River Dell Regional High School, Oradell, New Jersey
District State: New Jersey
District Website: riverdell.org
Responding to growing student interest in computer science careers, River Dell Regional High School has developed a hands-on course of study in cybersecurity.
The Cybersecurity for the Modern High School program helps students build basic computer science and networking skills, and provides a basic understanding of cybersecurity and the risks encountered in the modern world of technology. The course of study supports students who wish to pursue these subjects as majors in college, with one class even counting for credit at Syracuse University.
“We try to have our finger on the pulse of the students and the programs available in higher education so that we can help our students prepare for their careers,” says Marianthe Williams, the district’s director of technology.
The cybersecurity aspect covers monitoring of network and computer systems, including how to protect against hackers, eavesdropping, network attacks and other security threats. The curriculum, which also covers basic cryptography, follows the Syracuse University Project Advance Cyber Security course that incorporates the CompTIA Security and Certification guidelines.
River Dell students also compete against students from other schools in cyberchallenges, and the high school sponsors a tri-state HackAThon. Students can concentrate on related courses of study in instructional technology and forensic science.
In order to offer the cybersecurity and computer networking courses, the district sought professional development for its teachers. Onsite training and co-teaching with a cybersecurity expert occur at the beginning of each six-week unit.
“Entering new high-level courses can be unsettling when you don’t know what you don’t know,” says Williams. “The district has provided and will continue to provide learning for teachers in the method they find to be most successful to their needs.”