Celebrating Our Fifth Year of Expanding Computer Science Education in Bay Area Public Schools

By Ebony Frelix | September 12, 2017 | Education, K-12 Education & Youth Development, Volunteering

As a lifelong Bay Area resident, I’m passionate about the future of our community and know that positive change starts with education. I’m also proud to be a part of the Salesforce Ohana, where we believe everyone deserves access to a quality education. At Salesforce.org, we’ve made education for all one of our top priorities, giving $22.5 million to the school districts in San Francisco and Oakland since 2013.

Today, Salesforce.org is thrilled to announce a $12.2 million donation to public schools in San Francisco and Oakland to expand computer science education. This is our fifth year of partnership with San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and second year with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). By making STEM more accessible, we’re investing in our future and paving the way for generations to come.

Visitacion Valley Middle School with Salesforce

At Salesforce, giving back means more than writing a check. This year, our incredible employees at Salesforce are committing 40,000 volunteer hours in education this year—doubling last year’s pledge! Through Circle the Schools, we’ll continue to adopt 49 schools globally during the 2017-2018 school year. By partnering with these schools and spending so much time in our local classrooms, we’re immersing ourselves in the communities we live and work in to create change in the education system.

As a computer science major, I’m personally passionate about making sure that students in San Francisco and Oakland have opportunities to participate in computer science and STEM curriculum right in their classrooms. This has been a key component to our partnerships with the districts—and we’ve seen incredible progress.

In OUSD, we’ve seen a dramatic impact in computer science enrollment in the first year of the partnership—sparking the interest of all students, no matter their background. Nine hundred middle schools students in OUSD have taken a computer science class for the first time this year, and 80 percent of students received either an A or B in these classes.

The makeup of these classes are 45 percent female, 38 percent Latino and 29 percent African-American, closely aligned to the representation of the district as a whole.

In SFUSD, enrollment of girls taking computer science classes has increased from nearly 200 to more than 3,800, and enrollment of underrepresented groups has increased from less than 100 to more than 3,800. Believe it or not, this is a 6600 percent increase!

Visitacion Valley Middle School

Not only has there been an uptick in computer science interest, we’re seeing positive change in all areas of STEM. Our partnership funded math tutors volunteering 2,400 hours, who helped cut the percentage of Algebra 1 repeaters in half and reduced Ds/Fs in math classes. We still have work to do, but we’re committed to investing in programs for student success, such as piloting a new instructional model that offers personalized learning across all content areas.

Today, we’re celebrating the continued partnership with an event at Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco with Salesforce Chairman & CEO Marc Benioff, Salesforce Co-Founder and CTO Parker Harris, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, San Francisco School District Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews, Oakland Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell and the Visitacion Valley student body. Learn more about Salesforce.org’s commitment to innovative, scalable solutions in education in and STEM programs with a focus on computer science.

Visitacion Valley Middle School Students