Attached to this memo is a joint statement from the Arkansas Department of Education and the Arkansas Department of Career Education regarding the 2017-2018 Computer Science Initiative implementation.
The attached document contains the following language:
Greetings Arkansas Educators,
As many of you are preparing your master schedules for next school year, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) and Arkansas Department of Career Education (ARCareerED) leadership teams felt it prudent to provide some direct communication regarding the future of computer science (CS) under both the ADE and ARCareerED umbrella. In short because of many hours of collaboration and a spirit of working toward a common goal, there is no longer a distinction between the two in the field of CS education.
An all new grid of high-school CS courses has been co-developed and adopted by both ADE and ARCareerED, and will be the only valid CS courses beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. All current CS courses under both the ADE and ARCareerED umbrellas will become invalid as of June 30, 2017. For a full list of new courses and courses that will become invalid as of June 30, 2017, please visit: http://bit.ly/2mlZA6J
There have been quite a few questions surrounding licensure requirements for these courses; a detailed explanation of licensure requirements for the new courses can be found at: http://bit.ly/2loYF7I Please note that while our state must move forward under a system that more accurately measures state capacity and ensures teacher competency, ADE and ARCareerED have worked to provide an extremely flexible four-year approval code system for these new courses. Arkansas’s Computer Science Initiative including its associated legislation, regulations, funding, teacher training, and this licensure/approval code plan are being lauded by national entities as a model of success that other states are choosing to follow.
ADE and ARCareerED, encourage all interested educators add the CS endorsement, as explained in the Fact Sheet linked above, and remind those educators, that ADE is reimbursing the PRAXIS fees once the 528 CS Endorsement is added to an Arkansas Educator’s License. While this 4-12 endorsement is available to all educators with an Arkansas Educator’s License at any grade level to add, it is not necessary to teach any of the new K-8 Embedded CS Standards or the Coding Block for Grades 7 or 8. Educators that are interested in training in the K-8 Embedded CS Standards, the Coding Block for Grades 7 or 8 (including Keycode), gaining the 528 CS endorsement, or CS for administrators should know that summer PD is being booked now. Educators can search for available options through their Shoebox Account or contact their Education Service Cooperative, STEM Center, or the ADE Office of Computer Science for additional information.
Thank you for all that you do to support the students of Arkansas and the #ARKidsCanCode initiative.