PWCS awarded grant to advance computer science education

A new grant through the Commonwealth of Virginia will help increase student access to K-12 computer science programs, preparing them for high demand careers, according to a release from Governor Ralph Northam's Office. The recently approved grants, totaling $1.3 million, will support the implementation of Virginia's Computer Science Standards of Learning.

PWCS will receive $125,000 aimed at developing partnerships with local higher education institutions and local/state agencies to offer computer science education training for current and new teachers. The goal for this professional development will be to prepare existing educators and grow the number of new teachers who can provide quality instruction in the growing field of computer science, promote awareness of the high demand for computer science skills in a wide variety of careers, and increase the number and variety of courses offered to PWCS students.

Partnering with local educational institutions and agencies will increase opportunities for PWCS students, allowing them to develop and cultivate new skills and knowledge through access to courses in robotics, games design, and programming. In addition, students will be connected to business owners for learning to work opportunities and apprenticeships in the computer science field.

"The goal is for teachers to be well-versed and excited to not only provide high-quality content and engaging instruction to students, but also to play a role in inspiring future computer science professionals," shared Dr. Steven L. Walts, Superintendent of Schools for PWCS. "Professional development is essential to meet the ever-increasing demand of computer science instruction. Teachers need a way to reconnect to the field and learn more about current industry expectations and practices so that they can incorporate these into their instruction."