June Term


From May 22 through June 8 in 2018, all West Sound Academy students participate in June Term. June Term takes place after spring semester finals. Students study one or two intensive classes for three weeks. June Term provides a forum where students put the academic skills they have been building into practical application. The day is divided into a morning June Term class and an afternoon June Term class or an all-day June Term class. Students are graded and earn 0.25 - .5 elective credits for each of their June Term classes. Go to Image Galleries to see the album of 2017 June Term photos.  In the lists of 2018 June Term classes below, the scheduling for mornings or afternoons is subject to change.

Morning June Term Options

Rose, Microbial art - Britannica ImageQuestArt & Science                                                                                Karen Mattick

This June Term will combine art projects and science experiments in an exploration of how seeing the world and representing it artistically affects scientists’ understandings. Conversely, we also will consider how science, in turn, affects artists. We will practice scientific illustration, drawing the natural world. In addition, we will use materials from the natural world as tools to do art. Sometimes, we will do science experiments that also happen to create great imagery. We will consider how artists depict things we can’t directly see- black holes, dark matter, quarks- and how that shapes our perception and understanding.

Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing                                  Spencer Tryba

Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing is all about taking an idea from concept to creation with West Sound's new CNC mill. We will use Solidworks to visualize our designs and in turn a 3D model into G-Code for machining.

Contemporary Dance class - June Term 2017Contemporary Dance                                                                      Alayna Garvin

Modern, hip-hop, lyrical, and k-pop dance styles are all possible in this student-led exploration of contemporary dance. Students will dance every class session with a warm-up, movement exploration, and choreography. Students choose the music and create a dance performance.

Still from the 1952 film, 'Neighbours' by Norman McLarenFilm-making                                                                                     Peter Bill

Students will create a short film using Pixelation techniques. Students will take on different roles as actors, camera people, editors, sound, and art directors. Pixelation is a fun animation technique that has been used by Academy Award winning directors such as Malcolm Gladwell.  Interested? Click the photo to the right to see the 1952 film, Neighbours, by Norman McLaren.

Monsters & Fear & Fantasy                                                            Eric Bright

Uncover the fears and yearnings of our collective psyches that give birth monster stories in popular culture...and perhaps discover a few terrors lurking within the recesses of your own mind.

Puzzles & Patterns                                                                          Kim Uyyek

If you are a puzzle-solver of all kinds (jigsaws, 3-D puzzles, word puzzles, logic puzzles, etc.) and/or intrigued by patterns in our world, this June term is for you. Students in this class will explore (and solve!) puzzles and examine patterns in poetry, weather, nature, and math.

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Hand of 13 playing cards - Britannica ImageQuestAfternoon June Term Options

Beginning Card Magic                                                                   Ben Owen

Students will learn self-working card tricks and basic sleight-of-hand maneuvers. We will also study the psychology behind how magic fools us and how to use that information to create new magic tricks. 

Bird Watching & Painting                                                               Jen David

Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife, by John M. MarzluffCalling all birders eager to find a flock of fun! Are you someone who would like to recognize regional bird calls, gain experience identifying local bird species and build watercolor bird painting skills?  

Come learn about how to help support bird populations in our area by diving into UW Professor John Marzluff's book, Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife.

Welcome to your birder-refuge, your feather-haven, your bird-song solace, and jump aboard the Birder Express!

Design Thinking for a Maker Playground                                   Duncan Forbes & Barrie Hillman

Blending the idea of Adventure Playgrounds and Maker Spaces, students in this June Term will be tasked with using Design Thinking to design an outdoor Maker Playground on WSA’s campus that has the purpose of providing a safe place for free play and innovation with loose materials and hand tools. Progress on building the resulting Maker Playground will depend on time and sourced materials.

Star Trek: It’s Influence on Technology and Culture                  Lionel Pummell

Star Trek (TV), 1966 - Britannica ImageQuestStar Trek has embedded itself in our daily lives and sparked the minds of scientists to go where no man has gone before.  In Star Trek 4 (1986) Scotty sold the formula for transparent aluminum, today Surmet makes ALON transparent aluminum armor. Communicators, transporters, tractor beams, Phasers, tricorders - all things of the far future in 1966 when Star Trek first aired - are now currently used or being developed.

And it’s not just the tech.  Set Phasers to stun, beam me up Scotty, live long and prosper are phrases that have become part of the American lexicon. Through discussion, writing, online exploration and viewing selected episodes we will see why Star Trek has endured the test of time. So warp speed ahead and sign up for the Star Trek June Term because Resistance is Futile. 

Let's Eat!: Learning through Food                                                Eryn Morrigan

Do you love food? Want to learn how to cook? Like doing science experiments you can eat? Enjoy making food into art? This is the June Term for you! Learn about the science and history behind your favorite foods and more - this course will include LOTS of hands-on cooking "experiments", art projects, learning real-life cooking skills like baking and grilling, and in-depth analysis of diverse global cuisines. This half-day course will excite your tastebuds and fuel your mind!

Writing Outside the Margins                                                          Lara Herrington (subject to Boston TREC scheduling)

In this class students will produce, workshop, and polish one gripping short story. We will begin by examining the work of effective and alluring writers, such as J.K. Rowling, John Green, Rick Riordan, and Rebecca Stead. Writers will practice identifying successful elements in well-loved books and imitating various writing styles and narrative structures. They will then work to polish and present their well-plotted short story to an audience.

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All Day June Term Classes

Music Immersion                                                                           Paul Burback

Spencer and River in 2017 June Term performanceJune Term Music Ensemble is an all day music course with the goal of a live performance on June 8th. Students who are considering taking this class should have intermediate to advanced experience on at least one instrument. The class will work together as a group to deconstruct and reconstruct music along their own lines of inquiry.

This is our most popular June Term class, and a pre-requisite for enrollment is that the student has participated in a music elective class in grades 8-12 prior to this June Term. A 6th or 7th grade student may appeal for special consideration. Students are prioritized by the instructor and Head of School by considering a balance of the following: age, depth and breadth of music abilities, prior demonstrations of teamwork and attitude in music elective, and whether they have recently been in music electives in sequential terms.

Devising Theatre for Middle School                                            Gretchen Nordleaf-Nelson  

Middle School Theatre - 2017 June TermDevising a piece of theatre can be a stimulating and exciting journey towards the development of a performance, which is a fusion of the unique talents and creativity of the group. It is not a direct journey, but one in which you will encounter well-trodden paths, blind alleys and sudden surprises.

In this class we will use improvisation and theatre games to write a play! In the real world of theatre it is called “Devised Theatre.”

Everyone’s ideas are considered and collaboration is the name of the game! If you like acting, directing, designing, singing, dancing or all of the aforementioned – this is the June Term for you! And who knows – we might even take our show on the road to tour local schools!


On a raft in the Deschutes River in Oregon

June TREC (Travel, Rethink, Explore, Connect) classes give students the opportunity to opt in for a June Term that involves a trip. This allows for greater flexibility on providing international travel or service trip opportunities. Trips are multi-age but some are specific only to middle school or upper school.  A student who chooses to do a June TREC class will make that choice in the first semester and will have an all-day June Term class centered on the trip experience until the group departs on the trip.  In 2018 there are three June TREC classes that students can choose to participate in instead of day classes. Students have a choice between day classes on campus or June TRECs. 

2018 June TRECs:
  • Historic Boston - Faculty leader: Lara Herrington
  • Spain and France - Faculty leader: Jessica Outlaw
  • Outdoor Adventures in Washington and Oregon - Faculty leader:  Suzanne Hermanson


Independent June Term


Students can propose an independent course of study or internship during June Term, and can choose between half-day or full day. All independent June Term course proposals must include a designated adult supervisor or mentor that is not a parent. Only domestic upper school students are eligible for an independent June Term unless otherwise arranged with the Head of School. A student must complete the Independent June Term proposal form and submit it by the deadline to be considered. The 2018 June Term Independent Proposal Form is due March 19, 2018.



Students are graded and earn 0.25 - .5 elective credits for each of their June Term and June TREC classes. Seniors may choose to participate in a June Term after graduation but they will not receive their diploma until after the term is complete.  A student who departs early must complete an approved Independent June Term program.

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