Grant gets Computer Science in CMSD Schools

Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-21 17:16:35-04
Cleveland is at the forefront when it comes to preparing students for college and the workforce. It stems from President Obama's "Computer Science for All" initiative, launched January, 2016.
This week, CMSD received a grant from the Cleveland Foundation to help fund the first phase of making that plan a reality. The goal is to use the $124,235 grant to make sure computer science classes are offered in all of CMSD's high schools within three years.
Over at John Marshall School of Information Technology, they were one of the pioneers; the school began offering computer science last academic calendar year.
"I want to be a doctor, said 11th grader Priyanka Rizal.
Rizal has a very clear end-goal.
"In the doctor field, we use computers to write like that database and reports," said Rizal.
She knows the importance of computer science, as do her teachers.
"This coming school year we'll have eight schools in the district  that will teach two different computer science courses," said CSU Professor of Computer Science, Nigamanth Sridhar.
A college prepartory course and an advance placement AP course. Sridhar says the Cleveland Foundation grant will be divvied up between CSU and CMSD. CSU is running the project and training teachers within CMSD. The program is called "CS4All."
"It is important for everybody to have access and a basic understanding of what computer science is." said Sridhar.
He says it is more important now than ever before.
"The way we think is fundamentally being altered - the way the students that are coming through high school these days is fundamentally changed from what it was 20-25 years ago." said Sridhar.
"It's such a need so more students are exposed," said John Marshall School of IT teacher, Briana Guevara. "Between making video games and making apps that you can have on your phone to websites," said Guevara.
She is one of three instructors in Cleveland who is trained to teach a course called "AP Computer Science Principals."
"This fall is the first time it has ever been offered in the United States," said Guevara.
Another big focus is inclusion.
"Students who are English language learners, students who are in special education." said Guevara.
This is the first week of classes for students at John Marshall. The long-term goal is to expand computer science classes into the district's middle and elementary schools.