Tag Archives: 22spring

Cryptozoology (Taig/Quinn) (hannah)

Cryptozoology is the study of animals that hypothetically exist but have not been proven to be real at least to the white straight cis men who run the zoological field. This class will be talking about creatures that seem fantastical but could be real. Oftentimes these animals have not been taken seriously because indigenous people have reported them and not white people. A great example is an animal with two heads one on its chest that is half rabbit half deer with a long thick tail that stands like a human, a kangaroo.

There will be two main projects of this class both of which you will be taking a scientific approach upon even though you’ll be studying something fantastical. These projects will include creating your own realistic cryptid and how it would elude the greater zoological communities, the other project will be a research essay on a cryptid of your choosing. This will be all the homework for this class besides optional activities.

This will be a laid back class for a science credit which you will get easily if you try and be respectful. There will be games throughout making sure this is an active (non physical) course.

Oscar’s Guide to Everything (Oscar)

My name is Oscar, I like a lot of things!
Soccer, music, video games, food, movies/tv shows and most of all being funny and charismatic. In my 18 years of living I have accrued a lot of knowledge on the things I like. Before I graduate from this school I would love to impart some of this very useful knowledge to you.In this class each week will be spent learning as much as I can teach you about a different one of my passions.
If you want more knowledge on songwriting, sports or bits of pop culture I enjoy then this is the class for you.
Outside work: Occasional
Class max: 10
Mature Themes Necessary

Cultural Anthropology (HS) (Sam)

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


Cultural Anthropology (HS)


Learning is a lifelong pursuit, and most move to acquire an understanding of the differences and similarities, both biological and cultural, in human populations. In this class, we will be able to recognize the characteristics that define their culture and gain an appreciation for the culture of others. The content includes, but not be limited to, the following: human biological and cultural origins and adaptation to the physical environment, diversity of human behavior, an evolution of social and cultural institutions. Other patterns of language development along with family and kinship relationships and effects of change on such cultural institutions as the arts, education, religion, and law.


Some class activities to expect:

Note Taking


Short Answer quizzes

Short Writing Assignments

Mini Project

Cultural Analysis Reports

Soul Music (African American music appreciation) (MS/HS) (Sam)

Soul Music (African American Music appreciation) (MS/HS)

African American music helped shape an entire century (and more) of American history.

America was the birthplace for many genres of music, including jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. Both have deep roots in the African American community. Throughout the 20th century, these genres also helped change the cultural landscape. When people were divided by skin color, music brought them together. When tragedies hit the nation, music brought people comfort, hope, and a way to express difficult emotions.

Music allowed African Americans a chance to change their lives. However, it did more than that. Their music also changed the minds and hearts of people around them, making it an important part of the Civil Rights movement.

In this class, you will have the chance to listen to and understand the music of a people who have shown excellence despite facing some of the hardest challenges throughout their history. There will be stories, lyrical analysis, mini-documentaries, and more.

Note: You will need headphones and access to Spotify and Youtube to participate in class.

Gaze in Film (Sadie)

Puppet Making, Continued (Scobie)

I’ve been a puppet maker and puppet inventor my whole life. Not only have I invented new ways of making puppets, our winter term class has as well! Come join this continuation! We are doing great work!

Midrange Amplitude (Brandon)


Midrange Amplitude:

Brayden, Charlie, Wyatt, Aidan, Wren

Blackish/Wonder Years (MS/HS) (Sam)

Blackish/Wonder Years – Film Class (MS/HS)

Everyone loves a good show! I want to showcase black history this year in a unique way, through the lens of film. The shows Black-ish and The Wonder Years provide a snapshot into the lives of African Americans and how they navigate life in the US. While the method of using comedy versus a more serious approach is on two different planes, each show is packed with so much information and scenes that cause us to pause and think deeply about what we experienced. We will watch the shows together and dive into deep conversations about what we see visually in each show. Also, there will be time to write our thoughts down and even take on mini-projects that share how we relate to these amazing shows.

Sex Ed and Health (MS) (elizabeth ortega)

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

We will work 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!

This class will be a place to build confidence and friendly curiosity, rather than shame and judgment. Cultivating a relationship with one’s sexuality and body is a journey – and it’s better if you feel informed and aware along the way.

We will utilize the book: Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and You “This candid, inclusive, stereotype-defying, and absolutely wonderful primer on sexuality and gender identity embraces diversity in all of its dimensions.” To further inform the curriculum we will also use the age appropriate curriculum: The Get Real middle school curriculum.

Please reach out if you have any questions about the content of this class!

Natural Latin (Michael J. Coffey)

Estne Quintus mortuus?  Minime, tantum aeger, quia is de arbore cacderit (“cadit” in tempore priore).  Qui spirat, vivit!  Pro dolor aeger est, sed… non mortuus est?  Mirabilis! 

In Capitulo Duodecimo (XII), fratrem Aemiliae videmus.  Et in Capitulo Quinto-Decimo (XV), Marcum in schola videmus.

But enough teasers for what’s to come.  The class will continue to use Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata  by Hans Orberg, and students will be expected to actually read the chapters and practice between classes, with the bar set higher than was achieved in Winter term.

For this to be “natural” Latin, you should be comfortable using most of the 400+ very common Latin words the book has introduced so far.  If you’re not, reviewing your notes, re-reading, looking up unfamiliar words, and practicing are great choices prior to the start of next term.  (I do all those things in English, and that’s my native language!  What’s more natural than the language you learned as a baby?)

About the instructor: Michael knows people are paying attention when they're taking notes on paper, because not taking notes at all looks the same as zoning out, and taking notes on a computer looks the same as playing video games.

Contemporary World Problems (HS) (Sam)

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

Contemporary World Problems

The study of Contemporary World Issues is a class designed to engage and prepare students to analyze governments, people, and cultures from around the world. We will begin with some basic knowledge and understanding of past history. It will then emphasize the structures and policies of the United States and how they compare to other systems in the international community. Then we will apply critical thinking and research skills to examine current events and contemporary issues, including human rights, globalization, America’s role in the international economy, environmental issues in different regions, religion(s), and how it is often used to facilitate and justify violence and behavior, “War on Terror” and more.

Some class activities to expect:

Note Taking


Short Answer quizzes

Writing Assignments

Research Paper

Fearless English, continued (Scobie)

This is the class where each week, you write things you’re genuinely excited to read to your classmates, mostly fiction. I am nowhere near out of good, provocative prompts, and I’ll take ANY of my wonderful writers from winter term, as well as ANY new writers!

Yes, “Summarize This!” will be back next year, but for this year, let’s keep writing and fearlessly reading our work aloud to each other!

PS: I promise to write at least one of the prompts this spring term and read my piece to YOU!

New Student Seminar (Sieglinde)

Required for all mid-year stduents and anyone who missed this Seminar last fall.

Coding Games in Unity (Caden)

In this class, I’ll teach you how to make video games with Unity, a game engine that can be used to make 2D and 3D games on a lot of platforms, including computers and phones. I’ll show you the basic components, and then help you make any game you want to learn how to create.

Read Aloud (for the mini slot on Wednesdays) (Scobie)

Image result for books

Join our cozy, funny, insightful read aloud to finish off your Wednesdays!

Marine Ecology of the Puget Sound (hannah)

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

Puget Sound is the second largest estuary in the United States. Its numerous glacier-carved channels and branches are fed by freshwater from 19 different river basins that flow down from the Olympic and Cascade Mountains to the wetlands, salt marshes, and bays of the sound. Puget Sound’s climate, extensive shoreline, nutrient-rich waters, and diverse habitats sustain a variety of wildlife. 

By utilizing the plentiful resources and curricula developed at UW, Western, and elsewhere nearby, we will study the dynamic, living systems that exist in the Puget Sound. We will learn about the different ecosystems and how they connect, getting to know local animals, plants, and habitats. We will discuss the environmental changes that threaten species and ecosystem survival as well as the sustainable solutions we can enact to keep the sound healthy. 

This class will include trips to the shores of the sound. Get to know your biome better! With SCIENCE!

Sociology of the International District (hannah)

How does our school community connect to the International District community? What is the history of the ground we walk on? How can we be in just relationship with our neighbors? 

We go to school in the heart of a rich historical and cultural urban enclave. The International District is a multiethnic concentrated area that includes Chinatown, Japantown, Little Saigon, and Manilatown. Chinese immigrants first came to the PNW in the 1850s. Since then, the sociology of the International District has been shaped by legislature, migration, war, environment, business, gentrification, racism, culture, and resistance. 

Sociology is a science focusing on society, human behavior, relationships, and interactions. In this class, we will learn about the history of the ID in order to understand the sociology of the area over time and today. Class will include visits to local businesses, museums, and parks throughout the term. I hope to have members from the community come speak with us. 

Geometry (Scobie)

You know who you are. If you are someone else, talk to me before signing up for this class in Spring Term.

Diverse Voices & Yummy Things (elizabeth ortega)

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

I’ll provide options each day, y’all will vote and bam! We listen and discuss.

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 and eat yummy things and THINK and PONDER and FEEL!

Duolingo (tim)

In this course you select a world language to study, sign up for and work using the free Duolingo app, and then report your weekly progress to Tim. That’s it! This is a simple way to earn a world language credit.

Super Simple Data Science (Michael J. Coffey)

Let’s be clear.  Doing data science isn’t exactly simple.  However, it’s entirely possible to go from only knowing basic math to understanding the ideas behind the most popular techniques in data science.  If you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, and feel pretty comfortable with decimals and percentages and fractions, you can understand fancy-sounding methods like support vector machines, and linear regression, and hierarchical clustering, all of which are techniques used by professional data scientists.

To give a quick example:  The price of an item and how many people decide to buy are related.  The higher the price, the fewer get purchased.  The idea behind linear regression is just to use math to draw a line on a graph that best summarizes the relationship.  (For those in algebra, it’s an application of the slope-intercept formula.)

We will be talking about what the techniques are, how they work, and when they might be more or less useful.  This class is a calculation-light sampler of what you could do if you decided to learn more math and become a data scientist.  Or if you don’t want to be a data scientist, you will at least be better able to understand what they say and do.

If you took Thinking with Math or Living with Math, this class will be aimed at being only slightly more “mathy.”  It’ll be less mathy than Algebra I.

About the instructor: Michael describes chocolate as "delicious."

Junior Seminar (Scobie & Tim)

Required of all Juniors.

Art School, continued: Sculpture (Scobie)

Aerial Mobile Sculpture by Julie Frith120 Packing Tape Sculptures ideas | tape sculpture, packing tape, tape art

This spring, Art School is going 3d, and will focus on sculpture:

  • mobile sculpture
  • abstract sculpture
  • wire sculpture
  • packing tape sculpture

Musical Time Travel (Dan Gillmore)

In this class we each choose a recent musical artist or group, listen to a song of theirs, and then our homework is to find another artist that inspired them. The following week we share what we’ve discovered and the whole thing repeats until we’ve gone back in time as far as we can go. Four students maximum, otherwise we’d never get through all the songs.

Measurement Lab (Scobie)

Science depends intimately on measurement. This will be a hands-on science class focusing on many kinds of measurement. You’ll keep a lab book, use measurement tools, constantly practice approximation, get familiar with many units of measurement*, learn about formulas for volume, grok the difference between mass and weight, understand balance measurements, density, angles, temperature, do math associated with measurement, solve measurement puzzles, and do some hands-0n chemistry that requires…. you guessed it: measurement!

*(with a strong focus on SI or Systeme Internationale measurements, the common measurement language of international science)

Self Care Slow Down (elizabeth ortega)

We all need some extra care. Intentional, set aside time to take care of us.

I invite students who have taken this class every time it was offered, as well as students who feel like taking care of themselves is new and maybe even a bit of a strange concept. Spring term is a perfect time to prioritize your own self care. This class offers an opportunity to slow down, check in with yourself, and engage in practices that help you prioritize taking care of your whole being: mind, heart, body, and spirit – especially when things get tough.

We will come together to take care of our hearts, bodies, and spirits, and get to know each other and ourselves a little better. We will meditate, listen, breathe, make art together, go outside, write, stretch, and create.

You become what you practice. Let’s practice together.

Analyze That! (hannah)

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

In accompaniment to the classic writing class Summarize This!, this class is geared towards honing skills of analytical writing. We will read / listen to / watch different pieces of juicy stories and media. We will then learn and practice how to think critically, look closely, and translate thoughts into arguments framed by reasoning. 

This class is for students with deep ideas, who look at the world through a critical lens, and want to learn how to write with clarity and power. It will require some outside-of-class prep work and accompanying writing assignments. 

Midrange Frequency (Brandon)

Midrange Frequency:

Henry, Caden, Ori, Sophie, Aadit

Queer History and More! (elizabeth ortega)

This class is going to be a mash up of queer history, biographies, queer theory and queer identity, queer as a verb and current issues surrounding being queer and how to navigate it all. My goal is for you to walk out of class with a fistful of information, deep perplexing possibilities and even bigger love and gratitude.

Every week I will provide a reading or a piece of media related to one of these areas. We will unpack, repack and wrap our minds and hearts around the content with deep discussion, writing, a personal interview and I am committed to bringing at least 1 guest speaker.

Join the class at any level of knowledge and NO you DO NOT need to identify as queer/LGBTQQIAA2s.

We will ALL be learning new ideas and information and deepening our awareness of self and others.

In this class we’ll be learning about key historical moments and people who shaped queer life and history in this country. We will dive into some queer theory,


High school only unless you are an 8th grader and feel up to the challenge and come to discuss with me.

Astronomy (MS/HS) (Sam)


Astronomy (MS/HS)

Astronomy is perhaps the science whose discoveries owe least to chance, in which human understanding appears in its whole magnitude, and through which man can best learn how small he is.” – Georg C. Lichtenberg, German scientist

This class will introduce you to the composition and structure of the universe. Astronomy is the scientific study of the contents of the entire Universe. This course will provide the student with a study of the universe and the conditions, properties, and motions of bodies in space. The content includes, but is not limited to, historical astronomy, astronomical instruments, the celestial sphere, the solar system, the earth as a system in space, the earth/moon system, the sun as a star, and stars.

Some class activities to expect:

Note Taking


Short Answer quizzes

Scientific Exploration

Research and Discovery-based work

B.O. (The Brayden and Oscar Experience) (hannah)

Band run by Brayden and Oscar. We will be selecting songs that everyone will enjoy. By invite only. You’ll know if you’re in this class.

Outside work: practice music! wow! 

Philosophy III (hannah)

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

THERE’S MORE TO PHILOSOPHIZE ABOUT. If you want to join the class but didn’t take it in prior terms, talk to me.

Senior Seminar

Required for all Seniors.

Indigenous People’s History (Cont) (HS) (Sam)

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

Indigenous People’s History (Cont) (HS)


When we hear about the start of this country, it always begins with the landing on the East Coast (Plymouth Rock). We all know by now that much more was going on way before then. This class will read and analyze the book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History Of The United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. We will talk about the many people groups and nations that were a part of this land before the invasion of British settlers. We will be learning about groups that lived in many regions and how they survived and thrived. Also, we will learn about the similarities that we come across in our state that reflect Native cultures, practices, and ideas.

Note: You are welcome to join this class if you were not a part of the class last term.

Some class activities to expect:

Note Taking


Short Answer quizzes

Short Writing Assignments

Pizzly (Brandon)

Experienced music performance group.

8th Grade Seminar (Sam)

Required of all 8th graders.

Danny Woo Community Garden Class  (hannah)

High on the hill above the ID rests a small but sprawling green space of curling vines, flowering trees, and community garden plots. 

As anyone who took landscape sketching knows, I LOVE Danny Woo Community Garden. As anyone who has spoken to me at all knows, I love the science and cycles of nature, especially when it results in tasty produce. Gardening is a 

In this class, we will head up to volunteer for the community garden. We will be working with staff from Seattle Parks and Rec. Tasks may include planting, weeding, cleaning, watering, harvesting, or other needs.

Algebra I (Michael J. Coffey)

Having finished the bulk of Josh Rappaport’s Algebra Survival Guide, the Algebra I class will be switching things up and slowly dipping our toes into the pool of Algebra II ideas.  We’ll be using Lynn Marecek and Andrea Honeycutt Mathis’ free PDF textbook, Intermediate Algebra 2e.  It’s a little more technical than the good old “Book of Josh” but everyone can have their own copy for free, and it has lots of new ways we can use the book to discover new techniques, patterns, and shortcuts!

For example, how do you handle it if an “equation” has a greater-than symbol instead of an equals sign?  Can you still do the same thing to both sides if they’re not equal?!   Don’t worry, the “Book of Lynn and Andrea” (Lyndrea?) has lots of examples for us to look at.

If you’ve not been in the class before, talk to both Michael and your advisor ASAP before signing up.  Joining at this point will be extremely difficult, but not impossible, and we need to discuss what you’d need to do before next term to prepare.

About the instructor: I, of course, play a mage in Elden Ring.  But it's obviously math-based magic, like in some of Nnedi Okorofor's stories.

Required texts/materials: Intermediate Algebra 2e, by Lynn Marecek and Andrea Honeycutt Mathisfrom Openstax.  I will send a link to download the book to all registered students as soon as I get a roster. The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Soccer and Kick It (hannah and elizabeth)

Play soccer! Kick it! It’s still happening! We are going to cap the class at 12 students this term.

Watercoloring (hannah)

This is an introductory class to the relaxing and beautiful art of watercolor painting. We will practice techniques and eventually paint our outdoor springtime surroundings. Paints, brushes, and paper will be provided.

George Orwell’s 1984 (HS) (elizabeth ortega)

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

A classic. Nineteen Eighty-Four has become a classic literary example of political and dystopian fiction. Written more than 70 years ago, this novel is a chilling prophecy about the possible future. And while 1984 has passed along, this book is a timely read. Thematically, it centers on the consequences of totalitarianism, mass surveillance and repressive regimentation of people and behaviors within society. More broadly, the novel examines the role of truth and facts within society and the ways in which they are/can be manipulated. Come join the journey of reading this quintessential novel and put it under your literary belt.

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Each week we will read, take notes, engage in critical writing reflections and complete a personal project throughout the term.

HIGH SCHOOL ONLY (8th graders talk to me)

Just Write (MS) (Sam)

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

Just Write (MS)


Do you wish you had more time to write down your ideas, but don’t know where to start? Well, this is the class for you. The whole purpose is to make time to write and use those moments to increase our ability to see things in a creative way. You might find yourself writing short stories, creating poetry, sketching song lyrics, or even working on a big writing project. 

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!

Yoga (hannah)

This is a continuation of the last-slot-on-Wednesdays yoga class. We breath, we stretch, we talk, we connect. We get stronger. It’s really fun.

The Hate U Give (hannah)

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

In this class, we will read, analyze, discuss, and write about the book, The Hate U Give. Here’s a brief synopsis of the book:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.

This acclaimed story handles themes of identity, racism, community, family, the power of language, injustice, and social action. Everyone I know who reads this book loves it and is moved by it. This is a class for middle school students excited to dig into a book, learn about big concepts, and study how they connect.


Required texts/materials:

A Mingle With the Gingolds (Sadie and Charlie) (Sadie)

Want to Mingle one last time? Join us for the Mingle with the Gingolds Finale. We will play games, have trials and contests, physical and mental challenges, and even give out awards and snacks. Come with a positive attitude and the spirit of teamwork. You don’t want to miss this…

Algebra II (Michael J. Coffey)

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

We will work through the second half of Lynn Marecek and Andrea Honeycutt Mathis’ free PDF textbook, Intermediate Algebra 2e.  It is considered an advanced placement textbook for high school, or an introductory-level college textbook, so we may not complete all of the last two chapters.  However, getting through the entire book is possible if we’re really focused on making progress all term.

But we will get at least through logarithms, the symbolic final question on my placement “test” at the beginning of the year!

If you’ve not been in the class before, talk to both Michael and your advisor ASAP before signing up.  Joining at this point will be extremely difficult, but not impossible, and we need to discuss what you’d need to do before next term to prepare.

About the instructor: As of the writing of this class description, Michael had not yet done his taxes.  He tells himself he's got plenty of time, but he really should do it sooner rather than later.

10th Grade Seminar (Liana)

Required for all 10th graders.

Ishmael (Dan Gillmore)

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

“Ishmael is a 1992 philosophical novel by Daniel Quinn. The novel examines the hidden cultural biases driving modern civilization and explores themes of ethics, sustainability, and global catastrophe.”

A difficult book to describe, but one of monumental importance. Each week we will read a few chapters and then come together in class to discuss the reading. This is a rare “serious Dan” class, so come ready to engage with complex ideas and good dialogues. Expect a few hours of reading time outside of class, and to start reading before the first class convenes.

About the instructor: Former PSCS student, current PSCS volunteer, future billionaire.  

Required texts/materials: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn https://www.amazon.com/Ishmael-Novel-Daniel-Quinn/dp/0553375407   Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: Procured and at least the first chapter read, preferably two.