12 Years & Up


Contemporary Middle School Literature (Debby Berman)

What is the meaning of home? What makes a particular place home? What happens when people are forced out of their homes and must find another one? Explore these questions and related questions as we read novels and short stories of people in search of HOME. Writing activities will include a reader’s response journal and essays. Short stories will be handed out in class. Students will need to purchase their own copies of the required novels:

Refugee, by Alan Gratz
Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Debby Berman1 hour, Mondays, 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Creative Writing (Josh Mann)

Writing is about telling a story. What is your story? What story would you like to share with the world? Using our imaginations and personal experiences, we explore the world of creative writing through a series of exercises that help you grow. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the writing process, whether it’s a special concept you’ve always had or a personal experience you would like to explore, this class allows us to learn what it means to be a dynamic storyteller. We also read passages from published material, so we can learn from the great writers of our time. We discuss what you love about writing and what you look for in a compelling story. You not only learn tools to become a better writer, but you also learn how to have fun during the process.

Josh Mann
1.5 hour Wednesday, 12 pm – 1:30 pm

Fridays with Mr. Guest: Humanities (Philip Guest)

Fridays with Mr. Guest: Humanities

Philip Guest
5.5 hours, Fridays, 10 am – 3:30 pm

Fundamentals of Higher Math (Tami Ordonez)

This course is designed with those students in mind who find math challenging. It is for students who may not be quite ready for Pre-Algebra and are aged 11 or older. Emphasis will be placed on strengthening all foundational mathematics skills and organization for mathematics study skills. Topics include arithmetic with whole numbers, study of integers, order of operations, fractions, multiples, least common multiple, factors, greatest common factor, rules of divisibility, working with formulas, word problems, problem solving strategy, and introduction to variables, variable expressions, and evaluating expressions in preparation for pre-algebra or algebra.

This is a yearlong course that meets 2 days a week for 1 hour each day. Students are required to attend all classes and do work outside of class. Please make sure your student will have at least 30 minutes each day of the week to devote to math outside of attending class on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Pre-requisite for this class: There is no pre-requisite for this class.

This course will have a required textbook.

Tami Ordonez
1 hour twice a week, Mondays & Wednesdays, 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Handiwork (Angelia Robinson)


Angelia Robinson
1 hour, Tuesdays, 12:30 – 1:30 pm

History, Biography & the Practice of Mathematics (Philip Guest)

History, Biography & the Practice of Mathematics

Philip Guest
90 minutes, Mondays, 10:30 – 12 pm

History, Biography & the Practice of Science (Philip Guest)

History, Biography & the Practice of Science

Philip Guest
90 minutes, Mondays, 9 – 10:30 am

History of Rock  (Christian Nesmith)

History of Rock includes a more immersive understanding of music, its construction, its execution, and how that has impacted world events including politics, style and fashion, cultural evolution, and the rethinking of art itself. This will include examining music of last 100 years.

In addition to reviewing various artists, discussing their contributions and what effect they had on our culture, a basic understanding of music theory will also be taught, as well as a familiarization of the tools used throughout the history of music. This includes various instruments AND recording devices and techniques. We plan on giving the students a hands-on experience.

The goal is to impart a more comprehensive understanding of music, its creators and listeners, and how it has changed and been changed by important historical, technological, and cultural events.

Christian Nesmith      
1.5 hours Tuesdays, 12 – 1:30 pm

Model UN   (Angelia Robinson)

In a simulation of the United Nations General Assembly, students become ambassadors as they debate important global issues. We learn about the world, about diplomacy, about international relations, and about problem solving. Students participate in regular in-class “Summits”, and regularly attend 3-4 larger Model U.N. events throughout the Los Angeles area on weekends. Both independent and group work is expected outside of class.  Please do not register unless you are planning to support your student with this work.  Attendance at the weekend Summits is highly encouraged.

Angelia Robinson
90 minutes, Wednesdays, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
$364 (Extra fees for summits are assessed as needed.)

Pre-Algebra (Tami Ordonez)

Pre-Algebra is the bridge between arithmetic and algebra. Our approach to pre-algebra is to begin with a thorough review of everything that has to do with arithmetic. We want to become masters of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using all rational numbers. In addition to mastering these concepts for all rational numbers we will cover Integers, fractions, decimals, terms and expressions, order of operations, properties, equations, inequalities, ratios, proportions, rates, percents, problem solving strategy, powers & roots, square root algorithm, understanding place value (expanded notation), scientific notation, Pythagoras’s Theorem, perimeter & Area of triangles, rectangles, and circles, basic geometric constructions, and perspective drawing.

This is a year long course that meets 2 days a week for 1 hour each day. Students are required to attend all classes and do work outside of class. Please make sure your student will have at least 30 minutes each day of the week to devote to math outside of attending class on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-10 AM.

Pre-requisite for this class: Students must know multiplication tables, division facts, & have some level of comfort working with fractions.

This course will have a required textbook.

Tami Ordonez
1 hour twice a week, Mondays & Wednesdays, 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Recycled Art (Julie Leary)

Recycled Art

Julie Leary
90 minutes, Wednesdays, 10 – 11:30 am

Rise of Detective Fiction (Abby Polakow)

A combination of literature and history that journeys back to the foggy streets of Victorian London to watch the new Metropolitan Police learn what it is to detect crime in the shadow of Jack the Ripper and other villains. We’ll follow various writers of fiction as they begin to dream what crime detection could be in a new age of scientific methodology. From Edgar Allen Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to more recent carriers of the mystery genre torch, students will watch this delightful genre unfold and evolve through some of the most beloved detective stories of all time.

Abby Polakow
1 hour, Fridays, 3:30- 4:40 pm

Rock Band  (Beginning) (Christian Nesmith)

Learning an instrument?  Want to be in a band? Grab your friends and come join Christian Nesmith

(of our popular History of Rock classes.)  This class is created for younger kids to have fun together while learning the art of band-hood.  Do you play guitar?  Learn the difference between your role as rhythm and lead.  Play bass?  Find out why you need to become very close friends with the drummers! Play piano?  Keyboard is incredibly versatile in a band.  Are you a singer?  Christian helps you find you inner Rock God (or Goddess)!

Christian Nesmith   
1.5 Hours Tuesdays, 10 – 11:30 pm

Rock Band (Invitational)  (Christian Nesmith)

This class is designed for musicians of all instruments who have mastered the fundamentals of playing, and now want to explore the very different skill of playing in a band.  If your student would like to take this class, please contact us to arrange a tryout.

Christian Nesmith     
1.5 Hour Tuesdays, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Sewing Lab (Angelia Robinson)

Jump start your sewing savvy! In this weekly class we will get to know your sewing machine, learn to use commercial sewing patterns, create your own simple sewing patterns, discover the secrets of fabric selection, and much more. Students will work on class projects or bring in their own.

Tools and Materials
Sewing machine or optional equipment fee*, fabric scissors, tape measure, 18” transparent ruler, tailor’s chalk and/or fabric marker, straight pins, pin cushion, seam ripper. Pattern and fabric requirements will be discussed in class.

Materials Fee $25

*Optional Equipment Fee $35 – For students who opt to use a classroom machine instead of bringing in their own. This fee covers wear/tear and servicing of classroom sewing machines.)

Angelia Robinson     
2 hours Tuesdays, 10 am – 12 pm
$425 + $25 materials fee and optional equipment fee, $35

Spanish 1 (TBD)

Spanish 1

1 hour twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, 9:00 – 10 am

Sports & Games (Kirsten Karlsrud)

The clearest bond between sports and games is that they are played all over the world, it is a universal language. They have also been played forever; an Egyptian wall has a picture of Ramses III with goddess Isis playing a board game. We’ll talk about why people started playing games and how our approach to them has changed. Ultimate goals would be to learn and play new games and make your own board game (harder than you might think). Also, every student will teach a new game to the class. The sports will be determined by the composition of the class.

Requirements- Being fair, patient, creative, conscientious. Please bring a shoebox to class. Keep your eye out over the summer for finds at yard sales etc. that might be great for games: marbles, smooth pebbles, dice, coin shaped items or discs, bottle caps, corks, playing pieces, cards, used games, dominoes, etc. It would be great to start with a lot of materials to share.

Kirsten Karlsrud
1 hour, Mondays, 9:00 – 10:00 am