Simply put, ‘coding’ is giving instructions to computers to do something. It is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. Your internet browser, the apps on your phone, Facebook, and this website – they’re all made with code, by people who code.
Why learn coding?
Computer science informs almost every aspect of our lives, from communications to shopping to national security and government. Coding is the basic foundation of computer science, and an area that every public school can benefit from teaching. And the best thing is that ANYONE can learn to code.
Learn from the Experts
How to participate in The Alaska Week of Code
Our goal is simple: Introduce more Alaskan students to coding! Check out the following links for fast and easy ways to get you or your students coding today:
We are half way through year 1 of our three year grant from the DEED. Our mid-year report was submitted January 15th to the independent evaluator (Dr. Dale Cope)
The 15 teacher cohort is in the middle of their formalized training/PD sessions.
Most cohort members have completed the Quality Matters online course training curriculum.
Several Blended Learning topic Lync session trainings have/will also take place throughout this school year.
19 Educators attended the iNACOL conference in Palm Springs, CA funded by the grant
20+/- Educators will also attend ASTE this February in Anchorage funded by the grant
Activity/Field Trip Travel Possible Technology Assistance:
David Henson and Jim White are working on a prototype activity trip tracking system that will preload trips, participants, emergency paperwork, and the ability to add/subtract trip participants and add notes/details using a smartphone and a QPC code reader application.
We are going to be working with some schools to pilot this year and hope to go live district-wide next Fall for all activity and fieldtrips (K-12).
A new Travel regulations memo will be formalized by the end of this year to reflect all current and any new activity travel expectations for schools (i.e. travel range restrictions, when use of ALMR radio is expected, private vehicle transport restrictions, coaches driving restrictions, and driver on duty/driving time restrictions, etc…).
Distance Learning Program:
Our second semester course enrollment numbers are at 1010 as of this morning (1.21.15). This is early for numbers to be this large and our teachers are near capacity on their individual teacher loads.
Some changes planned include allowing students to enroll in distance classes during the course enrollment period directly from Powerschool (DP/Counselors working on this now)
Next year Credit Recovery Courses for Connections and our K-12 program will no longer be supervised/Teacher of Record by the Distance Learning Program. Like our larger high schools have for years, these schools will now need to oversee Credit Recovery with their own teaching staff.
As the program grows we are hearing concerns/worries from teachers about whether they will eventually be replaced by distance education. This is absolutely not the case and I would be happy to discuss these concerns with anyone. Please refer questions on this matter to me (John O’Brien)
Summer School Credit Recovery Session:
The session will be run just as it has in the past.
Our large high schools provide the program (SoHi, Nikiski, Homer, KCHS, Seward)
All CORE areas are provided (Math, Lang. Arts, Social Studies, and Science)
The program is an “on-line prescriptive” web based program through Pearson called “GRADPOINT”
The Session runs for three weeks in June. Half days (8:00-noon) June 1-19
Principals do their own hiring by emailing internal certified staff to solicit interest
Staff need to be certified and HQ in one of the four CORE areas (preference)
Policy Change TAKE NOTE:
AR 6146.1 High School Graduation Requirements: Additional quality points will be assigned for College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses for the purpose of calculating grade point average (GPA). For each passing semester grade in an Advanced Placement course, 0.021 will be added to the student’s cumulative GPA. Effective for SY 2015, the fall semester weighted quality points will be added at the conclusion of the fall semester (like before). In order to receive the spring semester weighted quality points, students must also complete the National Advanced Placement course examination.
KPBSD sent 17 educators to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) Symposium in California. Through the Digital Learning Initiative Grant that the KPBSD received we were able to send a team of district teachers and administrators to learn about “Blended Learning.” This conference focuses on showcasing districts, schools, and classroom teachers who are using new learning models considered blended learning. The intent is to “level the playing field for students through the creation of new learning models, and to ensure that students everywhere have access to a world-class education that prepares them for a lifetime of success, no matter their geographic location or economic situation.” -iNACOL
What is Blended learning? Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; often used synonymously with
Hybrid Learning. (Horn and Staker, 2011)
KPBSD hopes that this 3 year Digital Learning grant will help us to build the capacity of our teachers to learn how to and begin to apply blended learning strategies throughout our district’s 43 schools. Over the next three years the grant will help fund professional development and learning opportunities for three cohorts of 15 teachers per year. The teacher cohorts will learn how to implement blended learning/teaching strategies within their classrooms and to share what they have learned with colleagues in their schools so that blended learning can be implemented in more and more classrooms.
Blended learning is all about personalizing the learning experience for each student focusing their individual learning at a time, place, path, and pace that meets their unique learning needs. By using digital learning tools within the classroom setting, teachers are able to leverage these tools and skills to provide higher quality immediate feedback to their students about their learning and growth. Some teachers in our district already employ blended learning strategies in their classrooms and we hope more and more of our classrooms will become blended in the near future.
This information was shared with Principals at the Sept. 24, 2014 Administrator Meeting:
As of September 23rd the District Distance Learning Program has a total of 914 Semester class enrolments. This is our highest ever and if second semester enrollments follow the same trend we are on track to our highest enrollment year ever.
The Blended Learning Initiative Cohort for Year one of the grant has been selected. We have a total of fifteen (15) teachers who are involved representing upper elementary, middle school, and high school levels from across multiple content areas. Two of the teachers are from our partner districts (Cordova and Bristol Bay).
Schools with 5th and 10th Graders in attendance will all be administering the Gallop Student Poll/survey as a means of establishing benchmark data for our KPBSD Key Performance Indicators on Emotional Well Being. Tiffany Eck the Secondary Education Administrative Assistant is working with coordinators of the Gallop poll from each school. Questions contact Tiffany.
CTE Department announcement: Dan Bohrnsen our district’s CTE/WDC Coordinator is retiring at end of the 2014-2015 school year. We will be working on a transition plan very soon.
High Schools should be focusing on working with Juniors to make a decision on which College, Career Ready Assessment they will take and have the State of Alaska Pay for. Choices are the WorKeys, ACT, or SAT. This decision needs to be made by October 15th and returned to Julie Williams in the Assessment Department. Remember this is a graduation requirement replacing the HSGQE.
The following link can be used to access a Lync recording of the PowerSchool II session held on 8/18/14 at 3:30 p.m. Please note that the account used during the training was created with fictional information for the purpose of the training and does not contain actual student information. Please contact your instructional coach, Christine Ermold, or David Henson with questions.
Teaching internet safety is required annually as a condition of continuing our E-Rate funding. KPBSD adopted the i-Safe materials to provide teachers with the resources, background, and support information necessary to be able to teach these skills and the related content. Teachers in multigrade sites should choose one grade level of content to focus on each year, and rotate the materials so students end up learning from all grade levels at some point in their school experience.
Principals must collect the verification forms each year from their teachers.
The forms are due (for the whole school at once- not to be submitted one class at a time,) annually to IT by May 1st (it is on the deadlines list.)