Competency-Based Education at Kearsarge Regional High School
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
We’ve put together some answers to your most frequently asked questions about competencies and what they mean for Kearsarge High School.
What exactly ARE competencies?
Competencies are a way of organizing what students need to learn--by showing that they can apply the content and skills they develop in their classes. Each class has certain competencies (created from standards) set as their expectations, and teachers work with students to make sure they can successfully meet their goals. Click here to read an article on the benefits of standards based grading: Seven Reasons for Standards Based Grading.aspx
What makes competencies better than what’s been done in the past?
The advantage to competencies is that they emphasize the things that will help students be more successful in whatever path they choose after high school. Here’s a quick list:
Students move forward as they master specific competencies, so they learn more at their own pace instead of being held back too long or pushed forward too quickly.
In a competency-based system, expectations are clearly stated and understood by students, parents, and teachers.
Student assessments don’t just measure if someone can just repeat or memorize information; they measure that students can do something with what they’ve learned (for example, solving problems, creating products, evaluating data, etc.)
Students have increased choice in how they show their learning and apply their knowledge.
What is different?
In many ways, things look the same. Students come to school, go to classes, choose electives and activities, and work towards their post-graduation plans.
Some things that might look different are the assignments and assessments your students are completing, as well as the way they’re reported home. Students should be completing more “authentic” tasks, those that look like what adults might do at their jobs. It’s important to know that this doesn’t mean ALL assessments change; students will still have tests and quizzes, papers to write, and group projects, but the faculty will be adding these more authentic assignments in to measure application and critical thinking.
Does this kind of reporting hurt my child’s chances of getting into college?
Not at all. We’ve chosen to report out on competencies while also still giving an academic grade (number) on transcripts, so colleges will be getting all the information they’ve gotten before -- and more. There will be additional information about students’ work habits and study skills so colleges will get a much better picture of who each student is. College and university admissions offices like getting a better picture of who their applicants are, so this is an advantage for everyone. An article by the League of Secondary School's Consortium about this matter can be found by clicking here:
What does the report card look like?
Grading is simply a way to communicate what’s been learned. A competency-based report card will look different than the report cards you get home now because it will have MORE information for you. Instead of a class and a grade, you’ll be able to see the areas where your child excels and where he/she needs to work harder. In addition, things like work habits and behavior are still reported to you, but they’re separated from the learning grades. This way, you can know clearly where your child is with learning--and clearly where your child is with study habits and behavior.
Please click on the file below (Report Card Explanation.pdf) for more information.
All students at KRHS are evaluated on their achievement of the school's 21st Century Skills. See below for the rubric.
KRHS has developed a handbook for students and parents. A pdf is also available below for download.