Creative Campus: Latitude High School

“It’s about creating an educational experience that is relevant, personalized, integrated and supports creativity,” Latitude principal Lillian Hsu says.
Latitude High School is a public charter school in Oakland, California. It serves students in grades 9-12 and is part of the Envision Education network of schools in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.
The school’s mission is to provide students with an innovative and engaging education that prepares them for college, career, and life success.
Latitude High School fosters creativity in several ways, such as project-based learning, personalised learning, a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, collaboration, and an emphasis on the arts. Project-based learning allows students to work on long-term projects that require creative thinking, problem-solving, and innovation. Personalised learning allows students to work at their own pace and pursue their own interests, which fosters creativity by allowing them to explore their passions and develop their own ideas. The school has a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, and collaboration and teamwork are emphasised, allowing students to build on each other’s ideas and perspectives. The school also offers classes in the arts and has a makerspace that provides students with tools and resources to work on creative projects.
Here are some specific examples of success stories at Latitude High School regarding fostering student creativity:
  • Innovation Project: In this project, students work in teams to develop a product or service that addresses a real-world problem. They must conduct research, develop a business plan, and create a prototype. In past years, students have developed products such as a solar-powered phone charger and a water filtration system for developing countries.
  • Catalyst Projects: These are independent projects that students pursue based on their interests and passions. Past projects have included developing a video game, creating a fashion line, and starting a community garden.
Leadership plays a critical role in fostering creativity in schools. At Envision Education and Latitude High School, school leaders have created a culture and environment that supports and encourages creativity and innovation. It is important to create momentum in a local network or region to improve awareness of the importance of creativity in education and promote creative thinking in schools, forming a collaborative effort that involves various stakeholders, such as educators, policymakers, parents, and community members.