With 54 schools and 30,000 students, and covering 350 square miles in the Central Valley of Northern California, Lodi Unified is the 30th largest school district in the state, and was the first to offer a two-day teacher training from California Jump$tart in 2016, to rave reviews. Here is an update on how their efforts have proceeded in the past two years:
- Several elementary and secondary teachers voluntarily began including financial topics in the classroom almost immediately after the training.
- The Board of Education has asked that all students receive training before graduation.
- The required economics class currently includes about three weeks of instruction on financial literacy, via “Financial Fridays,” specific times that are set aside. For example, to cover Checking/Savings accounts, one teacher starts with a PowerPoint presentation and follows that with active learning--students research a financial institution; students practice writing checks and maintaining a check record.
- The econ teachers are receiving training in personal finance teaching methods, and starting next year, their classes will be using materials from ngpf.org to synchronize their coverage of this important topic.
- Two semester-long classes in personal finance receive math credits, one in the college-prep track and the other primarily in the alternative programs. Between 350 and 500 students take one of these courses per year.
- Lodi has invited California Jump$tart to come back and present Financial Foundations for Educators to a whole new group of their teachers. We can’t wait!