Pacific Ridge School is excited to offer new after-school remote enrichment courses designed to give students the opportunity to engage their peers while learning new skills and interests. We are starting with four 8-week courses and will add more as we develop them. While we can’t get together in person, we can still find new ways to have fun and engage our passions. Take a look today!

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Spring 2020 Offerings

List of 6 items.

  • Spanish Culture and Language

    Program Dates: Tuesday Afternoons, May 5 - June 9, (6 weeks)
    Times:  4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
    Grades: 7 - 11
    Teacher:  Emma Halpern
    Cost:  $150

    Learning Spanish is so much more than just memorizing verb tenses and vocabulary. When learning a language, understanding the culture is just as important as learning the grammar. In this class, we will be diving deep into Spanish culture. We will use Spanish music, film, literature, and cuisine to further explore the diverse cultures of the Spanish speaking world. All levels are welcome.
  • After-School Writing Lab

    Program Dates: Wednesday Afternoons for up to 9 weeks via Zoom, starting April 8
    Time: 3:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
    Grades: 7-9
    Instructor: Katelyn Meza
    Cost: $200 
    In two-hour sessions, students in grade 7-9 will get the chance to develop their technical writing skills and confidence. Students will be asked to share their work ahead of time with the teacher (preferably as a copy instead of the original document) and then be asked to sign up for twenty-minute time slots for 1-on-1 instruction time. A mini-lesson will kick off each session, where students will work collaboratively on a technique, whether it be grammar or essay structure. Students will then be asked to continue working on a document to practice the lesson, while those who want 1-on-1 time will break off with the instructor to receive help. $200 if registered by April 22 (7-9 sessions), $150 if registered to start by May 6 (5-6 sessions), or $100 if registered to start after May 6 (4 sessions).
  • Beginner Speech & Debate

    Program Dates: Thursday Afternoons for 8 weeks via Zoom, starting April 9
    Time: 3:15 - 5:15 p.m.
    Grades: 7-9
    Instructor: Cosmo Cothran-Bray
    Cost: $200
    Public speaking and reasoned discussion stay with us our whole lives, from the classroom to the board room, from the halls of university to the halls of congress. As such, it is never too early to begin practicing such skills, and what better way to do so than through fun and friendly competition with peers and partners! Over the course of our eight-week program, students will hone their critical-thinking and research skills, learning how to build an argument from the ground up as well as how to present it convincingly to others. Students will be asked to analyze a variety of global events and current issues, considering all sides and developing arguments accordingly. This ability to consider information separate from one’s personal biases is a tremendously important skill and will prove invaluable throughout high school and beyond. Students will learn about the various forms of organized Speech and Debate competition, including 1v1, partner debate, and Congress-style, and will be given ample opportunity to practice all. This program is open and applicable to all students regardless of previous experience. The only requirements are an open mind and a hunger to learn!

    Remote Learning Update:
    One of the best aspects of Speech and Debate is that it requires almost no set-up to run, and unlike many other activities, it can function perfectly well over digital learning platforms. Given this, the majority of the activities and lessons planned out for in-person meetings can be easily shifted to online ones (i.e. writing, research, peer editing, one-on-one work with the instructor, etc.). The shift will ultimately have much more of an effect on the “debate” aspect of Speech and Debate, largely due to its more theatrical and performative nature. However, there are still many parts of debate that can be taught and learned over Zoom or similar platforms. Indeed, it will give students the chance to practice skills that are less frequently taught, such as proper microphone enunciation and acting in front of a camera. Though it would certainly be ideal to meet in person, this is absolutely a program that can succeed remotely, offering students the chance to work together on projects of their own design without adding additional stress.
  • Middle School Current Events Research and Discussion

    Program Dates: Monday Evenings for 8 weeks via Zoom, starting April 20
    Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Grades: 7-8
    Instructor: Hilarie O'Halloran
    Cost: $100
    Curious about what is going in the world right now in addition to COVID-19? This 8-week course offers a place to talk about both international and domestic current events.  From politics to culture, economics to social issues, this class will provide an opportunity to learn and ask questions around newsworthy events. Utilizing a variety of media including online articles, podcasts, and videos, we will discuss topics that are relevant and salient to you, the student. This class involves participants working together to have a meaningful civil discourse with diverse opinions in order to think critically about what is going on in the world around us.
  • Elements of Fiction: From Short Stories to Novels

    Program Dates: Tuesday Afternoons for 7 weeks via Zoom, Starting April 28
    Time: 3:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
    Grades: 7-12
    Instructor: Katelyn Meza
    Cost: $175
    As we find ourselves with more time on our hands, students may be interested in ways to boost their creativity or try something new and exciting. This class will give students a break from classwork while still engaging them in learning. Once a week, students will study and practice specific elements of fiction writing, while also getting a chance to share their work and get feedback from their peers and the teacher. Topics such as scene and setting, plotting, and creating compelling characters will be covered. Workshop, lecture, discussion of published writing and the craft will form the center of the class.
  • Upper School Current Events Research and Discussion

    Program Dates: Thursday Evenings for 7 weeks via Zoom, starting April 23
    Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Grades: 9-12
    Instructor: Hilarie O'Halloran
    Cost: $100
    Come and discuss, explore, and understand the international and domestic issues that are influencing our world in these strange times. Together we will seek to learn and inquire about political, economic, social, and cultural issues that affect us while we live through the current health crisis. Come spend an hour per week discussing contemporary issues that are important to you in a respectful, meaningful, and active way. We will use a variety of sources and forms of media to share our differing opinions in a quest for a civil discourse about complicated subjects. Topics could include, but are not limited to: Presidential Primaries, environmental issues, technology and security in a COVID-19 world, international politics in places like India, Israel, or the UK, the CARES Act and unemployment in the United States, Coronavirus and xenophobia, etc.