Learn, Teach, and Support the NYS Computer Science /Digital Fluency Standards


Start Here IconWhat you need to know

Did you know? In October 2018, NYSED formed an Authoring Workgroup and Review Panels with representation from all NYS regions and stakeholder groups, including: teachers, administrators, business and industry experts, parents, representatives from higher education, BOCES, Big 4 school districts, the NYC Department of Education,  and members of various professional organizations. Final standards were approved by the Board of Regents at the December 2020 Regents meeting.

Where are we with this work? NYSED has published a complete timeline and implementation roadmap to help guide districts towards successful implementation of the K-12 CSDF Standards by September 2024. 

Why does this matter? Read below on how these Standards support work around Digital Equity, English Language Learners, Students with Disabilities, and Early Learning.

To read and reflect on the CSDF Standards, visit to access:

  • Full standards document (PDF and Excel version)
  • Glossary of terms
  • Standards by grade band
  • At a Glance Standards documents

How the Standards Support Equity

The COVID-19 Pandemic, and the responsive shift to remote and/or hybrid learning, brought forth a new understanding of the need to address digital equity in New York State. Sufficient access to a computing device and high-speed broadband is essential for educational equity. Devices and internet access alone will not ensure digital equity, however. Individuals must have an understanding of technology and the ability to use it effectively, safely, and productively, in order to pursue extended learning opportunities, including college and trades, enter the workforce, and fully participate in 21st Century life and citizenship. 

The Standards were crafted to allow for engagement by all students and provide flexibility in how students may demonstrate proficiency. The Standards support a cultural view of learning and human development in which multiple expressions of diversity are recognized and regarded as assets for teaching and learning.

How the Standards Support English Language Learners

The need to promote computer science and digital fluency education among all students comes at a time when the system is already charged with building up language skills among an increasingly diverse student population. Students who are English Language Learners (ELLs) now comprise over 20% of the school-age population, which reflects significant growth in the past several decades. 

ELLs, language minority learners, and students acquiring academic English often struggle to access the language, and therefore the knowledge, that fills the pages of academic texts, despite their linguistic assets. In turn, these students are over-represented among students identified with disabilities. 

There is a pressing need to provide instruction that not only meets, but exceeds standards, and to provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate understanding and skills, as part of a system-wide initiative to promote equal access to learning for all students while capitalizing on linguistic and cultural diversity.

How the Standards Support Students with Disabilities

One of the fundamental tenets guiding educational legislation (the No Child Left Behind Act, and the Every Student Succeeds Act) and related policies over the past 15-years, is that all students, including students with disabilities, can achieve high standards of academic performance. A related trend is the increasing knowledge and skill expectations for PreK-Grade 12 students required for success in postsecondary education and 21st Century careers. 

Each student’s individualized education program (IEP) must be developed in consideration of the State learning standards and should include information for teachers to effectively provide supports and services to address the individual learning needs of the student as they impact the student’s ability to participate and progress in the general education curriculum. In addition to supports and services, special education must include specially designed instruction, which means adapting, as appropriate, the content, methodology or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs that result from the student’s disability. By so doing, the teacher ensures each student’s access to the general education curriculum so that he or she can meet the learning standards that apply to all students.

How the Standards Support Early Learners

As with all NYS Learning Standards, the Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards should be implemented with careful understanding of child development and developmentally appropriate practice, especially for our youngest learners. The academic foundation that is set in the early years is essential, and the social emotional needs and environment for learning are key ingredients for student success. As these standards are implemented, it is important to meet the needs of the “whole child,” recognizing that a well-rounded education, positive learning environment, strong home-school connection, and high expectations all contribute to student success. 

Great care has been taken to ensure the new K-12 Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards align to developmentally appropriate expectations and practices for our youngest students. Educators will note that the Early Learning standards, especially the K-1 Standards, focus on familiar key skills and concepts: Recognizing and extending patterns; Problem Solving; Sequencing; Sorting, classifying, and labeling; Creating and following procedures; Learning and following rules; Predicting what will happen next. As these knowledge and skills areas are already central to early learning programs, teachers will find numerous ways to connect the Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards to existing curricula and learning activities. In addition, it is important to note that all standards in the early grades can be taught either with or without a computing device, to allow teachers the freedom to choose the most appropriate means to teach a specific concept or skill. It is undeniable that technology is a part of children’s lives, and the ability to understand and use technology safely and effectively to learn, communicate, and create is critical for life in the 21st Century. In the early grades, however, teachers should utilize technology as one of many tools available to help children learn. As the Standards do not require students to utilize technology, the decisions on how best to incorporate it in intentional and developmentally appropriate ways can be made by the teacher and school.