From a <Monroe /> COMPUTE$ press release:
Brand new laptop computers are available to all Monroe County students enrolling in Advanced Placement Computer Science (AP CS) at the Florida Virtual School (FLVS).
“This is a new initiative from <Monroe /> COMPUTE$ ,” according to John Padget, representing the sponsoring foundation. “Some students are ready to acquire additional computing skills and we want to help.”
Interested students can begin the course at anytime and be ready to take the AP exam in May 2017. The prerequisites are Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. This course is available for free at the Florida Virtual School (FVS) at www.flvs.net. Java, the programming language, is taught in this course. Students earn both high school and college credit when passing this exam. Michele Nicholson, principal at FLVS said, “students who wish to sign up can phone me at 904-385-0325, or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Padget continued, “the laptops will be purchased through the Monroe County School District, with reimbursement from our foundation.” Melanie Stefanowicz, head of adult and career education, said, “enrolled students will receive the laptops on loan, and when they pass the exam, the laptops are theirs, gratis!” Endorsing this new initiative, Superintendent Mark Porter said, “until our district has sufficient time to identify, hire, and prepare AP CS teachers, using Florida Virtual School is a good alternative right now. Our students will benefit from the high success rates demonstrated by FLVS.”
Porter continued, “most jobs of the future will require some knowledge of computers and computer science. The Monroe County Schools will continue to expand our course offerings to meet both student and industry demand. <Monroe /> COMPUTE$ has been an exceptionally helpful partner stimulating student interest in our computer science courses.”
“We will support the expansion of <Monroe /> COMPUTE$ in the 2016-2017 school year,” Padget stressed. “Last year, students at eight schools earned some certificates. We’d like to see significant certificate growth at all eight schools, and be joined by the four schools that haven’t had any students qualify for certificates—Key Largo School, Big Pine Academy, Sigsbee Charter, and Key West Montessori Charter.”
Besides AP CS, the Florida Virtual School is starting a new course called the Foundations of Programming which will teach Python. Additionally, FLVS offers free instruction for students qualifying for 14 Industry Certificates from Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, Cisco, and CompTIA. All certificates qualify for high school credit, and some earn college credit. Students can register at http://www.flvs.net .