On January 6, 2011 the Putnam County School Board made history.  The board revised the Graduation Requirements (4.605) to reflect the following requirement regarding the new Personal Finance graduation requirement:

For all students entering 9th grade in 2009-2010 and thereafter, the required one-half (.5) credit of Personal Finance necessary to meet the Tennessee Ready Core requirements must be earned by successfully completing the course online.

The VITAL Personal Finance course meets the Personal Finance course requirement for the Tennessee Diploma Project (TDP).

Course Description
Personal Finance is a course designed to inform students how individual choices
directly influence occupational goals and future earnings potential. Real world topics
covered will include income, money management, spending and credit, as well as
saving and investing.

Learning Expectations
Students will design personal and household budgets; simulate use of checking and
saving accounts; demonstrate knowledge of finance, debt, and credit management; and
evaluate and understand insurance and taxes. This course will provide a foundational
understanding for making informed personal financial decisions.

The regular term for Personal Finance is 9 weeks. Students can expect to spend a MINIMUM OF 72 - 90 hours of work to complete the course.


What are the procedures for signing up?

Registration for VITAL Personal Finance is handled within each school by the guidance counselors and our VITAL Onsite Facilitators.

Please follow the following procedures to request and sign up for Personal Finance.
  • Request the course through your guidance counselor.
  • Contact the Onsite Facilitator in your school. They are listed along with phone numbers and email addresses on the Contact Us page.
  • Set up an account in Genius, our Student Information System.  You must complete all the information requested and make sure it is accurate. 
  • After your application is approved, you can submit a course request in Genius. 
  • Your Onsite Facilitator will then approve your course.
  • You and your parents must read and agree to abide by the VITAL Academic Integrity Policy and the VITAL Code of Conduct.
  • After you are enrolled in your course, you will be required to attend an orientation at your school to help get you started and be successful in your course. Attending an orientation is not optional.  Failure to attend the orientation could result in the student being dropped from the class.


The drop policy for the Personal Finance is the same as for regular high school courses.


 Special Needs Students: VITAL Personal Finance is available in an 18 work format for students with special needs. Individual schools are responsible for identifying students and providing accommodations for VITAL courses as needed.  The registration process  provides an opportunity to identify students as special needs and list modifications required by an IEP or 504 plans.  Any changes in modifications will be communicated to the Virtual Learning Coordinator who will notify the online teacher. To further assist special needs students, the VITAL Personal Finance course will be available in a lab setting with a teaching assistant available to help make modifications and assist students as needed according to their IEP or 504 plans.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact Melanie Bussell, SPED Supervisor (931-526-9777 or


Student Attendance and Participation

VITAL students are expected to attend and participate in the VITAL Personal Finance course as fully as they would attend and participate in a traditional classroom course. At a minimum, students are required to login and perform work in the course at least five times a week, dispersed throughout the week (i.e. not five visits in one or two days) totaling an average of 10 hours per week per course.  The actual amount of time required to successfully complete a course varies depending on the pace of the individual student. 


If a student fails to login and participate in the course for seven (7) class days, that student may be dropped from the course, unless prior communications have been received from the Onsite Facilitator regarding the student's absence. Onsite Facilitators in conjunction with Lab Facilitators when the student is in a lab setting are responsible for managing any additional attendance procedures or requirements that were arranged between individual students and their online instructors.


Homework and Absence Policy

Students are expected to log into their online course at least five times a week, spread throughout the week, unless otherwise indicated by the instructor. Homework is to be completed by assigned deadlines. If work is going to be late, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the instructor. It is the responsibility of the student to make up work missed due to absence.


Unless there are extenuating circumstances, work should be made up within one week of the student's return to school. In cases of extended student illness (five days or more), the student may either contact the online course instructor directly to notify the instructor of any delay in providing assigned work or the parents may contact the Lab Facilitator or Onsite Facilitator as appropriate to make arrangements for work that will need to be made up.


Suspended Students

Students who are suspended from school and are enrolled in courses in the VITAL program are expected to continue their participation at home during the period of suspension.  If students do not have computer/internet access at home, it is the responsibility of the student and parent to provide access at the public library or other site.  All policies concerning attendance and participation in virtual courses apply during suspensions.