Computer science immersion in the Sioux Falls School District began at Anne Sullivan, Lowell, and Hayward Elementary Schools in 2017. This past fall, it expanded to George McGovern and Whittier Middle Schools. Staff say kids are enjoying the program because of the potential for their futures.
“Because of the number of opportunities that exist in that market today, and are predicted to be in that particular market area in the future,” Superintendent Brian Maher said. “I think we’re always going to need the folks in the tech sector.”
He says it’s about the skills involved, too.
“It’s not as much about being technologically savvy as it is about being critical thinkers,” Maher said.
“The kids are engaged, they’re excited about the kinds of things they do,” said Ann Smith, director of curriculum, federal programs, and libraries with the district. “It’s fun to go out at the end of the cycle, there’s a showcase, an epic build, and it’s really exciting to just go sit down one-on-one with those kids and have them explain what their project is.”
Staff say these classes also mean a lot for the kids in the free and reduced lunch programs.
“This is a population that typically isn’t chosen for special new programs,” Smith said. “So it was to give them something new and innovative that would give them hope, move them forward, and it’s also because of the leadership in those buildings.”