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Two students design their own controller

Expanding access to computer science

10/03/17

Just two years ago, the SF Board of Education adopted a PK-12 computer science (CS) resolution. This means that all students will be learning computer science, not just the small number high school students who take it as an elective.

SF Board of Education Commissioner, Emily Murase, was pleased with the move.

“Information technology is now the fastest growing job sector in San Francisco, but too few students currently have access to learn the computer science skills that are crucial for such careers.”

“We are proud to be at the forefront of creating a curriculum that will build on the knowledge and skills students will need starting as early as preschool.”

Commissioner Matt Haney agreed.

“Learning to creatively use computers and technology to solve problems cannot be optional for the next generation of San Franciscans. All students must have access to opportunities in computer science and coding, and our schools can make that a reality.”

Now, CS classes can be found throughout the district. Forty percent of SFUSD middle schoolers are already taking the courses, and now a few elementary school teachers are teaching computer science in class. Students can creatively design and test electrical inputs to interact with apps—lessons that are a part of learning the new language of the 21st century.

Last spring, we piloted new curriculum at 11 elementary sites, and this year, we plan on doubling the number of sites. Computer science has now been expanded to a total of 29 schools. Our goal to reach about 11,400 elementary students, which is about 38 percent of the district's total elementary student population.

This initiative has been supported by funding received through the Salesforce grant to hire itinerant CS specialists, who will focus on schools in Bayview and Hunter's Point. As the program grows, we will continue to prioritize the schools serving students who traditionally have not taken advantage of computer science courses.

Ask your principal about computer science learning in your child’s school.