New computer science and coding partnership launched

Mission, Texas- As junior high school and high school students in Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) dive deeper into their studies, officials have unveiled a partnership instructional initiative that is already impacting student learning.

            Officials from Mission CISD joined with representatives from Mission Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and Code/Interactive at R. Cantu Jr. High School to announce the initiative that quietly began over the summer.

            This new and unique partnership takes advantage of the growth of coding interest and programs supported by the Mission EDC. Through this partnership, Mission CISD teachers are being taught how to implement a coding curriculum into Computer Science classes in a meaningful way. The curriculum being provided involves a creative computing approach designed to build on a student’s creativity, imagination, and interests.

            Mission CISD teachers from each junior high school and high school spent part of their summer going through training and instruction on how to incorporate the coding curriculum into their courses. That professional development will continue and expand to include instructional staff from the district’s elementary schools.

            “The last three years, we have taken advantage of the national observance of an Hour of Code to spark student and teacher interest in coding,” explained Dr. Ricardo López, superintendent of schools. “Now we have reached the time to take advantage of that interest and build upon it with the help of our partners in this initiative. We are extremely grateful to the Mission EDC for their sponsorship of the program and to the curriculum development help provided through Code/Interactive. This public/private initiative will help ensure that even more of our students will learn computer science, a skill set that is increasingly important in today’s economy.”

            “This is a momentous move to bridging the access gap in computer science,” said Julia Barraford-Temel, Code/Interactive’s Mission program manager. “I’m thrilled to be working with innovative leaders at Mission CISD and Mission EDC as we implement the initiative. Our partnership puts Mission, Texas on the forefront of making computer science education synonymous with reading, writing, and math.”

            The partnership is impacting nearly 600 students this school year, and includes teacher training in Scratch, CS Discoveries, and Exploring Computer Science, research-backed computer science curriculums known for their innovative and equitable approach to the subject. Teachers will be attending quarterly supplemental trainings to reinforce their curriculum knowledge.

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