New Milford schools add two computer courses

NEW MILFORD — The Board of Education recently decided to start two new computer courses at the high school next year.

Both will be taught by current staff and there is little cost for implementation, school board members said. One course, Advanced Placement computer science principles, is college level, but open to high achievers and other students.

The other course, in computer literacy, will teach students to use Google applications and other internet tools. It replaces the “obsolete” keyboarding course, Chairman David Lawson said.

Both were approved by a slight margin last week after some school board members said the district shouldn’t add courses when its budget is uncertain. Other members argued the district was adding too many advanced courses, but not enough career-oriented classes, or courses available to the average student.

“AP is important, and it sounds good,” said member Joe Failla. “But what do we do for the student whose the average student, the student who does not go to college?”

At last week’s meeting, Lawsion said Advanced Placement curriculum has become more accessible over the past few years, and the course was open to younger high school students and was more focused on general concepts of programming. The other course was open.

“(The courses) are providing an opportunity for all students to become digital citizens,” Lawson said later, in an interview. “Virtually every profession today requires digital literacy.”

Both courses will be electives next school year.

blytton@hearstmediact.com; 203-731-3411; @bglytton