Annex Classes - watch for new classes

Registration and sign-up for these classes is done independently from Debate and Model UN classes. See payment information below each class description.

Location: The Quaker Meetinghouse in West Hartford.

Ask about our virtual attendance option.

American Sign Language (ASL)

INSTRUCTOR: Meghan Henderson

Thursdays, September 21 - December 14, 2017 (5:20-6:20PM) - 12 weeks

All ages are welcome, provided that students can constructively and creatively engage with the material (typical range is from 10-18).

Westfield Academy is happy to announce that we will once again offer a 12-week American Sign Language (ASL) program this fall.  This course is designed to teach: Beginning conversational signs, fingerspelling, myths and misconceptions about sign language, Deaf etiquette and Deaf culture.

     Students gain many benefits from learning ASL in addition to acquiring another language. Using ASL can aid in helping physically with dexterity (fine and gross motor skills), mirroring capabilities, as well as making you more aware of how you present yourself and better able to interpret other people's facial expressions and body language (particularly your opponent's during a debate).  ASL can also assist cognitively: it requires you to use another part of the brain for language, can make abstract concepts tangible and provide another avenue for memory retention, etc.—plus it’s loads of fun!! No debate experience necessary.


Cost: $225

QUESTIONS????  Contact Meghan at or call 860-801-1612 or Karen at




Mondays, September 11 - October 23, 2017 (4:30-6:00PM) - 6 weeks

Suggested age range: 13 to 18 (slightly younger or older by instructor consent)

Competitive Public Speaking has landed! In anticipation of the Stonleigh Burnham Speaking Competition and the International Independent School Public Speaking Competition (Internationals) held in Canada, Spencer Murray will be running a public speaking intensive workshop. While this class is open to everyone, it is catered toward students who already have a strong grasp of the format of high school public speaking competitions and is geared towards maximizing success at these high level competitions, which are both World Independent Debate and Public Speaking Championship (Worlds) qualifiers. Speaking formats that will be covered are Interpretive Reading, After Dinner Speaking, Persuasive Speaking, and Impromptu Speaking. Out of class work on a weekly basis is expected but not mandatory.

For questions?? regarding timing, workload, dates, finances or public speaking in general, please do not hesitate to call Spencer at: 860-888-2795

Cost: $167


Creative Writing


Tuesdays, September 19 - December 12, 2017 (11:15 AM - 12:30 PM)

Suggested age range: Grades 6-10th (slightly older or younger by instructor consent)


I am excited to again offer a virtual Creative Writing class for homeschooled middle and high school students as a Westfield Annex Class. The goal of this class is to get students excited about writing. Along the way, the class will help students to improve their grammatical fluency and writing technique, skills that will easily translate to any writing project they wish to tackle in the future!

The structure of the class is simple. Each week students will write one creative assignment. These assignments range from short stories to personal essays and poetry and are often inspired by a prompt relevant to that week’s class discussion. If their imaginations take them in an unexpected direction, our group will be happy to welcome surprises as well! These stories will then be shared and discussed within our supportive community. In past classes, this practice of sharing work with friends has engendered true enthusiasm and improvement in budding writers: hearing their peers’ efforts often inspires new story concepts and receiving constructive critiques improves their own writing. I will also personally and carefully edit each finished piece, returning students’ work with encouragement and suggestions for improvement on a weekly basis. As a result of this detailed and direct feedback, students are able to quickly improve and gain confidence in their writing ability.  

One of the most wonderful parts about this class structure is that I can meet each student individually where they are, no matter what level of writing ability or enthusiasm they possess. If a student is already an accomplished and passionate writer, this class provides a wonderful forum for them to practice the art of writing, helped along by my suggestions and commentary from their peers. Our class also gives them access to a community of writers their own age. If a student is less than enthralled by the idea of writing, this class is flexible enough to allow them to try writing stories about things that they love. I have found that this student-centric approach often convinces even the most reluctant to get excited about writing—an outlook that inevitably leads to improvement in their writing skill. 

In an effort to help students improve the mechanics of their writing, this class also includes a variety of grammar games, editing exercises and even a vocabulary competition in which competitors will vie for vocab victory! These are always a lot of fun—the competition was especially intense for last year’s Wacky Word title—but these games also help students to improve their written diction and syntax. In my experience, this combination of discussion, story sharing and goofy games is a winning combination to get students excited about writing. I cannot wait to meet all of your young writers!

Class Details

Dates: September 19th, 26th, October 3rd, 10th, 17th, (No class meeting on the 24th), 31st, November 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, December 5th, 12th

Location: I will be conducting the class via Google Hangouts; I have used this platform in the past and it tends to work very well. In order to participate, students need access to a computer with an internet connection and a Gmail address.

Cost: $240 ($20 per session)*

Mail checks to:  Caley Henderson, 11 Westfield Road West Hartford CT 06119.

*I am only accepting a limited number of students because I believe that students derive far greater benefits from the close community that results from small class sizes. In order to secure your child’s spot, please send in a non-refundable $80 registration fee by September 1st. The remainder of $160 should be paid prior to the first class. If it is more convenient for you, please feel free to send the entirety of your class fee by September 1st.

Questions?? Email Caley at or call: (860) 913–1446.

We only have a limited number of spaces available, so please reply soon!