Summer Introduction to Computer Science offered virtually

Despite all other summer programming being cancelled, Introduction to Computer Science will be offered along with three sections of primary school writing workshops


Berk Oto

Introduction to Computer Science will be the only summer class offered to high school students this year.

Berk Oto, Managing Editor

With most of the Laboratory Schools’ summer programs canceled this year, Introduction to Computer Science is the only course available to U-High students, but it will be taught remotely. Summer writing workshops run by learning coordinators are also offered for students in grades 1-3.

“We surveyed families and students and worked with all the different administrations and considered the university’s guidance,” said Becky Chmielewski, Lab’s associate director for family life programs. “We only wanted to deliver programming if we thought that we could preserve the same or similar quality, and we saw quite a bit of burnout for teachers so the interests of all parties didn’t really align. Even with the ones we are offering, one of the biggest difficulties is finding faculty.”

Computer science teacher Sharon Harrison will teach the Introduction to Computer Science course remotely for the first time.

“I’ve always wanted to teach the summer class, but I always had other commitments at the times it was taught,” Ms. Harrison said. “When SummerLab got in contact with me I was excited about the challenge of doing it remotely. I’m hoping to have lots of activities that are fun and keep students engaged.”

In addition to keeping students engaged, Ms. Harrison’s main goal while teaching online is to preserve the computer science curriculum as much as possible, including the number of hours.

“We’re going to be exploring different features of online learning so we can reach our goal of making this as similar as possible to the in-person course,” Ms. Harrison said.

Summer programs generate additional revenue for the school. While a similar number of students signed up for this course as previous years, Ms. Chmielewski said she does not expect the school to make a profit as normal because of a price discount.