- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The Sioux Falls School District has approved a nearly $1.3 million contract with a company to teach students about computer coding.

The contract with Code to the Future will create computer science immersion in three elementary schools this fall and two middle schools in 2019, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/2nk9t5d ) reported.

“We have to prepare our kids for a world that’s changing all the time, and I think this is the direction we need to go,” board member Doug Morrison said.

The company will train teachers and principals in how to bring coding and computer science into the existing curriculum. In the handful of K-12 schools in the U.S. that already have computer science immersion, the program focuses on fostering creative thinking both on and offline.

Morrison hopes the program attracts students to the district. He also says the program is expected to give students from all backgrounds a chance to gain computer science and critical thinking skills for future jobs.

“I want to make sure that all students who live in Sioux Falls have the opportunity to stay in the Sioux Falls attendance area,” he said.

In addition to the contract, the district will need to spend about $250,000 on upgrading technology.

Morrison says it’s worth it.

“It’s really an investment,” he said. “And we’re expecting a return on that investment.”

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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