GFPS revamping financial literacy course

Great Falls Public Schools are updating their financial literacy and career prep curriculum.

During the Nov. 13 school board meeting, district officials said they a local graduation requirement about 15 years ago for financial technical skills, which taught skills through tools or software used in business, such as spreadsheets, word processing, databases and PowerPoint, according to the district.

The Montana Office of Public Instruction added a graduation requirement this year, so district officials decided to refresh the program by beefing up the skills taught and meet the new state requirement.

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Business teachers from Great Falls High School, C.M. Russell High School and Paris Gibson Education Center met multiple times to update the focus from business technology to financial literacy, according to GFPS.

That required that the district updates its current curriculum documents to reflect that shift. The document, which the district calls know-understand-dos, are available on the GFPS website.

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District officials presented the proposed KUDs to the school board on first reading during their Nov. 13 meeting and the board will review them for adoption during their Nov. 27 meeting.

The course name will change to finance and career prep.

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Beckie Frisbee, a GFPS curriculum coordinator, said the new course will include personal finance including investing, credit, savings, credit awareness, resumes, mock interviews, how to write cover letter and more.

The district will keep the same number of teachers teaching the same number of course, Frisbee said.

There are no costs to adopting the updated standards, but potential costs may be incurred as the group moves into considering the resources needed for the update. Textbook and/or software will be considered and brought to the board later, according to district officials.