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Johnsonwall Academy

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South Carolina law requires a computer course to graduate from High School. This could be anything from a course mastering Microsoft Office or Excel on the easy extreme all the way to a college level course on computer programming on the academic extreme. I was authorized by the College Board in 2020 to teach AP Computer Science A using a curriculum created by Microsoft. My authorization is still current. I will offer AP Computer Science A for the 2024-2025 school year. As an AP course, it will be weighted on a high school transcript on a 6 point scale similar to dual credit courses. Per the College Board, all of my students must be in at least 11th grade when I start the course.

In order to have approval of the College Board, I have to submit a detailed curriculum for review and approval by the College Board which is a time-consuming process. Alternatively, I can use “canned” curriculum which the College Board has already approved. The last time I taught AP Computer Science A, I used a textbook based curriculum from Microsoft. That curriculum is no longer available. The only approved “canned” curricula currently available use only on-line resources instead of a textbook, and are programmed for 5 days a week over an entire school year.

I will offer AP Computer Science A in the fall to interested 11th and 12th graders in our CC home school community. I have chosen to use a curriculum offered by Code.org. Like other currently pre-approved curricula, the code.org curriculum is programmed for 5 days a week over the entire school year. I am confident I can provide the teacher lead learning in three days, with your student doing programmed on-line learning and work 5 days a week. We will have class on Tues and Friday, with a third class either Wed or Thurs. Students can either come to my house for class, or they can participate over zoom. I believe teaching is best accomplished face-to-face. However, I was very effective at teaching over zoom during the Covid pandemic. So zoom will likely be the primary venue for most students, with students coming to my house only when there is a concept with which they are significantly struggling despite efforts to clarify the concept over zoom.

I do not charge a fee for the course. However, if I am able to accelerate the course and finish the core material early like I did the last time I taught the course, we will finish the core material a couple of months early. In that case, your student will need to buy a AP Computer Science A test prep book (TBA) which we will work through during the last two months leading up to taking the AP Exam in the Spring. Unfortunately, as the code.org course is so strictly programmed, I am not confident I will be able to accelerate the course in order to give us the two month exam prep time, and so we may not use the AP Computer Science A test prep book.

Joe Johnsonwall, MD

BS, Computer Science, Clemson University, 1993