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Smart Start Project

Smart Start Project - BT BOCES

Purpose of the Grant: To develop, implement, and share innovative programs that provide professional
development and support to increase expertise in computer science, engineering, and/or educational
technology among teachers in grades K-8.
Project Title: 3C’s for Cyber Success: Coding, Computational Thinking, and Cybersecurity
Project Period: April 1, 2021-March 31, 2022
Project Goals:
1. Develop regional integrated curricula for Grades K-8 that will target the knowledge and skills
included in the NYS Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards to ensure students are
future-ready and well-equipped for college and career opportunities
2. Increase teachers’ knowledge and skills, and ultimately their confidence and comfort to teach
computer science concepts (coding, computational thinking, and cybersecurity awareness)
3. Integrate Computer Science and Digital Fluency standards into content areas to increase
engagement and learning, resulting in increased 3-8 ELA and Math state assessment scores to
close the gap of regional scores to the state
4. Create a foundation for a school-to-career cyber workforce pipeline

Regional Professional Learning for Educators

Regional Professional Learning for Participants:
  • Professional Development & Support Provider: Cyber.org, formerly NICERC
  • Cohort model: Professional Development will be provided for a cohort of Grades K-8 teachers each
    year of the grant (at least 100 teachers per year). Details about requested district numbers are
    included on p. 3 of this document.
  • Professional Development Structure and Outcomes:
    • 3-Day Summer Institute: Teachers will participate in hands-on activities that will prepare them to integrate lessons focused on codingcomputational thinking, and cybersecurity awareness into their curriculum
      • Learn to program Dash (K-2) or micro:bits (3-8) and describe how to integrate coding and robotics projects into their classroom
      • Explain the four elements of computational thinking (pattern recognition, decomposition, abstraction, and algorithm design) and apply them within the core content areas (ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies)
      • Learn age-appropriate concepts and teaching strategies around privacy, communication, and digital citizenship
    • Virtual Learning Community throughout the school year: Teachers will have an opportunity to continue learning throughout the year with teachers in similar grade levels (K-2, 3-5, 6-8)
      • Develop an integrated curriculum that is grade-level appropriate (one integrated module per grade level per year)
    • Final Reflection Day: Each cohort will participate in a end-of-project final reflection day

3Cs for Cyber Success: Coding, Computational Thinking, Cybersecurity

Collaboration Between BT BOCES PLIC, Consortium Schools, NYSED & Cyber.Org

Smart Start Contact Information

Suzy Kitchen
Smart Start Grant Coordinator

Quotes from Summer 2021 Institute with Cyber.Org


“I really loved the format of the course. These are great, engaging tools that are kid-friendly.” K/1 Teacher 


“I was initially hesitant to sign up for this since I am not currently in a teaching role and usually require time to adjust to new technology, but I have been pleasantly surprised at how interested I've become and how much fun I've had interacting with Dash and talking with the other participants.” District Staff Member


“I am a person that does not have a high level of confidence when it comes to technology.  This workshop has been wonderful because it lends itself to all ability levels.  The pace and presentation style allowed for those of us with the beginner's mind.  My confidence level has grown during the past three days. I am very excited to see the student's engagement level and love of learning that I am sure they will show as we progress through this curriculum.  Thank you for the obvious effort you all put into making this workshop a wonderful experience.”

K-1 teacher 


“This training has helped me to see all the parts of my job as our K-5 STEM teacher and how they all fit together so nicely. I was really excited before this training, but now I am even more excited because I can see how the pieces of this giant STEM puzzle fit together and have so many great ideas! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and all of your resources with us!!!”  

Intermediate Teacher 


Our Core Values

  • Students are our first priority.
  • Employees are our most valuable resource.
  • Cultivating diversity, equity, inclusion and guarding against bias are essential.
  • Everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
  • All employees will exhibit professionalism, integrity and excellence.
  • Creativity and continuous improvement are crucial to everything we do.
  • A safe, challenging and nurturing environment supports learning.
  • All can learn and grow academically, socially and emotionally.
  • Customer service and collaboration are key to being a successful and trusted partner.