With today's advancing technologies in most every career path, the need for a basic knowledge in computer science and computational thinking, along with our current computer literacy, is essential for our students to be successful in the future. Our students need to understand how to not only be users of technology, but also creators of it. In order to accomplish this, some changes were put into law in June, 2017 with Senate Bill 200.
The former "Use of Computers" graduation requirement went through some changes to reflect the requirements in SB 200 which became effective July 1, 2018. Regulation R078-18 that addresses these changes passed the State Board on August 30, 2018 and the Legislative Commission on September 27, 2018, thereby codifying it into state law.
The updates include:
1. Name change to "Computer Education and Technology" which is in alignment with the wording in Senate Bill 200:
NAC 389.450 item #7 revised -
"Computer Education and Technology, for which at least 50 percent of the instructional time for the course is dedicated to computer science and computational thinking"
2. NAC 389.663, 389.664, and 389.688 all reference the change below regarding the half credit course towards high school graduation:
"If a pupil satisfactorily completes a course of study in computer education and technology during the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade, the pupil is not required to take the course of study in computer education and technology in high school and must only earn a minimum of 17 1/2* (this varies by diploma type) units of credit for required courses pursuant to subsection 2. The course of study in computer education and technology must be taught for at least one semester or trimester, or the equivalent, and must not be taught as part of another course of study. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as requiring a school district to offer a course in computer education and technology as part of the curriculum of a middle school."
NOTE: The K-12 Computer Science Standards AND the K-12 Technology Standards will be used to frame the concepts that are required to be taught in this half-credit course. The standards chosen are a subset of the complete high school standards for both which comprise the Computer Technology Education subject area. There may be some middle school standards incorporated for consistency and fluency of topics.
A GUIDANCE DOCUMENT for districts to use when creating/updating this course can be found here.
IMPORTANT: This new course must be in place with the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. The Class of 2023 will be the first coming through under the new requirements for graduation. Districts may provide a waiver to any middle school student who has taken the half-credit technology course through the 2018-2019 school year. Please see this Guidance Memo 18-18 from State Superintendent Dr. Steve Canavero.