Garden Grove’s Heritage Elementary to become a computer science academy in 2018-19

Garden Grove Unified has partnered with a company called Code to the Future to transform one of its elementary campuses into the district’s first-ever computer science academy.

Girls smiling in front of computers
Heritage Elementary students Elizabeth Gonzalez and Carla Garcia show off their coding skills at a recent Family Technology Night event celebrating the upcoming launch of the new Computer Science Immersion Academy.

Beginning in 2018-19, all students who attend Heritage Elementary School will be part of the new Computer Science Immersion Academy, where programming, robotics, coding and other skills will be a regular part of their daily instruction.  

The GGUSD school board approved the partnership with Code to the Future — billed as a national leader in establishing computer science magnet schools — at its Feb. 6 meeting. To celebrate, Heritage hosted a Family Technology Night in early March, inviting students and parents to a barbecue that included school-wide coding and interactive STEM activities.

The academy, district officials say, will be designed specifically for the elementary grade levels, integrating computer science into different academic content areas. In addition, students will tackle project-based learning assignments as they develop and strengthen core skills such as communication, creativity and critical thinking.

Teachers will receive resources, training and support in emerging technologies and STEM-centered instructional strategies, according to a GGUSD news release.     

“Heritage Elementary School is already doing so much with technology,” Garden Grove school board President Bob Harden said. “This partnership will provide the school with new tools that have the power to inspire the next generation of computer programmers to fill jobs that have not even been imagined yet. Together, students and teachers will explore the world of STEM like never before.”