Magic Valley High School creates a program to prepare students for life

“The district wanted to do a senior math class that had more to do with real life.”
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 12:15 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — One Magic Valley high school is ensuring their students are ready for real-life once they graduate with a new program.

“The idea actually came from the parents to the district and the district wanted to do a senior math class that had more to do with real-life than just X equals what, Y equals whatever,” said Jaren Thompson, the teacher of the financial Literacy program at Canyon Ridge High School.

The program is designed to increase student’s everyday math skills by covering topics like a savings account, checking accounts, managing credit and other financial issues.

Jaren Thompson explains he tries to make the lessons as applicable to real-life as possible.

“Last semester they had a project where they were buying a home,” said Thompson. “They actually looked up actual homes on the market where they intend to live and they figured out if they could budget and survive in the home or if it was too much, then had them do a rental of property. They looked at buying a car, they looked at home much it was going to cost to go to college, what kind of student loans they would have to pay back.”

And several seniors in the course agree this is truly preparing them for the real world.

“With just a standard math course you figure out how to, you know, multiply, divide, but you really don’t apply a lot of those different types of math in day to day like you do with this course,” said Jesse Pearson, a senior at Canyon Ridge.

Jakob Miller, another senior echoed that sentiment.

“Some people may not use geometry when they come straight out of high school, they’re going to be looking for a job,” said Miller.

It’s also teaching the importance of finances.

“I thought, just oh money grows on trees, I can just get more,” said senior Madison Boring. “The more I take this class and have an understanding, I actually know where the money is, what taxes are and how to budget.”

The class also helps open group discussions rather than a traditional lecture.

“When we discuss it as a class and everybody just says things differently and just has a different perspective,” said senior Dominque Urrabazo. “And when everyone is sharing that information it helps me understand it when it’s being expressed in multiple different ways not just the one way you would get in a lecture.”

Thompson even says this has been a learning experience for him as well.

“They even say things that I don’t even think about, and so I’m like that’s a really good point,” said Thompson. “You bring up something that’s actually valid and there is a perspective that way.”

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