The Carlisle Area School Board could consider a proposal in August to launch a high school financial literacy course in the next school year.
An overview of the courses will be on the agenda of the education committee which will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. in the large collective teaching room of the Fowler building of the high school.
“I’m really excited about this course,” Assistant Superintendent Michael Gogoj said in a phone interview in late July. “We’re really looking forward to making this happen.”
Over the years, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has emphasized the need for financial literacy classes in public schools, Gogoj said. “This has been a priority for our board and our administration.”
In the past, the district offered some form of financial literacy or personal finance education as an elective for students enrolled in the business academy or other programs offered by the Career and Growth Center. high school technology.
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Last year, the high school transitioned to a block schedule configuration that will carry over into 2022-23 with some modifications.
This allowed the district to develop a student wellness program built around a rotation of health, physical education and safety classes, each lasting one semester, Gogoj said. The pilot semester-long financial literacy course would be incorporated into the track as another way to serve and protect students.
“On a large scale, we understand as a society the importance of students learning early to make smart financial decisions,” Gogoj said. “Part of the purpose of school is to prepare students to enter the world, and as they enter the world they also enter the economy and the labor market. We want them to avoid making mistakes that could have been avoided if we had been able to talk about important topics.
Thursday’s preview will update board members on the proposed course, which includes lessons on career planning, money management, banking, identity theft prevention and tips on understanding tax forms, insurance coverage, credit, debt and investments, Gogoj said. “This course is intended to be practical, applicable and immediately relevant.”
For example, lessons learned in the course could be helpful to a high school student considering buying a vehicle or selecting colleges to visit before submitting applications, Gogoj said. “We want to do our part as a district to help prepare students for real life when they leave us.”
While the plan is to schedule juniors and seniors for the pilot program this school year, the goal is to target juniors for the financial literacy course, said Michael Black, district manager of secondary operations. He described the proposed course progression for the student wellness track:
- 9th year: one semester of Health I and one semester of physical education
- Grade 10: one semester of safety education and one semester of physical education
- Grade 11: one semester of financial literacy and one semester of physical education
- 12th year: one semester of Health II and one semester of physical education.
While there is talk of eventually making the financial literacy course a graduation requirement, no decision has been made, Gogoj said. “We just don’t know. We are working on some details. The key for me is that we have the chance to reach every student that comes through Carlisle High School.
Staffing for the pilot program was discussed at recent executive staffing sessions, giving council members advance notice that the financial literacy course is coming, Superintendent Colleen Friend said. “They won’t be surprised to hear about it. In fact, as we worked through the full plan and listened to our board members, they were very excited about this course being offered to students. We anticipate that it will be well received.
As a school administrator, Friend connects with local businesses that are members of the Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce. They were willing to outline what they are looking for in employees.
“They emphasize well-rounded soft skills, attributes and traits again and again,” Friend said, adding that chamber members are thrilled the district can offer a financial literacy course.
Joseph Cress is a reporter for The Sentinel covering education and history. You can reach him at [email protected] or by calling 717-218-0022.