Family Newsletter Layout Template X

Family Newsletter Layout Template X
Family Newsletter Layout Template X

Dear Latitude Families,

Welcome to the inaugural Latitude Family Newsletter for the 2019-2020 School Year. September has been a busy month, as we’ve settled into our space at Merritt College, developed rhythms and rituals for each class, begun digging into our projects, completed fall Student-Led Conferences, and made use of the Bay Area (and beyond) as our extended classroom!

We have our first Family Dinner with Lillian + Christian, followed by a Family Leadership Council Meeting on Thursday, October 10 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. ALL families are welcome to join us. We will hold it at Norton Studios (3094 E 10th Street, two doors down from Red Bay Coffee), where we held the 9th Grade Orientation in August, so that families without access to cars can make it. We hope to see you there. Please RSVP USING THIS LINK so we know how much food to prepare. At this meeting, we will share updates on our facilities and mobilize family support on different school needs for this coming year.

Excited to see many of you in the coming weeks!

Warmly,
Lillian and the Latitude team

We the Town Books Published!

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Our sophomores’ published We the Town books were finally delivered to us by the printers this week! These are the Perspectives pieces that our students wrote in Ms. Sara’s Humanities class last spring, in collaboration with KQED. 

All of our students who ordered a book have received a free copy, and we have received additional requests from readers across the city who’d like to order the book!

If you’d like to place an order, the books are $25 each and feature our students’ writing, as well as the full color photographs they took across Oakland on our DSLR cameras. Email Ms. Lillian (lillian.hsu@latitudehigh.org) by Friday, October 4, as she will be putting in another order with the printers.  

Coming Up: Our sophomores will be publishing another book in Humanities class this year, as they investigate the stories of refugees and asylees in the Bay Area, working in collaboration with local non-profit organization Voice of Witness, whose mission is to amplify unheard voices impacted by injustice. Ms. Ria has been honored with the Germanacos Fellowship for Sharing History and recently attended a Voice of Witness event with authors Dave Eggers, Isabel Allende, and Tommy Orange.

10th Graders Step into the Shoes of Scientists at the Tahoe National Forest

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This past week, our tenth graders had the opportunity to work with environmental scientists on a three-night, two-day trip to the Headwaters Science Institute. Our students designed and conducted their own experiments, using the Tahoe National Forest as their living laboratory. They learned how to create scientific presentations of their research, which they delivered at the end of the trip. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Headwaters Institute, with a follow-up field experience in the spring.

Thank you to Ms. Regina and Mr. Sean for organizing this amazing science experience for our tenth graders, and to Ms. Joi, Ms. Ria, and Mr. John for their work chaperoning this trip. Ms. Joi’s collaboration with Bay Area Wilderness Training enabled us to borrow all of our equipment for free!

9th Graders Dig into Design-Engineering

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So far this semester, in Design-Engineering, our ninth graders have practiced their skills with Autodesk’s Fusion360 software, completing their first mini project: they designed their own personalized Chromebook covers that they laser cut on the Glowforge. (Our freshmen all visited Autodesk during the first week of school, so they could see firsthand what professional designers and engineers can make using Fusion360: from skyscrapers to Mercedes Benz concept cars, the possibilities are endless!) 

Students are currently digging into the steps of the design thinking process, practicing need-finding, ideating, and prototyping, the same steps that professional designers use at the Stanford d. school and IDEO. This past week, our ninth graders conducted empathy interviews with a real client, the XQ Institute, which is commissioning our students to design their annual holiday gift that will be sent to over 700 people across the country! Our students prototyped ideas for XQ this week, and a smaller team of students who choose to commit to this project throughout the semester will see the product from ideation all the way to production in December! They will work together with designers from Fab City Oakland/Elevator Works and produce the final product at Elevator Works’ FabLab in downtown Oakland.

Next up: our ninth graders will begin digging into their self-driving car project for the remainder of the semester. To kick off the project, students will be visiting Nuro, a robotics company in Mountain View. Students will then interview the elderly population at an Oakland retirement home/assisted living facility and design models of self-driving cars that would best serve this user group.

If you have a connection to a specific retirement home, nursing home, or assisted living facility in the Bay Area, we would love for you to make an introduction for us. We hope to bring small groups of students (4-6 at a time, working in pairs) to interview a senior citizen who can no longer drive. Please email Ms. Lex (lex.schoenberg@latitudehigh.org) if you might have a connection for our ninth grade designers! 

9th Graders Dig into Design-Engineering

In Math class across both Algebra and Geometry, our students have been working hard at making their thinking visible and demonstrating mathematical modeling. Illustrative Math, the rigorous problem-based curriculum Latitude uses, is designed to foster mathematical discussion by having students construct mathematical arguments and defend their thinking through oral, visual and written communication.

Our math practices at Latitude focus on the following Mathematical Competencies:

  • I can make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • I can construct viable arguments and justify my reasoning with evidence.
  • I can make use of structure to solve mathematical problems.
  • I can model with mathematics.
  • I can engage in powerful math conversations using the Latitude Math norms.

Habits of Heart & Mind in Humanities Class

In Math class across both Algebra and Geometry, our students have been working hard at making their thinking visible and demonstrating mathematical modeling. Illustrative Math, the rigorous problem-based curriculum Latitude uses, is designed to foster mathematical discussion by having students construct mathematical arguments and defend their thinking through oral, visual and written communication.

Our math practices at Latitude focus on the following Mathematical Competencies:

  • I can make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • I can construct viable arguments and justify my reasoning with evidence.
  • I can make use of structure to solve mathematical problems.
  • I can model with mathematics.
  • I can engage in powerful math conversations using the Latitude Math norms.

September Advisory Site Visits

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 First ELO visit of freshman year for Ms. Monica and Mr. Sean’s advisory to Pandora Headquarters in downtown Oakland, learning from sound engineers and product designers what it’s like to work for a media company.

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 On their first ELO visit, Mr. Tim and Ms. Ria’s advisory received a personal tour of the new Red Bay Coffee Headquarters to learn about the intersection of entrepreneurialism and social activism.

 Ms. Lex and Ms. Regina’s advisory visited Elevator Works and Fab City Oakland at Portworks in downtown Oakland to learn about business incubators and co-working spaces. The Fab City team even laser cut a photo of this advisory for Latitude!

 Learning from the team at Mozilla Firefox, our students asked thoughtful questions about the anthropology of the workplace and what drives the folks who work there.

 Latitude ninth graders on their site visit to San Francisco web start-up Seesaw, interviewing graphic designers, product managers, software engineers, operations leads, and the business team.

Our first ELO (Extended Learning Opportunity) site visits of the year gave our ninth graders an opportunity to begin exploring the anthropology of different workplaces, starting with companies in Oakland and then San Francisco. Ninth grade advisory is about building community and expanding students’ sense of possibility for the future.

Our tenth graders are working on their bios and resumes, as they prepare for Fall Shadow Days of their own choosing.

Afterschool Programs Start Week of October 7th

 The launch of our men’s and women’s basketball teams! Club soccer will also start this fall. It’s not too late to sign up for both.

A message from Latitude’s New Extended Programs Director:
 
Latitude families,

I’m proud to announce that we will be rolling out our After School Program activities the week of October 7! Our initial offerings include visual arts, dance, rowing, sports, and fashion design! You can visit Latitudehighasp.org for the latest updates, including the schedule. We will be offering a second bus service that departs Merritt for the Latitude campus at 5:15, Tuesday-Thursday.

For those interested in athletics, we are offering soccer and basketball this semester. Soccer will begin October 8th, and the basketball teams have started their pre-season conditioning. Interested students can still sign up for both. All interested basketball players must complete a physical. More information on our sports programs can be found at Latitudehighathletics.org

As for me, I have nearly 20 years of experience in education, primarily as a social studies teacher and administrator in East Oakland. Most of my experience has been in a small school setting where I oversaw sports programs, advised yearbook, and organized several community partnerships. I’m excited to be working with you and your students this year!

Mr. Daniel D. Zarazua
Athletics and After School Programs
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Finally this month, a glimpse at the newest member of the Latitude family. Baby Ru (Rubén Martín Rodriguez-Islas) was born on Monday, September 23rd. We are delighted for Ms. Sara and our first Latitude baby!

Thank you for your continued support of Latitude 37.8!

With heartfelt appreciation,
Lillian & the Latitude team