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 is going through some changes to reflect the requirements in SB 200 which will become effective July 1, 2018. Currently, regulations are going through public hearings to reflect these changes. A superintendent workshop is scheduled for May 8, 2018 and a State Board hearing scheduled for June 7, 2018.
The updates include:
1. Name change to "Computer Science and Applications" which is more in alignment with the content being taught and with the licensure endorsement required to teach the course:
NAC 389.450 item #7 proposed revision -
"Computer Science and Applications, which must include the following concepts:
a. Computer applications - presentations, word processing, spreadsheets
b. Digital citizenship
c. Computer science and computational thinking - algorithms and programming, computing systems, data and analysis, impacts of computing, and networks and the internet"
2. The course is being updated to include 50% of Computer Science and Computational Thinking.
NAC 389.664 item #1 proposed revision -
Name change in the list of required courses for graduation from "Use of Computers" to "Computer Science and Applications" as stated above.
NAC 389.664 item #2 proposed revision -
"If a pupil satisfactorily completes a course of study in Computer Science and Applications during the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade, the pupil is not required to take the course of study in Computer Science and Applications in high school and must only earn a minimum of 14 1/2 units of credit for required courses pursuant to subsection 1. The course of study in Computer Science and Applications must be for at least one semester or trimester, or the equivalent, and must not be taught as part of another course of study. The course in Computer Science and Applications must include 50% of computer science and computational thinking instruction. This subsection authorizes, but does not require, a school district to offer a course in Computer Science and Applications as part of the curriculum in 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 Computer Science and Applications half-credit course. These standards chosen will be 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. The standards for this course will be made available very shortly.