Gaming curriculum increases attendance at Maize school

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MAIZE, Kan. (KAKE) -

Teachers spend countless hours thinking of ways to improve their classes and make an impact on their students. But one local teacher decided to take it a step further with a brand new curriculum.

Mike Russell, a social studies teacher at Complete High School Maize, is introducing a class called "gaming concepts." He says that instead of shaming kids who enjoy gaming, they want to encourage the creativity and skill sets that come along with it. 

"They're playing video games at home anyway, so we're providing a curriculum that will so them how to do it properly," Russell says. "What we're trying to do is provide an avenue for our kids to go to college and fill the spots on those gaming teams so they can get an education in whatever career they chose." 

From an outside perspective, it might just seem like kids who are playing games for hobby. But it's much more than that. 

"It's what you don't see. It's the curriculum that's behind it," says Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson. "They're using this as the vehicle to get kids interested, then using that to teach them other skill sets."

Russell says, "They're also learning C++, and how to use Java Script and HTML. They're doing website design and embedding video, so there's numerous things. The job opportunities through this are limitless." 

Complete High School Maize is one of the first schools in the country to implement a video game-based curriculum. So far this year, they've seen about a 10 percent increase in attendance. Now their hope is to continue increasing attendance and to help open doors for students that might not otherwise be possible.

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