Helping Schools Meet New Missouri Computer Science Standards
March 13, 2023
Missouri is upping its CS game this summer, with a new bill that requires schools to provide computer science courses to all K-12 schools. It takes effect this July as the Show Me State joins the ranks of 26 other states with this requirement.
If you’re a parent or a casual observer, you’re probably thinking, “that’s great, kids should have access to computer science!” If you’re an educator, you might be thinking, “yes, it’s important, I know—but HOW?” And you’re right—it’s a tall ask without support.
Heck, no one knows more than educators how important a foundation in computer science is for their students. Among the vast majority of teachers (66%), principals (73%), and superintendents (75%), computer science rates just as important—or even more important—than other required subjects like math, science, and English, according to Code.org’s 2022 State of Computer Science Education.1
Here’s the story on the bill. SB 718 Sections 170.018 and 170.036 state:2
This act requires, for all school years on or after July 1, 2023, certain coursework and instruction in computer science and computational thinking in public and charter high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. Courses and instruction offered under this act must meet certain standards established by the State Board of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
How does a school provide for these potentially daunting new requirements? One option is to outsource the new computer science coursework and standards to virtual solutions your students can click through and get the gist of computer science. Or, add a new activity to your school community that will engage students in a nationwide competition, train your teachers while doing all of the instructional heavy-lifting (and paying them a stipend for their valuable time and expertise), and give your school something to celebrate as a community.
Our fully-packaged Youth Coding League3 program, built in and run from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, takes care of 100% of the “Algorithms & Programming” section of those standards for 5th-8th graders. This is a born-in-Missouri solution to these new requirements, and our experience working with Missouri schools to help them provide computer science and coding opportunities for their students with the resources they have on hand means we can do it with a minimal amount of work on your part.
A few quick notes on how:
- We support the Youth Coding League each semester in your school at a time that works for you, and remotely train and pay one of your teachers to serve as a coach.
- Students love it—especially those who haven’t found their spot in your school community just yet.
- Teachers are big fans, as there isn’t a single worksheet or piece of curriculum they need to come up with—we do the heavy-lifting.
- This program is complete and fully-packaged—a stipend for your teacher, gear for your students, and wrap-around support is all included.
If the Youth Coding League might be a good solution for your school community’s challenge of meeting SB 718’s new requirements, we’d love to see how we can help and learn more about your school community. Learn more about the Youth Coding League4 and how other school communities feel about the program, and take next steps if you’d like to dig deeper.