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CSTA – next meeting, election and an APCS update November 4, 2013

Posted by rdovi in Uncategorized.
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Hi folks!

A few things:

  • Our next CSTA meeting is Nov 12 at Deep Run. This is our "play date" meeting so bring something to show off. I’ll have squishy circuits and a pico board (http://www.picocricket.com/picoboard.html)
  • We’ll also be electing officers – let me know if you are interested in running
  • A lot of folks expressed interest in the APCS prep sessions online, so I’ll get out information once we get closer to a start date
  • CS education week is Dec 8 – 14. Code.org is encouraging folks to plan Hour of Code activities and will be announcing some free resources soon (http://csedweek.org/)
  • Below is an email from Collegeboard about the change away from GridWorld next year. You should have gotten this if you are teaching APCS, but just in case.

See you soon!

Dear Educator:

We’re writing with an important update about AP Computer Science A.

To stay aligned with the most recent practices in the continually
changing field of computer science, we review the course and exam every
five to seven years. As a result of our recent review, we are updating
the lab requirement for Computer Science A. This newest change will take
effect during the 2014-15 school year.

WHAT’S CHANGING

Starting in 2014-15, the GridWorld case study will be replaced by a
required, hands-on structured lab component consisting of three new AP
Computer Science A labs. GridWorld will be removed from the AP Computer
Science A curricular requirements.

The new labs are shorter in length than GridWorld, and each focuses on a
specific content area. This should help teachers more easily incorporate
the content into their classroom teaching and improve learning
experiences for students.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO DO

To ensure that every course labeled AP Computer Science A in 2014-15 is
taught by a teacher deeply familiar with the new laboratory requirements,
teachers and administrators will need to take a few steps using their AP
Course Audit accounts starting in the spring. We’d like to make this
process as straightforward as possible for educators.

* Beginning in March 2014, AP Computer Science A teachers who have
already been authorized
will have two options to confirm that they are aware of the updates and
to retain their
course authorization:

* Option 1: Attest to their understanding that the GridWorld case
study is being replaced by the three labs by accessing the labs
through their AP Course Audit accounts.

* Option 2: Submit a revised syllabus, either by creating their own
syllabus that reflects the new lab requirement or by adopting one
of the four new sample syllabi that will be available on the AP
Course Audit website. If teachers decide to adopt one of these four
syllabi, they can subsequently make modifications to their syllabi
without resubmitting them.

* Starting in March 2014, teachers who are not already authorized to
teach AP Computer
Science A will need to submit a new syllabus for the 2014-15 school
year that reflects
the new lab requirement. New teachers can also submit one of the four
sample syllabi
and adopt it in teaching their 2014-15 courses.

* Starting in August 2014, administrators with authorized Computer
Science A courses at
their schools will need to attest online that they understand what
teachers need to do
in order to retain their course authorization.

TIMELINE

You don’t need to take any action related to this change until March 2014
at the earliest. Here’s a timeline of what’s ahead:

* March 2014: The AP Course Audit will begin accepting syllabi for the
2014-15 school year,
and teachers will be able to access all the resources they need to
understand the new
labs and the new curricular requirements in order to maintain their
course authorization.

* June 2014: A new AP Computer Science A practice exam reflecting the
concepts taught in the
new labs and the removal of the GridWorld case study will be available
to teachers through
their AP Course Audit accounts.

* August 2014: Starting in August, administrators will need to attest on
the AP Course Audit
website that they understand what teachers need to do in order to
retain their course
authorization.

* Fall 2014: Teachers will begin teaching the AP Computer Science A
course with the new labs.

* January 31, 2015: Final deadline for teachers to complete one of the
options listed above
and for administrators to complete their attestation.

* May 2015: Students will take the 2015 AP Computer Science A Exam, which
will reflect the
removal of the GridWorld case study and the incorporation of questions
assessing concepts
and skills taught in the new labs.

MORE INFORMATION

Look for an email from us in March with more information about resources
related to the updated lab requirement. In the meantime, visit New AP
Computer Science A Labs for 2014-15 on AP Central.
http://noreply.collegeboard.org/147834365layfousuanlnxdqaaaaaabmhkhzasdwq
yyyaaaaa

Thank you for being a part of the AP Computer Science A community and for
your ongoing efforts to provide students with challenging and
comprehensive course work. We look forward to working with you to make
the transition to the new AP Computer Science A labs a success for you
and your students.

Sincerely,

Advanced Placement Program(R)

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