At its July 15th meeting, the San Mateo County Board of Education approved the San Mateo County Office of Education’s updated CSforAll commitment to deliver high-quality, inclusive, and sustainable computer science education to all students across the county.

While computer science helps students develop 21st century skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration, many do not have access to computer science courses. 

According to the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS), only 14 percent of California high schools teach Advanced Placement (AP) computer science courses. Although 60 percent of California students are Latinx or African American, only 16 percent take AP classes in computer science. Additionally, while 50 percent of California students identify as female, less than 30 percent took the computer science AP exam. 

To address these gaps, the San Mateo County Office of Education began developing initiatives and partnerships to support school districts in adopting computer science education. It established a Computer Science Steering Committee, which drafted a Strategic Implementation Plan to implement the California K-12 Computer Science Standards and help students move from passive users of technology to creators and innovators who use computers to change the world. Since the County Office of Education began this work in 2018, it has helped eight San Mateo County high schools develop introductory computer science courses and 11 high schools create AP computer science courses in addition to an introductory course. 

This year, the County Office of Education committed to officially adopt its new Strategic Implementation Plan, create a county-wide implementation toolkit, and reconvene the steering committee to monitor the implementation of the plan. The commitment was submitted to CSforAll, a national non-profit consortium for Computer Science Education that aims to make high-quality computer science an integral part of the educational experience of all K-12 students and teachers.