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Wednesday, November 7 • 2:45pm - 3:35pm
Now, Coding is Elementary! Elementary “Computer Science for All Students” District Initiatives

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Session Description: Providing district-wide “Computer Science for ALL” in elementary school ensures ALL students have equitable access to important 21st-century skills. But teachers and districts face many challenges like their lack of computer science background, limited professional development resources, and isolation. Implementing equitable district-wide coding and computer science for all students brings even more considerable challenges including sustainability and teacher attrition that require district-wide solutions. Our team is addressing these challenges in districts nationwide and will provide case studies that have applicability to Wyoming school districts. While implementing district-wide CSforAll initiatives across the country, crucial components have become apparent.

Four central components are:
(1) Ongoing scaffolded professional development;
(2) Development of district-level coaches;
(3) Offering of interest-driven project-based curricula; and
(4) Building and sustaining Communities of Practice (i.e., PLCs).

Not surprisingly, these components reflect what research tells us about effective professional development programs. Sustainable district-wide elementary coding programs from across the country will be highlighted while components of successful initiatives are revealed and detailed. Explore real-world examples and learn how your district can implement computer science for all!

Session Outcomes: Upon completion of this session, attendees will be able to:
1. use available research to describe why learning to code and developing computational thinking skills is critical in elementary school.
2. have all students to learn these basic problem-solving, creative, collaborative and troubleshooting skills before they "opt out" when choosing elective courses in junior high and high school.
3. Learn from current initiatives that introduce coding and computer science into the school day by building the confidence and self-efficacy of those teaching the subject.
4. Learn about the impact on the school districts, school boards, administrators, parents, teachers and, most importantly, the students.
5. Reflection is an essential element of BootUp's professional development experience as evidenced by segmented learning with many opportunities to practice, reflect,
6. share with members of the PLC and others in a Community of Learning.


Brenda Bass

renda Bass has over 30 years of teaching experience, most recently as the Science/STEAM Lab Teacher for Fort Bend School District in Sugar Land, Texas where she taught K-5 coding, STEAM challenges and physical computing to help support science standards. She was also the coding/robotics... Read More →

Abby Hurley

Northern Wyoming Community College Computer Science Youth Outreach Coordinator, Abby Hurley, works with the Sheridan County School District #2 Elementary teachers to help them bring coding into their classrooms. The SCSD#2 teacher committee chose to use BootUp as a way to train teachers... Read More →
avatar for Clark Merkley

Clark Merkley

Executive Director, BootUp PD, Inc.
Clark Merkley is the Executive Director of BootUp PD, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, focused on preparing and empowering teachers and implementing elementary coding programs nationwide. BootUp PD’s mission is to reach all students, creating equitable access to 21st-century... Read More →

Wednesday November 7, 2018 2:45pm - 3:35pm MST
Superintendent Office