AFE Enrichment Activities

Each year we look at all of our offerings as a whole, taking into consideration how many students are in each grade, and how to fit all of the classes in the classrooms in a way that best supports our community. We know that sometimes our schedule does not meet the needs of a specific student, but we hope you will understand that our intention is always to create the best learning and connecting opportunity possible for the majority of students.

For community members who would like to offer a class, please read this document about our Policy & Procedures for teaching a class and room usage. Joanne Brown is the Community Coordinator and will be coordinating room use and helping you set up parent-led classes, events, and clubs.


AFE Class Expectations

I come to class prepared.
I participate and stay on task.
I help and include other students.
I respect the speaker by listening quietly.
I follow instructions.
I respect the feelings, bodies and space of others.
I keep personal electronics off and put away.

2017-18 Staff-Led Enrichment Classes

Bugs Among Us
Grades 3-5
Fall 2017, Wednesdays 10-12:30, Starts September 13 
Instructor: Mark Thomas
Let’s explore the wild and crazy world of insects. Bugs are a wonderful topic to study hands on because they are not only fascinatingly diverse, but also abundant and accessible. We will study inside and outside of class and share our discoveries.  Students will be required to keep a field journal and complete a homework assignment each week.  The culmination of the semester will be an Insect Fair: a room filled with bug themed dioramas and reports on the inhabitants therein.

Spring Semester class for Grades 3-5:

Fun with Nature & Art with Joanne

K-2 Learning Circle
Fall/Spring, Thursdays 10-12:30
Instructor: Therese Johannesson
Come Join the Fun!

Our K-2 class will have opportunities for learning about the Santa Cruz community through hands-on educational activities and field trips. A large part of our class includes gardening, nature study, interdependence and life cycles, through our weekly garden work. We enjoy music, movement and even mathematics through songs, dances and partner games. We practice mindfulness through our mindful moments. We grow our friendships through games and cooperative activities. Join us!

Classes for 6th–8th Graders

Middle school students may take either class in the fall or in the spring. Between the two classes we will strive for a balance of numbers, grade levels and genders.
Ink and Action
Middle School
Fall/Spring, Tuesdays 10-12:30 am, beginning September 12th
Instructor: Nancy Aylsworth

Ink and Action is a one-semester class for middle schoolers with a focus on writing, leadership and community building.
In this class, students will participate in weekly writing exercises which they will elaborate and edit at home in order to create a bound book of their writing at the end of the semester. Students will have opportunities to improve their writing skills along with the underlying curriculum of supporting their development in communication and collaboration skills. In addition, we will work with the other middle school class to create a dynamic middle school program with shared community service projects, field trips, and social activities.  
Environment and Action 
Middle School
Fall/Spring, Tuesdays 10-12:30 am beginning September 12th
Peter Deutsch

Environment and Action is a one-semester class for middle schoolers with a focus on environmental science, leadership and community building.
In this class, students will participate in weekly science exploration and activities that they will continue to pursue at home and in the community. Students will develop greater understanding of environmental science and the many phenomena, processes, issues and possible solutions along with the underlying curriculum of supporting their development in communication and collaboration skills. In addition, we will work with the other middle school class to create a dynamic middle school program with shared community service projects, field trips, and social activities.  

High School Classes

High school students may choose one per semester: 
Psychology of Success
High School 
Fall 2017, Thursdays 10:00-12:00, beginning September 14th
Instructor: Jasmin Gerer
How do you define success? How can you cultivate what is best within yourself, learn about and increase life skills, set goals, and achieve them? What helps you have positive relationships? How can you identify and nurture your unique spark? What habits and strengths enable individuals and communities to thrive?  How can you make a difference and contribute to your community?  How can you lead a fulfilling and meaningful life?  Learn what scientific studies in these areas have shown. Bring initiative, willingness to read, do research, write, self reflect, discuss and engage in community service. This is a 5 credit course which may be applied to Elective credits, Community Service credits or partial English credits.
Creative Writing
High School 
Fall 2017, Thursdays 1:00-3:00, beginning September 14th
Instructor: Joanne Brown
Here’s your chance to sharpen your creative writing skills by exploring and practicing writing techniques from successful authors. You’ll learn how to engage your readers in new and exciting ways. Class activities will include:

  • reading and discussing well-known short stories
  • practicing strategies to create well developed characters, plot, setting, and dialogue
  • participating in writing workshops to give and receive helpful feedback on your writing 

Earn up to 5 high school credits in English. Plan to spend at least three hours per week on writing assignments. We’ll have an end of semester Reading Event.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Joanne Brown, 429-3898 ext. 237 

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” --Steven King--


Spring Semester Classes for High School:

Dramatic Literature with Jasmin, Thursdays 10-12:15  OR
Career Explorations with Mark, Thursdays 1-3

Enrichment Activities--Parent or Student Led

US History for High Schoolers

Tuesdays, 1-3 pm, begining September 12

US History frames almost every debate or current event facing our country! Explore this fascinating subject with Rena, Aliya and Levi's mom. Rather than a taking a purely chronological approach, we will explore history through themes that are relevant today. This class is worth 5 high school credits at AFE. No partial credit will be given, so plan on attending the majority of classes on Tuesdays and doing at least three hours of homework per week. Sorry, high school students only. For questions, feel free to contact

Instructor: Rena Dubin has spent the last 25 years teaching academics or movement classes to a variety of ages, including UC-transferable courses such as History of the Sierra Nevada and Cultural Ecology.

Comic Art and Storytelling

Mondays 9:30 - 10:30, 5th grade and up
We all have stories inside us waiting to come out. In this class we'll learn how to bring those stories to life in pictures and words. Details about the class can be found
here or at:
Instructor: Bryn Kanar is an AFE parent and a writer and drawer who has self-published several books.
To sign up send an email to

Clay Studio

Wednesdays 1-3, beginning September 20


If you like to get your hands dirty then this is the place for you! AFE’s open clay studio meets once a week for 2 hours in room 22, the portable with the big mural by the basketball courts.You can come every week, you can come for half the class, you can bring your parent, or NOT, unless of course you are under 9 years old then they have to tag along.
The class is unstructured which allows you to work on whatever project you like once you have the basics down. For newbies to clay I will get you up to speed and you will be making cool sculptures or cups or bowls in no time at all. The class is mostly hand building, we have a slab roller and lots of texture tools and we do have wheels that you can try, and try, and try until you are throwing like an animal. Of course wheel work brings the hands, actually the entire body getting dirty up another level, as well as the clean up.
Students are responsible to clean up after themselves whether on the wheel or at the tables.
A donation to the parent club can be made for $30 per student per semester to cover costs for the clay, glazes, and firings. A check can be made out to parent club or cash. This pays for clay, glazes and firings, however no one will be turned away.
Any questions, you can call me at 818-8660. Ciao, Kathleen


Wednesdays, 2:30 - 4pm, beginning Sept. 13

JSA (Junior State of America) is a student-run club where high schoolers (8th graders are welcome too) come to debate and discuss current topics, society, or anything that they find interesting.
Our weekly meetings are a great opportunity for students to engage in current events, learn to debate (if they wish) and make some great friends. Our chapter also attends several amazing conventions with schools from across Northern California every year. These conventions are a great opportunity to meet and debate some great people, and are highly recommended to new members.
Hope to see you there!   ~Aidan Brekka, President of the AFE Chapter of JSA.

Underwater Robotics Class - Middle and High School

Fridays, 9:45-11:15, beginning September 22

Build an underwater robot capable of competing in the Marine Tech ROV competition.

Technologies and concepts to be learned include;
- Internet research, Buoyancy, propulsion, motor control, actuators, underwater cameras
- Electrical principles such as, wiring, switching, polarity, voltage, current flow,
- Electrical construction, such as soldering, wiring, terminations,
- Mechanical construction such as cutting, fastening, water proofing, aerodynamics   
Class times:TBD -  Once a week in the fall perhaps increasing to twice a week if needed prior to competition.  Class will be approximately 1.5 hours in length.  There will be a materials fee - TBD.  If you are interested or have questions; Please contact Eric Lamascus.


Stay tuned for more information.  Rocketry will be starting soon!

Music at AFE

Show Choir will begin soon.  Stay tuned for more information via the AFE yahoo email group! Or contact Therese.

Games & Puzzles Group

Stay tuned for more information for the Games Group meeting times! Or contact Dorothee. 

AFE Theater

Theater Productions for 2017-18
Once again we will be offering a theater experience to all students!
Please attend the Theater Parent Meeting, September 19, 1pm!
K-2: Thursdays 12:45 - 1:30 starting late September; performance TBA.
Grades 3 - 5: Thursdays 1:30 - 3:15 starting September 21; performs Nov 18 & 19.
Middle School: Tuesday 1 - 3 starting late Sept/early Oct; performs Dec 14 - 17.
High School: Tues 3 - 5 starting late Oct/early Nov; performs Jan 27 & 28, 2018.
If you are interested in helping as a parent coordinator for any of these productions please contact
Zan. More information and sign ups available at the Welcome Gathering on Aug 30, in the RC, and of course at the Parent Meeting.
Theater Coordinator Teacher—
Jasmin Gerer; Theater Coordinator Parent— Zan La Hara
Director— Terri Steinmann. Please email
Zan or Jasmin with any questions.

AFE Sports

Beach Volleyball, Basketball & Soccer are offered in their respective seasons.

AFE Volleyball

AFE volleyball is about to officially start for the season!


6th - 12th grade with Peter Deutsch
Practices: Monday 1:00 - 3:00, Wednesday 10:00 - 12:00 
Games: Fridays 11:30 - 2:00

Our Coed Volleyball teams compete in the Alternative Schools Sports League (mostly High
Schools). The teams are open to students in 6th – 8th grade as well as our highschoolers.
 I also really encourage students to organize a regular informal practice. These practices and our games will be on the beach courts between the wharf and the Boardwalk. Games are on Fridays between 12 and 2 and players need to arrive by 11:45. Games start on 9/9 and go through 12/16.
I really encourage any parents who can to volunteer and assist with practices and/or coaching.
It makes a big difference! We will also need to recruit one or more parent(s) who are able and
willing to help supervise and support the players at the games. Our school needs to have a
minimum of one adult supervisor for each team we have in the league at the games. No
coaching or volleyball experience is needed to fill this role.
To support AFE and AFE sports, including Volleyball, we ask students/families for donations to
help with AFE fundraising efforts to cover the costs for our league dues.
Please be sure to get onto the email list as this will be how information is going be distributed.
Please complete and sign all parts of the sports forms for volleyball and return them to Peter
asap! Any questions contact me directly at 429-3898 ext 330 or email. Thanks, Peter

Copyright 2015 Branciforte Small Schools Campus