Skip To Main Content

High School - Computer Science Courses

Half year—1/2 credit, Grades 9-12

Through a project based learning approach, students who are interested in computers and developing software applications will explore a variety of computer systems (hardware and software applications) and programming languages to create interactive applications and systems. By collaborating in a hands-on environment, students will develop problem solving skills, software design and debugging strategies. They will develop an appreciation for the foundations of computer science (file management, data structures, procedures, and algorithms). Students will work on projects (both individual and team) in the areas of computing career options, graphics and games, animation and art, electronics systems, and interactive fashion, all using a variety of programming languages. Students will develop a working knowledge of computer system designs, and skills and strategies that will serve a basis for the Computer Science Essentials course.

Designed for students who have not taken Computer Applications for Business & Life in middle school or who want to develop technology and programming skills in a half-year course.


Full year—1 credit, Grades 9-12

Computer Science Essentials (CSE) is the first course in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Computer Science strand. Students experience the major topics, big ideas, and computational thinking practices used by computing professionals to solve problems and create value for others. The course aims to develop computational thinking and generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing. CSE helps students develop programming expertise and transition from the block-based programming to text-based programming languages. The course is designed to introduce students to a range of topics in computer science while building confidence that prepares them to move to advanced computer science courses.

This course requires a working knowledge of basic software, hardware, and file management.


Full year—1 credit, Grades 10-12

The Computer Science Principles (CSP) is a course in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Computer Science strand. Students experience the fundamentals of computing, including problem solving, working with data, understanding the Internet, cybersecurity, and programming. Using Python as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computations, the course helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. The students will be involved in problems solving projects that include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity and simulation.

Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam at the end of this course.

Prerequisite: Computer Science Essentials