Wyoming is one step closer to teaching computer science in K-12 schools across the state by 2022. A mandate to do so was passed by the state legislature in 2018.
Last week, the Wyoming State Board of Education approved revised computer science standards. During its March meeting, the SBE received input that more could be done to make the standards accessible.
In response, the board created three categories of standards: priority, supporting and enhanced. Those will make it easier for teachers to distinguish between what students need to master versus what students need to be exposed to.
The revised standards will now go to Gov. Mark Gordon for review. A 45-day public comment period follows the approval.
Kari Eakins is Chief Policy Officer for the Wyoming Department of Education and said this is the first time Wyoming has added a new content area since the current core knowledge areas were created roughly 20 years ago.
"And so we are in uncharted territory. We're expecting some bumps along the way," said Eakins. "And it may get a little bit rocky because we don't know what we don't know."
Eakins said input from educators, students, and community members will smooth the implementation process. She added the goal is not to overwhelm students with new material.
"But we also want to make sure that a student is prepared to function in the world that they live in, which is very different than the world that we grew up in."
She says the goal is to have the standards completely approved by the fall, giving schools three years to prepare to implement the new computer science requirements by fall of 2022.