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Building skills for the future through coding


January 9, 2023


Last month, I had the pleasure of attending an engaging Hour of Code event at East Millbrook Magnet Middle School alongside Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt.


This was just one of dozens of Hour of Code events happening across the district in December to help students build their digital skills and learn about careers in computer science.


As a part of the East Millbrook Middle event, sixth-grade students participated in eight different coding-based design challenges to power robots, creating art and designing an adaptive keyboard so that individuals with limited mobility could still make and enjoy music.


I appreciate our digital learning and magnet school coordinators and other staff from technology services who worked to ensure students were provided meaningful coding activities that helped them to expand their knowledge and skills in this critical area. Research has shown that learners who have access to computer science in school tend to perform better in reading and math. These students also are more likely to develop their analytical thinking and problem solving skills, which are sought after by many employers. 


The event at East Millbrook Middle was exceptional not only because it provided students a window into coding but also because it seamlessly integrated the school’s magnet theme of arts and design. By integrating design thinking into coding activities, this event sparked creativity and offered students an opportunity to practice problem-solving. These hands-on experiences are not just about learning code; they're a catalyst for cultivating critical thinking skills essential for success in college and the workplace.


Priority 1 in our new Strategic Plan is Student Knowledge and Skills. To achieve our goals in this area we will continue to carry out the following aims:

  • Aim 2 | Deliver standards-based, rigorous, culturally responsive, and inclusive curriculum resources and instructional practices that are enhanced by technology.
  • Aim 8 | Expand access to high-quality instructional programming, enrichment, and co-curricular activities to provide a point of connection for every student.
  • Aim 17 | Ensure that all students and staff have continuous, high-quality, and equitable access to facilities and technology (infrastructure and devices).


Events like the one I attended in December are certainly reflective of these aims. As is the incredible work happening in classrooms across the district every single day.


With gratitude,


Robert P. Taylor