Foundations of Computer Science


Credits Tuition # of F2F Meetings Course Length in Weeks Requirements




Summer – 6
Fall – 12
Spring – 12

  • Completion of Grade 8
  • Must be able to attend all F2F meetings
  • Basic computer skills (see FAQs page)

Course Description:

This course provides an engaging introduction to computing concepts. The course focuses on the conceptual ideas of computing so that students understand why computing tools and languages are used to solve problems through a study of human computer interaction, problem solving, web design, programming, data analysis, and robotics. This course satisfies the technology education graduation requirement.

Note: Students may take the full A/B course, only Semester A, or only Semester B. However, Semester A must be taken and completed (either the in-school or online version) before taking Semester B.

*Tuition assistance is available. Please contact the Student eLearning office if you have any questions.


Registering for the online MCPS course Foundations of Computer Science is a multi-step process. The Student eLearning office provides information about the MCPS registration process below. For further information or clarification of a particular step, please contact the Student eLearning office at either 240-740-3950 or (See the menu on the left [desktop] or above [mobile] for accessing the Contact page for program contact information.)

☞ Registration for summer 2018 online FOCS is CLOSED.

Basic Steps for Registration (read all steps before beginning) Adobe PDF icon square

  1. Complete Google Form
    1. Complete the Google Docs form for online Foundations of Computer Science below:
      Registration is CLOSED
      • Submitting the Google Docs form sends an e-mail to you with further instructions and an attached registration form in PDF format.
    2. Print the Attached Registration Form. The PDF form should be two pages.
    3. Obtain Required Signatures on Registration Form. Student, parent, and counselor must sign.
    4. Choose Payment Option. Follow instructions on form for chosen payment option.
      • Option #1: Mail or hand-deliver a check or money order with the registration form directly to the Student eLearning office.
      • Option #2: Make an online payment with a credit or debit card (MasterCard or Visa) after registration confirmation (see Step 2 below). Submit the registration form by itself to the Student eLearning office. The primary e-mail address will receive a registration confirmation e-mail with instructions on how to make an online payment.
    5. Submit Completed Form to the Student eLearning Office.
      • The Student eLearning office processes completed/signed forms in the order received.
      • Student will be registered after the Student eLearning office processes the completed/signed form.
  2. Make Payment & Verify Registration
      Notes: 1) If you mailed a check with your printed PDF form, do not make a duplicate payment. 2) Do not make an online payment until registration is confirmed.
    1. Read Automated E-mail from “Student eLearning – Registration Confirmation”
      • The e-mail message contains the instructions for making online payments, course title, section title/number, start and end dates of the course, and location and times for the required face-to-face meetings. Verify that your schedule is open for the face-to-face meetings.
    2. Make Online Payment, if you have not already paid by check.
      • The MCPS online payment system requires you to create an account with them.
      • Payment (online or check) must be received within four (4) business days of registration confirmation. If there is no payment, the student will be withdrawn from the course roster.

Next Step:

  • Wait for Course to Start
    • One week before the course starts, your online teacher will contact you with an e-mail message containing important information and instructions for accessing the course.
    • If you do not receive an e-mail from your online teacher, contact the Student eLearning office.

Students are registered in the order that the completed forms are received by the Student eLearning office.

Summer Schedule

Location of Face-to-face Meetings: Gaithersburg High School — 101 Education Boulevard, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 (map)  

*** NOTE: All dates and times are subject to change. ***

Summer semester session choices, related session dates, and face-to-face meeting locations, times, and dates.
Summer Session Session Dates Status Locations of F2F Mtgs. Times of F2F Mtgs. Dates of F2F Mtgs.
1 6/23/18 – 8/4/18 FULL Gaithersburg HS,
Rm 1102
9am – 1pm 6/23/18, 7/14/18, & 8/4/18
2 6/23/18 – 8/4/18 FULL Gaithersburg HS,
Rm 1102
1pm – 5pm 6/23/18, 7/14/18, & 8/4/18

*Enrollment is not guaranteed in courses that are listed as open.

Fall Schedule

Location of Face-to-face Meetings: Wootton HS – 2100 Wootton Parkway, Rockville, MD 20850 (map)

Fall semester course dates and face-to-face meeting times, locations, and dates.
Session Dates Sections Times of F2F Mtgs. Locations of F2F Mtgs. Dates of F2F Mtgs.
1 10/4/17 - 1/3/18 * Fall 2017 4pm – 8pm Wootton HS, Rm 105 10/4/17,
11/15/17, &

Spring Schedule

Location of Face-to-face Meetings: CANCELLED

Spring semester course dates and face-to-face meeting times, locations, and dates.
Session Dates Sections Times of F2F Mtgs. Locations of F2F Mtgs. Dates of F2F Mtgs.
- - CANCELLED - - -


Enrollment and Registration

Students are eligible to take Foundations of Computer Science A/B after completing Grade 8. Students currently in Grade 8 are eligible to register for the summer course when registration opens for summer courses.

Yes, a student can enroll for semester A and/or B. However, semester A must be completed (either in school or online) before taking semester B.

Detailed information about enrollment is available on the Registration tab on this page.

General Course Info

Online courses use the same curriculum and learning outcomes as the courses taught in school buildings. They are designed to take advantage of the online format. Most classwork may be done from home. Students who are most successful with online courses have good time management skills and are self-motivated.

The same grading and credit policies apply to online courses as to traditional courses offered in classrooms.

All classes are taught by highly qualified teachers who have been trained to teach in an online environment. MCPS online courses are taught by MCPS teachers.

Yes, attendance is mandatory. Students cannot receive credit if they are unable to attend all of the face-to-face meetings. If a student's schedule will not allow him/her to attend all of the face-to-face meetings, the student should not enroll in the class.

No, students must attend the scheduled face-to-face meetings for the section in which they are enrolled. We are unable to make arrangements for students to attend face-to-face meetings for other class sections. (See previous FAQ.)

The exact agenda depends on the course and the meeting date, but important content is covered in each meeting. Examples of activities in face-to-face meetings include:

  • Discussing course requirements and processes
  • Introducing the online environment
  • Organizing group projects
  • Covering key curriculum concepts
  • Creating hands-on projects

Recommended time spent on course work depends on the semester. Students taking an online course in the summer should spend between three and five hours on course work each day. Students taking an online course in the fall or spring should spend between two and four hours on course work each day.

Students are not required to be online at specific times but all deadlines are expected to be met. There are no common times that all students need to be online.

Students may complete the online portion of the course wherever they can obtain a secure and reliable internet connection.

There are opportunities for a student to work ahead. If you want to complete work in advance of the class schedule, communicate with your teacher to develop a plan.

Instructors will have office hours when they can be reached online or by phone.

No, your online course grade will not appear on a report card. Check your transcript a few weeks after the class ends to verify that your grade has been placed on your transcript. If the grade is not recorded, immediately contact the Student eLearning office.


The tuition for an online course is $300 per half credit (subject to change each year) for the Foundations of Computer Science (1.0 credit) online course. Tuition assistance is available, based upon financial need. Contact the Student eLearning office for more information.

Full refunds will be given when:

  • a student withdraws prior to the first face-to-face meeting, or
  • a student does not attend the first mandatory face-to-face meeting.

Partial refunds will be given to students who attend class for the first week or less.

No refunds will be given to students who attend class for more than seven (7) days after the first face-to-face meeting.

General Hardware and Software Requirements

Online courses require basic computer skills. Students need computer skills such as navigating websites, uploading and downloading files, using word processing software, formatting text and page layouts, using presentation software, using spreadsheet software, saving and updating files, locating files in a computer, and downloading and installing software. Knowledge about how to reduce file size would be helpful.

Hardware: Any Windows computer running Microsoft-supported operating systems or Apple computer running MAC OS 10 (or higher) can access our online course content. Students need a reliable Internet connection, but high speed is not required.

Software: The latest version of Google Chrome (preferred browser) or Firefox with Flash player installed will be needed to access course content. Students need a word processing program that can open and save Microsoft Word format or Rich Text Format (RTF) files in order to open and submit assignments. The capability to work with PDF files (saving as, opening, etc.) would be helpful. Contact your online teacher about file format options and requirements.

Student eLearning

is a program for students seeking to accelerate their learning or to pursue credit recovery options by taking courses that follow a blended model of online and face-to-face instruction.

Program Infographics