As a Brit, I am not 100% certain what American terms such as "high school" or "grade school" means, but I'm guessing secondary school - age range approximately 16-18.
My school introduced an 'O'-level course in that time period - I think my class might have been the 2nd or 3rd year to do it. The odd thing was that 'O' levels are the 14-16yr exams, so we were doing a more junior course while doing senior exams.
The computer department had 4 already quite elderly Commodore PET machines - I believe model 4032 ones, networked (kinda sorta) over IEEE to a CMD 4040 dual 5Â¼" disk drive. They later acquired a whole room full of TI99/4As, each with its own cassette recorder and 14" black & white TV set. The PETs were a much more pleasant environment than the TIs - they only got the TIs because they were very cheap. BBC Micros were the standard by then.
I did my coursework on my home computer, a 48K Sinclair ZX Spectrum, as it was more capable than the school computers. Coursework was presented on paper, not in machine-readable form, so it didn't hugely matter on what you wrote your BASIC.
The first lesson, the computer teacher - who was one of the maths teachers - told us all just how useless a Computer Studies 'O'-level would be and that we should all focus on our 'A'-levels, the exams that would secure us a place at University. About half the class walked out.
The rest were told that this was a waste of their time, that they should not do it, that it would not impart any useful skills and was only simple, "Mickey-Mouse" stuff. More walk-outs.
In the end, there were about half a dozen of us, determinedly hanging on. He proceeded to tell us not to do the course, that it was futile and pointless and a distraction that would reduce our chances of getting into Uni.
The rest walked. I stayed.
I made a deal with him. He told me the syllabus; I did it myself, in my own time, and checked in with him once a fortnight to ensure I was on the right track. He wasn't happy and advised against it, but I pressed on.
The following year, half way through my non-course, a full class series was taught, and I sat in on some of those, learning moderately arcane stuff like one's-complement and two's-complement binary arithmetic.
So I ended up tutoring myself in my spare time. I got a 'B' in the end.
The course was quite low-level - binary, octal, hex and conversions; simple programming in BASIC - the 8-bit BASICs of the time mostly did not have things like IF...THEN...ELSE or WHILE...WEND or CASE statements, let alone named procedures or support for local variables and recursion, so it was all quite rudimentary.
I took a step back in time 2y later, studying FORTRAN at Uni as part of a Biology BSc. Got a First in that, but never used the language - the little bit of stats and so on, I did on my Spectrum.