With less than a month and a half to go in this school year, it’s time to look ahead to 2015-2016 – and as part of that, Chief Sealth International High School is seeking volunteers to help with a new class as part of the Technology Education And Literacy in Schools program. CSIHS principal Aida Fraser-Hammer explains:
Starting in the fall, Chief Sealth International High School will be participating in the Technology Education And Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program as we pilot a semester-long programming class officially titled Introduction to Computer Science. We are in search of volunteer software engineers/programmers willing to team-teach programming in the classroom 2 days per week for the next school year. No teaching experience is necessary; all training and additional supports will be provided by the TEALS program as we begin planning for team-teaching the course in September.
TEALS has already partnered with the other SPS high schools and the program has been
extremely successful in getting students hooked into computer programming and interested in pursuing higher education in the field of computer science. The implementation of this new class at CSIHS will mean that all SPS comprehensive high schools will now have a strong partnership with TEALS, and Sealth’s students will also be exposed to a challenging class to ignite the quest for further educational pursuits in computer science. Below are a few other miscellaneous facts which may help potential software engineers consider volunteering their time to teach introductory programming to students at Sealth:
· Currently Sealth offers Computer Applications and Web Design I.
· Over the last two years Sealth students have earned just over 300 Microsoft Office Specialist certifications (146 this year) via the Computer Applications course.
· Over the last two years 10 students (6 this year) have earned the prestigious Microsoft Office Master certification via the Computer Applications course.
· This school-year 74 girls attended IGNITE events and 17 students wrote essays to attend the Blacks at Microsoft Student Day conference. We anticipate a very diverse group of students in the programming course based on expressed interest.
· Over 100 students participated in the Hour of Code in December.
The students at SCIHS are excited and eager to go to this next step in computer science by participating in this new Introduction to Computer Science. However, we need volunteer software engineers to make it successful. We are hopeful that local West Seattleite programmers would be willing to assist TEALS and Sealth get a solid computer science course off the ground. Interested volunteers can email TEALS manager Lori Whippler Hollasch at email@example.com and/or CSIHS teacher John Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to get the discussion started.
The primary focus of TEALS is to enhance and grow the skills of teachers committed to learn programming. In Sealth’s case, John Wright is the teacher who transitioned two years ago, after teaching math for nine years, to Sealth’s existing computing courses. He has played with light programming, has been involved with a few website projects over the years, and in his pre-teaching industry experience used to do “baby VBA” tweaks to Access databases and Excel spreadsheets. Currently he has A+, Net+, and a few MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) introductory certifications. Wright admits that he is a little bit geeky, but “definitely not at a programmer level and thus looking forward to the opportunity to team-teach with actively working programmers to allow time to finesse my skills, and in time to expand future programming options for Sealth students.”