It’s a skill that many lack – financial literacy.
But Upper St. Clair High School is taking steps to give students the knowledge they need to make good financial decisions, both now and in the future.
Upper St. Clair High School Principal Dr. Tim Wagner, speaking at the Oct. 29 school board meeting, described the financial literacy program offered at the high school. Four years ago, the high school piloted a one-semester, quarter-credit financial literacy course. Offered two days a week, the class is a hybrid of face-to-face instruction and online applications.
Presenting with Dr. Wagner was Jared Nicholson, who teaches the course. Nicholson said topics covered include basic skills like filling out bank deposit slips and checks, tax forms, budgeting, credit card versus debit card use, credit scores, retirement, investment and compound interest, rent versus buy decisions, the cost of higher education and job research.
Students were surveyed after completing the course to discover what they thought was most important and most helpful to them. Nicholson said the feedback was used to develop a daylong experience for juniors and seniors. The junior day experience focuses on budgeting and investing, while the senior day experience focuses on loans and credit and financing higher education.
Nicholson said an online financial literacy tool was used to assess student knowledge before and after the daylong experience. Scores for the subject of savings increased from 51 to 83%, in banking from 47 to 83%, in higher education financing from 45 to 84%, and in investments from 42 to 85%.
Dr. Wagner said a possible next step would be to write a curriculum recommendation that would initiate a financial literacy graduation requirement.
In other business, with the move to the district’s new administration building at 1775 McLaughlin Run Road, it was announced the board meetings will now be broadcast via uscsd.tv.