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Google, MEDC Grants Expand Mission CISD Computer Science Training Partnership

Thanks to a $20,000 grant from Google and $50,000 from the Mission Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the Mission Consolidated Independent School District (MCISD)will be able to expand a unique partnership that is training teachers to integrate coding and computer science in more of their curriculums.

Mission CISD, Mission EDC, and Code/Interactive piloted the unique training partnership this past fall to provide training for technology applications to teachers at each of the district’s four junior high schools and three high schools. The success of that helped spur the development of this new effort to expand upon the training to include all elementary schools and more junior high school teachers.

“We are very excited about this new effort,” said Cris Valdez, interim superintendent. “The support we have been receiving from Mission EDC in helping prepare our teachers to prepare their students for their futures has been instrumental in our STEM curriculum development.”

Through the innovative partnership, 118 teachers, representing all Mission CISD elementary schools and four junior high schools will be prepared to teach computer science and integrate it across all core content areas. Rather than teaching students directly, Code/Interactive’s model to train in-district facilitators who provide professional development to teachers will help build local expertise and capacity that will power a more sustainable program capable of training even more teachers in the future.

The Mission CISD teachers will be trained in Scratch Jr., and Scratch, MIT-created visual block-based programming languages used to build animations, stories, and games. Junior high schools will also receive memberships for Mouse Create, an online learning platform used to build the skills they need to apply design and technology creatively to the world around them.

After the initial trainings are done this summer, four follow up sessions will be held during the school year. Academic counselors will also be provided with the training they need to help guide students and parents.

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