are there things that are important to you, things you would like to experience or accomplish, that you don’t ever get to?  In this class we will examine and develop skills that help you align what you want with what you do.

There is no required outside work. Students will have the opportunity to strengthen their skills over the weeks of the course by focusing on an area of interest they would like to explore.


About the instructor: I'm a neuroscience and life-hack geek who loves to study and share these topics with others. I am fiercely dedicated to engaging the self with compassion and opportunity to learn & transform. I am also Adin Avritt's mom.

Kickin’ it with Liana (Liana)

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

In this seminar-style class for middle school students, you’ll have the chance to sample various exciting activities. We’ll listen to, and discuss some podcasts (about history, music, social justice stuff, etc.), maybe watch an episode of something here or there, do some walking out and about, read and discuss an article or two, play some games, listen to some music, do some self-reflection activities… I’ll even take suggestions about activities you’d like to do! It’ll be fun! Come kick it with me — you just might learn a few things!

Physics (Year Long Class) (Jenn)


We’ll finish up any review we have left from our lessons on Motion, and then move right along to Forces and Newton’s Laws.

  • Expect frequent collaboration on work.
  • Expect occasional in-class quizzes (used mainly as a guide for where we should go next).
  • There will be in-class work assigned — work not finished in class will be considered as homework.
  • Expect 1 or 2 larger projects due at the end of term. Some class time will be set aside to work on these.
  • Must be in 70 minute slot, twice a week.

Flag Football (Oscar and Emmett)

This is a mega class.

Come to the park and play flag football! No prior experience needed. Be ready to run and be outside. Max of 14

This will be scheduled for the Friday morning mega slot.

SIMS 4 (Rees)

Hello! Do you like to learn about money management? Do you like to figure out schedules and the integrity of keeping a job? Do you like to use your creativity to create characters and architecture? Then this class is for you!
In the sims we will play on a world, making sims and designing houses together. We will learn about saving and managing money, practicing integrity, healthy lifestyles, different careers, and living in a capitalist society.
In case you are wondering what the sims is, The Sims is a franchise produced by Maxis and EA. It is a life simulator where you create “sims,” virtual people that you control almost every part of – where they move, where they live, what jobs they have, what they look like, how they live, etc. It simulates earning and spending money, creating relationships, problem-solving, repairing, hardships, and much much more.
Nothing needed for the class, no computers needed, just a positive attitude toward working together
Max: 8 people

When They Call You a Terrorist (elizabeth)

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

In this class we will explore the history of the #BLM movement and context of American social systems that have, and do, fuel social movement organizing. Black Lives Matter is an international movement that calls attention to violence and systemic racism towards black people. It is one of the most influential movements of this time and will go down in history. Through this social movement we will learn about broader issues such as racial inequities, the criminal injustice system, racial profiling, police brutality, and racialized violence.

We will read the book “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir,” by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele, to discuss and understand black history in this country. This memoir draws on Patrisse Khan-Cullors’ life experience – how and why she became one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement and why she is one of the most prominent black historians and leaders of our time.

We will watch the documentary “I Am Not Your Negro,” an internationally awarded documentary film based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. These two pieces of media and story telling will be what we draw from for deeper research.

Note: this will be high level reading and will cover more mature historical content

Mega Jazz (Liana)

This is a mega class.

In this continuation of HS Jazz immersion, students will keep engaging with the canon of jazz standards. You will be split into two small combos and will work with the same group throughout the term when playing, coming together with the larger class for discussion, listening, theory and performances of your tunes. Homework will consist of practicing, as well as reading and responding to reflection questions about To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters From The Road by Wynton Marsalis.

Note: In order to keep numbers reasonable, there will be a max of two seats available for rhythm section instruments (more flexibility for others). 

Required texts/materials: You'll need your instrument, a mechanical pencil, any music we use during class, and the book (which I'll get for you).

Algebra (Year Long Class) (Jenn)


We will continue to strengthen our understanding of Algebra concepts, as well as begin to integrate conversations and exercises with the ways our skills in Algebra interact with the world around us.

  • Expect frequent collaboration on work.
  • Expect occasional in-class quizzes (used mainly as a guide for where we should go next).
  • There will be in-class work assigned — work not finished in class will be considered as homework.
  • Expect 1 or 2 larger projects due at the end of term. Some class time will be set aside to work on these.
  • Must be in 70 minute or 55 minute slot, twice a week.

Speech (Samuel Mitchell/ASam)

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


Feeling comfortable speaking in front of an audience is power! Knowing you have something to say is one step. A second step is to master the skills you need to effectively deliver your message. This class will explore the skills you need to be heard. 


You’ll develop, write, and deliver several types of formal speeches, varying in length from a few minutes to several minutes. Students can expect to stand up in front of the class several times during the term to practice poise, gesture, projection, diction, and visual aids. As audience members, we’ll also practice listening to give specific feedback about each other’s improvement.


About the instructor: Admin Sam spends most days near the front door. Most students have had at least one conversation with him.

Black History (Samuel)

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

Black History. The story of a people who have survived to be a relevant part of society. Not many can endure through such hardship, yet maintain a high level of success,  In this class, we will take a deep look into this culture to examine how Black Americans have progressed throughout time, different lands, and ways of life. We will read stories,  hear songs, and explore other sources of information that will give us a first-person account into these events.

1K Crowns (Wyatt, Brayden, Charlie & Hazel)

Continuing from fall term, new members by permission only.

Pizzly (Liana)

Continuing from fall term, open to new members by permission only. (If interested, please come talk to Liana before stickering!)

Card Games & Board Games (tim)

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

We have a solid collection of board games and card games at PSCS. We will take time to decide on a few to figure out and play through.

If you have some games that you would like to bring in and play with others let’s make it happen!


Jazz 1 (Liana)

Can you name that trumpet player?

This is a continuation of MS Jazz immersion that is open to anyone in the beginning stages of jazz development. We’ll mostly practice improvising, walking/comping, and learning heads; we’ll listen in order to learn the language and do a bit of theory for a deeper understanding of what we are doing. Homework will consist of listening and practice, plus occasional short reading.

Required texts/materials: You will need your instrument, a mechanical pencil, and any music we use throughout the term. Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: the first class meeting.

D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) (Ari)

This is a mega class.

Are you a human being? Do you have any amount of imagination? Did you play pretend as a kid? If you answered yes to any of these, then do I have the class for you.
Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is a tabletop roleplaying game where players take on the persona of a character of their own creation in a medieval fantasy setting. One person plays the game master, who dictates the course of the story and creates encounters for the players to solve. It requires some amount of skill in improv, as well as addition and subtraction. D&D is a game I believe everyone can enjoy, which is why I will also be hosting flex D&D sessions for those who don’t make it into this class.

Middleschool Read Aloud (Scobie)

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

Image result for booksImage result for pern dragon illustration

If you’re a middle schooler and you love listening to good writing read aloud, this class is for you. If you know you want to progress in your thinking, speaking, vocabulary, and English skills, this class is for you. This class will now meet twice per week and will include plenty of good read-aloud as always, but also some discussion, some short, fun writing assignments, and other creative ways of engaging with our stories.

Science of Flight, continued (Scobie)

This is a mega class.

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

Image result for flight science

This is a continuation of last year’s and last term’s course in flight science.

All prior students are welcome.

New students are welcome also, but I request a  friendly ‘intro discussion’ with me to be sure the class will be a fit, especially if you are not a high school student.

As before, we’ll be using the James Gregory lectures from The Great Courses, but to mix up our long megaslots, we’ll inject regular discussion and illustration, more math, and more hands-on experiments or demonstrations.

Winter term, look forward to:

-finalizing any incomplete stall research

-some individualized research and/or small projects.

-glider building and testing in class, including principles of aspect ratio and the effect of mass on gliders.



Observation & Inquiry (tim)

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


In this class we will practice observation of the world around us and many of the interesting things in/on it. We will then practice basic inquiry to investigate what intrigues us and report to each other the things we find out.

We will practice expressing our observations and learning to ask questions about the things we observe.

If you have a curiosity about the world and have a thirst for knowledge and greater understanding, consider checking out this class.


Handwriting &… (tim)

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

If you are interested in the analog art of writing this class is for you. If you have trouble writing by hand and want an opportunity to practice this is the space for you. We will be working together to support each other on our journeys with writing on paper.

We will practice writing by hand

  • basic print.
  • cursive or D’Nealian.
  • experimenting with creating our own style or font.

Parks and Recreation (Chrissy)

Need a laughter escape? One of my favorite TV shows is Parks and Recreation, an American political comedy television sitcom. Come join me for the hilarity of Parks and Rec. We will start at the very beginning! All are welcome!

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

Required texts/materials: Orca card

Chemistry (Samuel)

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


Chemistry is the study of the components of matter – how these components behave and interact with one another. The course will include lectures, daily assignments, and laboratory experiments. We’ll analyze the periodic table of elements throughout the class to increase our understanding of the various components of matter and energy.

Note: Students will be expected to work simple mathematical computations and complete outside reading assignments.

History of Pop Music (Samuel)

This is a mega class.

Originally consisting of whatever was popular music at the time, pop music has grown into its own ever-evolving genre. Some believe the pop music genre is shallow, with simple songs about nothing of substance. But the genre has always been so much more—it’s the melting pot of music, a place where sounds of all sorts have been blended together, connected by melody and structure. And its eclectic sound has not shied away from tackling topics like love and loss and life—the emotions that sit at the heart of every kind of music.

Geometry (Year Long Class) (Scobie)

IMPORTANT: If you take this class, you must commit to the full year, which means prioritizing the scheduling of Geometry in both winter and spring terms.

In this long-running PSCS class, we’ll review basic elements of geometry and geometric definitions. We’ll learn and refine your geometric drawing techniques while looking at the practical math and beauty of geometric relationships. We’ll also continue to explore measurement and systems of measurement for distance, angle, slope, area, and volume, linear and non-linear equations, graphing, proofs and other explorations. The class will finish in the spring with a unique and brilliant introduction to the core principles of Trigonometry as inspired by an insightful New Zealand math curriculum. Sometimes we work from a book, like a ‘normal’ math class. Other times we learn with physical models, drawings, and other resources.

  • Some algebra is required. If you have the equivalent of a high school Alg.1 class, you’ll be fine as long as you’re willing to to work to revive your skills. If you have only the bare essentials of algebra, you’ll need to be willing to work hard at some specific sections of the class, but there will also be parts of the class that don’t require any algebra.
  • Each term, Geometry must meet in two 70-minute slots per week minimum. This is a year long math class, and we have lots to cover.
  • expect occasional in-class tests, quizzes, and puzzles
  • expect collaboration on some work
  • be able to maintain a completely quiet work environment when asked
  • expect homework for most class sessions through the year.

Scientific Journal Book Club (tim)

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

In this class we will read scientific articles and discuss the content with one another.  We will learn the basic structure of Scientific Articles, what to expect and how best to read through them.

I will provide a list of materials for us to read, but also am open to suggestions from the class. Students will be expected to have read the material before class and be prepared to discuss our perspectives and questions.

Gym Soccer (Esther & Oscar)

Let’s play soccer in a gym! This term facilitated by Esther and Oscar. We will all walk to the IDCCC, split into teams, and spend 55 minutes gettin some soccer on. Proper footwear required. Maximum 14 students.

Origami & Meditation (Scobie)

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

Image result for origami meditation

An hour once each week

We’ll practice origami

Often in silence


Some days we’ll drink tea

Some days we will close our eyes

Can we fold while blind?


The sound of creasing

The slowing of every breath

Folding, first in, then out

Midrange Frequency (Liana)

Continuing from fall term, open to new members by permission only. (If interested, please come talk to Liana before stickering!)

College Explorations (Liana)

This is the class for 8th – 10th graders to explore college as one post-high school option. 

Some of the things we’ll cover:

  • What kinds of colleges and degrees exist.
  • Whether or not you feel college is the right next step for you.
  • What it takes to prepare for, apply, get accepted, pay for, and be successful in college.

My hope is that you’ll leave this class with a better understanding of whether or not college might be in your future, what your options are, and how to move toward your post-high school goals while still at PSCS.

Note: if you just completed college explorations in fall term and want to take it again, please talk to Liana before stickering; this is the same class you just took, but I am open to repeats if you have a clear vision of what you hope to accomplish.

Required texts/materials: You'll need your computer at each class meeting.

Minecraft + Minecraft Earth (Samuel)


One of the most popular games in recent years, Minecraft is more than meets the eye. This game has become a great learning tool that incorporates how to survive using the natural resources around you while being creative in the process. We will use the class as a way to explore vast biomes while being adventurous. We will create daily tasks involving technology and science. You might be surprised how much you can do and learn while having fun!

You will need your own computer that is capable of running the game software, headphones, and a charging cable.

Minecraft Earth: You will need a Smartphone and wireless data to download the app and run the game.

Max 10

Gym Volleyball (Esther)

Come play volleyball with us. You don’t need any experience, it will be a supportive fun game!   Maximum 14 humans

Duolingo (Amy)

Need a world language credit? Want to learn just about any language you can imagine? This “class” can be taken in any class slot.  It is kind of like an on campus independent study with weekly check-ins with Amy.

What is Duolingo? Duolingo is a popular language-learning platform and the most downloaded education app in the world, with more than 300 million users. The company’s mission is to make education free, fun, and accessible to all. Duolingo is a way to learn a language designed to feel like a game and scientifically proven to be effective.

How will this “class” work?

  1. You will begin by meeting with Amy and setting up a Duolingo account.
  2. You will set some goals and check in with Amy once a week to share progress in your goals.
  3. That’s it. Yep, it is that simple.

Super Smash Brothers Ultimate (Jack Hollinger)

This is a mega class.

Image result for smash bros ultimate

Hello everybody! It’s me, Jack, back at it again with the Smash Bros. Ultimate class.

Smash Bros. is a game series where players take control of different gaming icons and use their abilities to knock other players off of a stage. Smash Bros. Ultimate is the 5th entry into the series and has currently sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Part of the success of Smash Bros. compared to other fighting games is the appeal to casual audiences.

In this class, we will play matches of 8 players maximum with items on as I believe that is the fairest way to play and it allows those with less to no experience to establish themselves in a match. I will bring everything needed to play the game but be warned, I can only provide the basic controllers that come with the console, so if you want a more comfortable controller you will have to bring one yourself.

Lastly, I won’t be able to stay for the entire slot because I have to leave for work at 2:30 pm so if you decide to sign up for my class you will also be automatically signed up for Teacher Sam’s Art and Aesthetics class as well. From 2:30-3:30pm you will join Art and Aesthetics.

I can’t wait for this class and I hope you all feel the same!

About the instructor: I'm a senior at Summit Sierra High School who started a club where we play Smash Bros. at lunch. Every Wednesday I get out early and so I thought it would be a good idea to extend my love of Smash Bros. to the populous of Puget Sound Community School.

Math Lab (Samuel)

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

Math is a skill, and because it is a skill, it is best learned at a student’s own pace. Math Lab is based around the idea that no matter where your math skills are at this time, we can all improve. Everyone will be assigned work at a level at which they can grow and succeed so they will have the necessary math skills to be successful in future classes and in life.

Mishmash (Liana)

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

Continuing from fall term, but open to new members! (If interested, please come talk to Liana before stickering!)

Slow Down/Self Care (elizabeth)

You become what you practice. You are what you practice. This class is for you if you would like to practice mindfulness and consistent acts of ritual to take care of yourself.

In this class we are going to practice:

  • the art of slowing down
  • coming back to our center
  • learning how to be more present and mindful

We’ll draw from the practices of Thich Nhat Hanh and Mark Nepo.

This class is for you if you need more slowing down, breathing, and calming.

Earth Science (Samuel)

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


Do you ever wonder how we coexist with the planet earth and the universe as a whole? I think about it all the time and try to understand more every day. In Earth Science, we will take the time to explore many of those complex questions while creating new ones. We will connect to the beauty of geological history, the amazing landforms around the globe, the nature of the sea and air, and the newest discoveries about our universe.

The Practice of Writing (elizabeth)

Writing is simple if you learn to listen to yourself and more deeply trust your own, important voice.  This will allow you to write with more confidence.  There is no A + B = C to becoming a good writer.  But, there are a plethora of ways to write and things to write about.

This class will push you to practice writing, BY WRITING.  Simply put your pen to paper and having a “beginner’s mind” to your own thought process. Even if you are not a beginner and absolutely love writing I would love to have you. This class is for those who need some structured writing time with prompts, inspiration, and free writing time. There is always more to discover about your voice.

This class is for you if you already enjoy writing and want to write more, if you are curious about a budding writer inside, or if you simply need more practice in writing.

Drugs, Brains, and Bodies (Terri Silva)

Drugs are powerful chemicals that can affect our brains and bodies in profound ways. Sometimes they are life-saving; sometimes they are fatal or debilitating. How do they work?

In this class, we will use the backdrop of pharmaceutical action to explore some basic biological principles and gain an understanding of how our cells work. We’ll consider everything from relatively benign over-the-counter drugs such as Benadryl to potent, dangerously addictive drugs such as opioids. We’ll consider how they work for the outcome we want and how they produce side effects; for example, why does aspirin relieve pain but increase the risk of stomach ulcers?

Did you know that OTC drugs can be dangerous? We will learn how to analyze Over-The-Counter drug labels to ensure safe use and avoid dangerous dosages and drug combinations.

We’ll consider placebo effects (yes, that’s plural!), exercise as medicine, and physiologic addiction. If time, we may learn about “alternative medicines” such as herbal medicines and homeopathy; some of the history of drug discovery and development; and specific diseases or conditions.

We’ll do some fun labs and exercise to demonstrate the chemistry of the human body. It is the chemistry of the body and cells that is at the heart of pharmaceutical efficacy!

Finally, this class will explore basic chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and the scientific method in order to understand drug development and how brains and bodies are affected by drugs.

About the instructor: I am a professor of Human Biology at Bastyr University, and adjunct instructor at North Seattle College.  I am also Wyatt Silva's mom!

Cluster Bundle (Liana)

This is a mega class.

This rock band will provide an opportunity for students from different bands to collaborate on projects that require a little more: more voices, more instruments, more of a challenge!

The setlist will include such hits as

  • Barracuda by Heart
  • Let Me Live by Queen
  • Take It To The Limit by The Eagles
  • And more! (Pink Floyd? Fleetwood Mac? What else you got?!)

We’ll need a quorum of capable rhythm section players, plus a few solid singers, and we’ll build a set of fun and exciting tunes — hopefully! — for Music Cafe! (Can we get any strings or horns?!)

This class is open to anyone, however, it is not a beginning band. You must be able to read & learn music quickly, have the work ethic to get through challenging material at a decent pace, and be able to stay focused on both group and individual tasks through a mega-sized slot. (There may be times when you are not engaged in an actual rehearsal, and you might be asked to be transcribing/generating new material for the group.)

Note: In order to keep numbers reasonable, there will be a max of two seats available for drummers & bass players (more flexibility for others). 

Please come talk to me if you are interested, but unsure if you are a good match for this project.

Panthera Leo (Liana)

Continuing from fall term, but open to new members! (If interested, please come talk to Liana before stickering!)

Beginning Cooking (Chrissy)

This is a mega class.

We are trying something different with Beginning Cooking this term – we are going to split a mega into two 70 minute classes with four students in each class. There is the possibility that when you aren’t in Beginning Cooking, you can join another class if that works for the facilitator and class.

The class: This class is designed to help students be more comfortable and confident in the kitchen. We will focus on basic skills i.e.: safety, measuring, knife skills, reading recipes, cleaning, etc. While we will do some cooking, if you want something to eat in every class, this probably isn’t going to be the class for you. Some times you will prep food and then have the homework assignment to take it home and use those prepped materials. If you took this class in the fall, please don’t sticker the class this term.

Let’s Design a Card Game (Sean K Reynolds)

You’ve played card games before, whether simple card games like Go Fish and Uno, or complex ones like Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokemon. This class will show you how to design your own card game, playtest it, get art for it, get the files set up for printing, and get it printed. This will be a group effort to create one finished card game (with approximately 60 cards) as a group project.
• Designing: Everyone in the class can give their input on the design and look of card game.
• Art: Student artists welcome (print or digital is fine); your art will be featured in the game (we’ll also talk about tips for working as a freelance artist). If we don’t have any artists in the class, we’ll use free sources like public domain art, photographs provided by the class, and so on.
• Playtesting: Guidelines for playtesting and how to conduct a rigorous playtest so the game isn’t boring or broken.
• Editing: Confusing instructions bad! Make words good!
• Printing: See how a print-on-demand printing service can produce pro-quality cards in affordable small quantities.
• Victory: At the end of the term you’ll have a professionally-printed copy of your new card game. Brag!

About the instructor: I'm an award-winning game designer who has worked on the Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and Numenera roleplaying games, and card games for Avatar: The Last Airbender, Marvel Vs. DC, Pirates of the Caribbean, and World of Warcraft. I've also self-published several roleplaying game books and custom card sets, and am familiar with the entire publishing process from design to printing.

World Geography – year long (Samuel)

This course will explore how the physical features of the earth, population settlement patterns, human activities, customs, and traditions contribute to defining place, culture, and people. The course examines how the land, features, people, and cultures of the world affect the social, political, and economic character of nations and regions.

This is not a Math Class (Terri Silva)

Why does math matter? That’s what this class will explore. We will read a chapter or so each week from the book “Math with Bad Drawings” by Ben Orlin. This is a book about what you can do with math, what questions you can answer with math, and how to use math in life – for example, to avoid being scammed. It is funny, conceptual, and requires very little actual calculation. It will answer questions such as, “Why don’t bridges buckle?,” “How can I use the size of a pan to make more delicious brownies?,” and “Why haven’t I won the lottery yet?”

Together, we’ll discuss the concepts introduced by the book and try to apply a few actual relevant math problems to each concept.

If you find doing math to be boring or tedious but know it’s important, this is a class for you! If you love doing math, this is a class for you!

We likely won’t have time to complete the entire book. We’ll base our focus on student interest and be sure to hit some probabilities and statistics, which will help you to think critically in life.

Students will be required to read from the book each week to be prepared for our discussions and activities. The full price for the hardback new is $28. Used and kindle versions are available for less.

About the instructor: I am a professor of Human Biology at Bastyr University, as well as an adjunct at North Seattle College.  I am also Wyatt Silva's mom!

Required texts/materials: Math with Bad Drawings: Illuminating the Ideas that Shape our Reality, by Ben Orlin. Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: before the second class meeting

Moth Style Storytelling (Scobie)

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

mothstoryThis class is about telling a true story in your own voice, but refining that story so that it has the most power and impact. Remember, power and impact might be very quiet and gentle, or it might be loud and harsh, or it might be the right measure of each!

Stories might be funny, moving, sad, happy, or some combination of those things. We will use writing for notes or to examine or organize ideas, but none of our stories will ever be fully written out word by word.

We’ll watch expert storytellers and may have guest storytellers.

Each student will work on developing at least one story into final form, to be performed at a storytelling event that we produce together.  This class has homework which will include practicing your story, listening to and watching other stories, and taking notes.

Middle School students by specific permission only.

Art & Aesthetics (Samuel)

This is a mega class.

In this class, we’ll ask what makes something art. Is it the medium? Is it the expression of ideas? How do we look at different pieces and understand the deeper meaning behind them? We will study influential artists as well as current artists who are stretching art in many different directions. Let’s get into great conversations about the things we experience and do some creating of our own while pushing ourselves to build new skills!

A side note is that this term we will be combining with the Super Smash Brothers class run by Jack. In my class you either have the option of doing art for the full mega block or doing Super Smash Brothers for the first part of the block and then joining Art and Aesthetics about halfway through the mega block.


HS Book Group White Fragility (Amy)

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

This class will pull you out of your comfort zone by examining the idea of white fragility. We will read the book White Fragility by antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo. In her book DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequity, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

What is white fragility?

The idea of white fragility refers to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially. White fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear and guilt and behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue.

Due the nature and content of this book this class is best suited for students that identify as white and want to explore how to unpack whiteness and how to be an advocate. If you are a student of color and interested in taking this class I encourage you to talk to your advisor to see if this class is right for you.


Required texts/materials: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Plant Medicine Research (elizabeth)

The earth is full of healing and there is SO much to learn. I have been wanting to finally construct the student cabinet apothecary for some time. This class is more specifically for researching and learning about plant medicine and getting our ducks in a row to then (potentially through intensives) put together a, for student use cabinet. There are thousands of herbs and plants that support our well being and I’d like to have class time devoted to building our knowledge about the herbal remedies we will have and develop a student run system that works to support it.

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

Chamber Music (Liana)

In a quest to continue having western classical music as an option at PSCS, I’m offering a weekly gathering for chamber music rehearsals. Who we get will determine the music we play; however, if you have an ensemble you know you’d like to work with (Piano trio? Harp duet? Percussion ensemble? Oscar-pella? String ensemble?), gather your people and sticker appropriately! (Also, please let me know if there are pre-formed ensembles so that I can prepare for you!).

You don’t need to have participated in the intensive to join the class, but you do need to have a working knowledge of your instrument and a decent ability to read music.

Queer Latino Literature (elizabeth)

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

This class will center upon reading the book, “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,” a novel by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This novel dives into Mexican-American culture and life, queer identity, love, family and growing up in the 1980’s. We will explore these themes even deeper as we read through the novel.  It has won numerous awards, including the Lambda Literary Award, the Stonewall Book Award, the Pura Belpre Narrative Medal for Latino fiction and several others. 

Each week there will be reading, note taking and a couple writing assignments throughout the term. We’ll be engaging in discussion and conversation about historical context, Mexican-American culture and coming of age queer experiences.

For families and students, take a look at the novel to decide if this class and reading this book is right for you.






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

Evening with Eli (Eli Kimchi)

Continuing from fall term, new members by permission only.

Sumi-e and Open Art Time (Chrissy)

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

This class will meet twice a week. One class will focus on Sumi-e and the other will be Open Art Time.

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 patientfocused and determined in this class. Newcomers welcome, returners will get a refresher and then will be able to pick up where they left off. Newcomers will spend time learning a new skill at the beginning of each class and practice that skill for the rest of the class. This class is designed to be a quiet learning space.

Open Art Time is where you choose whatever medium you would like to use – zero in and focus on it for the duration of the class. Students will share what they worked on at the end of each session. This will also be a quiet, creative work space. Students will need to have whatever materials they want to use ready at the start of each class.


Required texts/materials: I will provide Sumi-e kits, students will need to provide whatever materials they would like to use for the other class. Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by:

Environmental Justice (Year Long Class) (elizabeth)

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

If you are in this class this term I shall see you again for Winter Term.

Remember to sticker.

MS Documentary Class (Amy)

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


Do you like to watch and discuss documentaries? Then this is the class for you. We will work our way through several documentaries and have discussions along the way. Some titles we will watch are:

  1. RBG – the story of current supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  2. Blackfish – a look at keeping Orcas in captivity
  3. Knock Down the House – a documentary about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s run for the House of Representatives

Join this class for a term of watching thought provoking documentaries and having some deep philosophical discussion.

Typing (Chrissy)

The ability to type and to type correctly is an imperative skill to have in today’s electronic world. Each student will participate in online lessons that best fits their level focusing on proper hand placement. Students will track their progress each week. The majority of class time will be independent work so students will need to focus on the task at hand. Students will have 2, 20 minutes of practice each week outside of class.

Required texts/materials: Students will use a keyboard cover for half of class as they practice. The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

A People’s History of the United States (Year Long – cont.) (Chrissy)

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

This is a continuation of the fall class.

Required texts/materials:

Star Propane (Isabel)

Hey Star Propane members! You know who you are, this is an invite-only band. If you would like to request to join, please talk to Isabel. Come make some noise! (please no yelling though) We will have a lot of fun, but please know that this is still a serious thing! Also, keep in mind you will have to sing at one point, either as a backup, or a lead singer.

Max – 6 


Summarize THIS! (Scobie)

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


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 an effective listener, logical thinker, and competent writer.

  • There will be a coached work session each week in the second meeting of the class, which will allow you to make major progress toward finishing your summary. Most students will still need to put in additional work, and sometimes this work slot will contain a grammar lesson or other instruction.
  • 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 some students during winter term.

World History: Early Civilizations – India, China, Greece (Chrissy)

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

In this class, students will pick up where the fall term left off with learning about Ancient India, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, and Classical Greece. Part of the class will be spent learning to identify main ideas, making connections, and asking questions based off of provided text. The rest of the time will be spent working on projects, activities, discussion, and documentaries. This class is continuing from the fall but you do not need to have been in the fall class to take the class in the winter.

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