Huntington School Board members have approved a new Computer Science Essentials course. The class will run for the first time during the 2023/24 school year. Trustees took action during their public meeting on Monday night at Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School.
The new class was earlier considered and approved by the district’s Subject Matter Council and Educational Development Committee. The course prerequisite is algebra.
The full year course is expected to enroll an estimated 125 ninth graders. The new class “will expose students to a diverse set of computational thinking concepts, fundamentals and tools, allowing them to gain understanding and build confidence,” states a course proposal presented to Huntington School Board members.
In Computer Science Essentials, “students will use visual, block-based programming and seamlessly transition to text-based programming with languages such as Python to create apps and develop websites, and learn how to make computers work together to put their designs into practice,” states the course proposal. “They will apply computational thinking practices, build their vocabulary, and collaborate similarly to computing professionals to create products that address topics and problems important to them. Computer Science Essentials will help students build a strong computing foundation as they advance to Computer Science Principles, Computer Science A and beyond.”
The state’s computer science and digital fluency learning standards are divided into five key concepts, including impacts of computing, computational thinking networks and systems design, cybersecurity and digital literacy. These standards must be implemented by September 2024. Before graduating high school, all students will need to take at least one computer science course.
“At Huntington High School, we will begin the rollout in September 2023, as approximately half of the school’s students will be recommended for the enrollment in the Essentials course,” according to the new course proposal. “The course is directly aligned with the state standards.”