For students wishing to be fluent in programming languages as well as classical languages, there soon will be a high school in New York City to give them a foundational education in technology.
Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the Department of Education will accept 100 students into the new Academy for Software Engineering, opening on the campus of Washington Irving High School in Manhattan’s Union Square.
Frank Thomas, spokesman for the Department of Education in New York City, said the idea for the Academy of Software Engineering was a collaborative effort between the City of New York and faculty members at other specialized city high schools, such as the Stuyvesant High School, which focuses on general science. As of right now, the Academy appears to be the only high school dedicated to software engineering.
For the first year, according to Thomas, the school will only accept 100 ninth-graders, and may be able to add more freshmen each year. Overall capacity will be between 440-480, he said.
Students are not screened for the Academy; if they show interest in joining it in eight grade, then, space permitting, they are accepted. Thomas added that anyone in the New York City school system can go to the Academy, and that there will be outreach programs to raise awareness. Surplus applicants will be picked based on grades.
Although the curriculum is still being created, Thomas said it will not be an immersion program. Students will still take required high school programs, including regents-focused classes, but will also be given some coding classes and general technology classes. He said he imagines it will be a good foundation for anyone interested in heading into technology, not just developers.
Thomas said that while internships with tech companies will probably not be required, the school will be working on partnerships to facilitate these sort of arrangements. The school itself, like all other New York City high schools, is equipped with wireless Internet, so he did not believe much renovation would be required.