Curriculum

Our Curriculum=Building Self-Esteem: 

Building self-esteem is one of the most important goals of our curriculum.  Many of our students enter our doors believing that school has nothing to offer them, that they aren’t smart enough, or that nobody else cares, so why should they.  Our students need the chance to have positive learning experiences and successes.   The entire staff embraces this philosophy and tries to ensure that every student has “SUCCESSES”!

Language Arts:

Students are encouraged to write their “own” stories through daily journaling.  Books written by, for, and about teenagers are read in class so that students can make connections between their lives and the lives of those they read about.  This class gently encourages resistant writers and readers to leave behind anxieties associated with spelling, grammar, and reading and to find a forum for self-expression where they feel valued and validated.

Math:

Our Math class utilizes Khan Academy’s online curriculum along with games and puzzles.  Khan Academy allows students to choose the skills they need to work on at their own pace.  This dovetails perfectly with the real-world application of math in Shop and Maritime Education.

Science:

Our science program focuses on understanding the concepts and applications of contemporary science. The science curriculum takes a condensed look at all of the major branches of science as well as quantum mechanics and string theory.  Emphasis is placed on improving student’s test taking skills.

Social Studies:

Our social studies curriculum is designed to help students make connections to the real world, to prepare them to make informed decisions about their futures, and to develop tolerance. Students study character education, racism, poverty, current events, justice issues, and history.

Vocational Education/Woodworking:

This class is designed to introduce students to the correct and safe use of tools in the shop. Students learn how to use the cross cut saw, band saw, drill press, stationary sander, hand drill, and palm sander. Students also complete individual woodworking projects that they can sell or take home.  At the conclusion of this class the student will have a general knowledge of drafting, design, construction skills, and a sense of pride.

Maritime Education:

This class focuses on boat construction and sailing.  Students learn to build and refurbish boats and to sail our boat, the Plume. The Plume was proudly built by our students for our students.  Students learn to row, sail, navigate, study the marine environment, and to work together as a team.  This course helps students to develop a sense of camaraderie among their peers.

Art:

Our art program is designed to help students at all artistic levels to express themselves through visual communication in a safe environment. The art curriculum maximizes participation and skill acquisition while they learn the fundamentals of art.  Students work with charcoal, watercolor, acrylic paint, scratchboards, and clay.

Life Skills:

Our life skills program is designed to increase self-awareness and prepare students for the world outside of school. The curriculum covers a wide variety of topics including: career options, job-seeking skills, communication, emotional literacy, stress/anger management, philosophy, and ethics.

P.E. & Health:

We embrace Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and aim to set our students on a path to a healthier future. Students visit the YMCA for a variety of activities which include:  basketball, squash, lifting weights, yoga, and volleyball.  We also provide exciting elective options to keep our students moving including: rowing, rock climbing, hiking, and a variety of games.

Health is woven into our curriculum in an interdisciplinary manner and focuses on: mental health, physical health, drug abuse, nutrition, and reproductive health.  We also work to bring in professionals from the outside community for presentations.  Past presenters include: Planned Parenthood, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services, and Northwest Youth Services.

Elective Classes:

Our elective classes are offered three times a week and vary during the year.  We try to prioritize a student’s first choice if there is room in the class.  Typical offerings include:  Scrabble, Music, Videography, Rock Climbing at the YMCA, Basketball/Games at the Boys and Girls Club, Graffiti, Religion, Art, Meditation, Hiking, and Musicians Biography.

Community Service:

We believe that there is nothing more empowering for youth coming from an at-risk background than to hear that someone needs their help.  We strive to provide opportunities for our students to help others.  Students recently built and donated furniture to the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA. They also hosted the 2014 Holiday Port Festival and handed out thousands of cookies and coffee to guests.  Past examples of community service projects include working at the local food bank, the planting of vegetation and clean-up of local parks.

Student Council:

Three students are chosen, based on interest, attendance, and behavior, to sit on our student council. Students get a chance to voice their opinions, interests, concerns and advocate for themselves and their peers. The council helps students to develop an understanding of the democratic process and leadership skills.

GradPoint:

GradPoint is an online learning program utilized by our school to help students meet their academic goals. GradPoint can be used to help students: retrieve credit or retake a class, get caught up to grade level, and build skills.  Please note that students who wish to take an online course must get clearance from our staff.  Students must have a proven track record of independent learning while at Home Port and  attend a minimum of at least 3 months in our full time program before becoming eligible.