Classical Mechanics

There’s the physics of the very, very small — Quantum Physics, particles, radiation, etc
There’s the physics of the very, very big — black holes, gravity, stars, etc.
There’s the very fast — the speed of light! — and the very slow — absolute zero.
And then there’s the physics that is around us every day in ways we can easily see and understand.  This is normally called “Classical Mechanics.” Think about pool tables and balloons.
In this class we will learn about a number of topics in classical mechanics, using videos and computer simulations, including:
Mass, Velocity, Momentum, Inertia, Acceleration, Force, Gravity, Energy and possibly more.
A student with more math will be able to solve problems using standard formulas, but students can also understand what these terms mean at a conceptual level and how they relate to each other and to us.
Math is an optional component of this class, but it will helpful if you come with a (very) basic understanding of fractions (or the willingness to practice them outside of class on your own time).

Hindi Culture and Language (Wasfee)

This class is an introduction to Hindi language and South Asian culture. Wasfee will be back to teach another year of Hindi!

Cognitive Psychology & Neurodiversity  (Cherrise)

In this class we will explore and examine cognitive psychology which is the study of how humans perceive the world and navigate in it (problem solving, attention, decision making, and perception). We will also be talking in depth about neurodiversity, the challenges, strengths, societal structures that influence the lives of neurodivergent individuals.

Reindeer Heartache (Nat and Brayden) (hannah)

Reindeer heartache!!

An emo/hardcore band! 

By invite only, ask Nat or Brayden if you’re interested.


Twilight Zone (Dan Gillmore)

Watch episodes of the original Twilight Zone with PSCS Alum, Dan Gillmore.

About the instructor: Longtime volunteer. Longtime good guy.

AFI Films (Dan Gillmore)

Come watch movies from the American Film Institutes Top 100. We’ll watch and chat about themes, history, film technique and more.

About the instructor: Dan has offered classes for a long time, almost as long as his beard. He holds a graduate degree in film studies and is one of very few CHID graduates (Comparative History of Ideas) from the UW, (along with ASam).

Theater with Maggie! (Maggie)

This class will consist of theater games and fun, while also working on a performance if we get enough interest.

Python (Eric)

My goal is to teach fundamental programming skills to students with some familiarity with programming using the language Python with the pyGame library. It is not necessary to know Python if you have done some programming already and if you are very motivated, but are nervous about being a beginning programmer, we can make that work too, but you might need to work a little extra at home for the first few weeks.

I find Python (especially with the free PyCharm IDE from JetBrains) to be a good way to learn programming. Programming computers can be fun, but it can take a lot of practice to become fluent (just like everything else!) Writing programs that are colorful, graphical, and fun is a good way to improve your programming ability.

Some topics we can explore with pyGame include: games, fractals, and simulations. After you take this class, you should have a better understanding about how computer programs work and can create a simple python program with graphics.

Yearbook (cont’d) (Sieglinde)

In this twice weekly, yearlong Yearbook Class, students are co-editing, designing, and creating the 23-24 PSCS Yearbook. The  theme this year is Punk! which was decided by community process. We’re studying and learning the the intersectional history of punk, both as an aesthetic, as a sound, and as a movement—and applying it to a really cool archive of the year.

Our co-editors have already worked out the layout, timeline, and have gotten us started in Canva (easy to share, easy to organize, on the cheap). We hope to add 2-3 more folks interested in finalizing layout, writing copy, taking and organizing pictures, and creating pages/spreads in ways that capture this amazing community of humans.

The final result will be printed and shared with the community in June.

About the instructor: 20 years of graphic design, printing, and photography experience. Many years of experience with yearbook timelines, planning and layout (8th grade yearbook co-editor; High school yearbook staff).

Dungeons and Dragons (Nat)

In this class we will go over a weekly dungeons and dragons campaign led by Me, Nat. I will expect you to bring a prepared character, any physical dice you will want to use, as well as your enthusiasm every week.

Note: If I have not spoken to you about being a part of this class, then please don’t sticker it. ThanksOutside work: There will be little to none outside work for this class, I will occasionally give homework though.

Mature themes: There will be slight mature themes for things including violence, and weaponry.

Sessions per week: 2 

Chinese 1 (Jeremy and Kathy)

  Chinese 1 at PSCS, in partnership with the Village Teacher, is more than just language learning, it is learning how to acquire a language. In this course, students receive classroom instruction and real world
  practicum in both language and intercultural competency. In this course students will:
– Learn to acquire not only Mandarin but other languages through the use of TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling), Comprehensible Input, a basic understanding of the cognitive
  science of second language acquisition, and most importantly by using the language with members of the Chinese community here in Seattle.
– Receive three hours weekly of reading, writing, speaking, and listening instruction in Mandarin Chinese. Instructional themes and daily topics are based on the daily lives of our students and community
  members here in Chinatown-International District. Students will be imparted with self-directed, home learning routines and resources that they can use throughout the year. Instructional time together is all
  about building routines, dispositions, and mindsets that students use in their daily lives outside of our time together. Language habits and language proficiency go hand-in-hand.
–  Students will use Mandarin Chinese reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to engage with Seattle’s Chinatown-International District communities.
– Each student will receive a paid subscription to a graded reader app and website as well as a tool kit and database of print and digital Mandarin language learning resources as part of this course.

Senior Seminar (hannah)

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

Keep on keeping on.

Junior Seminar (Teacher Sam & Admin Sam)

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

We’ll continue to gather during Winter Term in order to continue to prepare for Senior Year at PSCS.

Intro to Piano (Brandon)

This is a beginner-friendly class for folks interested in learning how to play the piano.Students will learn the fundamentals of music and how to apply those fundamentals to this fun and very accessible instrument!

Students will analyze techniques, melodies, chords, and harmonies to understand how it all is performed to the piano.

Students will both learn famous songs and create their own simple songs and are encouraged (but not required) to share them with the community.


ABBCs/Casual Ghost Party (brandon)

A continuation of the advanced band.

BASASO (Brandon)

A continuation of the intermediate band.

American History (MS/HS) (TSam)

The founding of America and it’s early history to the present is one that commonly leaves out the the narrative of the marginalied. While some of the stories we have been taught often shares ideas of heroes and major triumphs, it almost never shares the true stories of the people who actually did all of the work. In this class, we will be reading and analyzing the literary work of Howard Zinn and his remarkable book, “A People’s History of the United States.” We will have menaingful discussions, write essays, and research connecting narratives.


Soccer (hannah)

Head up to Yesler and play soccer! 

Fun While Reading (Sam)

Do you like to read and wish you had more time to dive into some amazing stories? Well this is the class for you! We will doing a deep dive into the worlds of comics books and exploring why they’re so popular and how they keep our imagination flowing and growing! For each class there will be time to read comics, jump into discussions and possibly have the chance to create our own.

Feel free to bring in your own comic books to read and share with others!


Geometry, Continued (Scobie)

Y’all know who you are and what’s up, down, parallel and perpendicular. Let’s learn some more!


More recess! Group games, strength-building, risk-taking, trying new things, practicing skills, sweating, running, yelling, throwing, kicking, having fun together. Open to all.

Number Skills and Games (Amy)

Do numbers freak you out?  Does the idea of math make you nervous?  Could you use practice with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and/or decimals?  Do you just enjoy learning about numbers through playing games?  If you answered YES to any of these questions, this class could be for you!

This course will be an opportunity to increase your confidence with numbers and solidify computation skills that will set you up for success on your continued math journey.

Learning will happen through games as well as direct instruction and practice.

Work it Out! (Valerie)

Twice a week we will meet and move! What you do will be up to YOU. Is there an exercise you have built a habit around and want to practice more? Or, one that you love and are trying to maintain as a weekly habit? Excellent! That is what you will explore this term.  


Each of us will set a growth goal for the term and develop a plan to help us move toward that goal this term. 


This class was inspired by my own positive (+) experience with movement in a community setting AND by my choice of The Success of Failure as my math project. 

  • Val’s Goal: Improve my 1 rep max Deadlift and Power Clean
  • Val’s Plan: The failure of a 1 rep max attempt is what helps me determine my ceiling for lifting. The approximate time between testing for a 1RM is 3 months. This term I will work on skill-building and conditioning by employing functional fitness programming from a trusted source. I will keep track of all workouts and skill-building work this term and analyze the effectiveness of this training (and more) on my ability to increase my 1 RM (tested at the beginning and end of Winter Term).

What’s your plan?

Please note: You should have parent/guardian permission to participate. I will be coaching you on safety, form, and goal setting. I will not be teaching you foundational elements of the exercise or developing your exercise plan.


Love Medicine – HS Literature (hannah)

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

I just read this book and felt immediately called to teach it. Big themes include Indigenous life, family relationships, intergenerational narratives, multiculturalism, oral tradition, and the pull of home. Those of you who took Indigenous Poetry may remember reading Louis Erdrich’s poetry. 

In this powerful novel, Louise Erdrich introduces several generations in the interrelated families living in and around a Chippewa or Ojibwa reservation in North Dakota. Spanning fifty years, from 1934 to 1984, Love Medicine is told through the voices of a series of vivid characters, mostly Chippewa men and women who are caught up in the emotional tangle of their families’ histories, but who struggle to gain some control over their lives. In her uniquely poetic style, Erdrich creates an intense vision of a world that is at once violent and tender, ugly and lyrical, realistic and gothic. The separate stories that make up the novel convey the subtle pressure upon the souls of people who are culturally mixed – of those whose lives are shaped by conflicting values, habits, and customs.

This is a more-advanced English class – all of the required reading will take place outside of class, giving us more time to dig into the book together. The class will include weekly discussions about the book, writing assignments, and other related creative projects.

Fearless English (Scobie)

How I Make My Hypnosis Recordings - Start to Finish | Giovanni Lordi
This is the class where each week, you write something you’re genuinely excited to read aloud to your classmates, mostly fiction, but sometimes other kinds of work.

I am nowhere near out of good, provocative prompts, and I’ll take ANY of my wonderful writers from fall term, as well as ANY new writers!

  • There is always work outside of class because we use class for reading your pieces aloud. You get your pieces written between classes!
  • This class is FIRE, people, based on the idea that you should only bother writing what you’re super-pumped to share. When you do this the way it’s meant to be done, it feels like being in the best writing class there ever was.

Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think About Abortion (HS Only) (Amy)

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

This course will focus on reading and discussing the book “Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think About Abortion” by Gabrielle Blair.

In our current reality of abortion restrictions in many US states, this text offers us a new way to think about the responsibility of pregnancy prevention.

While the book is generally binary in its discussion of reproduction (“men” and “women”), we will take a more expanded and inclusive approach of considering those with the ability to produce sperm and those with the ability to produce eggs.

Some reflective writing will be included in this course, as well as a project that will serve to summarize and share your learning.

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

MS Sexual Health (Year-long) (Amy)

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

Last term we covered communication, consent, and what it means to have healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.  This term will be more focused on bodies, gender, and sexual orientation.

We will continue to learn through reading, videos, and conversation!

Queer History of the United States (Amy and ASam)

The fight to exist as Queer people is not new – people right here in the United States have been trailblazing a path for centuries.  Join us as we learn about how Queer folx have protested, struggled, lived, loved, thrived, and imagined.  The battle for equality is not over.  Be inspired by those who have come before you, and learn how where you sit today can influence the future of Queer rights movements.

This course will consist of reading, reflective writing, and rich class discussions.

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

AP African American Studies HS (cont) (Sam)

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

This course will provide an overview of the history of Africans and their descendants across the globe, including but not limited to African civilizations prior to European colonialism, encounters between Africa and Europe, movements of Africans to the Americas and elsewhere, and the development of Black communities in and outside Africa. Learners will explore the complex interplay among the political, economic, and cultural forces that shape our understanding of the historic achievements and struggles of African-descended people in the United States and their relation to others around the world. In addition to the curricular materials, students can select a topic for further exploration and in-depth research.  A variety of texts and community resources will be used to provide applicable and real-world examples related to the content.

Trivia! (Amy)

Are you a fan of trivia games?  If so, join us for this once-a-week class.  Throughout the term we will learn about and play different types of trivia AND we will create our own games.

Come along on this fact-learning, game-playing, fun-having adventure!

Philosophy (hannah)

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

More thinking, discussing, analyzing, reading, changing minds, challenges, expansion, new ideas, learning about the past, considering the future, looking at ourselves….

In fall term, we dug into social philosophy, including ethics and morals; cancel culture and the apology; and learning about the Palestine/Israel conflict. We will continue to follow this path in winter term, seeing where class interest leads us next.

Frequent reading, writing, and participation in discussion is required. This is not a yearlong class, so anyone is welcome to join (or drop) from last term.

Chess Club (hannah)

It’s back! We will play chess with each other and learn new strategies to improve our skills. 

Notable Films (Sam & Ollie)

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

There’s nothing like a good movie. Film has been one of the most popular mediums in over the last 100 years. There have been some amazing feature films and specific moments that shape our world from these cinematic masterpieces. In this class, we will share movies from all over various genres and countries. Then we will break down the meanings and parts of these films that stood out to us and learn about the deeper meanings and themes in these visual works of art.



Duolingo & Study Hall (Sam)

The ability to speak and communicate with others from various places on earth is something most people only dream about. There are over 300 languages and dialects spoken all over the world. You will embark or continue on your language journey using the website/app DUOLINGO. There will be time to practice both in class and in your spare time. You will be expected to practice and log your time every day/week.


Do you find yourself needing a place to get classwork done and don’t want to use open slots all the time? Well, I have a solution for you. You can come to my room, work quietly and get learning support all in one place. There will be a short check in about what you will work on during the slot and a quick check in to verify the work that you finished.


Note: If you are interested in both, please plan on rotating between Duolingo and Study Hall every other week or make plans accordingly.

HS Sexual Health (Year-long) (Amy)

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

Last term we did some deep dives into communication, consent, red-flags and green-flags in relationships, and how the media influences our beliefs about relationships.

This term we will begin to focus more heavily on gender, sexual orientation, and what sex means to us.

What Darwin Didn’t Know, The Modern Science of Evolution (Scobie)

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

What Darwin Didn't Know: The Modern Science of Evolution

This will be a video lecture course delivered by Scott Solomon, PhD of Rice university, and hosted by Scobie, examining many of the core concepts of evolution, and the staggering evidence that has mounted for this fundamental life theory since its inception, from virtually every branch of science.

The 30-minute video lectures are from one of the highest-rated courses in “The Great Courses” series. We’ll watch them together, live in class, so that we can pause for discussion.

If paying close attention to a lecture for 30 minutes puts you to sleep, this is NOT the science course for you!

We will look at several key questions before each lecture. You’ll take notes when you notice a question being addressed, then attempt to answer the key questions directly after the lecture.

Achieving Credit will consist of:

  • an attendance minimum
  • notes for each lecture, taken in a google classroom document, and submitted
  • one modest outside project, to contribute richness to one of the many topics from the lectures.

Wo’ Pop (Async) (Sam)

Note: This class will not meet formally. You will need to schedule a time to complete the work for this class.

Do you ever wonder what music is like in other parts of the world? Being a HUGE music lover, I often find myself wondering about that very thing. Often I find myself going on Spotify and seeing what’s available in many parts of the world.

We will explore music in a variety of ways and find out what makes music so popular in different cultures. We will look for commonalities and differences in sounds and lyrics, and learn about the relationship music holds with that particular culture. Who knows? Maybe we will discover where some of the sounds in America originated from!!!

For this class, you will need to have headphones, access to KEXP (Online archive) Spotify, & Youtube.

Tech Space (Sam)

Technology is an ever-growing part of life. We use cell phones, midis for music, as well as computers for gaming and research. This will be a space for people to come and be creative on solo projects and collaborate on group ideas.

This space will be a place for people to come and work on digital art, coding, podcasting, digital music, DJing, designing, video creation and more.  We will be able to take these projects and use them for our personal endeavors or incorporate them into our school community.


Climate Optimism (hannah)

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

In this interdisciplinary class, we will learn about the current state of the global climate crisis. This class will be a mix of science, English, current events, and project-based learning. 

My objective is for students to come away from this class with more understanding about climate science; knowledge about movements and solutions happening locally and worldwide; and to gain skills and strategies that can be implemented immediately. And – to embody agency, power, and hope. 

Some examples of the type of work in this class: 

  • Reading, analyzing, discussing current articles from major publications about climate solutions
  • Initiating a “green team” at school who could, for example, create and implement a system for our compost and other waste – get a worm bin??
  • Researching local climate solutions and grassroot movements happening in Seattle 
  • Basic science lessons on how and why climate change is happening 
  • Study local Indigenous Science and consider how we might initiate those systems on small and large scales 
  • Learning from visiting speakers who are currently working in the environmental sector

Just Dance! (Amy)

Offered based on student request, this class will give us a once-a-week opportunity to DANCE!

Do you feel like your don’t have any cool moves of your own?  That’s okay!  We will be using the video game “Just Dance” to increase our coolness quotient, and maybe even work up a sweat in the process.

Come dance with us!

Shop Life (Scobie)

If you like making things, fixing things,  and  being competent with tools, you should always take as much Shop Life as you can possibly get your hands on! Here’s what we’ll be doing:

  1. Learning about tools and the skills to use them effectively and safely.
  2. Working on improving, organizing, stocking, and cleaning our ever-developing shop.
  3. Contributing to the school and our larger community with fixes, furniture, and projects.
  4. Completing projects that result in gifts you can give to yourself or others.

Huichol Yarn Painting (Amy)


Known for their exquisite and vibrant art, the Huichol people of Mexico are known world-wide for their yarn painting.  Learn the history and symbolism behind Huichol artwork, create your own yarn painting, and contribute to a yarn painting that will live at PSCS!


All work for this course will be completed in class.


Poetry Lab (hannah)

This is a poetry-writing class! 

We will read lots of poetry, studying how this art form continues to change over time and across cultures. We will write lots of poetry, examining elements of the form and experimenting with different styles. You will be facilitated in different writing activities and methods in order to develop confidence and comfort with poetry-writing. 

This class requires courageousness to take the risk to write and share your work. Open to all.

French I (cont) yearlong (Sam)

French I is an introduction to the French language and culture. The fundamentals of French pronunciation, grammar, and culture are presented through a balanced development of all four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

This class is designed for students to gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures.  Students start learning how to communicate in French. Our main focus will on developing the four basic language competencies (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) and engaging in the five Cs: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice (Brayden)

In this class students will take their cooking and baking skills to the next level! We’ll learn knife skills, baking, seasoning, garnishing, saucing, and more! Each week we’ll learn or build on a kitchen skill. Weeks will alternate between savory and sweet, preparing students to create and prepare meals, bake for all occasions, and refine their pallet! Whatever that means… 

This class is for students who have basic experience in the kitchen, although no one should be a master chef!

Handwriting (Amy)

While much of the writing we do today is electronic, there is no replacement for having legible handwriting.

Offered by student request, this once-a-week class will offer you an opportunity to practice and improve your handwriting skills.

All work will be completed in class…but the results of your work will benefit your whole life!

Fluoride (Brandon)

A continuation of the beginner band.

Leadership (hannah)

This is a continuation of the fall term class. Anyone is welcome to join. We will continue to develop and practice leadership skills through planning, preparing, collaborating on, and facilitating community projects and school events. This term will include our second Community Engagement Day and the 30th anniversary Creative Cafe! 

This class will help you develop skills of time management, collaborating on small teams, giving and receiving feedback, verbal and online communication, work ethic, facilitation, task prioritization and delegation, risk-taking, goal-setting, and building confidence.

LARGE ART (hannah)

In this class, we will attempt to try / use all of the different materials in Cherry. Paint? Yarn? Ink? Collage? All at once?? Mixed media art! My hope is to create some BIG pieces of art together, using the materials we already have. This class is also a practice in taking up creative space with our artistic voices, departing from expectations about what is “good” art. 

This is a fun, experimental art class. Take this class if you want to flex your creativity, try new things, learn about new art materials and methods, collaborate on work, and respect the process of creation.

Global Graphic Novels – MS Literature (hannah)

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

In this class, we will read two different graphic memoirs about global geopolitical events, Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook and Maus by Art Spiegelman. Both of these books have recently ended up on banned book lists in schools and public libraries across the country. 

Banned Book Club is a memoir about Kim Hyun Sook’s experience in college in South Korea in 1983. This was during South Korea’s Fifth Republic, a military regime that entrenched its power through censorship, torture, and the murder of protesters. In this charged political climate, Hyun Sook sought refuge in the comfort of books. Instead, she found herself hiding in a basement as the youngest member of an underground banned book club. But in a totalitarian regime, the delights of discovering great works of illicit literature are quickly overshadowed by fear and violence as the walls close in.

In Maus, Spiegelman blends autobiography with the story of his father’s survival of the concentration camps during the Holocaust. The all-too-real characters here have the heads of animals—the Jews are mice, the Nazis are rats, and the Poles are pigs—a stark Orwellian metaphor for dehumanized relations during WWII. Much of Spiegelman’s narrative concerns his own struggle to coax his difficult father into remembering a past he’d rather forget. What emerges in his father Vladek’s tale is a study in survival; he makes it through by luck, randomness, and cleverness. 

This class will include in-class reading and discussion; lessons about the historical contexts of both stories; comparing / contrasting the narrative and art style of both books; occasional writing assignments; and other creative projects.