CodeVA and Amazon Future Engineer Launch First Piece of Partnership: Computer Science-Ready Schools Program

13 August, 2020

CodeVA and Amazon Future Engineer Launch First Piece of Partnership: Computer Science-Ready Schools Program

      Through the Computer Science-Ready Schools Program 19 Virginia schools will work with CodeVA, starting this school year, to create impact teams, develop a strategic plan, and implement practices to establish a Computer Science (CS) Ready culture as a strong foundation for CS education – all activities will begin virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

      This initial launch of 19 schools is part of Amazon Future Engineer’s $3.9 million donation to CodeVA through 2022 to support their long-term plan to offer computer science education and training to every high needs school across Virginia – more than 700 schools.

      Read the full press release below and please reach out to Pamela Crook by emailing her at pamelacrook@codevirginia.org with any questions, requests for comment, or requests for additional information or images. Thank you!


CodeVA and Amazon Future Engineer Launch First Piece of Partnership: Computer Science-Ready Schools Program

 

19 Virginia schools will work with CodeVA starting this school year to create impact teams, develop a strategic plan, and implement practices to establish a Computer Science (CS) Ready culture as a strong foundation for CS education – all activities will begin virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

This initial launch of 19  schools is part of Amazon Future Engineer’s $3.9 million donation to CodeVA through 2022 to support their long-term plan to offer computer science education and training to every high needs school across Virginia – more than 700 schools

 

Amazon Future Engineer is Amazon’s childhood-to-career program aimed at expanding computer science access to students from underserved and underrepresented communities across the country

      Richmond, VA: CodeVA has announced 19 Virginia schools selected to participate in the Computer Science-Ready Schools Program. These are the first schools that will benefit from programs specifically funded by Amazon’s $3.9 million donation to CodeVA through 2022. 

 

      The CS-Ready Schools Program is a part of Virginia’s CSforVA initiative, a partnership between CodeVA and the Virginia Department of Education. CodeVA will work over the pilot year with these 19 schools to create a foundation and a sustainable ecosystem for computer science education and engagement in their school. At the completion of the process, schools that achieve the benchmarks and timeline achievements they lay out for themselves through the process will earn the Computer Science-Ready School designation. 

 

      The program is a centerpiece of CodeVA’s programs supporting Amazon’s goal of seeing computer science education and training available at every high-needs school across Virginia – more than 700 schools. Amazon’s investment comes from their childhood to career computer science access program, Amazon Future Engineer

 

      To support schools journey toward CS readiness, CodeVA will provide support and guidance to these 19 school sites as they work to identify impact teams of key leaders in their school environment, use these teams to develop a strategic plan of action, and work to establish a computer science ready culture as a strong foundation for CS education. All program services will be delivered virtually by CodeVA, due to Covid-19 limitations, and the initial 12 month program timeline may be adjusted to account for increased demands on schools. 

 

      CodeVA’s years of experience providing professional development for teachers and previous experience working with schools and school divisions directly will inform the CS-Ready School program that the schools will participate in.  

 

      “The Computer Science-Ready School initiative is an important tool for measuring division, school and teacher readiness to support computer science literacy for all Virginia children,” said Chris Dovi, CodeVA’s executive director. “Virginia’s computer science education mandate remains a challenge for nearly all schools in Virginia – and especially for Title I and economically disadvantaged schools. What often lacks are fundamentals, like a working understanding among a school’s leadership team of what computer science education even means. Awareness is a first objective, followed by helping the school’s leadership formulate an intentional and goals-oriented plan to support teacher professional development, to offer classes, to incorporate enrichment programs, and to engage parents and community members, too.”

 

      After the pilot year, CodeVA, along with the partner schools, will have a systemized the process for other schools in Virginia to earn the CS-Ready School designation. Presently, Virginia’s computer science mandate has no statewide measure for whether a school or school division is meeting the requirements of the state computer science Standard of Learning mandate. 

 

      “Amazon Future Engineer is excited to power the Computer Science Ready Schools program alongside CodeVA for these 19 schools across Virginia, our new home,” said Ardine Williams, Vice President of Workforce Development, HQ2 at Amazon. “We know this is just the start of our partnership with CodeVA and we’re excited, especially amidst this trying time, to help make sure teachers have the resources they need to best prepare the next generation of big thinkers and creative innovators.”

The 19 Virginia schools that will take part in the CS Ready Program are as follows:

  • STEM Academy, Pittsylvania County.
  • Leesylvania Elementary School, Prince William County.
  • Swans Creek Elementary, Prince William County.
  • Braddock Elementary School, Fairfax County.
  • Sterling Middle School, Loudoun County. 
  • Sterling Elementary School, Loudoun County. 
  • Booker T Elementary School, Suffolk City. 
  • Elephant’s Fork Elementary School, Suffolk City.
  • Oakland Elementary School, Suffolk City.
  • John F. Kennedy Middle School, Suffolk City.
  • King’s Fork High School, Suffolk City.
  • Camelot Elementary School, Chesapeake City.
  • Truitt Intermediate, Chesapeake City. 
  • VA Middle, Bristol City.
  • VA High Bristol City. 
  • J.W. Adams Elementary, Wise County.
  • St. Paul Elementary, Wise County. 
  • Dungannon Intermediate, Scott County. 
  • Berkeley Middle School, James City.

 

About Amazon: Amazon is committed to bringing more resources to children and young adults to help them build their best future. Amazon has invested more than $50 million to increase access to computer science/STEM education and has donated more than $20 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education across the country. Amazon Future Engineer is a four-part childhood-to-career program intended to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to try computer science. Each year, Amazon Future Engineer aims to inspire hundreds of thousands of young people to explore computer science; awards dozens of schools Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Grants, provides over 100,000 young people in over 2,000 high schools access to Intro or AP Computer Science courses; awards 100 students with four-year $10,000 scholarships; as well as offers guaranteed and paid Amazon internships to gain work experience, and forms unique partnerships with trusted institutions to bring new coding experiences to students.