A Thomas Jefferson High School teacher has been named to a state group formed to make recommendations on computer science instruction.

The 27-member group is made up of teachers, businesspeople and officials from the Iowa Department of Education and the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Advisory Council.



Denise Hoag, business and computer teacher and classroom strategist at Thomas Jefferson and one of the school’s robotics coaches, was selected for the state Computer Science Work Group, which held its first meeting remotely on Dec. 8, according to a press release from the Iowa Department of Education.

She had previously served on a state advisory council for computer science education standards and has also been a member of the Governor’s Teachers Cabinet.

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The Department of Education was required to assemble the group as part of a 2020 state law that requires the state’s 327 school districts and 116 accredited nonpublic schools to offer computer science instruction, the press release stated. House File 2629 requires high schools to offer at least one computer science course by July 1, 2022. Elementary and middle schools must offer computer science instruction in at least one grade level by July 1, 2023.

“Computer science is no longer an elective course but a basic skill every student needs to succeed in a technology-driven workplace,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in the press release. “We have made computer science a priority by adopting state standards and expanding professional development so more educators are better prepared to teach computer science. Now, we have assembled a group of talented stakeholders to help us take that next step to bring computer science to every Iowa classroom.”