Reality 101 to be offered for class of 2025


Addie Clayton, Reporter

Learning life skills can help a young adult become more prepared for life after education. In a 2019 study, the Kauffman Foundation collected information from various polls and found that only 42% of high school graduates felt prepared for after college. 

Skills such as handling money, conversation and employability are all some examples of important life skills. According to Education Life Skills, classes teach very little of these but not enough where students can feel prepared for life after high school.

Recently, the Newton USD 373 Board of Education approved the implementation of a new class called Reality 101. Principal Caleb Smith has seen the success of this class before coming to Newton at his former school of Valley Center High School. 

“Reality 101 is a class to help with the transition from middle school to high school and to develop the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in high school and beyond,” Smith said. “The class will be project-based and individualized.” 

The class is called Reality 101 because it is a ‘snap into reality’. Lessons in this course will be about self-advocating, stress management, study skills, time management, employability skills, Individual Placement Support (IPS), career interest, involvement, transcripts, GPA, high school vs. K-8 and success. These skills are very important to learn in order to help students be successful according to the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC). 

I think Reality 101 will be a very helpful class that I definitely could have used this year,” freshman Kayla Nicholson said. “The transition from middle school to high school is hard for everyone. It goes from flexible due dates, easy assignments and barely any homework to the exact opposite. A class helping kids get used to the change and teaching them how to get through it would be very beneficial.”

The class will only be available to freshmen and is highly suggested because the transition from middle school to high school proves that the most success to graduating high school is in students’ freshman year. 

“Reality 101 will be an important class for the incoming freshman because it will give them skills to help them graduate high school,” Smith said. “I am hoping every freshman takes this class. Research is clear that student success in their freshmen year is the biggest indicator of graduating high school.”

The University of Chicago To and Through Project says that students who are on track freshman year are three times more likely to graduate high school than students who are not on track. 

“The best part of this class will be freshmen having a solid foundation for future success,” Smith said. “Instead of digging themselves into a hole while they are figuring out high school it gives them the knowledge and skills they need from the get go.” 

When students graduate high school they have more of a possibility to be successful in life because it will give students more career opportunities according to the American High School Academy

“I think this class will be important because it will teach students how to manage their time and deal with stress,” Nicholson said. “I have had a lot of stress throughout my freshman year and my time management skills are not very good and I think if I would have had this class it would be a different story.”