Schools FAQ

General information Requirement details How can we join?

General information

|

TEALS is a proven program that helps high schools build and grow sustainable computer science (CS) programs by pairing experienced and trained software engineer professionals with classroom teachers. Teachers from various content backgrounds work in partnership with TEALS volunteers and learn the CS curriculum by team-teaching in their own classrooms.

  1. Attend a school info session.
  2. Review the partnership documents.
    • TEALS Program Booklet (PDF): This guide provides an overview of the TEALS model, volunteer support options, and various curricula options that TEALS supports to help high schools create a CS pathway.
    • Implementation Guide: Everything you need to know to successfully implement a TEALS partnership at your school.
  3. Apply to be a TEALS partner school using the online application.
    • Application is open from October to February.
  4. Complete a TEALS school interview.
    • TEALS selects partner schools based largely on the information gathered during the interview between the TEALS Regional Manager and the school's key program stakeholders. A TEALS Regional Manager will contact you to schedule your interview once your application is complete. Attendance is required by the TEALS Partnership Coordinator, classroom teacher, and school principal. If applicable, it is recommended for the District Contact and IT Manager to also attend. All interviews will be conducted via Microsoft TEAMS or another tool of your choice.
  5. Sign the partnership agreement.
    • After your school is accepted, you will need to electronically sign the TEALS Partner School Agreement. This document will need to be signed by the Partnership Coordinator, principal, and a district contact (if applicable).

TEALS partners with schools across the US and in British Columbia, Canada. Visit the TEALS partnerships map for a listing of schools in your region. If you don't see TEALS in your region, please contact us as there may be an opportunity for expansion in your region.

TEALS works with many different types of high schools: urban, suburban, and rural; public, charter, religious, and independent.

We are excited to expand our program to focus our efforts on bringing CS to schools that serve Black and African American students. This is part of Microsoft’s greater commitment to focus on strengthening these communities and addressing racial injustice. Learn more by reading this blog post from our CEO Satya Nadella.

Since 2012, TEALS has been a leader in the remote learning space. Learn more about our best practices here.

Unfortunately, we do not offer customized versions of the program.

  • To keep the program streamlined and scalable, we only offer the CS courses outlined in the Implementation Guide.
  • While we do try to accommodate different schedules, we cannot guarantee support as our TEALS volunteers work full-time jobs and are only available to participate in a 1st period class.
  • Based on our ten years of experience running the TEALS program, we have found that a multi-year commitment from the district, school, and teacher, allows for us to better achieve our goal of building sustainable CS programs in schools.

No. TEALS is an industry-wide initiative through which hundreds of volunteers, representing over 650 companies, dedicate their time and passion to help bring computer science to high schools. Our volunteers come from academic institutions and companies across the tech, retail, finance sector and beyond.

Finding TEALS volunteers is a team effort between TEALS and the school. TEALS does engage in volunteer recruitment efforts; however, volunteers who are already part of the school community (e.g. their children attend the school) tend to be very committed volunteers. Therefore, we require schools to assist us in identifying potential local volunteers.

Yes. We partner with teachers who can teach CS on their own but who may benefit from having a teacher's assistant in the classroom to provide industry-specific knowledge, be a role model, help support more students, and serve as a technical backstop. In placing volunteers, we prioritize schools that do not currently have computer science but wish to offer it. Read more about our models of support in the Implementation Guide.

TEALS supports high schools in creating a CS pathway with three course options:

  1. Introduction to Computer Science: A semester or full-year course that explores a variety of basic computational thinking and programming concepts through a project-based learning environment. ​
  2. AP Computer Science Principles: A full-year course covering the fundamentals of computing including creativity, programming, and global impact. All curriculum providers cover the same major areas of study.
  3. AP Computer Science A: A full-year course focused on object-oriented programming and problem solving in Java. Equivalent to a first-semester, college level course in computer science. ​

Read the TEALS Program Brochure (PDF) to learn more about the differences between our courses.

To learn more about our TEALS curriculum partners, please read the TEALS Implementation Guide.

There is no intro to CS prerequisite, but we highly recommend that students take first-year algebra in advance.

Given that there are no CS prerequisites, and first-year algebra is advised by the College Board, AP CSP can be taken any time after completing algebra. Taking an AP course requires a certain level of study skills that are dependent on the student. Taking an introductory CS course may be beneficial, but it is not required for students to complete prior to taking the AP CSP course.

The Intro to CS course serves as a good "on-ramp" to AP CS A and provides a solid computer science foundation by teaching students the same basic principles of computer science as AP CS A, but with less depth. However, Intro to CS is NOT a prerequisite for AP CS A. The AP CS A class is a college-level course that requires a bigger time commitment for the students and has a heavier programming load using Java.

TEALS can support B.C high schools in creating a CS pathway with four course options:
 

  • Introduction to Computer Science – Snap!: A semester course that explores a variety of basic computational thinking and programming concepts through the block-based programming language Snap! and a project-based learning environment. The course can be adapted for quarterly ADST (Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies) classes (e.g. ADST 8 rotation).
    • Suggested courses: ADST 8, ADST 9
       
  • Introduction to Computer Science – Python: A semester or a full-year course that explores a variety of basic computational thinking and programming concepts through the Python programming language and a project-based learning environment.
    • Suggested courses: ADST 9, Computer Programming 11, Computer Science 11
       
  • Computer Science – Java: A full-year course focused on object-oriented programming and problem solving in Java. Equivalent to a first-semester, university level course in computer science.
    • Suggested courses: Computer Programming 12, Computer Science 12, AP Computer Science A
       
  • Computer Science Principles: A full-year course covering the fundamentals of computing including creativity, programming, and global impact.  
    • Suggested courses: Computer Studies 10, AP Computer Science Principles

Our Intro to CS and second semester Intro to CS courses are UC A-G certified. Schools participating in the AP CS Principle courses will need to consult with the AP CS Principles partners regarding their courses. Please see our Implementation Guide for more details.

TEALS only works with high schools. We strongly believe computer science is very important for elementary and middle schools, but our program is focused on building teacher capacity at the high-school level, where the curricula requires more ramp-up time for the classroom teachers. If your school is interested in starting a middle school program, Microsoft Philanthropies partners with organizations that provide support for elementary and middle schools. Visit the Digital Skills website to learn more.


Additional questions?