Bishop Grimes Jr./Sr. High School is one of only a very few schools nationwide to offer the new AP Computer Science Principles course, and the only Catholic high school in the Syracuse Diocese to do so, according to Patrick Kinne, assistant principal.
A year ago, Bishop Grimes administration and faculty were looking at ways to increase the rigor and real world applicability of its curriculum when it was mentioned by one of the members of the school’s Academic Affairs Committee, Le Moyne College Associate Professor David Voorhees, that there was a new advanced placement course in computer science. At the time, Grimes did not have a computer science or programming course but did have many students interested in that field of study.
Kinne approached Bradley Beth, program coordinator of a pilot program, Thriving in Our Digital World, through the University of Texas at Austin, and received an almost immediate response. Soon, Robert Doss, technology teacher at Bishop Grimes, attended a week-long summer training program sponsored by the National Science Foundation that not only allowed him to teach the course but also gave him full access to resources at the University of Texas and an online community of other teachers across the country piloting this course, as well. In addition, Voorhees, who the director of the computer science program at Le Moyne, agreed to work weekly with the students during lab periods.
Bishop Grimes has invested in a series of brand new computers and equipment that have allowed 11 students to take the course in the 2016-2017 academic year with many more eager to participate.
“Computer science is all around us. It’s become a basic and necessary skill,” said Kinne. “In order to prepare our students for the world that they face beyond Bishop Grimes, it is our responsibility to provide them with every opportunity they can have in order to be academically and professionally successful young men and women of faith.”