Principals tout financial literacy classes

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CASPER, Wyo. — High school principals attended the Natrona County School District Board of Trustees Monday, April 22 meeting to talk about financial literacy classes.

High school students in Natrona County are required to complete a financial literacy course in order to graduate.

“The main goal is for students to leave these courses empowered financially,” Natrona County High School Assistant Principal James Catlin told the board.

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Catlin said that NC students typically take the course in their junior year.

The course provides skills and information for students to manage themselves financially. That includes lessons on how to plan for a career, how to fill out tax forms, how to prepare a budget, and more.

“It’s a super powerful class, and if you haven’t seen it, you should come around,” Roosevelt Alternative High School Principal Shawna Trujillo said.

Trujillo, Midwest High School Principal Chris Tobin and Pathways Innovation Center Assistant Principal Ron Estes said students in their schools’ financial literacy courses include lessons from radio host Dave Ramsey.

Catlin added that some students have even set up mutual funds through taking the course.

The following outcomes for the financial literacy courses were included among Monday’s school board documents:

  1. Planning for a career. Complete and analyze CIS results. Produce professional resume, letter, and application. Participate in an interview. This outcome is met in Career Exploration at Roosevelt.
  2. Income, Benefits, and Taxes. Complete W-4, I-9, 1040 EZ.
  3. Budgeting. Complete a personal net worth statement. Prepare a budget.
  4. Value of Money. Explain consumer rights laws. Protect self from fraud.
  5. Banking System. Demonstrate keeping checking and savings accounts and reconciliation.
  6. Buying Decisions. Evaluate the process of buying plans and the costs of credit.
  7. Risk Management. Understand the importance of health, disability, life, home owners/renter’s and vehicle insurance. *C/VE 3, 4, 5.
  8. Saving. Examine short-, medium- and long-term financial goals. Explain systematic saving strategy. *C/VE 3, 4, 5.
  9. Credit. Compare/contrast living arrangements, buying a vehicle, student loans. Explain credit errors, bankruptcy, and consumer protection laws.
  10. Investing. Explain low-, medium-, and high-risk investing options. Understand how to research investments and markets (This outcome is optional).

High school students in the district also learn about civic responsibility including things like leadership, community service and civic engagement.

Catlin said that students engage in community service as part of their coursework.

The district lists the following civic responsibility outcomes:

  • Leadership. Value system, ethics, problem solving, critical thinking, conflict resolution, decision making, reflection, respect, goal setting, agenda setting, leading a meeting.
  • Community Service. Giving back, being involved, respect, identifying need. Does it help the community?
  • Civility. Respectful of others, acceptance of outcome, strong character.
  • Civic Engagement. Rights and responsibilities of a citizen, voting, contacting a congressman, taxes, jury duty, logic, understanding propaganda, identifying generalities, critical thinking, use of data and research.