Cornell University and TST BOCES Team Up with CSforAll Consortium

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presenter using slide showTST BOCES will be joining Cornell University to work with the CSforAll Consortium, an initiative designed to help bring computer science education to all K-12 students.

Representatives of TST BOCES gathered with faculty and administrators from eight region districts in Gates Hall on the Campus of Cornell University for a two-day planning workshop led by CSforAll. The goal of the workshop was to help each district develop a clear plan with actionable items to expand computer science education to all students.

“We were excited to partner with Cornell Tech and the CSForAll Consortium along with eight of our component districts to pilot a planning tool for implementing Computer Science instruction across grade levels for all students,” said Dr. Jeffrey Matteson, TST BOCES district superintendent. “I anticipate that many inspiring stories of student success will result from the collective efforts of the exemplary educators in our region. We are grateful for Cornell University as they served as an excellent host and provided a fantastic space in Gates Hall for this event.”

While it is still growing, the CSforAll Consortium currently has 383 members, works with 90 districts or state educational organizations and features 187 content providers all representing opportunities for computer science education. CSforAll focuses on three priority areas to further its goal: strategic connections, district consultation and support and knowledge and resource dissemination.

The workshop attendees worked together in groups to discuss the importance of computer science education and to lay out a vision for their districts. CSforAll encourages districts to develop a strategy backed by district-wide policy to support teachers in the effort of bringing computer science education to all students.

“A single teacher leader should not be the only one responsible for CS education in a school district,” said Leigh Ann DeLyser, Cofounder and Chief Academic Officer of the CSforAll Consortium. “Planning teams exist for all other subjects – Math, Science, ELA, History – we need to help districts create structures to support teachers’ efforts in CSforAll and give them roadmaps and plans that recognize the unique students and school cultures they serve.”

The districts that joined TST BOCES for the workshop were Candor, Dryden, Groton, George Jr. Republic, Ithaca City School District, Lansing, South Seneca and Trumansburg. The collaboration between CSforAll and districts in this region represents an important chance for the Consortium to serve a variety of smaller districts than it has typically had the opportunity to work with in the past.

“There are 16,000 school districts and collaboratives in the US, but 15,000 of them serve fewer than 20 schools,” said DeLyser. “In order to get to the ALL of CSforAll, we need to engage small and medium sized school districts in the work. These districts serve 30 million of the 50 million students in the US.”

After the two-day workshop each of the districts will continue to be supported by the CSforAll Consortium as they look to implement what they learned into curricula. This greater emphasis on bringing a more consistent computer science education to all students in a district, beginning with kindergarten and continuing through graduation, will help prepare students for a rapidly evolving economic landscape that requires a solid foundation of computer literacy.