Huntington UFSD is enhacing its computer science education program

New Computer Science & Digital Fluency Standards Coming

Huntington UFSD is enhacing its computer science education program

December 16, 2021

A detailed presentation on Huntington UFSD’s planning and implementation of New York State’s new computer science and digital fluency standards provided Huntington School Board members with an overview of efforts across every grade level and in all eight buildings during a public meeting earlier this week.

Assistant Superintendent Beth McCoy and Director of STEM Dr. Teresa Grossane brought trustees and audience members through a PowerPoint presentation that highlighted the district’s ongoing initiatives.

The state’s computer science and digital fluency learning standards are organized around five key concepts:
• Impacts of Computing: society, computing ethics, accessibility, Career paths
• Computational Thinking: modeling and simulations, data analysis, algorithms and
• Network and Systems Design: hardware and software
• Cybersecurity: risks, safeguards, response
• Digital Literacy: digital use, digital citizenship

The standards are grouped into five grade level bands: K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12. Students are expected to master the standards by the time they exit a band.

Here’s an example of how students will go about mastering one of the standards:

Key Concept: Impact of Computing

K-1: Students will discuss the differences between playing a board game and a video game or mailing a letter and getting a text message.
2-3: Students will discuss how technology has impacted what jobs are available (e.g., IT support and website design).
4-6: Students will discuss how technology, such as GPS systems, have influenced communication, relationships, travel and cultural traditions/customs.
7-8: Students will identify trade-offs between new and emerging technology, discussing how the technology could improve convenience, but also impact personal privacy.
9-12: Students will research how to better access information and/or resources that affect a
population, and develop a strategy and/or recommendation to address the issue.

Implementation of the standards began in December 2020 with their rollout and efforts to build awareness of them. A focus on curriculum development, resource acquisition and professional development is ongoing. All credit bearing computer science courses will be aligned with state standards during the 2023/24 school year and full implementation across grades K-12 will occur by September 2024.

Trustees were told that the goal is for “every student to know how to live productively and safely in a technology dominated world. This includes understanding the essential features of digital technologies, why and how they work and how to communicate and create using those technologies.”

Huntington UFSD is a member of a ten district consortium that is the recipient of a state Smart Start grant in the amount of $500,000 per year for 2021-2026. The monies will allow groups of 12 teachers per year to be trained each year. There will also be a four day summer institute along with six 2.5 hour after school professional development sessions. One lead teacher per grade band will participate in an additional 2.5 days of curriculum writing.