Arkansas High School is one of six schools recognized for their computer science initiative. For the past five years, Arkansas High School (AHS) has participated in the Governor’s High School Coding Competition, and during those five years AHS won the regional competition and advanced to state.
In an effort to promote the computer science and robotics program, AHS offers eleven computer science/robotics courses and two computer science programs of study. Additionally, students participate in the annual National Hour of Code initiative. “In order to set our students up for present and future success, it is imperative that we deliver effective and equitable computer science education,” commented Diana Lowe Curriculum Director of Science and Mathematics. Lowe said, “It is our hope that through our programs students will leave our schools with the credentials to be in the futuristic jobs that aren’t really that far away.”
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Computer Science announced the continuation of the Arkansas Computer Science Gold Medal School Program (ACSGM) and the rankings for the 2020-2021 ACSGM, the inaugural year of the program. The ACSGM was designed to recognize Arkansas high schools for outstanding work in supporting and implementing the Arkansas Computer Science and Computing Initiative. Schools are ranked based on information submitted to and reviewed by the ADE Office of Computer Science. The criteria that forms the basis of the rubric centers on Governor Asa Hutchinson’s 5-year goals and the recommendations of the 2020 Arkansas Computer Science and Cybersecurity Task Force.
As part of the ranking rubric, schools may receive no ranking, honorable mention, bronze, silver, or gold ranking, with gold ranking being the highest level and requiring high performance in a majority of the criteria.
For the 2020-2021 cycle, the ADE Office of Computer Science received and reviewed twelve applications. Of those twelve applications, three schools received a Bronze level recognition with three schools receiving an honorable mention. Those rankings, in alphabetical order, are as follows:
Arkansas High School in Texarkana – Honorable Mention
Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts – Bronze
Bentonville High School – Bronze
Bentonville West High School – Bronze
Russellville High School – Honorable Mention
Springdale High School – Honorable Mention