Spokane Public Schools introducing students to ‘adulting’ skills

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Public Schools wants to make sure your kids are ready to handle life when they leave for college or live on their own after they turn 18. The school district is now teaching kids to be money smart.

Spokane Public Schools’ seniors aren’t just learning subjects like math or history, but lessons like how to file their taxes or how to find a job after graduating, something the district says is just as valuable as their other classes.

“The minute they walk across the stage, they’re treated like an adult by our culture, and we want to make sure they’re ready for that on lots of different levels including financial literacy,” said Spokane Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Adam Swinyard.

The school district offers students advisory periods where they can learn skills to be money smart, and be successful out on their own after graduation. Either through a four-year college or another route.

“We kind of got more complex and started talking about the difference between your savings and like your social security for example and budgeting and so that was really exciting,” said Kenlove Stenson-Oakley, a high school senior.

Superintendent Swinyard says students have been telling educators they want to learn these skills, and that there’s been even more of a desire for these kinds of lessons since the pandemic.

“The more opportunities that we’re connecting with them and understanding their experience and were noticing that more than ever coming out of the pandemic. Kids have very strong opinions about their educational experience,” Dr. Swinyard said.

Most questions that students have about adulting, they can learn from their teachers.

“Some of those questions we can answer in a lesson where a teacher can deliver an advisory to students where we just kind of raise that level of understanding I think that’s the goal,” said Scott Kerwein, Executive Director of Student Success for the school district.

Parents can also play an important role in teaching teenagers how to do everyday adult things as well.

School district officials recommend parents ask their teens for an invitation to the “school links” app where students take job assessments, make post-high school goals, and research career and college options.

SchooLinks – Student Invite Guardian Tip Sheet

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