Public schools working to teach skills for the world

A local school district is working with parents to teach more life skills in the classroom. Paducah Public Schools is looking to change its curriculum to include lessons that can be used well into the real world.

Superintendent Donald Shively said they’re asking parents and community members what skills they think students need that aren’t always assessed through state or national tests

“We call them 21st century skills, but they’re traditional skills that people have always needed. We just want to make sure we don’t lose focus of developing our students,” Shively said.

21st  century skills include public speaking, managing finances, using technology, learning to problem solve, cultural awareness, and teamwork.

5th grade Morgan Elementary social studies teacher Amanda Farley doesn’t test through facts. She helps kids remember her lessons through real-world experiences outside the classroom.

“A lot of times you hear that and you automatically think computers and technology, but it’s really more about putting the life skills that they are going to need later into practice,” Farley said.

Stephen Remy External Manager for Kentucky Community & Technical College System, Workforce Solutions deals with employers on a daily basis.

“I mean these are pretty routine kind of things to be able to communicate and be able to think and problem solve. The sooner that’s done on a more private, safe level, the better. So then by the time they get interviewed for these jobs they’ll be well suited for it,” Remy said.

He said employers can be choosy. So preparing for the real world during grade school is more than just studying for tests.

“Getting grades and being responsible, that never goes out of style. That always has to happen, buts its so competitive now,” Remy said.

Paducah Public School’s last meeting open to public input about 21st century skills is next month at McNabb Elementary.

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