Students learn to get ‘WISE’ about finances
Financial literacy may be an elective course at Northumberland High School, but as far as the school is concerned, it’s an important one that the school urges its students to take.
“If you aren’t financially literate, you’re going to struggle in life,” Northumberland’s principal, Dr. Travis Burns, said Monday.
Burns had recently been notified that Northumberland was one of 194 schools across the country that earned a Blue Star ranking from an organization called Working in Support of Education (WISE).
Burns said WISE sends out standardized assessments taken by students enrolled in financial literacy courses. To win the Blue Star rating, the majority of students in a given class must score at least 75 on the test or. If a majority of the class isn’t in the course, those in it must average a score of 80 percent.
Ray Edyvane teaches the two-semester course at Northumberland. It is open to 11th grade students and the school encourages as many in the grade as possible to take it.
Burns said that business people in the area had voiced concerns about graduates not understanding personal finances. The course is designed to cure that.
The course covers money management, understanding interest rates, loans, buying cars and “all of those kinds of things,” Burns said.
The course can be for dual credit with Rappahannock Community College, Burns said. It is open to all 11th graders but only those who pass a qualifying test from RCC qualify for the dual enrollment. Burns explained that before taking the course, a student might not be savvy enough to be expected to do well and the college doesn’t want a bad grade on the youngster’s transcript. After the course, the same kid might be a crackerjack on finances.
Each student who passed the WISE test becomes “Certified Financially Literate” by WISE. The Blue Star schools themselves will be recognized and honored and given a banner attesting their achievement at a WISE conference Nov. 5.