CS4NorCal Professional Learning Model
The BIG Picture: Orientation ➡️ Onboarding ➡️ Ongoing
CS4NorCal is a federally funded professional learning project and research study. The purpose is to develop a replicable professional learning model to prepare teachers, administrators, and communities to develop computer science pathways in their school districts. The CS4NorCal professional learning model includes:
Collaboration with the California Seasons of CS (computer science) initiative, CS4NorCal provides free access to 2 years of high-quality, intensive, compensated CS professional learning. To understand all components of the Professional Learning Model, open the Orientation slide show and/or video below.
Ongoing professional learning, after registering for the Summer of CS, you will receive 10-20 days of Onboarding professional learning workshops that will prepare you to teach CS in your classroom.
Opportunities to participate in Ongoing professional learning experiences in order to stay current with CS content and developments in related industries while networking with peers, many of whom teach in rural schools. See below for more information.
Benefits and incentives to continue your professional learning, and hear the voices of participating teachers, administrators and professional learning facilitators speaking about why this project and CS education are important for rural K-12 students.
Orientation: Learn More about the Professional Learning Model
Onboarding: A 2-Year Professional Learning Experience
Summer of CS Workshops Kick Off the PL Program
Start your CS4NorCal professional learning experience with a deep dive into summer workshops -- 5 days for teachers of grades 6-12, 3 days for teachers of grades TK-5, 1 day for school counselors and 1 day for school administrators. Look for information here in January or February 2024 about the Summer of CS program.
Lead with CS: First-Year CS Content Workshops During the Academic Year
During the academic year, CS4NorCal’s intensive professional learning program builds on the knowledge acquired during Summer of CS, including computer science standards and exposure to CS curriculum.
Teachers of grades TK-5 participate in 2 Elementary 4 Computing workshops -- Fall and Spring -- to learn how to integrate CS with math and science content. These hands-on workshops will provide you with 4 lessons each to implement immediately.
In support of teachers in grades 6-12 as they start to implement CS instruction, CS4NorCal provides 4 “just-in-time” workshops to deepen exposure to core CS curriculum and key instructional strategies. Also, via 2 additional workshops, participants explore ways to integrate CS into math and science instruction.
Hours accrued through these workshops also count toward CEUs for interested participants.
Open the flyers to the left to learn more about the Academic Year professional learning opportunities. No registration is necessary.
Academic Integration Workshops
Each Fall and Spring, you are invited to explore how computer science content can be used to accelerate student learning in Math, Science, English/Language Arts, and other core academic subjects. Each 6-hour workshop features hands-on lessons, resources to connect CS to core academic subjects, and physical materials to help bring CS lessons to life for your students!
Implement for Impact: Second-Year Workshops During the Academic Year
Integrating college-and career-readiness (CCR) into computer science (CS) instruction increases its relevance for students, their families and school counselors. CS pathways are strengthened by partnerships with local colleges and businesses.
CS4NorCal’s second year of professional learning for teachers of grades 6-12 offers a unique series of 4 workshops to provide teachers with tools to integrate CCR and CS instruction. Teachers will be able to increase the impact of their CS implementation with such strategies as project-based learning, project management, authentic assessment and curation of student work. These instructional strategies are relevant to any subject area. Employers from California's Far North are looking to hire new employees who are able to manage projects in collaboration with team members utilizing tools like Agile, which CS4NorCal teachers will learn through Implement for Impact.
For teachers of grades K-5, CS4NorCal invites you to refine your practice of Computer Science (CS) education by exploring model lessons from free and open-source TK-5 curricula and evidence-based practices grounded in research about:
Open the flyer to the right to learn more about this academic year professional learning opportunity. No registration is necessary.
Ongoing: Continuous Development as a CS Professional
Keep on learning! To further enhance your CS instruction, the CS4NorCal project offers additional professional learning opportunities throughout the year that are optional, but compensated. Also, keep these in mind if you want to contiue to develop as a CS professional after completing your 2 years of "onboarding." Finally, let us know if you'd like repeat an onboarding workshop (described above) or participate in one you may have missed.
Virtual Community of Practice
Each month, you may collaborate with other CS4NorCal participants in a community of practice. Hosted by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) California Far North Chapter, each 90-minute virtual meeting features synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to network, share resources, and collaborate on problems of practice. Learn more about the Virtual Community of Practice at https://farnorthca.csteachers.org/. CoP participants can receive a $100 stipend per meeting.
Support for CS4NorCal Research Project
Periodically, CS4NorCal invites teachers to join one-hour Focus Group meetings, where they can continue to develop their leadership skills while informing the development of the project's implementation model. For example, in 2022-23, participants have been collaborating to share practices around assessment of students' CS competence. Participants in Focus Groups can earn a $100 gift card.
Twice a year, you are invited to learn from Business & Industry experts about how CS education can lead students to high-wage, high-demand careers. CS4NorCal's partner Siskiyou Works hosts a Far North Regional CS/ICT Business/Industry Advisory Committee meeting. Participants can earn a $100 gift card.
Benefits of Participation
Benefits for Students, Teachers, and Schools
Participating teachers and counselors earn $175 for every 6 hours of professional learning completed.
Participating teachers receive intensive compensated professional learning and, if desired, opportunity to earn CEUs and/or CS micro-credentials.
Schools will receive nationally validated, online CS curriculum and jump-start their efforts to integrate CS into their regular instructional program.
Schools will gain support to add elective courses and/or integrate standards-aligned CS instructional units into their math and science curriculum and increase the real-world relevance and application of Common Core math and Next Generation Science Standards.
Schools will have opportunities to provide students with CS-relevant experiences through Work-based Learning.
Students will be better prepared to succeed in postsecondary education and 21st-century careers.
Practitioners and Trainers Extol the Value of CS4NorCal and CS Education
Summer of CS 2021
Summer of CS 2022
Redding ESD Superintendent
Teachers Alysia Garcia (Dunsmuir HS), Jenny Grove (Surprise Valley USD), Shanna Schack (Jackson St. ES)
You Are The Expert! and Role of the Facilitator
We view educators as dedicated professionals and valued collaborators. They know their classrooms, schools, and districts best, and bring valuable experiences and expertise to the professional learning environment. We design our programs to allow participants to share and learn from one another’s experiences, and encourage them to recognize them to make the right decisions for their classrooms and communities. As such, we position our facilitators to be guides and connectors rather than the sole source of knowledge.
A teacher in our program can expect facilitators to be knowledgeable about our curriculum, learning platform, and teaching strategies for equitable, inclusive CS classrooms, and be your learning partner.
Approachable and Robust Supports
Our professional learning experiences are designed for educators with minimal or no background in computer science, and provide a safe space to discuss, discover, and practice.
As educators prepare and teach the course throughout the year, our program provides support through the curriculum itself as well as the materials made available to facilitators for workshops. We value robust and detailed guidance that can be used at the educator’s discretion.
Engaging and Actionable Experiences
We design our professional learning experiences to model the student-centered and hands-on approach used by all of the courses in our K-12 pathway. Participants can expect to be active, engaged, and have fun along the way. Furthermore, we prioritize educators walking away with actionable and practical strategies that can be brought to their classroom the next day. We provide educators with opportunities to plan for their classrooms and reflect on the realities of their specific contexts.