Proficiency-Based Education

RSU #64 has made a commitment to helping students learn and achieve their highest potential. To support this initiative, the faculty and administration have embrace a model of education referred to as Proficiency-Based Education, or PBE. This, coupled with Maine's requirement to issue proficiency based diplomas, will result in changes to traditional structures of education.  The class of 2021 will be the first to graduate with proficiency-based diplomas. The district has adopted the sample graduation standards as proposed by the Maine DOE.

During this time of transition, each school is identifying areas to focus on immediately and coming up with next steps. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me or the school principal. We will do our best to respond to your inquiry in a timely manner.

Additionally, the State of Maine has place a significant number of resources online. Below are a few links you may want to explore.

RSU 64 staff have created a quick guide brochure on the topic of Proficiency-Based Education.  You can get a copy of it from your school office or the Curriculum office.  Below is a copy of the text within the brochure.

Glossary

Proficiency-based learning refers to systems of instruction, assessment, grading, and academic reporting that are based on students demonstrating that they have learned the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education. 

standard is a statement of an essential knowledge or skill students must know and be able to do. In RSU 64, each content area has the same standards K-12 with differing performance indicators at each grade span. 

Performance indicators translate a standard into more specific instructional statements. In RSU 64, performance indicators help to define grade level expectations. 

learning target is a statement of the objective of the daily lesson that everyone can understand. 

Formative assessments are evidence of student learning that are collected frequently and inform the teacher of what the student needs next to continue progress toward the standard. 

Summative assessments show evidence of student achievement on specific standards and/or performance indicators and are completed at the end of the instructional phase.

Ten Principles of Proficiency-Based Education

1. All learning expectations are clearly and consistently communicated to students and families, including long- term expectations (such as graduation requirements and graduation standards), short-term expectations (such as the specific learning objectives for a course or other learning experience), and general expectations (such as the performance levels used in the school’s grading and reporting system). 

2. Student achievement is evaluated against common learning standards and performance expectations that are consistently applied to all students regardless of whether they are enrolled in traditional courses or pursuing alternative learning pathways. 

3. All forms of assessment are standards-based and criterion-referenced, and success is determined by the achievement of expected standards, not relative measures of performance or student-to-student comparisons. 

4. Formative assessments measure learning progress during the instructional process, and formative-assessment results are used to inform instructional adjustments, teaching practices, and academic support. 

5. Summative assessments evaluate learning achievement, and summative-assessment results record a student’s level of proficiency at a specific point in time.

6. Academic progress and achievement are monitored and reported separately from work habits, character traits, and behaviors such as attendance and class participation, which are also monitored and reported. 

7. Academic grades communicate learning progress and achievement to students and families, and grades are used to facilitate and improve the learning process. 

8. Students are given multiple opportunities to improve their work when they fail to meet expected standards. 

9. Students can demonstrate learning progress and achievement in multiple ways through differentiated assessments, personalized-learning options, or alternative learning pathways. 

10. Students are given opportunities to make important decisions about their learning, which includes contributing to the design of learning experiences and pathways.

RSU 64 Performance Levels

4 - Exceeds the Standard 
Student has independently and consistently performed above the expected complexity level reflecting the necessary content. 

3 - Meets the Standard 
Student has independently and consistently performed at the expected complexity level reflecting the necessary content. 

2 - Partially Meets the Standard 
Student is making progress towards the expected complexity level that will reflect the necessary content. 

1 - Does Not Meet the Standard 
Student is performing at a foundational level and requires support when working at the expected complexity level. 

NA - Not Assessed 
Not enough evidence is available to assess this standard for this reporting period. 

Proficiency-based grading is based on a four-point scale and uses multiple methods to determine the proficiency level of the learner. A body of evidence is reviewed for report card scores. The numbers are not averaged. The numbers are there to communicate what the learner knows and can do at that moment in time.

Where to Get More Information

Ask your child what the learning target was today 
Talk to the classroom teacher 
Speak with the guidance department 
Make an appointment to meet with the principal 
Check your child's progress in the Tyler Technologies parent portal 
www.rsu64schools.org 
http://www.maine.gov/doe/proficiency