Washington CS Teacher Density 2021-22

Unique Challenges of Washington CS Teachers

What unique challenges do you face as a CS teacher in Washington?  PSCSTA wants to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts on the PSCSTA community thread (👥) Additional Challenges Faced by CS Teachers in Washington.
Professional isolation is a unique challenge faced by many CS teachers.   To help CS teachers address this challenge, CSTA promotes itself as “The World’s Largest CS Department” and provides community even for those teachers who are the “only computer science teacher in your school, district, or town.”  PSCSTA strives to offer the same for all Washington teachers.  
The dashboard Washington CS Teacher Distribution 2021-22 starts documenting the professional isolation of Washington’s CS teachers.   It combines several sources, including the 2021-22 K-12 Computer Science Education Data Summary Report released by OSPI during the summer of 2023. 
Of the 279 districts reporting, 219 (79%) had 1.0 or fewer CS teachers per high school.   However, larger districts did significantly better.  The 21% of districts with more than 1.0 CS teachers per high school composed over 42% of our student population and over 53% of all CS teachers.
Enrollment fragmentation is another unique challenge faced by CS teachers.  It’s more difficult to teach three different courses to 10 students each during a class period than to teach 30 students a single course during that same period.  Districts with low enrollment rates per teacher on the dashboard are districts placing undue administrative burden on their CS teachers and have CS programs in danger of phasing out.
However, no dashboard can capture all the challenges CS teachers face above and beyond those of other subjects. 
Let us know what unique challenges you face as a CS teacher.   Please share your thoughts on the PSCSTA community thread (👥) Additional Challenges Faced by CS Teachers in Washington.  And if you haven’t joined PSCSTA yet to share, learn, and commiserate, join here.  

Why was the CS teacher angry with the school board at the new year?

They didn’t get arrays.

January Issue 2024

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Welcome Washington CS Ed Community!

Were you standing on one leg once the clock struck midnight on December 31st? We sure were and are excited to welcome you to the New Year on the right foot!

Welcome to the January 2024 edition of the CSTA Puget Sound (aka "PSCSTA") newsletter.

We have insightful articles on Washington CS teacher demographics, events such as the upcoming Regional Meet-Up, opportunities like Washington PD Clock Hours, and more to share that are unique from our December connector. Didn't see the December issue? Don't fret, you can now view all issues by clicking on the drop-down menu under News at the top of our home page!
We hope you find our reimagined monthly newsletter useful and entertaining. If you have any comments about the current edition or ideas  for future editions, please email :)
Please forward this newsletter to others you know in the CS education community.  This content and most links will also be publicly available on our website.   A few links designated by (👥) require a chapter membership to access our community content.   Not a member?   It's free.  Just visit our website and press the "Join CSTA Puget Sound" button
Member Spotlight: Jennifer Styer
Jennifer Styer teaches at Sehome High School (Bellingham SD, pop: 1100), a CSTA Equity Fellow since 2021. During CSEd Week in December she represented CSTA on a panel discussing Teaching Inclusive AI in CS at the White House and met with Congressional Representatives on Capitol Hill. 
Current courses:
  • Period 1: Intro to Programming (14), AP CS Principles (3), AP CS A (8)
  • Two Periods: Video Game Design (61 students)
  • Other classes taught: Visual Communications, Interior Design, Walking and Hiking, and Living on Your Own
CS-related extra-curricular activities:
  • FBLA
  • Programming Club, VEX Competitions

​​​​​​​On Being an Equity Fellow and DC Trip
I was accepted as a CSTA Equity Fellow after my third attempt. I've learned much about Equity and CS from some amazing people. My favorite part of the fellowship has been the fellowship. We are constantly sharing what we are up to on our Slack channel. We get together over Zoom quarterly and share what we continue to learn with each other. The Equity Fellowship got me excited to teach AI and algorithmic bias. I helped teach CSTA members in Mississippi about AI education. Between the fellows, classroom industry volunteers, and my advisory group I have been pushing myself to teach more about how AI works, what it’s being used for, and what’s in the news and not working with AI. My STEAM classes also use generative AI.
CSTA sent a delegation to DC for CSEdWeek, including 11 teachers meeting with their representatives on Capitol Hill. I was part of the Voices From the Field: Educators Perspectives panel at the Teaching Inclusive AI in CS event at the White House. Everyone we met with was very supportive of our efforts and knowledgeable about the opportunities and pitfalls in AI and the need for security and education in AI.  The formality surprised me.  Yet there were no refreshments, no real reception, and we had to carry our own water bottles.

Biggest challenge:
Educating students, staff, admin, counselors, and parents that Computer Science is for everyone. 
I am in the northwest corner of Washington.  I look forward to meeting other Northwest Washington CS educators at the CSTA Northwest Washington meetup on 4:30 - 6:00 PM Jan 16 at Skagit Valley College.  
  • BA in Secondary Education at Teaching, Western Washington University (2000)  
  • M.Ed Antioch University (2005)
  • National Board Certification (2008)
  • Started teaching computer science in 2000 in the same period as Yearbook with students learning C independently from a CD ROM at Granite Falls High. Since then, I’ve spent many of my summers going around the country learning about CS education.

Data Corner: Washington CS Teacher Demographics 
Washington state teacher ethnicity breakdown
The 2021-22 K-12 Computer Science Education Data Summary Report (XLSX) contains demographic data on 688 public high school and middle school computer science teachers.  In charting report data, 87.5% of Washington CS teachers are White although only 51% of students are White.   However, this imbalance is not significantly different from the 81.3% of all Washington public school teachers that are White
Washington state teacher gender breakdown
In the same report, 56.6% of CS Educators are male.   This is a significant difference from the 21.1% of all Washington educators that identify as male

Regional Meetups

Catherine Wyman and Jennifer Styer have organized our first regional meetup – for northwest Washington on Jan 16, 2024  from 4:30 - 6:00 PM at Skagit Valley College.  Please use the event page to register and find out more about this meetup.
Northwest Washington CS Teacher Meetup
Please consider organizing your own in-person meetup - regional, topic-specific, or just fun. PSCSTA will help fund the meetup based on the number of members attending.   See Create your own CS Educator meetup.
If you live or work in an area supported by one of the other Washington CSTA Chapters:  Mid-Columbia, Spokane, or Central Washington, please those chapters to view their local offerings.   Joining one or more CSTA chapters - including PSCSTA - is free.
Partner Spotlight: TEALS Program
The Technology Education and Learning Support (TEALS) program is a Microsoft Philanthropies program that aims to build sustainable computer science (CS) programs in high schools. This program focuses on serving students excluded from learning CS because of race, gender, or geography. TEALS helps teachers learn to teach CS by pairing them with industry volunteers and proven curricula.
Across the United States, TEALS supports 500 High Schools.  In Washington, TEALS supports 42 high schools - over 8% of nationwide total. 
TEALS also provides the following resources to help CS Educators:
If you are a school that is interested in gaining support form TEALS make sure to apply HERE by February. School application window is September - February. If you are an individual that is interested in becoming a TEALS volunteer, make sure to stay tuned and check the TEALS webpage as the Volunteer Application opens mid-February.


Washington PD Clock Hours Available Winter 2024
CSTA Puget Sound (aka "PSCSTA") provides free Washington clock hours for all the self-paced, online courses on Coursera provided by CSTA.
The full list of courses and clock hour details are available at Washington PD Clock Hours Available Winter 2024.  Two new courses are available in Winter 2024:
  • Women in CS: Understanding the Impacts, Disparities and Their Voices (5 hrs)
  • Add-Ons to Boost Equity and Inclusion for Your CS Curriculum (4 hrs)
And there's more...
PSCSTA has several events planned for early next year with details TBD.  These include:
  • Physical Computing Workshop 2024
  • Birds of a feather for the Western state chapters of the CSTA at the SIGCSE technical symposium
  • "How CSTA can help you" presentation at NCCE '24
  • PSCSTA Birds of a Feather - Postponed from Dec 2.
Stay tuned. 
Education Updates
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Upcoming Events
PSCSTA Donate via Credit Card "Event"
Sep 01, 2023 - Aug 31, 2024
CS Endorsement Exam Prep Course for Washington State - June 2024 Cohort
Mar 01, 2024 - Mar 31, 2025
PSCSTA Quarterly Open Membership Meeting June 2024
Jun 05, 2024
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM UTC-07:00
View entire list
Partners and Sponsors