Boot Up Wyoming 2022 aims to implement computer science in schools

Local News Wyoming News April 3, 2018

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Boot Up Wyoming 2022 aims to implement computer science in schools

Cheyenne, WY.   –   The Wyoming Department of Education announced yesterday the launch of Boot Up Wyoming 2022, an initiative to implement computer science in all Wyoming schools.

“Computer science is a critical skill set that all students need to build, starting from an early age,” said State Superintendent Jillian Balow. “It is important today and even more important tomorrow. I am so excited for Wyoming’s students, who will have the opportunity to learn computer science at all grade levels.”

During the 2018 Budget Session, the Wyoming Legislature passed Senate Enrolled Act 0048, which adds computer science and computational thinking to the state educational program. Effective July 1, 2018, a computer science course may count as a science course in high school graduation requirements, and may count as either a science course or an “additional math” course in the Hathaway Success Curriculum. Standards must also be developed, approved, and fully implemented at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.

Boot Up Wyoming 2022 will focus on analyzing the costs and district needs to offer computer science, ensuring teachers are trained to teach the subject, and facilitating the development of statewide standards for promulgation by the State Board of Education.

Superintendent Balow added, “We will work quickly and carefully to implement computer science education within five years. This will require continuous collaboration with our partners to address challenges, identify best practices, and ensure that every teacher has the resources they need to successfully support computer science education in Wyoming.”

Cost and Needs Analysis
WDE staff will visit all 48 school districts over the next six months in order to thoroughly analyze all changes and costs necessary to implement computer science. Each visit will include meetings with the district’s superintendent, curriculum director, business manager, tech director, principals, computer science teachers, and any other personnel that the district deems necessary.

The Wyoming Department of Education hosts webinars on the first and third Wednesday of each month on the creation and development of computer science programs. Each meeting highlights an industry partner and a Wyoming school district. Details are available here.

Teacher Training
The Professional Teaching Standards Board offers four pathways to educators and districts to obtain computer science certifications. They include the traditional route of program completion with an Institutional Recommendation, completion of 27 credit hours and a passing score on the Praxis exam, a Professional, Industry, and Careers Permit, and a new Exception Authorization in Computing Technology. More information is available here.

The Wyoming Educational Trust Fund for Innovative Education Grant will give priority to districts showing creation or improvement of computer science programs and professional development for the 2018-19 grant award year. All Wyoming public school districts are eligible for this one-year grant, with a total of $250,000 available. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on May 25, 2018.

More information is available on the Wyoming Department of Education website.

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