School District Collaborates with College to Teach Computers

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Sheridan Media reporter Pat Blair is looking at how computers fit into the classrooms of Sheridan County School District 2. Here's the first story in the series.

Computer science objectives at Sheridan County School District 2 are built around a collaboration with Sheridan College designed to provide instruction from kindergarten through high school and beyond.

Mitch Craft, who's an assistant superintendent with the school district, said the district uses a “K through 14” approach. He said funding for those efforts is coming from Whitney Benefits.

He said the non-profit organization really wants to make sure that the economy and the community are future-ready.

Craft said Whitney's opportunities are also extended to Sheridan County school districts 1 and 3 as well as the Johnson County school district.

According to information from Craft, Sheridan County School District 2 started work in the 2015/16 school year upgrading equipment and training teachers to implement a computer science program. In that year also, the district created a college liaison position to support computer science in the district's schools.

Craft said the district provides instruction in three tiers, one for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, another for the junior high school and the third for students in high school.

Both the elementary and junior high students also are offered after-school programs, and high school students can take college-level courses through dual enrollment.

District 2 expects to have full implementation by 2021 of the program the district started in 2015. In the meantime, the district continues to add every year to what's being taught, and course refinement continues.

Craft said Sheridan High School has already won awards for the results AP students have achieved in computer science.