CTE Course Sequence

9th Grade (SEP 1): Block Coding

Students are introduced to the exciting world of computer science through block coding—where they are able to create their own computational artifacts. Engaging in the creation of computational artifacts prepares young people for more than careers as computer scientists or programmers. It supports young people’s development as computational thinkers – individuals who can draw on computational concepts, practices, and perspectives in all aspects of their lives, across disciplines and contexts.

Students use the Scratch programming language to develop fluency with basic computer science concepts, including: algorithms, abstractions, conditionals, iteration, operators, sequencing, and functions. These concepts are developed and reinforced as students engage in creative programming assignments that allow them to express themselves. All projects are also problem-based. In each assignment, students strive to demonstrate mastery of content while developing the habits of mind and work of software engineers. Digital literacy is touched on throughout the curriculum to support students’ digital citizenship.


9th Grade (SEP 2): Python/Physical Computing

Students continue their introduction to the world of computer science by exploring Python—a popular, text-based programming language that is increasingly employed by technology companies, non-government, and government organizations alike. Students continue to develop their understanding and effectiveness with the computer science concepts in SEP 1—while engaging with new ones, such as libraries, “for” loops, and arrays. Students continue to create computational artifacts that exhibit their creativity while also displaying their mathematical-logical capabilities. 

The last third of the semester is invested in helping students understand the basics of circuitry and the programming of robots. Students create products that use circuits to produce a particular outcome, such as lighting a bulb, producing sound, and/or controlling a computer’s output (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Makey Makey). Finally, students work with the LEGO EV3 Robotics Kit to understand basic robotics and engineering design principles, including the relationship between software and hardware. 


10th Grade (SEP 3): Web Design (HTML/CSS)

Web design and development are important and necessary skill sets that all 21st Century learners should possess. Students build on the concepts learned in their introductory Software Engineering courses. This course introduces students to basic web design using HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Throughout the course, students are introduced to planning and designing effective web pages using multiple design thinking principles focused on user experience (including ease of use and aesthetics). Students also learn to implement web pages by writing HTML and CSS code. As they engage in this process, they further their knowledge of programming design principles focusing on clarity and efficiency—enhancing web pages with the use of page layout techniques, text formatting, graphics, images, and multimedia. Students also learn to  add functionality and interactivity to their sites using JavaScript frontend scripting. The ultimate objective is for students to produce functional, multi-page websites that showcase creative design and problem solving. 


10th Grade (SEP 4): JavaScript (p5.JS)

In this course, students enhance their mastery of JavaScript using the p5.JS library. This library allows students to fuse their knowledge of and skills in programming to the design thinking principles developed in the previous semester. Through p5.JS, students create abstract animations using the system elements of JavaScript. They also learn to create their own abstract data types, custom elements, write their own functions, and create object-oriented scripts. This course maximizes students’ creative and programming potential in a manner that is both highly personal and exacting in its technical demands. 


11th Grade (SEP 5): AP Computer Science Principles I

In this course, students create applications and other programs using the JavaScript (advanced p5.JS) programming languages. Students develop high proficiency in some of the most powerful ideas of computer science (i.e. abstractions, algorithms, working with large data sets, the Internet, cybersecurity concerns, and computer component functions). Emphasis is placed on creative program design in all laboratory activities through extended learning opportunities. Students  learn to analyze information about and discuss the social implications of computing—thinking deeply about how they can be personally active in promoting the benefits and reducing the possible harms. This course is designed to support all students in successfully completing the AP Computer Science Principles exam. The course offers a multidisciplinary approach to learning the underlying principles of computation. Computational artifacts designed by students result in exhibitions of individual creativity and programming style, while adhering to specific industry standards and customs around program and interface development. There is a strong emphasis around increasing the logical and programmatic complexity of the programs that students develop while simultaneously reducing the syntactic workload via high level abstraction (algorithm and functions) development. 


11th Grade (SEP 6): AP Computer Science Principles II

In this course, students create custom computational artifacts using the SNAP! Programming language. These artifacts meet the established AP Create Performance Task criteria and classroom programming standards, and are developed independently. Students demonstrate and explain the four-stage process of program development: analysis, design, implementation, and testing; employ standard data types; use selection statements; use repetition constructs; employ modularity; write value-returning functions; and manipulate data using arrays. Students must write a concise explanation of the main aspects and attributes of their program code—specifically isolating the nested algorithms and custom functions integral to the functioning of their program. 

Additionally, students delve deeply into the importance of computational innovations created by others in the real world. This project meets the established AP Explore Performance Task criteria  and all classroom standards. Students conduct independent research and draft an original expository document to explain their findings. Students research a computational innovation in the world today and explain how that artifact creates, processes, or transforms data. Students also explore the potential benefits and possible negative implications of  computational innovation on society, culture, and/or economics. Finally, students create an original computational artifact which succinctly and explicitly conveys the functioning of the select computing innovation. During the final quarter of the quarter, students invest their time and energy to learning about more advanced programming concepts such as fractals and recursive functions. 


12th Grade (SEP 7): CFM

This course contains two modules: career management and financial management. The career management portion focuses on career planning. Students will gain knowledge to assess their skills, values, needs, and lifestyles enabling them to discover paths they may take in the future. Problem-solving steps are introduced to aid the process. Students also study the job seeking process. Students will gain an understanding of the sources of job opportunities and the documents required to secure interviews. They will also develop the skills to interview for a position and evaluate options after the interview. Students also become familiar with employment regulations and federal, state, and local laws that affect employees. Students will gain an understanding of how workplace regulations assist and protect employees and employers. A strong emphasis is placed on Employability Skills, leadership and workplace ethics.

The financial management portion of this course focuses on budgeting and money management, credit and loans, interest, investments, insurance and taxes. Whether the next step for a student is furthering their education, or stepping into the work world, they have the knowledge of the tools and resources available to help them succeed on their financial journey in life.


12th Grade (SEP 8): Senior Project

In this course students will produce an authentic digital product for a partner (local businesses, organization, or individual representing an organization). Through outreach and ongoing collaboration, students develop or redevelop websites, apps, graphics and other computational artifacts to support the community and solve a particular community challenge. Students identify a problem, research the problem, ideate and iterate through solutions, determine the most suitable solution, and apply it. In addition to applying creative program engineering skills, students learn new skills and content that arise out of the necessity to solve the problem at hand. Students, therefore, will engage in authentic problem-solving and see their efforts result in a particular impact on a community partner specifically—and the community they serve, generally. Through this guided process students gain real world experience working as a business collective.