Salesforce.org is donating $12.2 million to San Francisco and Oakland school districts as part of an ongoing effort to expand computer science education (CS).
Both San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) are continuing their existing partnerships with the SF-based cloud computing company, and will receive $7 million and $5.2 million respectively. This is the fifth consecutive year Salesforce partnered with SFUSD and the second year with OUSD — investing a total of $34.7 million in these districts.
SFUSD will use the funding to increase CS enrollment in middle and high schools and bring coding to 21 elementary schools. The district is also doubling down on teacher training through a partnership with New York University and piloting a new personalized learning instructional model from the New Tech Network. Lastly, 21 principals in the district will get $100,000 per school in unrestricted funds to direct resources toward priority areas of their choosing.
“Our partnership with Mr. Benioff and Mayor Lee has brought many great life changing opportunities and outcomes for our students. Middle schools have been our priority with this initiative and academic achievement is on the rise in the middle grades,” said SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews in a news release. “In addition to enabling improved teaching and learning for all our students, this partnership is bringing access to young people who have historically been underrepresented in STEM fields. It’s a game changer.”
In Oakland, Salesforce is continuing to improve CS teacher training with OUSD, focusing on improving barriers to learning. Since working with the company, the district has recruited more CS teachers — from two last year to 14 teachers this year — and expanded middle school enrollment from 80 students to 900 students, according to information from the company. In addition, part of the funding will go toward the Oakland School Volunteers program in order to increase one-on-one tutoring support and classroom service. Principals at 13 middle schools will receive $100,000 each in unrestricted funds.
“Everything from the middle school Principal’s Innovation Fund to an enhanced focus on computer science to the volunteers in our classrooms has enabled our young people to see their futures through a new lens,” said OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell in the statement. “The life path that some of them are taking may have already shifted because of this important work.”
Salesforce employees have been an integral part of these efforts, committing 40,000 volunteer hours to education across the country over the 2017-2018 school year — twice the amount completed last year.