Tag Archives: Hs-only

Adulting 101: Things You Should Know (Sean K Reynolds)

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

You’re getting ready to enter the world as an adult. There are things you can learn right now that’ll make being an adult easier for you and for the important and prominent people in your life (parents, siblings, guardians, new college roommates, significant others, and so on). Not only will this directly help your day-to-day living, it’ll show other people that you’re a capable and considerate person—not a goofball who is stumbling through life making awkward, insensitive, stinky, or even hurtful mistakes.

This Adulting class covers basic cooking skills, making friends in a new place, tips for job interviews, booking plane tickets, jump-starting a car, using a toolkit and power tools, setting boundaries with roommates, changing a flat tire, what to do when you get sick, filling out a basic tax form, dating, de-escalating personal conflicts, how credit cards work, and a whole lot more.

Some of those things sound really boring. They are really boring. But knowing how to do them means fewer arguments at home, more cash in your pocket, and not smelling like garbage, which I we can all agree are positive things.

About the instructor: I'm a professional game designer, trained chemist, amateur artist, decent cook, former resident advisor for a college dorm, jack-of-all-trades, and a very chatty extrovert. I've moved cross-country nine times, have accumulated a lot of life experience, and I want to give you a head start on knowing how to deal with life outside of high school.

High School Jazz Immersion (Liana) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

This is a mega class.

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

Jazz is at the root of most of the music you listen to, and the ability to play it (even at a basic level) will make you better at almost any other form of music that you play.

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

In this class, we’ll practice playing jazz: learning charts and improvising solos. 

But… We can’t properly honor this art form without doing the history, theory and listening that goes along with it. To facilitate this learning, we will read the book Moving To Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life. (Reading will be ~20 pages/week.)

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

Required texts/materials: You will need your instrument, music, a mechanical pencil, headphones, your computer, and your book.

Let’s Talk Personality with The Enneagram (Kirsten Harrison & Mallory Harrison)

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

Don’t let this big word scare you off! It’s pronounced ANY-a-gram.  It’s an ancient personality tool that describes nine basic ways of seeing the world.

Not everyone sees the world in the same way. That’s a GOOD thing. And yet, it can baffling and frustrating sometimes, too.

I (Kirsten) first heard of the Enneagram about 3 years ago and have been fascinated by how it has helped me grow in self-awareness and in understanding of the people around me.

I (Mallory) see this not as a way to put people in boxes, but as a way for us to empathize and be kind to each other.

The Enneagram is NOT:

An excuse for bad behavior.
The answer to all the problems we face.
A way to label others.

It is one tool that you may find useful to have as you navigate life in community with others.

While there are tests available that may help you find “your number,” most enneagram teachers say the best way to understand which way you see the world is to learn about the nine types and see which seems to describe you. We may take the test at some point, because it’s FUN and can provide you with clues.


There are so many excellent personality inventories. Why the Enneagram? 

That’s right! Personality is fascinating, and there are lots of great systems. Here’s why the Enneagram is my fave (Kirsten):

It’s tells me the things I don’t want to hear, but need to. Only hearing about my strengths is awesome, but hearing about my blind spots helps me grow.

It is about MOTIVATION, rather than behavior. When you know why someone you are close to behaves a certain way, it can help you see a bigger picture that can help provide context.




About the instructor: I'm Mallory's mom, and mom to her older siblings Kayti and Ryan. Hospitality and presence are important to me. I'm an Enneagram 2.

Required texts/materials: The Enneagram Made Easy The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

9th-12th Grade Bands (Liana)

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

Put your sticker here if you are a 9th-12th grader who wants to play in a band! I will use the sorting hat™ to distribute you into a few bands during the scheduling process.

Sign up for some good fun, hard work, and serious learning!

Note: the second class meeting will be the “Lab meeting.” During this time, we will focus on music theory, music history and music appreciation in our band groups. This section will not be required, though it is highly encouraged. There won’t be homework specific to the lab meeting — just show up and gain knowledge & skills that will make you a better musician!

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

Advanced Cooking (Chrissy)

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

This class is a short but dedicated time for high school students who have taken many of my various cooking classes in the past and are ready to jump in and try new recipes and new techniques. Students need to be confident, and proficient in the kitchen. What we do in class will be dependent on the students and what they want to learn. The constraint? Time! This will meet in two 55 minute slots. Oooh challenge! If you are in high school and want to take this class, come and talk to me!


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

A People’s History of the United States (Year long) (Chrissy)

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

Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States, revolutionized United States history when the book was first printed in 1980. A People’s History focuses on history from the “point of view of America’s women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers.” Knowing and understanding US history allows us to make connections, ask questions, and discuss what is happening currently in the United States. The reading is challenging and dense but richly rewarding! There will also be a small amount of written work for each class which must be done in order to participate/discuss when class meets. As this is a year long class, we will keep class spicy with projects, documentaries perhaps even some debate! Please plan on committing to taking this class for the full year.

Required texts/materials: A People's History of the United States. There is a audiobook available that students may choose to use as well. Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: First class

Environmental Justice (Year Long Class) (elizabeth)

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


“Sometimes we just simply have to find a way. The moment we decide to fulfill something, we can do anything. And I’m sure that the moment we start behaving as if we were in an emergency, we can avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. Humans are very adaptable: we can still fix this. But the opportunity to do so will not last for long. We must start today. We have no more excuses.” -Greta Thunberg

This class is a deep dive into the complex history and current realities that people, creatures, organisms and plants of the earth are undergoing throughout the globe.  The state of the environment and the health of the earth is in crisis and there is much to learn about how we’ve (collectively as humans) impacted this interconnected life here on earth and what people are experiencing because of it globally. Each of us is or will be affected by the environmental crisis and some folks depending on race, class, nationality and location are impacted at faster rates.

From BP oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico to the Flint water crisis in Michigan we will cover topics such as: natural gas and fracking, oil consumption, chemical toxins in communities of color, food and farming crisis’s, Native people’s resistance around the world, climate chaos and much more.

The book that will guide this class is called, “A People’s Curriculum for the Earth.” by Bill Bigelow and Time Swinehart

American History: Malcolm X (elizabeth)

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

This is a high school lit and history class.

We will be reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X by: Alex Haley and Malcolm X .

This brilliant piece of American literature is an important work that captures the heart and soul of America (in it’s darkness and light). Malcolm X is/was a controversial and powerful figure. He was a legacy and deeply adored person as well as an enemy to many. He was born in 1925 and was assassinated in 1965.

Due to the historical nature of this novel this class covers a pivotal time in American history. We will dive into the themes, literary devices, historical content and perspective writing. This book is an American classic and important high school and/or college level read.

Their will be discussion, debate, and supplementary films we will watch.

Biology (Sam)

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

Biology: “bio-” = life and “-ology” = study of

In other words, it is a branch of knowledge that deals with living organisms and vital processes. Themes that we will be studying in this course include scientific skills, cellular processes, biochemistry, genetics, natural selection, ecology, human body systems, and the social implications of science on society.

Summarize THIS! (Fall & Winter HS edition) (Scobie)

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


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

This class is primarily a homework class in which you’ll do one piece of edited, finished writing, from a half page to two pages per week, to a specific word count. Expect to listen to the audio or video source piece several times (Excerpts from  This American Life, The Moth, and other well-produced audio/videos are common). Then you’ll take notes, make a draft, improve it using a check-list. Finally, you’ll work with your editor to further improve your work every week. For most students, it’s a several hours of work each week, but a great investment in becoming 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 up to two students this fall term. If you hope to have me as your editor, ask early. I reserve the right to choose who I will edit for.
  • Must be scheduled in a 70 minute double slot, unless we are near the student minimum.
  • All students are encouraged to use the in-school coached writing session offered this term.

American Trans History (elizabeth)

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

We will be exploring queer/trans histories, stories, voices and experiences in the U.S.  Often queer history, movements and people are pushed to the side or completely erased from history. Well, not in this class! These voices and stories will be front and center and oh so celebrated as we learn about them! Much attention will be given to issues of race, class, different cultures, oppression and resistance.

We will be reading, Transgender History by Susan Stryker. This book covers American transgender history from the mid-twentieth century to today. “Transgender History takes a chronological approach to the subject of transgender history, with each chapter covering major movements, writings, and events. Chapters cover the transsexual and transvestite communities in the years following World War II; trans radicalism and social change, which spanned from 1966 with the publication of The Transsexual Phenomenon, and lasted through the early 1970s; the mid-’70s to 1990—the era of identity politics and the changes witnessed in trans circles through these years; and the gender issues witnessed through the ’90s and ’00s.

Transgender History includes informative sidebars highlighting quotes from major texts and speeches in transgender history and brief biographies of key players, plus excerpts from transgender memoirs and discussion of treatments of transgenderism in popular culture.”

There will be a mix of lecture, discussion, documentaries and maybe a field trip.
High school only unless you are an 8th grader and feel up to the challenge and come to discuss with me.