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Personal Finance

Inst Instructor: Mr. Howard Room#: E-503

Phone: (412) 486-6000 x1062 Email:

Course Description:
Understanding and managing personal finances are important to one’s future
financial success. Personal Finance focuses on using financial procedures to plan,
organize, and allocate resources. Students explore and understand financial
opportunities affecting their daily lives, such as setting financial goals, using money
management strategies, selecting bank services, protecting credit, filing tax
returns, trading investments, renting property, purchasing a home, evaluating risk
management, and planning for retirement.

Students will engage in career exploration to determine how choices influence

occupational options and future earning potential. The course content is designed to
help the learner make wise spending, saving, and credit decisions and to make
effective use of income to achieve personal financial success.

Topics Covered:
I. Money Management

A. Budgeting
• Calculation of income after all deductions
• Estimating expenses; fixed – living (mortgage/rent; taxes, utilities,
• Variable – phone, cable, internet, food, transportation, clothing

B. Taxes
• Types of Individual Taxes; (income, Social security, Medicare, local,
state, federal, sales, property)
• Filling out Income tax Forms – W-4; 1040EZ, 1040A, 1040 basic
• Filing status, exemptions, deductions

C. Checking Accounts & Banking Services

• Selecting a bank
• Bank services
• How to balance a check book
• Paying on-line

II. Financial Security

A. Investing for the Future

• Basics of investing: portfolio management, dollar cost averaging;
risk and return; buy and hold strategy
• Savings accounts
• Money market funds
• Certificate of Deposits
• Savings bonds

B. Investing in Stocks
• Basics of stock investing

C. Investing in Bonds
• Bonds – yield and terms

D. Investing in Mutual Funds or Real Estate

• Mutual Funds – different types

E. Retirement and Estate Planning

• How social security works and potential issues
• IRAs, 401(k)s; defined pension plans
• Compounding; projecting retirement needs

III. Credit Management

A. Credit and Credit Cards

• Terms and conditions; cost; monthly payments; interest rates
• Secured credit vs. unsecured
• Establishing good credit
• Look at the three free websites with credit histories

IV. Resource Management

A. Renting a Residence
• Rent
• Landlord & Tenant Relations

B. Buying a Home
• Mortgages – how they work, terms, rate, applying for, down
payment, PMI; fixed rate vs. adjustable
• Real estate taxes, insurance (property/liability)
• Calculate affordability

C. Buying a Vehicle
• Needs vs. wants
• Use Consumer Reports and Web sites ( and
to analyze new and used car features, repair records, resale values,
• Calculate cost to purchase, understanding car loans; cost to
operate: gas repairs, insurance
V. Risk Management

A. Property and Liability Insurance

• Auto (collision, comprehensive, liability, medical, etc.)
• Home Owner’s Insurance
• Renter’s Insurance

B. Health and Life Insurance

• Medical (individual vs. group)
• Life (term, whole, universal)
• Disability

Materials and Resources:

2 POCKET FOLDER: Students are required to keep all work in a portfolio.


Keys to Success:
• Be in class and be prepared!
• Pay attention in class – take good notes!
• Complete all assignments!

Extra Help:
Tutoring is available from 7:00 am until 7:25 am in my room, E-503. Also, tutoring
can be scheduled for after the school day. Please schedule tutoring with teacher in

Classroom Policies:
It is assumed that students and parents have read and understood all building
policies as described in the student handbook. Policies and procedures below are in
addition to those in the handbook and specific for this particular class.

A. Grading:

1. The student’s nine-week grade will be calculated using a straight percentage.

(Student Points/Total Points) Percentages will be rounded to the nearest

2. Grades can be viewed on the Hampton Township School District website, by a

link to the Pinnacle Parent Viewer. Students are advised to keep track of their
own grades and verify them in the grade book.
3. The final exam is calculated as 1/5 of the final course grade.

B. Parent Internet Viewer: To interpret the electronic grade book for Law &

a. “X” = the student has been excused from the assignment. There is
no penalty.
b. “Z” = the student has received a 0 for the assignment
because it has either not been made up in the specified time or
the student has not handed the assignment in.
c. “0” = the student completed the assignment/exam and nothing was
d. “Blank Cell” = the grade has not been entered yet.

C. Homework:

Homework will be checked frequently for completeness and/or correctness.

D. Make-up and Late Work:

You will have the amount of days absent to complete the assignments missed. If
you miss 2 days, you have 2 days to hand in any missed work. IT IS YOUR
RESPONSIBILTY TO MAKEUP WORK MISSED! Work not made up within the
period will receive a Z not a zero (0) in the grade book.

E. Hall Pass Use:

You may NOT use the bathroom pass at the beginning of the class. Please wait
until an acceptable time, sign out and be quiet on your exit and reentrance into
the classroom. The bathroom pass is not to be used as a locker pass, office
pass, or a pass to go see the nurse or your guidance counselor. I will write you
another pass for those reasons.

Academic Integrity:
• Cheating and Plagiarism: please refer to pg 7 of the HHS Student
Handbook for our district policies.

• Internet Usage: please refer to pg 7 and 8 of the HHS Student Handbook,

and our Acceptable Use Policy for our district policies on computer use.
Classroom instruction will be supported through the use of outside
lectures, group project, internet activities, and supporting classroom


Conceptual Physics will provide an overview of introductory

physics, focusing on conceptual understanding and critical
thinking. Emphasis will be placed on the Pennsylvania Science
and Technology standards.


To successfully complete this credit recovery course, the student

should participate in all activities and must complete all
deliverables. The student is solely responsible for documenting all
work in a timely manner using the resources provided at Failure to do so may result in a failing grade
for this course. Deliverables are to be submitted as


There are a variety of different activities in the course that the

student is encouraged to engage in. These range from a baseline
exercise at the outset of the course, to online tutorials, to
streaming video content, to PowerPoint presentations, to
computer simulations. While many of these activities are not
graded, they are a primary conduit for learning. The student will
generally be asked to mark these activities as complete before
continuing with subsequent coursework.

There are six types of deliverables that are integral to the

completion of this course: section quizzes, learning log entries,
discussions (& voice boards), reviews, unit projects, and unit

Section Quizzes (40 points per week)

Students must submit answers to all quiz questions, and only

correct responses will receive credit. Quizzes may be
submitted until they are completely correct, at which point,
they will receive full credit.

Learning Log Entries (1 per week – 20 points


Students will complete one learning log entry per week by

answering a short list of targeted questions. These entries
should be completed in the week in which they are assigned,
but there is no specific due date.

Discussions / Voice Boards (2 per week – 10

points each)

Discussions and voice board activities are vital to the

successful completion of the course, and there will be one of
each type of activity per week. Deadlines for these activities
must be met, as they facilitate interaction with other
students in the course.

Study Mate Reviews (1 per week – 10 points


Students will participate in a collaborative review each week,

by submitting facts online through the Study Mate tool. It is
important that the student’s contribution be made to the
review by the due date, since the intention is to share their
work with classmates in order to review for the test in a
timely fashion. This work can be done at any time leading
up to the due date.

Unit Projects (1 every two weeks – 20 points


Each unit, students will demonstrate their knowledge of the

content by engaging in a project. These projects must be
completed before the end of the unit in which they are

Unit Exams (1 every two weeks – 100 points


In addition to daily coursework, there are three mandatory

EXAMS scheduled for this course – July 6th, July 17th, and July
30th. These constitute summative performance
assessments and must be taken in the prescribed proctored
environment during the specified time window on the
published dates, and must be completed once started.
Attendance Policy

1. Regular "online" attendance to this class is vital. The pacing

guide is based on a five day week, but students may complete
their work at any time, online. Students should strive to be in-
step with recommended pacing throughout the course in order to
successfully complete all deliverables on time.

2. There is NOT a daily log-on requirement; although most

students will need to be active at least four (4) or five (5) days
each week to be successful in the course.

3. Students who do not log in to the course for more than two (2)
consecutive weeks will be removed from the course and will
receive a zero (0) for the course.

4. Attendance during online office hours is recommended but is

not required.
Course Materials

This course is textbook independent, and there are no materials

in addition to the content links and course documents provided
through the BlackBoard tool.
Grading Policy

Deliverables Points %*
Section Quizzes 240 27 %
Learning Log Entries 120 13 %
Discussions / Voiceboards 120 13 %
Study Mate Reviews 60 7%
Unit Projects 60 7%
Unit Exams 300 33 %

900 100 %

Rounded to the nearest percent for informational purposes only. Grades based on actual
points earned.