KINGSPORT, Tenn. – For the past two years, all elementary students at Kingsport City Schools have had the opportunity to learn to code. District Library Media Specialists provide coding instruction to all elementary students during Related Arts class. To continue a computer science pathway in middle school, dedicated technology teachers have become Computer Science Teachers. Coding is taught to all students during the school day in order to provide equitable access. The program provides approximately 14 hours of coding time per student each school year, depending on school schedules.
KCS began the "Computer Science for All" implementation program in 2016 when a coding grant was received by Emerald Data Solutions, the makers of BoardDocs. The founder of Emerald Data Solutions established the nonprofit corporation, BootUp, to bring computer science and coding to all elementary students. Since then, Library Media Specialists have committed time to attend professional development sessions with BootUp.
"I am excited to be part of this initiative and feel fortunate to have had and continue to have excellent guidance and training throughout this process," said Jefferson Elementary School Librarian, Kristy Williamson-Jackson.
BootUp's PD facilitator, Kathy White, provides professional development and on-site coaching to support teachers as they learn how to code. White said, "It is critical for students to be exposed to coding in a fun, connected, and meaningful way to engage and encourage them to pursue this lifetime skill."
BootUp continues to provide support and curriculum for free and is proud to lead the way in computer science education. KCS teachers are paying it forward by sharing with other librarians across the state. They recently presented on implementing a coding curriculum and robotics program at the 2017 Tennessee Association of School Librarians conference where Rebecca Thomasson, Johnson Elementary Librarian, was awarded the Elementary Innovative Librarian award for her coding program.
Jennifer Sturgill, Library Media Specialist at Robinson Middle School said, "Kingsport City Schools students love learning to code. BootUp has put a lot of thought and knowledge into designing a program so teachers learn how to instruct students." And Krystal Reynolds, Lincoln Elementary Library Media Specialist added, "I believe if I can give students the tools they need to be learners for the rest of their life, I've made a difference."
BootUp is a nonprofit organization providing elementary computer science professional development. Their mission is to prepare and empower teachers and implement elementary coding programs nationwide in order to reach all students, creating equitable access to 21st-century skills. For more information, visit bootuppd.org.
Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a high school program of choice and an alternative learning program; with total enrollment over 7,700 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to be, Student Focused … World Class.
KCS has been named the top school district in Tennessee as winner of the 2014 SCORE Prize District Award by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and has earned the 2014 Achievement Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee Recognition Program by theTennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE).
For more information on KCS, visit k12k.com, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, download our mobile app for Apple / Android devices or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District), LinkedIn (Kingsport City Schools) and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).