Below are course descriptions for this year’s Q-terms.   Course registration will take place at the first all school meeting after Spring Break*.  Limited spaces are available in each course - priority will be based on grade level (seniors will receive top priority).  

Engineering Design

Faculty: Dr. Feffer

This class is an introduction to the principles and practices of engineering. Students will get an overview of the role of engineering throughout human history and as a profession. They will be introduced to the engineering/design cycle through case studies and hands-on activities in which they will be presented with a series of design challenges, both on and off campus. Working competitively in teams, students will research, design, prototype, test, redesign, and analyze their solutions. Upon completion of each challenge, students will reflect on the insights gained from each activity through both written reports and group discussions. Students will be given nightly assignments, which they are expected to complete to receive credit for this course.

Hudson Valley Fishing and Flora

Faculty: Ms. Hecht

Fee: $75

The Hudson valley has a wealth of beautiful lakes and horticulture. Learning about the coexistence and sustainability of our region will be highlights of this course. Beautify our campus with regional flowers, then escape to local freshwater lakes to fish in a catch and release program. Understand the reliance of bees and butterflies on specific plants for their survival. Then venture off campus to view lilypads, gnats, frogs and fish.

Biochemistry Techniques

Faculty: Ms. Dilley, Ms. Kolach

Fee: $400

Ever want to make bacteria glow in the dark? Want to know more about those annoying fruit flies? Students will explore the different techniques that biochemist use in the laboratory. Students will be able to learn about the life cycle of fruit flies with preservation, genetic marking and gel electrophoresis. Students will learn college level experimental design and safe lab techniques. Students would need to have taken either chemistry or biology to be in this course.

Atlas Obscura, Roadside America-Finding the World's Hidden Wonders

Faculty: Mr. Rowe

Fee: $150

Escaping the beaten path, students will enter into the world of time travel, becoming explorers, and cultural anthropologists, In this research driven course, students will create their own curriculum and then venture forth.

Perhaps they will journey to the Cave of Winds in Niagara Falls or visit Nikola Tesla's laboratory. They might transport to the Star Trek Set or dine in the restaurant that served America's first hamburger. Students will find some of the world's hidden wonders as they plot their own course.

From the Court of the Crimson King to The Wall

Faculty: Mr. Graziosi

Fee: $300

Students will study the development progressive rock music from the late sixties through the seventies. Progressive rock grew out of the psychedelic and pop genres in favor of more orchestrated, instrumental compositions that were much longer than standard pop music. This course will study the growth of the "prog" rock movement and effect of the Vietnam War and the social unrest of the era and the success of the music of King Crimson, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, etc.  The course will include a trip to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

Video Journalism 101

Faculty: Mr. Kiperman

In this hands-on crash course in video journalism we will be producing video news segments about the SKS Q-term. The course will lead students through all stages of the process, including researching/choosing the courses to be covered, planning/preparing the shoots, videotaping/interviewing subjects, and editing material. The best video reportages will be put on the SKS web site and youtube channel.

One Hand Clapping: Buddhism and its impact on Global Cultures

Faculty: Mr. Martha

Fee: $100

Students participating in this course will live full time (for a few days) at the Blue Cliff Monastery, living as monks do and learning about a way of life that emphasizes intentional thought. Students will not only learn traditions of meditation, but they will also read a variety of texts from Indian, Chinese, Japanese and American culture that have given form to modern Buddhism and facilitated its movement across space and time.

Tennessee Williams & the American Theatre Experience

Faculty: Harold Heno, Anne Fulton, David Mendlewski & Liz Connell

Fee: $100

This course will immerse students in the process of theatrical presentation, especially relating to the work of the actor/director.  The works of Tennessee Williams were groundbreaking and, not unlike Shakespeare’s work, stand the test of time in their treatment of the human condition.  Students will learn about  Williams’ background and the world that informed his writing.  Using this perspective, students will interpret, stage and present several short works of Williams, as they discover the process of theatrical presentation through the development of these short works. On May 24 at 2 pm, students will travel to The Belasco Theater on West 44th St., NYC to see "The Glass Menagerie" starring Sally Field. Tickets to the show, transportation and lunch or dinner will be provided.

Game Changer

Faculty: Ms. Barbosa

This course will serve as a tool to divulge why we love the game. We will study the game changers and their role in sports. Through research, films, papers, and trips this q-term will enhance the sport enthusiast's knowledge, not only for their favorite sport but will serve as an introduction to other sports.

Space Exploration in the 20th Century and Beyond

Faculty: Mr. Sollami

Fee:  $20

The course will focus on humanity's journey to space in the 20th Century. From Sputnik to the ISS, we will discuss the historic firsts in space exploration. The course will also recognize and attempt to replicate the triumphs and tragedies experienced by space agencies developing the technology necessary for mankind to achieve space travel.


Faculty: Mr. Freeman, Mr. Ferencevych

Fee: $150

Rock climbing is a fast growing outdoor support and it is important for young climbers to be informed about the sport's history, ethics, gear, safety protocols, philosophy, literature and media. Likewise it is important that young climbers gain an appreciation of the great outdoor resources our local cliffs provide alongside an appreciation of their own personal fitness and nutrition.

This will be an interdisciplinary course that will involve the following:
Anatomy and physiology
Media analysis
Deep Ecology
Film making

The Joy of Service

Faculty: Ms. Ruberg

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy."  Rabindranath Tagore

Connect with the local community through ACTIVE service and find JOY in the service of others. Be prepared to work, to reflect, to journal, to discuss, and to ENGAGE with your peers. Leave your technology behind, have meaningful conversations with others, make new friends, and get to know your friends in a deeper way. Have fun while being a part of something BIGGER than yourSELF. We will be working at the local food bank, organizing donations in the warehouse, helping to remove invasive species in Black Rock Forest, and possibly visiting with the elderly.

Cultural Experiences in Ceramic Art

Faculty: Ms. Finneran

This workshop is intended for students looking for an intensive ceramic art experience, whether to prepare for art school or to have an opportunity to learn basic sculptural skills. Participants will work independently, with 3 large projects completed by the end of the Q term. Students will also experience an outdoor firing process, study pottery techniques in the tradition of Grecian pottery, and understand the importance of Ceramics in contemporary art. All materials provided, class limited to 8 students.

College Exploratory Experience - Sustainability and Community Matters!

Faculty: Mr. Leppla, Mr. Bennett

Focusing on the sustainability of 21st Century Education, students will combine on-campus visits with Skype Interviews, web based research, data evaluation and classroom discussions to investigate college choices and campus initiatives relative to the environment.

The Art of Handwriting

Faculty: Dr. Lance

Fee: $50

This course will re-open people's eyes to communication as it used to be, with a pen, scribe or stylus. Cursive and calligraphy is no longer part of the elementary school curriculum, and much is lost due to this. We will learn cursive and calligraphy, getting an appreciation for the lost tactile interaction. We'll see how books used to be made, and the care that went into books and writing, including viewing illuminated texts.


Faculty: Mr. Lewis, Mr. Costello, Mr. Hauser

Fee: $225

This course will examine leadership at many levels. Students will learn about world, national, and local leaders through discussion, trips to local landmarks and museums, and meetings with real-life leaders in the public and private sector. As part of the class students will visit historic Gettysburg for a field experience. Ultimately, students will be tasked with formulating their own visions of leadership for their futures.

"Larger than Life"-Mural Painting/Large Scale Sculpture

Faculty: Mr. Carruthers

Learn Painting on a large scale and for a community purpose. This course will teach how to design and execute a large scale mural on school grounds. Some students will also be working on a large scale sculpture that will be exhibited in a professional sculpture show in Garrison, NY.