Posted on December 5, 2017
Categories: News from SDP

School District Marks Computer Science Education Week

Weeklong celebration to showcase robust digital curriculum offered across the District

PHILADELPHIA — The School District of Philadelphia is celebrating its 6th annual Computer Science Education Week with a roster of activities highlighting the District’s expanding digital literacy curriculum and other district-wide activities, including coding.

“Computer Science Education Week showcases the meaningful digital learning experiences the School District provides students every day across the city and is part of our continued effort to expand access and opportunity to all students,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “Computer classes, digital learning, coding, and robotics programs are critical because they allow students to build foundational computer science skills that can be applied to what they learn across all academic subjects.”

Over the last six years, 144 K-8 schools across the District have implemented a Digital Literacy and Technology curriculum, which focuses on essential skills for the 21st Century learner. It is designed to introduce students to fundamental principles which will prepare them for full computer science courses in high school and college. There are four key components of the curriculum: computing and society, digital tools and collaboration, digital media and information literacy, and computer science fundamentals and coding.

High school students also have the opportunity to take a number of diverse computer science courses, including Introduction to Technology and Computer Applications, Introduction to Computer Science, and AP Computer Science Principles.

This Wednesday more than 140 schools across the District will participate in the Hour of Code, sponsored by, designed to expose students to computer science through the basics of computer programming in a fun, 60-minute activity. Students regularly participate in coding activities during digital literacy classes. Just some of the investments the District has made in computer science education in the last few years include:

  • A robust, District-wide digital curriculum which has been refreshed, modernized and expanded, with new online and digital resources for the current 2017-2018 school year
  • All K-8 schools are in the process of receiving training in teaching coding using popular instructional robots such as Spheros and Ozobots
  • Every District school received a new computer lab in the last year
  • New laptops for all teachers and principals

Computer Science Education Week is part of an annual, nationwide program organized by and runs from December 4 through 10, 2017. The initiative is designed to inspire more students in grades K through 12 to take an interest in computer science. This week’s events include:

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.
News Conference – Feltonville Arts & Sciences, 210 E. Courtland St., Philadelphia, 19120
Dr. Hite, Principal John Piniat, teachers, and students will be on hand to discuss why computer science education (including activities like coding) is important.

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m.
CS4Philly Hour of Code Event – Ethel Allen Promise Academy, 3200 W. Lehigh Ave., Philadelphia, 19132
Dr. Cheryl Logan, Chief of Academic Support and Melanie Harris, Chief Information Officer, will join Dr. Stefan Fester-Eberhardt, Principal; Dean Miller, PACT; Jake Baskin,; and Nefertiti Stanford, Philly CoderDojo, to highlight why students should have access to coding activities and education. Students will be on hand to participate in Hour of Code.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m.
LEGO We Do Robo Tug of War Competition – McClure Elementary School, 4198 N. 6th St., Philadelphia, 19140
Students in Christina Plover’s digital literacy class will be working in teams to use code and robotics to design and make stronger LEGO We Do robots to compete in a Tug of War competition.

Friday, Dec. 8, 9:30 a.m.
Robert Morris Elementary School – 2600 W. Thompson St., Philadelphia, 19121
Students in James Fink’s digital literacy classes will participate in coding activities to wrap up Computer Science Education Week.