student hot glues a crystal to a staff, table top game, backlit biology experiment, students stands holding a foil, FPV goggles, transmitter and tiny whoop drone, cooking utensils, student's handing w Score and rehearsal for Babes in Toyland during the Spring 2019 semester a whisk in a bowl of frothed liquid from How to Boil Water during Spring 2019 semester two PHS students practice Ballroom Dance during Spring 2019 Semester money and worksheets from Japanese during Spring 2021 semester fencing gear including foil, glove, and helmet sit on the floor next a PHS student during a spring 2019

Course Planning for the Upcoming Year To Publications / Articles - Course Planning for the Upcoming Year

Posted 11/10/22
PHS Leadership Team | Course Planning

Course Proposals

Partially assembled jigsaw puzzle. Kendal. 2021. Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash.Course Planning for the upcoming year begins in earnest in January, but you can start thinking now about what classes your students would be interested in taking!



Course Archives

panel of images from classes. Chemistry, Drone Racing, Fencing, How to Boil Water, Babes in Toyland, BiologyIf you’re looking for ideas, you and your students can peruse our co-op’s Course History to see what’s been offered in the past. You can suggest an exact repeat of a course that has been offered before or use a prior course for inspiration to imagine something new. Original ideas are always welcome.

Course History


Finding Instructors

collage of instructor headshots. Tom Anderson, Rebekah Jorgensen. Sea Blake (Eclipse). Tim Hereid. Peter Hoh. Sarah Beggs. Janet Lewis. Maria Signorelli. Kathy Oaks. Logan Verdoorn. Lukas Brasherfons. Angie Szyman. Maria Benford. Theresa Redfern-Hall. Nic Rosenau.Courses can’t happen without instructors, so please also start thinking about who might teach the courses you want to see on our co-op’s schedule. Talk to our current instructors about what they might be interested in teaching.



Teaching at PHS

Tim Hereid teaching. Spring 2019. Photo by Nic Rosenau. All rights reserved. Used with permission.If YOU are interested in teaching a course, read through our Information for Instructors page. Even current and returning instructors should peruse that page prior to submitting proposals for the coming academic year as our co-op’s policies evolve over time in response to changing circumstances and feedback from our co-op’s members and instructors.

Information for Instructors


Brainstorming preparation. Collection of different colored Sharpie permanent markers next to a fanned-out stack of different colored index cards next to a silver MacBook Pro laptop resting on a dark wood desktop with a black soundbar on the back edge. Onscreen is the Ultimate To-Do List Trello Board Template by YouTuber Scott Friesen.All Member Brainstorming Session

Our co-op will hold its lunchtime Brainstorming Session for current members on the third week of Spring Semester. This will most likely be held in the Fellowship Hall but we can meet outside on the East Lawn if it’s warm and dry enough.

This meeting will also need two volunteers — a host and a scribe. The host’s responsibility is to facilitate the conversation while the scribe’s role is to faithfully transcribe all the suggestions made. In the past, the host has also taken responsibility for posting Forum reminders about the upcoming gathering.

Sign Up


Hands typing on a laptop. Washington, United States. 2017. Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash.Course Proposal Form

Of course, members and instructors may submit their ideas anytime using our co-op’s online Course Proposal Form.

Course Proposals


Multicolored Post-It Notes in a grid on white poster board with other planning documents on a grey tabletop. Photo from Course Planning for 2019-2020 by Nic Rosenau.Course Planning Goals

It is rare that all of these goals can be met as the primary determinants of our co-op’s schedule are instructor availability followed by classroom availability.

  1. Honoring the preferences of our returning students and their parents, guardians, and caregivers as expressed in the course interest survey.

  2. Retaining existing families.

  3. Attracting new families.

  4. Retaining high-quality instructors.

  5. Recruiting high-quality instructors.

  6. Offering unique and interesting classes.

  7. Creating a balanced course schedule.

    • Offering a wide variety of subjects.

      • arts

        • visual arts / fine arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, etc.)

        • applied arts (fiber arts, maker arts, etc.)

        • performing arts (music, dance, theater, etc.)

      • engineering and technology (aerospace, computer, electronic, marine, mechanical, structural, etc.)

      • English language arts (composition, literature, speaking, etc.)

      • humanities (anthropology, classics, history, linguistics, philosophy, religious studies, etc.)

      • life skills (cooking, bike repair, adulting, etc.)

      • mathematics — applied or small-group

      • physical education (fencing, dance)

      • sciences — lab-based (biology, chemistry, physics, multi-disciplinary, etc.)

      • social sciences (archaeology, civics, economics, gender studies, geography, law, media studies, political science, psychology, sociology, etc.)

      • world languages (ASL, Japanese, Spanish, French, etc.)

    • Offering at least one option for all age groups each class period.

      • high school (ages 14–19 or 9th–12th grades)

      • secondary school (ages 12–19 or 7th–12th grades)

      • middle school (ages 10–14 or 5th–8th grades)

      • double digits (ages 10–19 or 5th–12 grades) — classes that genuinely appeal to and can actually work for a wide age range

    • Offering a hands-on middle school (or double digit) option each class period.

clear flaots cheat
Three-Year Science Rotation (An Idealized Plan)

Year 1

High School Chemistry

Middle School Physics

Elective Biology

Year 2

High School Biology

Middle School Chemistry

Elective Physics

Year 3

High School Physics

Middle School Biology

Elective Chemistry


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