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BootUp Helps Close Digital Divide with Proven, Equitable Computer Science Initiatives to School Districts Throughout Iowa

November 1 2022 · By BootUp Team

Funds from the Iowa DoE will provide BootUp PD's K - 5 professional development and support for comprehensive and sustainable computer science initiatives

Participating Districts already include: Ankeny CSD, Kingsley-Pierson CSD, Woodbury CSD, Ogden Community School District, and Keokuk Catholic Schools

Districts currently not participating in the popular CS initiative should apply for grants immediately by visiting the Iowa DoE Website

Des Moines, IA - November 1, 2022 - Multiple districts across Iowa have committed to implementing sustainable computer science initiatives into the classroom through BootUp Professional Development’s popular model. Thanks to the Iowa Department of Education, each district approved for a grant can receive up to $50,000 to divide the funds between grade bands. The grant will fund the implementation of computer science education and professional development district-wide over the course of a year.

Iowa districts joining the impactful work already done at MOC-Floyd Valley CSD and Storm Lake CSD, include Ankeny CSD, Kingsley-Pierson CSD, Woodbury CSD, Ogden Community School District, and Keokuk Catholic Schools, impacting over 6,000 students collectively in Iowa.

“We are thrilled to be working with districts across Iowa on this equity-driven and empowering movement,” stated BootUp’s PD Manager, Brenda Bass, “It’s very rewarding to have the opportunity to be part of a CS for All statewide initiative, particularly in historically underrepresented communities. We look forward to providing engaging professional development and on-site support for teachers across the district for years to come.”

Ankeny Community School District Superintendent, Dr. Erick Pruitt, stated "Ankeny Schools implemented a new K-7 Computer Science curriculum this school year and is launching a new secondary Computer Science curriculum next school year. BootUp PD's model provides our teachers with the tools they need to bring engaging lessons on coding to their students. We believe a high-quality computer science curriculum empowers all students to persevere in developing the 21st-century skills necessary to create solutions to real-world problems that positively contribute to a diverse society."

According to a Code.org study, students learning computer science perform better in reading, math, and science in primary school; score better on standardized AP exams in secondary school; are 17% more likely to enroll in university, and perform better at problem-solving from primary school to university. The opportunity lies in preparing teachers with the essential skills to integrate computer science into their classrooms for equitable access to all students.

“This proven and sustainable CS opportunity will close digital learning gaps and equip all elementary teachers to integrate computer science and computational thinking in their classrooms,” said Clark Merkley, BootUp PD’s Executive Director. “By the time students graduate 5th grade, these integrated experiences will allow them to connect computer science to their other core areas of learning, and begin integrating computer science into their academic identity.”

Recipients of the Iowa DoE grant will receive BootUp’s extensive support, including teacher professional development and student curricula over three years, to help districts implement sustainable computer science initiatives throughout the school day. The customized, district-level support will complement existing programs and ensure the continuity of the K-12 CS initiative across the school district for equitable implementation in every classroom.

Please visit the link below for additional details about the Iowa State Grant:

https://educateiowa.gov/pk-12/instruction/computer-science/computer-science-curriculum-and-professional-development-grants

About BootUp Professional Development

BootUp PD is a national nonprofit specializing in district-wide elementary computer science initiatives focusing on creativity and problem-solving. Since 2015, BootUp has worked with more than 700 elementary schools in twenty-one states, impacting over 260,000 students. BootUp prepares teachers to facilitate open-ended coding projects that are project-based and personally meaningful. Students are empowered with creative and interactive curricula that allow them to explore their personal interests through coding with design, music, animation, games, or stories.

Iowa State Grant
Computer Science Grant

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