By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
Kenwood Academy High School, Ariel Community Academy and University of Chicago (U. of C.) Woodlawn Charter School are three of 46 schools that have been chosen by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to pilot its new computer science curriculum next fall.
The computer science programs at Kenwood, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave.; Ariel, 1119 E. 46th St. and U. of C. Woodlawn, 5801 S. Ellis Ave., will equip students with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education some experts say they need to be competitive in the 21st century marketplace. According to CPS, the program will create a pipeline for foundational computer science skills in elementary schools, expand computer science classes to every high school and elevate computer science to a core subject.
Under its five-year Computer Science for All (CSA) plan, one in four CPS elementary schools will be able to offer computer science programming for students as early as kindergarten. At least one computer science course will be offered at every CPS high school and become a requirement of graduation. The curriculum will be fully aligned with the framework of the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards in elementary schools. Coding and computer science classes will also be available year-round to students through the partnering program Chicago City of Learning.
“By expanding access to computer science skills and coding in schools, we can help prepare Chicago’s students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a highly specialized, technical economy,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a written statement. “Teaching our kids the foundational skills of computer science and coding will not only open up the door to success in virtually any job industry, but will position them as the next generation of innovators that will move our city forward.”