Penn-Trafford School District students who are prepping for graduation have more than a few requirements to check off their lists before they can earn a diploma.
Students must complete 4 credits of English, 3.5 credits of social studies, 3 or 4 courses of math, 3 or 4 courses of science, 2 credits of humanities, 1 credit of physical education, 0.5 credits of health and 1 credit of Keystone assessments to be eligible to graduate.
Soon, they’ll have one more requirement — a career and personal finance class, which focuses on advising young people on how to make smart monetary choices in their future.
School board members approved the personal finance course this week as an addition to the district’s graduation requirements, beginning with the Class of 2025.
The program will fit into the state Academic Standards for Career Education and Work, a Pennsylvania Department of Education learning requirement.
High school Principal Tony Aquilio says the program has been “revamped” from its origins as an elective course, which previously was taught by Dennis Kosoglow for the past 20 years.
“We’ve had the class previously, and we’ve now kind of revamped it. Now, it will be an actual requirement,” Aquilio said. “We feel it is so important for our kids to leave the high school with knowledge of risk factors of financing investments, of real estate, banking, online banking, credit card fraud, the basics of personal banking all the way up to real estate investments and risk factors.”
Kosoglow’s original course curriculum will be condensed and divided into two semesters. The first semester will be the required course, and the second will be an optional course for students who are interested in digging deeper.
“Our thought process is that, right now, it is simply an elective course, and the material (Kosoglow) teaches and the content he teaches is so relevant to kids, it’s our opinion that every kid should have to go through that type of course,” Aquilio said.
The mandatory version of the course will be aimed at juniors and seniors, Aquilio said.
“For those kids who already think they know what they want to take next year, we are going to provide an online version and a summer online version,” Aquilio said. “If they are creating their schedule in January and they say they weren’t planning on taking this course, we are going to offer another option to make sure it doesn’t conflict with their regularly scheduled classes.”