9th Grade at Tech

GodOakland Tech’s 9th grade student body of about 500 students is divided into three Houses (Janus, Neptune, and Sol.) Each House has approximately 160 students.

The 9th grade House structure was developed to create small and supportive learning communities. Students within each House share a common team of teachers, incorporating California Studies (English/Social Studies), Biology, Math and Computer Science.

The House structure ensures that freshmen are connected to a select team of caring staff who use research-proven best instructional strategies to teach the curriculum, as well as address student needs in a smaller, more personal environment. Our 9th grade teachers work collaboratively and are committed to the learning of the students they share.

Freshman Seminar

The freshman orientation course “Freshman Seminar” — taught through the Exploring Computer Science course — focuses on developing the personal and academic skills of students while connecting them to their academic and career pathways, which will define their next three years of high school. The seminar highlights the following topics:

2017-18 9th Grade Leadership & Oversight Board

Most 9th grade class decisions and activities are overseen by a Board, which includes administrative, teaching and support staff representatives:

  • Martel Price: 9th Grade Assistant Principal
  • Theresa Langston: 9th Grade Counselor
  • Latasha Taylor: 9th Grade Student Support Specialist
  • Brenda Rivera: Teacher
  • Nicholas Rey: Teacher
  • Seth Zimmerman: Teacher

In addition, the staff of each House meets as a group at regular intervals (at least twice a month) during shared conference periods.

2017-18 Classes, Teachers & Houses 

California StudiesBrenda RiveraNicholas ReyJessica Fagen
California StudiesPortia CarryerMatthew ColleyRosa Seidelman
BiologySierra FlynnSierra DonaldsonGlen Augustine
MathematicsKevin JiJohanna LangillSeth Zimmerman
Computer ScienceMichael TaylorAmy TalleyRick Frey
World Language
Dept. includes Spanish, French, Chinese & Italian
Physical Education
9th Grade PE teachers are Patricia Brandt & Stacey O'Connor

Due to the size of the freshman class and the need to balance the Master Schedule — plus the choice of many students to take a World Language — freshmen are sometimes taught by teachers outside the House structure:

  • Mathematics:  Some students may have math with Clarence Harris or Lorrie Powell-Thomas.
  • Computer Science:  Some students may have Stephen Wright as their CS-9 teacher.
  • World Language: Department includes Jacqueline Arnoldy, Beverley Berning, Ava Geltmeyer, Felicidad Guirao, Cathrine-Mary Kuchera, Rebecca Padilla, Kathryn Ruggiero, Deirdre Snyder, Wei Wann.
  • Physical Education:  Some students may have Peter Bascom, Carlos Bover or Ashlee Sherman.

Boost Peer Tutoring

Boost is a peer tutoring program open to all 9th grade students. It takes place several afternoons a week after school throughout the academic year, and is offered in all four core subjects — Math, Biology, English and History (California Studies). While many students use Boost for extra help, all freshmen are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to do homework in a quiet academic setting with support available whenever needed. More information here.

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