Mastery Based Diploma Assessment
Unit 1 A Paycheck and a Plan
Students will see examples of millionaires who eventually went bankrupt, because despite having millions of dollars, they had no plan for their money, and when you "fail to plan, you plan to fail." The first unit starts off by teaching the importance of having a financial plan, and the importance of saving money and sticking to a plan in order to reach financial goals. The unit teaches students how to set up this plan with the use of how to set SMART financial goals, and how to create a budget to reach those goals. Included in that students will learn to calculate their net pay, learning about all the paycheck deductions that are taken away from their income, and be able to accurately fill out a form 1040. The PBA lets students, given a random starting salary, calculate their net pay, write goals, and create a budget that helps to reach those goals.
Profile of a Graduate: Decision Making, Analyzing, Self-Awareness
Unit 2 Smart Choices in Banking
In unit 2, students will delve into the landscape of financial institutions. Students will learn how to evaluate a checking account and savings account offer from a bank so that they are an informed consumer. Students will also take the perspective of the bank to decide how they choose whom to give a loan. The PBA asks students to compare checking accounts and savings accounts from banks to determine which account best fits their needs.
Profile of a Graduate: Analyzing, Decision Making
Unit 3 The Costs of Using Credit
In unit 3, students will delve into the costs and risks associated with using credit. Students will explore how a credit score increases and decreases, and how a credit score will affect your life. Students will also be able to calculate how much interest is paid over time as the cost of using credit, as well as the dangers a credit card brings to one's finances. Students will also learn about the risks of identity theft and how to protect themselves. The PBA asks students to compare and choose a credit card that fits their needs, and then write a letter to their parents explaining why they should have a credit card, demonstrating they have the knowledge of how a credit card works and can use it responsibly.
Profile of a Graduate: Analyzing, Idea Generation, Self-Awareness
Unit 4 Stock Market Analysis
In unit 4, students will learn the basics of the stock market and how to analyze stocks. Students will take a look at the company as a whole, and their recent performances to determine if the company is worth investing in. Students will learn how events, news, and other factors such as psychology, and fear play a role within the stock market. Students will learn basic stock analysis of popular key indicators such as EPS, PE Ratio, and market cap. The PBA asks students to prepare a report for a client that analyzes a stock, makes an investment recommendation, as well as a prediction of where the price will be in one and five years based on their research and analysis.
Profile of a Graduate: Analyzing, Decision Making
In the first unit of the Independent Project course, students will learn about how to make a realistic and measurable action plan to explore a personally meaningful question. Students will begin to engage in iterative design as they plan to direct their own learning. There are several parts to the independent project: a bibliography, weekly log, the independent work and a final presentation. All of these will be outlined in the first unit, and students will be encouraged to choose projects that lend themselves to each student’s individual skill level. By the end of the unit, students will propose a subject and rough plan for the project they will pursue for the remainder of the course.
Profile of a Graduate: Inquiry, Idea Generation
Students will work on their independent project throughout the unit, and build the documentation that goes along with their work. At the end of the unit, students will make a final presentation to showcase what they have done, and how it helped them grow as learners.
Students will work on an independent project of their own design. For that reason, the project content itself will vary widely and be what inspires students’ curiosity throughout the course. Some students will create websites or videos that illuminate topics they’re interested in; others may create a powerful piece of art or design a new product; and a few may build new technologies.
As a part of the project work, students will create an annotated bibliography of research they need to advance their project. No matter the project’s subject, students will be asked to take in a range of perspectives and collect related ideas for consideration. This research should help students get up-to-date on these topics, and focus efforts to optimize their project’s impact. Weekly, students will conference with teachers to keep their efforts focused. From past experience, we’ve also observed students helping each other advance projects, even when their work has little overlap. A formal annotated bibliography will be submitted by students at the halfway point in the course, and a weekly log of work will be maintained by students throughout the project.
As the course draws to a close, students will prepare a presentation of their work. This presentation may look different for each; but it will always involve students communicating about their project and explaining the impact. For many, this will feel like an academic presentation, perhaps with slides and a visual aide. For others, it may be a performance or a technical demonstration. Not every project will be successful (in the traditional sense) – student growth can happen even if a project doesn’t work as intended.
The goals of the course, will be that students have: 1) learned how to pursue their interests; 2) built skills for interpreting varied sources of information; 3) acquired extensive new knowledge and/or skills; 4) developed project management skills; and 5) significantly expanded their communication and documentation skills.
Profile of a Graduate: Inquiry, Analyzing, Idea Generation, Product Creation, Self-Awareness, Decision Making