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Grantsburg is not just teaching students writing, reading and arithmetic. They are also teaching every day skills and preparing students for their careers after high school.

“We wanted to give the students a taste of what real life is like,” one staff member told the Sentinel.

Freshman at Grantsburg High School went through a new unit in their Life Skills class this year. Students were asked to imagine they had a high school diploma and then had to figure out a job, apartment, and buying a car.

The unit was put together, in part, because of the misconception that schools are pushing all students to four-year colleges and don’t teach everyday skills in the classroom.

Grantsburg does not push all students toward four-year degrees. Instead, Grantsburg staff helps students find the best path for them.

Mike Anderson teaches the course and the school’s hope is to continue this unit next year and make it a permanent staple of the Life Skills class.

The first part of the exercise is finding a job that requires a high school diploma. Then they searched for an apartment they could afford and started planning their monthly budget. This included organizing their meals and creating their own menu.

Professionals in the auto, banking, insurance industries provided information to help the freshman get a grasp on what things cost.

When the students compared salaries and their calculated cost of living they were shocked. It was an eye-opening experience for many of the students.

Some students were also surprised to find out that when hired at $13 an hour for a job they do not get to take home $13 an hour.

Another student was so intrigued by the course they went home and asked their parents about mortgage rates.

Grantsburg staff hopes the unit will expand in the future to better prepare life outside the classroom.