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 had 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 Jan Term classes. Go to Image Galleries to see the album of 2017 June Term photos.

On a raft in the Deschutes River in OregonJune TREC

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.

They are:

Students have a choice between day classes on campus or June TRECs. In order to meet planning requirements, students must commit to June TRECs early, even before they know what June Term classes are being offered. The deadline to enroll in June TRECs is September 29, 2017.  However, students can get a good idea of what June Term classes are like by viewing the 2017 classes below. The 2018 class list will be released this winter.

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.

2017 June Term Classes

Star Wars                                                             Jen David
In a galaxy far, far away....or as close as Poulsbo, students had the opportunity to learn about our Milky Way galaxy through an exploration of astronomy and visits to a local observatory and planetariums. Jen led an amazing journey through all things related to Star Wars including a session of fencing in order to master Jedi light saber skills. Those who enjoyed the epic nature of the Star Wars saga, cosplay character dress-up, and fun Star Wars crafts were drawn by the force to this June Term!                                           
Acrylic Painting - Inside and Out                     Melissa McCanna             
Delaney in Acrylic Painting classWell-known artists from all artistic movements have found inspiration from nature as well as from common objects inside their studios. This June Term started week one by looking at famous artists’ studios and painting still life objects that may have been found there, touching on cubism and modern art. They ended the week with a finished acrylic painting inspired by artists like Paul Cézanne, Andy Warhol and Wayne Thiebaud. The second week they stepped outside and painted plein-aire! With lessons in composition, sketching and initial lay-in acrylic painting, they completed a second acrylic painting - a landscape inspired by the outdoors and masters like Claude Monet, David Hockney, and Richard Diebenkorn. During their last week of painting, students explored combining skills in still life and landscape painting to create art from their own imaginations. Learning about different surrealist artists and where they found inspiration, they wrote and sketched ideas that they could then put into a final surrealist painting. Artists of inspiration were Salvador Dali, René Magritte, and Dorothea Tanning.
Thiswas a very interactive and creative class, using paint and other media to find different ways to express natural and inner worlds on canvas. By the end of class, students had about ten studies and three complete paintings to share with friends and family in an art show on campus.
Mr. Tryba advising West on his project in Electronics June Term classSTEAM Electronics                                             Spencer Tryba 
We have all heard that computers are just a bunch of 1s and 0s, but how does that work? Or how does your car decipher radio waves to play the latest song? And what is a circuit anyway? Students in this June Term uncovered all of these mysteries and others as they explored the world of electronics.

They started with the basics as they learned about voltage, current, resistance and Ohm’s Law. They added to the complexity of their circuits when LEDs, relays, switches, and transistors were introduced. They harnessed the power of the Sun to drive motors with solar arrays and journeyed into the world of the invisible when they detangled the space tape obscuring electromagnetism. Finally, they ended June Term with an electronics service project for the campus.

Alice and Ms. Garvin lead a practice session in Contemporary Dance Contemporary Dance                                         Alayna Garvin

Modern, hip hop, lyrical dance types were all possible in this student-led exploration of contemporary dance. The course had a warm-up, learning and movement practice. Students interpreted and choreographed movement to music by popular artists.

The culmination of this course was a very well-received dance performance. In the words of Justin Timberlake, “I got this feeling inside my bones...Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance…”

Science and the Movies                                    Karen Mattick

Jenna and Danny test the bus jump scene from the movie 'Speed'If you've been around the WSA community for awhile, you remember the especially laughable made-for-TV movie called 10.5. What other films has Hollywood created that get the science so wrong? In this June Term, students explored how bullets, cannonballs, flying cars and other projectiles actually move as described by Newtonian physics. Then they compared movie depictions of motion. In what ways do Spider Man, the Incredible Hulk and other films mess with the laws of thermodynamics? Students considered explosions, including nuclear bombs that sometimes make for a very bad day and at other times save the day. Does Hollywood get the biological world right? What happens when one scales up a gorilla to King Kong? Could natural selection lead to X-Men? The curriculum included some earth and climate change science to round out the class. Students engaged in a mix of hands-on activities, lectures, research, movie clips and a feature length movie each week. Students created storyboards for their own movie scenes that entertained and got the science right. Finally, they closed this June Term by choosing a film that made for excellent cinema and honored the way our universe actually works.

Sam at work on his canoe
Make Your Own Canoe                                      Duncan Forbes

Students in this course had the fun and pride of paddling a canoe - at the end of June Term! In this course students built their own plywood canoe to take home with them at the end of the class. The canoe was constructed from two 4' x 8' sheets of marine plywood and a few pieces of dimensional lumber and, with epoxy glued seams,was watertight from the moment it hit the water. When completed,each canoe was 15'3" in length with a 31½" beam and weighed only 65 pounds. Each canoe had a max load of 250 pounds and was intended for sheltered waters, and was built using ordinary tools and materials. The canoe gave everybody access to boatbuilding and a boat. In the process students learned how to transfer plans to full size pieces, use hand and power tools, see real world applications of mathematics and learn the basics of plywood boat building.  Canoes were finished and painted at the end of the course, then taken to Liberty Bay for a maiden voyage! 

Justin makes his moves past Curry
Basketball Diaries                                              Eric Bright

Basketball Diaries was a course for students wanting to learn about the game, get some exercise, and have some fun. The academic component explored the history of the game and its cultural and social significance through film, interviews, documentaries, and music. The physical component involved daily exercise, practicing individual and team skills, and playing basketball. In addition, students were given responsibility for working in teams, developing daily regimens and strategies, and setting individual and team goals to be achieved by the end of the term.

Students looking to get out of the classroom and run around, learn a new sport, teach others about a sport they love, and engage in a little friendly competition came out and played some basketball in this June Term class!

Blaire reading up on time travelTime Travel                                                        Lionel Pummell

Students explored the theories of time travel through literature and media in this June Term class. From H.G. Wells, The Time Machine, and Dr. Who, they looked at how time travel is represented and looked at current theories on what could actually be possible with today’s and tomorrow’s technology. Through writing and discussion students explored the possible paradoxes and ethical implications of time travel.

“Even if it turns out that time travel is impossible, it is important that we understand why it is impossible.”
         - Stephen Hawking

Band Camp for Grades 6-8 Only                      Crystal Thornell

Student musicians practicing their parts in Band CampThis introductory course was offered to middle school students who wanted to learn to play a concert band instrument and to read music. Instruments offered include flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and percussion (mallet instruments, snare drum, and other percussion accessory instruments). Music skills learned in this course were very applicable to school music and ensemble classes!  This course covered three primary areas:

1) Playing an instrument: Students learned to play beginning sounds and notes on their instrument with proper breathing, intonation, fingering, embouchure, and articulation techniques. They’ll learned how to maintain their instrument, how to practice effectively, and how to use tools of the trade (metronome, tuner, etc.).
2) Music reading, ear training, and listening: Students learned to read beginning notes, rhythms, and expression symbols. They used games, activities, videos, and listening examples to practice and reinforce these skills.
3) Composing music: Students applied their new music reading skills and learned to compose a simple piece of music using an online music notation program. The course culminated with a performance for the school!
Let’s Put on a Show!                                         Gretchen Nordleaf-Nelson and Julieta Vitullo

The cast of 'Girls on the Run' - WSA's Middle School theatre productionSchool students had the opportunity to work on and off the stage in this June Term course. Students auditioned and were cast for a middle school theatrical production. Students focused on realistic acting, commanding audience attention, and developing a stage presence. They learned and understood stage directions so they could follow basic directing, and used proper techniques for body and voice control. Students learned and discussed the basic elements of drama to better understand and analyze characters and scripted material. The cast also acted as crew and they made their own costumes, set pieces and props too.

The entire casting and play production was completed during June Term with two performances scheduled at the end of the school year. A few upper school students enrolled in order to assist with tech and production as Stage Manager and/or Student Director.

June Tunes                                                         Paul Burback and Jenny Davis

A rehearsal session in the June Tunes music ensemble classJune Tunes was an all day music ensemble course with the goal of a live performance at the end of June Term.

The class worked together as a group to deconstruct and reconstruct music along their own lines of inquiry.

Students were actively involved in choosing their song selections and organizing rehearsal time. This class also focused on teaching students about the technical side of live sound and stage design. 

Exploring Western Washington's Greatest Places
                  Lisa Gsellman and Eryn Morrigan

Olympic National Park - Britannica ImageQuestWestern Washington is home to many unique and beautiful places. West Sound Academy's adventure guides, Eryn and Lisa, took students on exciting excursions throughout our own region, from the city to the ocean and in between!

Students gained skills in orienteering that were applied on campus for geocaching treasure hunts and on field trips that they helped to plan. Some places the class explored together included the Seattle Underground Tour, the Olympic National Park, the Museum of Flight, and so much more.

We hope to even do an overnight or two. This class will explore this beautiful place we all call home!



Washington D.C. and New York City                Barrie Hillman and Lorri Brito

Olivia and Sam at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.Students on this TREC felt the pulse of the American spirit during their journey to two of the nation’s most influential cities. From the White House and the U.S. Capitol to Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, they discovered how these two great cities have helped shape our past, present and future. 

Before the expedition, students asked questions, researched and explored the history, geography, literature and culture of these two famous cities. Using technology, music and film they familiarized themselves and planned their adventure. Five days of the TREC term were spent exploring first hand and experiencing upclose a variety of vibrant and historical sites.

After the trip, students spent time reflecting, journaling and developing a presentation for the West Sound Academy community.

Eastern Europe                                                  Kim Uyyek and Tomese Buthod

Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral - Britannica ImageQuestStudents on this TREC traveled through the Iron Curtain and World War II to Gothic cathedrals and ancient cities that are now more lively than ever. They first visited Berlin, with its historical significance, rich culture and exciting culture and sophistication. Then they visited Prague, a city that escaped the bombs of World War II and now delights visitors with its old-world charm. And in Krakow and Budapest, two of Europe’s most underrated cities, architectural treasures awaited around every corner. Prior to departure for their nine-day journey, students met at school to learn about the cultures of these cities and countries, as well as practice some essential phrases in German, Polish, Hungarian and Czech.  They also learned some important tips on packing for international travel!  

We return on June 8, and were at school the next day to tell the rest of WSA about their exciting trip.

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