A Moreno Valley school has begun blending computer science and coding into all its lessons, becoming what officials call a “trendsetter” in the region.
North Ridge Elementary School started its new focus as a “computer science immersion school” when students returned from summer Wednesday, Aug. 9.
Children will be learning computer coding — the programming for creating software, apps and websites — as part of their regular curriculum in a partnership with Code to the Future, a national computer science program for magnet and special schools.
“North Ridge will be a trendsetter in the county,” Moreno Valley Unified School District Superintendent Martinrex Kedziora said in a news release. “By starting a program like this at the elementary level, we can graduate students with strong 21st century skills.”
North Ridge had been a NASA Explorer school, which promote math, science and technology, but as that funding was cut it changed to a STEAM or science, technology, engineering, arts and math school, Principal Casaundra McNair said.
The shift reflects that direction, she said.
“We wanted to focus on the technology because we know that parents really want their students focused on computer technology,” McNair said.
New Chromebooks and 200 robots were purchased for the program, which will mix computer science into all subjects, she said.
For example, McNair said students who typically do projects on California Missions during their history classes will now use computer coding to present their projects.
The program will prepare students of all backgrounds for college and careers, she said.
Jacob Makuvire, vice president of the Los Angeles-based Code to the Future, said his company works with hundreds of schools across the country, but North Ridge is its first in Riverside County. He said he doesn’t…