Computer Science in Virginia

October 19, 2022, the SVRTC meeting was attended virtually by 22 members with representatives from 11 SVRTC school divisions: Amelia, Brunswick, Charlotte, Colonial Heights, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Petersburg, and Prince Edward.

Computer Science has been a prominent topic for Virginia educators, especially since the adoption of the 2017 Virginia Computer Science Standards of Learning. Sharing resources among members was requested. Annah Bowen, the Region 8 Computer Science representative, began with updates from Code VA, which offers free computer science opportunities to public schools. She shared that she attended a regional meeting recently where she learned that many schools have not updated their strategic plans since computer science standards were revised in 2017, and VDOE plans to revise standards again by 2024. It was shared that lack of time, finances, and lack of knowledge are barriers to the implementation of computer science curriculums in schools. Ms. Bowen shared that creating a stand alone course for computer science was discussed amongst CS regional representatives, as well as providing more opportunities for teachers to learn about computer science and the ways they can integrate within their disciplines.

Dr. Stephanie Playton also reminded members about resources available to SVRTC members including –

Opening Meeting 2022-23: Members Welcome, Kajeet!

The 2022- 2023 SVRTC opening meeting was held at Longwood University on Wednesday, September 21. There were 35 attendees, both virtual and in person, representing 19 of our SVRTC school divisions: Amelia, Appomattox, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Colonial Heights, Cumberland, Danville, Dinwiddie, Franklin City, Greensville, Henry, Lunenburg, Martinsville, Mecklenbuerg, Nottoway, Petersburg, Prince Edward, Southhampton.

After opening the meeting, Dr. Paula Leach, Director of the Institute for Teaching through Innovative Practices (ITTIP) of Longwood University, gave an overview of grants and projects. Dr. Leach also asked members about interest in partnership for the new Advancing Computer Science Education grant opportunity.

For the professional development portion of the meeting, SVRTC members welcomed Kajeet with a familiar face – Krystle Pearson, former SVRTC member. Together with Kajeet representatives Colette Johnson and Tina Craun, they presented how their product offer solutions for connectivity issues and devices such as SMART buses to school districts. Their mission is to level the playing field for students in the digital age and help teachers provide online and remote learning. Current clients of Kajeet and members of SVRTC stated how helpful Kajeet solutions are for low signal areas, as well as a way to control student internet usage as a teacher and general connectivity throughout rural counties.

The meeting ended with a nomination of co-chair for SVRTC. Cori Sowers, Danville City Public Schools, accepted the nomination and committed to assuming the role of SVRTC co-chair.

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