The 9-12 Plan

THE BIG GOALS:

1. Introduce a Practical Skills "Civics" Program

2. Offer a Dual Enrollment Program

3. Increase Vocational/Technical Career Training

4. Destigmatize Non- 4-Year-University Paths

While students leave high school having learned so many important skills and subjects, students often graduate not knowing basic life skills such as filing taxes, filling out a FAFSA, a more in depth understanding of consent, and other career options aside from attending a four-year university. By teaching students these skills at a young age, we can better prepare for them the future and strengthen their skillset. These “civics” classes will be graded pass/fail to encourage classroom participation and decrease stress as well as be offered in a once-per-week session to decrease student and teacher burnout. Each year a different topic would be covered to ensure our students can be prepared and confident after graduation.

Freshmen, just entering the first major step towards becoming independent young adults, will receive rigorous education/training about:

  • Mental health facts, destigmatization, and resources

  • Consent

  • Sexual and domestic violence and harassment

  • Bystander intervention

  • Survivor support and resources

  • Reproductive health

  • Comprehensive sexual education beyond state minimum requirements

 

Sophomores, who are turning 16 and entering the workforce for the first time, will be taught important skills such as:

  • Basic financial literacy

  • How to file taxes and what the IRS does

  • How to fill out W-2, W-4, W-9, and 1099 forms

  • How to protect themselves from wage theft

  • Legal protections employees have in the workplace

 

Juniors, who are starting to think about future career paths and potentially about applying to college, will be taught about:

  • Trade/technical school, 2-year college, and 4-year university paths 

  • How to fill out a FAFSA

  • How to write college essays and job applications 

  • Different loan and financial aid options, and what different packages mean for their future

  • How to succeed without attending a four-year university straight out of high school

 

Seniors, who are turning 18 and entering adulthood, will be taught crucial lessons and skills such as: 

  • How to open different sorts of accounts (checking, savings, investment, 401k, etc.)

  • How credit and loans/mortgages work

  • How health, home, and auto insurances work

  • Basics about the law

  • Legal ramifications for committing a crime as an adult vs. a minor

  • Resources for those accused and convicted of crimes 

  • How to vote

In an effort to reduce financial strain and impact of other classes, already-hired teachers from various departments will teach different portions of the "civics" curriculum and the classes will occur in their classrooms.

Students at BHHS on a 4-year-university track should also be given opportunities that other top private schools provide- opportunities that give students at those private schools distinct, unfair advantages. Every student deserves to be on equal ground with their peers and competitors, both when applying to college and once they're already in. Offering a dual enrollment program allows students to gain UC-accepted credit that allows them to have benefits for college such as better enrollment times, higher class standings, and fewer credits until graduation (and thus lower tuition). Additionally, students who take dual enrollment classes, then opt to go to a community college first and transfer will have fewer course requirements left to transfer to US and CSU schools, potentially cutting their time at community college in half [or less].

As our students near graduation, they must be prepared to either attend university or begin a career. Half of graduating seniors will not attend a four-year university straight out of high school and students looking to enter the workforce or attend a community college after graduation should be adequately prepared and know how to receive a proper education, certification, and/or training. 

 

The solution to this, which can be seen firsthand when walking the halls of Beverly and sitting in classrooms with students, is offering an innovative career/vocational training program- available to everyone. Modeled on current pre-professional programs that exist at BHHS such as the Medical Science Academy and Architecture/Urban Design program, students will obtain alternate education for careers such as real estate, medical/ambulatory services, medical technology, software design, law enforcement, and more- options that go beyond what other schools may offer. By offering programs in high-demand, community-centered fields, we will not only prepare our students for successful careers better than other local schools and encourage community growth, but also do so in a manner that avoids discriminatory outcomes that plague other vocational training programs. As a school district, we cannot leave students behind simply because they see a career path that does not ‘fit the mold.’

 

Going to a 4-year university is okay. Going to a 2-year community college is okay. Not going to college is okay. To change a culture of complacency in Beverly Hills public schools, we must change how we look at postsecondary education and how we think about the career paths of our children. Each student deserves the necessary training, education, and preparation in order to have a successful and happy life after graduation, and that is what my platform provides.

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Paid for by Benjamin Liker for School Board 2020. FPPC ID 1430592