March 30, 2019
Located north of downtown Phoenix lies an innovative specialty small school, Phoenix Coding Academy. Phoenix Coding Academy opened its doors to students back in 2016 due to Phoenix becoming a hub for tech companies both local startups and national companies establishing a presence in Phoenix. As one of the first public high schools of its kind, Phoenix Coding Academy specifically focuses on computer coding and technology along with being the third specialty small school in the Phoenix Union High School District. The other two specialty schools within the district are Phoenix Union Bioscience High School and Franklin Police and Fire High School.
“We wanted to make sure we get students from our city the opportunities to get a head start instead of waiting for college,” Seth Beute stated, “we want to make sure our students are ready for anything.” Ninth graders first start with a computer software overview and in tenth grade, students select CTE pathways. Some of the CTE courses available are in social networking and cybersecurity programs along with the expansion of the software development area to create mobile games, design apps, as well as the traditional application.
The small school has over 250 students in grades 9-11 and created a positive community atmosphere. Students are able to dive in to their interests along with exploring the opportunities and options to get a better idea of what they want to do in the future as well as building a foundation of skills. Phoenix Coding Academy provides its students a different experience with hands-on experiential learning along with students learning the skills of now. Phoenix Coding Academy is still growing and at pace for a goal of housing 100 students per grade! Next year, Phoenix Coding Academy will have its first group of Seniors at the school and will have internships or on-the-job trainings for students to gain experience.
Phoenix Coding Academy has the Pythons Robotics official team which has had great success in the past couple years. The first year of existence, the team competed and received the “Rookie Award”. Last year, students participated in local contests and placed in the Top 5 for Regional in Los Angeles along with being invited to compete in National Championships. “The Robotics team allows for the opportunity to teach and the camaraderie of teammates,” Beute said.
During the summer, Phoenix Coding Academy hosts a STEM Camp through Engineering for Kids for ages 4-14 in areas of engineering, coding, design, and other areas. Staff is able to see kids getting excited in computer science and all things related at an early age.
“When you look at all of the top jobs around the country, it’s all healthcare and software development for the most part,” Beute continued, “And when you put those two together students can have a good background and be ready for whatever they decide to do”. Phoenix Coding Academy is continuing to set itself apart with preparing students for various tech positions, college and life!