California - Ellipsis Education

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California K-12 Computer Science Standards

Introduce the California content standards for computer science with a free lesson from Ellipsis Education: Computer Science Fundamentals.

Ellipsis Education Computer Science Curriculum

Ellipsis Education Computer Science Curriculum is grade-level differentiated, aligns with all state and national computer science standards, and is continually updated to reflect changes in computer science. Since computer science is more than just coding, Ellipsis Education courses include coding, unplugged, digital citizenship, and STEM career lessons as well as hardware integrations.

Free Computer Lessons


In this activity, students will use coordinates and coordinate planes to explore the functionality of the Scratch Motion blocks with the goal of animating a sprite to move around a treasure map. This lesson is built for grades 3 – 5 and introduces coding for kids: Scratch, a block based coding language.

The lesson PDF includes links to the appropriate materials and resources, a detailed procedure, activity tips, and a bonus challenge activity.

California Computer Science Standards


In 2019, the California Department of Education revealed the California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan, with the goal of ensuring that all students develop foundational knowledge and skills in computer science to prepare them for college, careers, and civic engagement. The document outlines plans for equity and access, supporting educators, and expanding course offerings. The implementation plan was released with the California k-12 computer science standards, joining other California content standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, English Language Development, Career Technical Education, Health Education, History Social Science, Model Social Library, Physical Education, Science Education, Arts Education, and World Languages. This implementation plan elevated computer science to a core subject focus area in California K 12 schools.

The California state standards are organized into concepts and subconcepts, and each grade band has specific learning objectives associated with each. The concepts and subconcepts are:

  1. Computing Systems

    1. Devices

    2. Hardware and Software

    3. Troubleshooting

  2. Network and the Internet

    1. Network Communication and Organization

    2. Cybersecurity

  3. Data and Analysis

    1. Storage

    2. Collection, Visualization, and Transformation

    3. Inference and Models

  4. Algorithms and Programming

    1. Algorithms

    2. Variables

    3. Control

    4. Modularity

    5. Program Development

  5. Impacts of Computing

    1. Culture

    2. Social Interactions

    3. Safety, Law, and Ethics

To learn more about specific state standards, you can download the grade banded progression chart and the California k-12 computer science standards through the California Department of Education website.


The K-12 Computer Science Framework is also used in California. This set of standards was developed by The Association for Computing Machinery,, Computer Science Teachers Association, Cyber Innovation Center, and National Math and Science Initiative in partnership with states, districts, and the computer science education community.

This framework includes both core concepts and core practices, with a focus on equitable access to computer science. The core concepts mirror those of the K-12 California computer science standards. The core practices include:

  1. Fostering an inclusive computing culture

  2. Collaborating around computing

  3. Recognizing and defining computational problems

  4. Developing and using abstractions

  5. Creating computational artifacts

  6. Testing and refining computational artifacts

  7. Communicating about computing


Other standards in California related to computer science include CSTA, NGSS, and Common Core. The CSTA standards are developed by the Computer Science Teachers Association, who consider student as well as teacher needs in computer science. In addition to the standards, they offer CSTA resources such as a glossary of vocabulary as well as a list of approved professional development opportunities. NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) are a set of science standards for K-12 which overlap with many computer science principles, including the Engineering Design Practice. Finally, Common Core standards provide many opportunities for cross curricular study between computer science and mathematics or english language arts/ literacy.

*As a note, Ellipsis Education curriculum crosswalks with each standards body listed in this section.

Expanded Learning Opportunities Program

The Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P) is a California grant that aims to provide pre-K through 6th grade students access to afterschool and summer school enrichment. The law prioritizes results-driven programs that develop the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of learners. This can include, but is not limited to, computer science curriculum or STEM learning experiences. The law was passed in 2021. Grant monies are released yearly beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.

To receive grant money, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in California must prepare an Expanded Learning Opportunities Program Guide. This documentation outlines the intended afterschool or summer program, demonstrating how it supports the whole child, includes community partners, and complements learning experiences in the regular school day.

The California Department of Education addresses Frequently Asked Questions related to the ELO-P on their website. Common clarifications include:

  • ELO-P funding cannot be used to expand services used during the school day.

  • LEAs that currently receive funding for pre-K to 6 educational programming cannot opt out of the ELO-P. They must provide expanded learning experiences for all students within their jurisdiction.

  • There is a grace period provided within the ELO-P that allows for program development and partner ramp-up.

  • Any carry-over funding from the previous school year must be spent on ELO-P services only.

What Is Computer Science Education

The importance of computer science in education is clear as technology continues to advance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029. This is especially true in California, where technology talent is in high demand from startups and global corporations alike. Given this, shouldn’t we equip our students with these skills starting at a young age?

Currently, computer science programs are serving students as young as kindergarten all the way to high school. Most of these courses consist of a coding component, where students learn programming skills. The basic building blocks of coding such as loops, functions, and conditionals can be taught in elementary school and applied to more complex languages as students progress in their K-12 journey. As students attempt more advanced projects, such as developing websites, programs, and games, they are motivated to connect with their world and empowered to expand their skills.

Computer science education, however, is not only about coding. K 12 computer science also focuses on developing 21st century skills, such as the 4 C’s (communication, collaboration, computational thinking, and creativity). A strong foundation in these computer science skills will serve them well for years to come, regardless of the path they decide to pursue. The California content standards are designed to encourage multidisciplinary learning. For example, computer science standards can be integrated into other core subject areas, like California state standards math and California science standards.

Computer Science Education Requirements

Now that you explored the California state computer science standards and understand the basics of computer science education, how can you get started? Perhaps you are new to teaching computer science and don’t know how to begin to focus your efforts. Perhaps you do have some experience and knowledge of the basics, but struggle with a curriculum progression that makes sense for your students. The pressure is on to deliver computer science knowledge to students that may know more than you! Luckily, there are a few baseline requirements that can help you create a computer science implementation plan.

The first part of your computer science implementation plan is your teachers. Finding passionate educators that will engage and learn alongside students is essential. Good news: your teachers do not have to have experience with computer science. Programming languages that come and go; there will always be something new on the horizon. One of the benefits of studying computer science is that having a strong foundation in certain concepts will be relevant for all languages and most applications going forward. Success in computer science is much more than just coding. It’s being a problem-solver, thinking critically, and having the ability to collaborate effectively with peers. Seeking growth in those essential skills is just as applicable for teachers as it is for students. There are many organizations that offer free educational events and communities for teachers interested in computer science. Furthermore, Ellipsis Education offers free professional development events that dive into different computer science subject areas.

Next, choose a curriculum that aligns with your school’s unique instructional strategy for computer science. There are multiple things to consider here.

  1. Standards alignment: You want to align with the California k-12 computer science standards, which includes determining which lessons cover the standards, when they will be taught, and generating the alignment documentation.

  2. Pacing: You want to establish fidelity of instruction across class periods, classrooms, and grade levels. You want a consistent curriculum for your teachers and students that is tailored to your scheduling needs.

  3. Assessment methods: Students learn and demonstrate knowledge differently, so you want multiple ways to gain insight into your classroom, including summative and formative assessments.

  4. Lesson plans: You want to make sure that lessons within the curriculum are scaffolded and paced to deliver student outcomes, and empower teachers to create an engaging student experience.

Finally, reflect on the values of teaching computer science. Our students are the most important consideration in any new program. You want to engage them, surprise them, and teach them the skills they need for their future. It is powerful to give students the opportunity to see a project come to life before their eyes. Enjoy watching your future computer science experts discover their potential!

Underneath “Related Articles” on this page, you can find other teaching computer science articles to help you on your journey.

Title I

If you are a Title I school in California, you may consider using your federal funds to purchase computer science curriculum.


Title I funds programming for low-income students. The money must go toward helping these students meet academic state standards. The amount of Title I funding distributed across the nation is available through the DOE website (most recently updated in 2017).


Title I usage is based on the makeup of your student body. If 40% or more of your school’s students come from low-income families, Title I funds must be used on school-wide initiatives. These are known as Title I schools. If less than 40% of your school’s students come from low-income families, Title I funds must be used for programming that targets low-income students. It is important to note that Title I funds must go directly to low-income students, and the programs/materials cannot have been used in other classrooms first.

K 12 Computer Science Curriculum

Ellipsis Education provides full-year k-12 computer science curriculum that aligns with the California k-12 computer science standards. The curriculum offers grade level differentiated learning pathways, aligns with all state and national computer science standards, and is continually updated to reflect changes in computer science. Ellipsis Education courses are customized to districts’ unique instructional strategy for computer science integration. This can mean incorporating computer science into an existing class period, adding to a specials rotation, or introducing a stand alone class. Courses are delivered with instructional resources teachers need to feel confident teaching computer science in k-12.

Our computer science curriculum for K-2 empowers you to engage your students with courses that fuel their interest. Coding lessons use ScratchJr, an introductory block coding language, perfect for emergent and early readers. In grades 3-5, inspire your students with courses that spark their creativity. Coding lessons use Scratch, a block based coding language, ideal for the transitional and fluent reader.

Our computer science curriculum middle school (6-8) helps you motivate your students with courses that connect to their world. Coding lessons use line based languages JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and Java to explore programming options.

Our computer science high school curriculum (9-12) helps you empower your students with courses that expand their skills. Coding lessons use JavaScript, Java, Python, and Godot to develop websites, programs, and games.

Explore our full k-12 computer science education course offering on our courses page. If any of these course options interest you, schedule a 30 minute call with one of our curriculum experts. Find the curriculum that will support every teacher as they inspire every student.

Computer Science Degree

After being introduced to computer science curriculum in K-12, students may be inspired to continue their computer science education. On a professional level, companies are recruiting for computer science degree jobs in cloud computing, app development, and statistical analysis. On an individual level, computational thinking, problem solving, and relationship building are all deeply influenced by computer science. This understanding of computer science jobs leads to much broader applications. you don’t necessarily need a degree in computer science; anyone that uses technology to solve problems can be considered a computer scientist!

Introducing computer science in the K-12 experience opens doors for students to pursue a computer science degree in college. The top computer science colleges in California, including Stanford, the California Institute of Technology, and University of Southern California, offer concentrations in various areas of computer science, like computer information systems, information technology, computer software and applications, and computer systems networking. The reality is, though, students do not need to attend a top university to pursue these computer science majors. Even non-STEM majors, like business, biology, and English use computer science skills to communicate ideas.

Likewise, computer science skills taught in K-12 can be applied directly to any career students pursue after high school. Computational thinking, problem solving, and teamwork can be applied in trades (like electrician, plumber, and HVAC) and other positions (like retail, restaurants, and reception).

Ellipsis Education spotlights the many forms of computer science careers in our My STEM Career series. In these interviews, hear from professionals, students, and teachers as they share how they built confidence in their computer science skills. Two particularly interesting interviews include Will Muto, a Product Technical Director at Industrial Light and Magic, who worked on Star Wars films, and Alia Enos, Software Developer II at 343 Industries, who works on the Halo video game series.

Free Computer Lessons


In this activity, students will use coordinates and coordinate planes to explore the functionality of the Scratch Motion blocks with the goal of animating a sprite to move around a treasure map. This lesson is built for grades 3 – 5 and introduces coding for kids: Scratch, a block based coding language.

The lesson PDF includes links to the appropriate materials and resources, a detailed procedure, activity tips, and a bonus challenge activity.

Removing barriers to teaching computer science.