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PSCSTA and Washington Educator Clock Hours

To renew a teaching certificate in Washington, educators must complete 100 clock hours.
 
PSCSTA is a Washington state clock hour provider.  We currently provide free clock hours to our members for the following events:
Because the online courses provided by CSTA are managed by the national organization, clock hours from these events cannot be used for Washington clock hours unless they are approved by PSCSTA.
 
While there may be cost associated with attending these PD opportunities, PSCSTA does not charge its members for clock hour registration. However, members must register the clock hours themselves using OSPI EDS after e-signing the clock hour form from PSCSTA.
 
Of the 100 clock hours required for certificate renewal, at least 15 of those clock hours must be STEM clock hours. While CS is STEM, the requirements for STEM clock hours are significantly more restrictive. Of its current offerings, only the Physical Computing Workshop and the Teach Security CSTA online course meet the STEM clock hour requirement.
 
Starting from July 2023, educators must also have 15 clock hours of equity-based school practices. Several CSTA online courses and events have equity-based themes. However, only organizations approved by the state Legislature can provide these clock hours so PSCSTA does not provide equity clock hours at present.
 
If a teacher is interested in working with PSCSTA or national CSTA on a substantial project including becoming a board member, PSCSTA will work with the teacher to create a Professional Growth Plan (PGP) that can yield up to 25 clock hours yearly.
 
If you are a PSCSTA member with any questions about clock hours, please don't hesitate to ask csta.pugetsound@gmail.com 
 
 

April 2024 Issue

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Welcome Washington CS Ed Community!
 
We hope that the April showers don't leave you drenched. However, if they do you can look forward to reading the April 2024 edition of our monthly connector as you cozy up inside!
 
We've got some exciting events coming up that you'll want to mark on your calendars as well as other informational articles. If you have any comments about the current edition or ideas for future editions, please email csta.pugetsound@gmail.com :)
 
Please also 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 (πŸ‘₯) require a chapter membership to access our community content. Not a member? It's free. Just visit the PSCSTA website and press the "Join CSTA Puget Sound" button.
 
 
 
 
 
Why couldn't the Computer Science student read their textbook?

They couldn't find page 404...
Teacher Spotlight: Amanda O'Neal and Michele Lombardi
 
Amanda O'Neal and Michele Lombardi are teachers at Lakeside Upper School in north Seattle.   While Lakeside has history and resources in computer science beyond that of most Washington public schools, Lakeside students face similar seat time limitations to students in most other high schools. 

School

Lakeside Upper School (independent school, north Seattle, 587 students grade 9-12)

CS Pathway / Curriculum 

Lakeside currently requires an introduction to Computer Science in our Geometry math classes (required classes typically taken in 9th and 10th grade). As electives, Lakeside offers AP-level Computer Science as well as advanced classes including full-stack web development and advanced projects in CSE – semester-long group projects.  In total, Lakeside offers three full years of CS coursework in addition to the CS work built into the math classes.
 
Work to integrate CS into other subjects
 
Lakeside's requirement that all students encounter basic CS content (β€˜if’ statements, loops, and functions in Python) as part of their math curriculum in 9th or 10th grade has several benefits.  First, it gives every student a taste of CS, so they can make a more informed decision about whether they want to pursue the subject further. Second, it helps with diversity in the CS classroom – we have fewer students who avoid CS due to not really understanding what it is, or feeling like it’s β€œnot for them”. Third, it opens up opportunities for other classes – including higher-level math and physics courses – to include projects where students use their basic Computer Science skills to solve relevant problems.
 
Areas of Pride
 
We are very proud that our program has grown in diversity over the years, both in terms of gender and race. We want our program to welcome all students, and we have been making great strides in that area in recent years.  However, diversity in the CS classroom is an ever-present goal, and one we work to improve every year.
 
Every single one of our math teachers can code to some extent! All 10 of our math department members are qualified to teach our students introductory CS concepts in Python in the math classroom. We do summer Professional Development sessions every year to help math teachers keep those skills up.
 
Course Load
 
Amanda: I am three-quarter time, so I teach three courses at a time. In the Fall, I currently teach one section of CS2 and two sections of CS4. In Spring, I teach one section of CS3 and two sections of Advanced Projects in Computer Science. Each course has between 10-19 students. I also supervise several Independent Study courses per year, which each have 1-6 students in them.

Michele: As a full-time teacher, I currently teach two sections of our Computer Science 2/3 and two sections of our Honors Geometry with Programming.

Background

Amanda: I became a CS teacher in 2015, after several years as a software engineer at Microsoft. I became involved with CSTA soon after so I could surround myself with a community of CS educators!

Michele: I had been teaching math for 6 years when my school got approved to add CS courses. Though I was essentially "volun-told" I'd be teaching CS, I immediately enjoyed teaching and developing curriculum for our Introduction to Computer Science course. The following year, I took a job at a new school as their first full-time CS teacher and grew their program over a number of years to include computer science for grades 5-12. Around this time, I started looking for other CS teachers to connect with and found my local CSTA Chapter (Pittsburgh, PA) to be an incredible resource. PSCSTA was incredibly helpful when I learned I'd be moving to the Seattle-area.
 
Lauren Bricker - PSCSTA President - and Randy Macdonald - Oregon CSTA President lead the Connecting the Western CSTA Chapters Birds of a Feather event at SIGCSE 2024. 
 
 
 
 
2023-24 NCWIT Washington Award Winners
 
Earlier this year, NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) recognized the recipients of its 2023-24 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) for Seattle, Western and Eastern Washington affiliates.  Winners of the Educator Awards were:
  • Adam Smith (Cheney SD) – Eastern Washington Affiliate Winner
     
  • Jeff Stride (North Creek HS) – Western Washington Affiliate Winner
     
  • Melissa Wrenchley (Tesla STEM HS) – Western Washington Honorable Mention
The Seattle, Western and Eastern Washington NCWIT - Aspirations in Computing Award committee also recognized 54 Washington women, genderqueer and non-binary high school students.    Of these 54 students, there were 32 Affiliate Award winners, 17 Affiliate Honorable mention and 5 Affiliate Rising Stars. One student was an AiC National Winner and 10 others were National Honorable Mentions. 
 
Each student will receive recognition and prizes; induction into the AiC Community of more than 22,000 women, genderqueer, or non-binary technologists; access to resources, scholarships, and internship opportunities; and more.
 
 
Applications for AiC NCWIT Awards typically open in August and close in October each year.  For more information, see application details
                                                      

SIGCSE 2024

Wrap-Up
 
Lauren Bricker, Randy Macdonald, and Sean Glantz hosted a Birds of a Feather (BOF) event at SIGCSE on Friday, March 22nd from 12:45 - 1:35. Participants had the opportunity to collaborate with people from all over the CSTA Western Region!
 
19 CS educators attended the BOF either virtually or in person in Portland, Oregon. CS educators from PSCSTA and Oregon CSTA were joined by educators from Silicon Valley, Greater Los Angeles, and South Carolina. For more details of the event, please visit the meeting notes.
 
14 CS educators also took advantage of additional conversation at Wayfinder Beer Pub after the SIGCSE BOF - an event supported by PSCSTA's Create Your Own Educator MeetUp program.  
 
 

Update on SB 5849

 
The 2024 Washington state legislative session ended on Mar 7 without the passage of SB 5849 (2024) Relating to a computer science competency graduation requirement.
 
SB 5849 initially passed the state senate 46-3, but many state education organizations - including PSCSTA - testified as OTHER in the House due to concerns about its implementation.   While the reasons why SB5849 stalled are not part of the public record, the end of the legislative session effectively stops SB5849 for 2024.
 
Although SB5849 was flawed, its goals were worthwhile.   SB 5849's failure leaves the Washington CS education community without a "forcing function" to dramatically improve the mediocre status of CS education in our state.    
  
What should be done to improve CS education in Washington?   What elements should be in any successors to SB 5849?  To share your ideas, please visit the (πŸ‘₯) PSCSTA Community Thread on SB5849  
 
Struggling teacher in front of a growing pile of books
 

Become More Involved in PSCSTA

Interested in becoming more involved in PSCSTA? If so, one way you can do so is by joining the Leadership board. Elections will take place in June, and there are several positions available. These positions include Vice-President, Treasurer, and at-large member(s). Yes! There can be an unlimited amount of at-large members! Interested in joining but are unsure about what role will best fit you? Check out our Operations Manual to understand each board member's role. More information about signups will be sent out soon.
 
Another way you can become more involved is by attending our open meetings! The Leadership board meets monthly and opens up meetings to general members once each quarter. Stay tuned for our next one.

Data Corner: Washington CS Endorsement Exam

The Washington 2021-22 K-12 Computer Science Education Data Summary Report indicates that there were 688 high school and middle school teacher computer science teachers in Washington. How many of these teachers are endorsed to teach CS through the Washington CS Endorsement exam? Since the CS Endorsement exam was established in 2017-18 through 2022-23, 139 teachers (avg 23 per year) have taken the endorsement exam with an overall pass rate of 94%. 
 
 
As a point of reference, 89 teachers took the Chemistry endorsement exam with a 85% pass rate in 2021-22, and 60 took the exam with a 75% pass rate in 2022-23.
 
Clearly, the number of teachers passing the Washington CS Endorsement exam over the past 6 years is far less than the current number of CS teachers in the state.  CS teachers in Washington can also be endorsed to teach CS through a CTE certification. While there are many CTE CS teachers who have significant experience with computer science, CTE CS teachers whose expertise is in Business and Marketing may also teach CS under the current endorsement rules. 
 
PSCSTA offers an online, self-paced course to help teachers pass the Washington CS Endorsement exam. Applications and scholarships for the June 2024 cohort are available on the Endorsement Prep Course Event Page. Public school teachers may also be eligible for a $3000 award through the Educator Retooling Conditional Scholarship if they apply for the award before passing the endorsement exam.  
April Washington PD Clock Hours 
 
The Spring Session of CSTA online courses is from April 1 to June 16. Visit the PSCSTA website for the list of available courses and more details.
 
PSCSTA provides free Washington clock hours to its members for these courses. These courses are free to CSTA+ members.
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CS Endorsement Exam Prep Course
 
Do you or someone you know want to get endorsed to teach CS in Washington? 
 
Registration for the June 2024 cohort of the CS Endorsement Exam Prep Course for Washington State is now open.  Scholarships covering $550 of the retail $650 cost are available to current public-school teachers and juniors/seniors in an undergraduate teacher prep program. 
 
 
PSCSTA Professional Development
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Physical Computing Workshop
 
Chad Norman and Jacqueline Russell will be facilitating the 2024 Physical Computing Workshop and it is planned for May 4th from 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM on the Microsoft Redmond Campus. This is a hands-on, beginner friendly workshop where educators will explore physical computing.
 
 
Event Image
 
 
Educators in grades 1-5 will explore micro:bit while grades 6-8 will explore Arduino. Four Washington state STEM clock hours are also available for those that attend and are PSCSTA members. Lunch, snacks, and beverages are also included.
 
Registration is $32 for non-members, $12 for members, and can be done on the 2024 Physical Computing Workshop event page, so make sure you've signed up for your free membership before registering.
 
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Becoming a Panelist
 
We are looking for K-12 educators to apply to be a panelist for the CSTA Annual Conference. Applications are open until April 30th, 2024. Click the Call for Submissions to learn more about being a panelist and to apply.
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STEP CS Lightning Talks
 
What are you doing May 23rd? Better block off 6:00-8:00 pm now for this years STEP CS Lighting Talks. This FREE event will include an unconference and networking for teachers to get connected on the beautiful Bill and Melinda Gates Center on the UW campus. Dinner will also be provided.
 
This lightning talks event will take place both virtually and in-person. To learn more and register visit the STEP CS Lightning talks event page.
 
 
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Regional Meetups

You'll want to mark your calendar for the upcoming Regional meetup in Olympia! Andrew Woodbridge and Lawrence Tanimoto are organizing a PSCSTA Capitol Region meetup, scheduled for April 25th from 4:30-6:30 PM in Olympia at Well 80. All are welcome from near and far! 
 
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Remember it's never too late to organize your own in-person meetup. Whether it be regional, topic-specific, or just fun, PSCSTA will support your meeting endeavors by helping fund the meetup. This amount funded will be based on the number of members attending. See Create your own CS Educator meetup to learn more.
 
If you live or work in an area supported by one of the other Washington CSTA Chapters: Mid-Columbia, Spokane, or Central Washington, please view those chapters to view their local offerings. Joining one or more CSTA chapters - including PSCSTA - is free.  
Upcoming Events
CS Endorsement Exam Prep Course for Washington State - June 2024 Cohort
Online
Mar 01, 2023 - Jul 31, 2024
 
PSCSTA Donate via Credit Card "Event"
Online
Sep 01, 2023 - Aug 31, 2024
 
PSCSTA Capital Region Meetup
Well 80
Apr 25, 2024
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM UTC-07:00
 
PSCSTA Physical Computing Workshop 2024
Microsoft - Building 31
May 04, 2024
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM UTC-07:00
 
Post-PCW Eastside Meetup
Woodblock
May 04, 2024
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM UTC-07:00
 
PSCSTA/STEP CS Lightning Talk 2024
Bill and Melinda Gates Center, 4th Floor
May 23, 2024
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
 
View entire list
Partners and Sponsors
The Puget Sound Computer Science Teachers Association Connector is a monthly newsletter containing relevant information, upcoming events, learning, and connection opportunities for local CS Educators. Previous issues can be viewed by following the "News" tab on the PSCSTA homepage. If you have any comments about the current edition or ideas for future editions, please email csta.pugetsound@gmail.com. If you wish to not be receiving the monthly PSCSTA Connector unsubscribe from them HERE.