WHS Competencies

Competencies at WHS

The State of New Hampshire has given public schools the directive to change the way they deliver instruction to their students. Since 2009 New Hampshire High schools were to be transitioning to a “competency-based” model of instruction and assessment. This is not a small simplistic change and therefore requires detailed breakdowns of each course as well as an understanding of new educational terminology.

  • Competency – a competency is an overarching set of goals we as educators want students to master prior to graduating from high school. For example, in mathematics, we feel it is important for our students to be able to analyze data, problem-solve using knowledge and problem-solving strategies, understand new concepts and be able to follow a procedure, as well as be able to communicate why through a variety of methods. Students will see the same set of 4 competencies in all mathematics courses from Introduction to Algebra to Calculus. As students progress through each course they will be expected to meet the minimum requirements for each of the four competencies. The knowledge, skills, and strategies used to solve and analyze problems in introduction to algebra will be very basic in comparison to calculus. The problems students receive will be tailored to the level of the course. For example, students in algebra one will not receive a problem in which they will need trigonometry to solve. A student’s grade will be based solely on these 4 important life skills.
  • Standard – Standards are the concepts students will be learning to help them develop new ways to solve problems, analyze data, and communicate their reasoning. The concepts and procedures competency focuses on a student’s ability to use these standards to solve complex problems.
  • Indicator – Indicators are a checklist of skills that the students will be learning. In past years this list has been one of the most helpful tools in guiding students. It helps students know what is coming next as well as guides them when they did not understand a previous skill.

The WHS staff has been working diligently to make this a reality, building on the work that had already been done after the last few years. A large contingent of teachers from the District attended a week-long series of workshops at Sanborn Regional High School during July of 2016. Since that time we have been meeting regularly, as well as working independently, to achieve this goal. Professional Learning Communities within the school have been focusing on the following:  Scheduling, Work Habits, Performance-based Assessments, Graduation Proficiencies, Rubrics/Grading, and Competency Communication.

 

In addition, WHS is participating in the State of New Hampshire’s PACE program.  PACE stands for “Performance Assessment Competency-based Education” (The teachers in our performance-based assessments PLC are our representatives to PACE). This year we are a “Tier 2” school, one that has had some training and development time in the program. Our district is now on the path toward becoming a Tier 1 school in a few years. This opportunity to participate in the PACE program will be an important development and produce changes that should have positive effects at all grade levels.

Academic Grades and Work Study Practices

(*adapted in part from the Sanborn Regional School District)

All courses have an overall final course grade that is generated from academic grades that are recorded throughout the course. Academics grades are communicated separately from academic behaviors (also known as work study practices) on report cards and transcripts.

Academic Grades: Each course at Woodsville has specific big ideas, known as competencies.  Course competencies answer the question: What is it we want our students to know and be able to do? Each competency is broken down into a subset of specific skills and learning targets known as performance indicators. Teachers give assessments throughout the course, linked to performance indicators which are then linked back to specific competencies. Students must receive a passing grade in each competency in order to receive credit for a course.

Work Study Practices: Throughout the year, teachers grade students on four work study practices in all courses at Woodsville. These practices measure communication, creativity, collaboration and self-direction. These are communicated separately on report cards and the final transcript.

Formative and Summative Assessments

Formative Assessments capture a student’s progress through the learning process and explain to what extent a student is learning a concept or skill. These assessments are considered practice, and therefore are not weighted more than 10% of an overall course grade. Examples include class work, homework, and quizzes.

Summative Assessments are comprehensive, performance-based measures that demonstrate what a student knows and is able to do. These assessments are linked to one or more of the course competencies and are weighted at least 90% of the overall course grade.  Examples include research projects, presentations, labs, writings, tests, simulations, and inquiry tasks.

Reassessment

We recognize that students learn at different speeds.  Every effort is made to allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of concepts and skills to achieve mastery.  These procedures advocate for students having the opportunity to truly grasp the learning of material through mastery of classroom work.   All students may redo/retake an assessment to achieve a higher grade.  

 

  • The teacher will require students to provide a written or verbal plan of relearning before work can be redone.  
    • Plans must be approved by the teacher before a redo/retake can occur.  Relearning plans may include, but not limited to:
      • A calendar in which students list day-by-day what they will do to prepare for the redo
      • Day(s) they may stay late /arrive early to be re-taught the material by their teacher
      • Reflections
      • Other additional requirements determined by the teacher
  • Assessments may be retaken multiple times if relearning requirements are met.  The higher grade will stay in the grade book.  
  • Teachers reserve the right to give alternative versions of the original assessment for the redo/retake.

 

Grading Scale

97-100 4 3.85, 3.9, 3.95, 4.0 Exceeding Competency The student consistently exceeds the competency requirements for the course level. Performance indicators show that the student, with relative ease, grasps, applies, generalizes, and extends key concepts, processes, and skills consistently and independently. Competent
93-96 3.65,  3.7, 3.75, 3.8
90-92 3.5, 3.55, 3.6
87-89 3 3.35, 3.4, 3.45 Meeting Competency The student consistently meets the competency requirements for the course level. Performance indicators show that the student, with limited errors, grasps key concepts, processes, and skills for the course level and understands and applies them effectively.
83-86 3.15, 3.2, 3.25, 3.3
80-82 3.0, 3.05, 3.1
77-79 2 2.85, 2.9, 2.95 Partially Meeting Competency The student is progressing toward meeting the competency requirements for the course level. Performance indicators show that the student, is beginning to grasp key concepts, processes, and skills for the course level but demonstrates inconsistent understanding and application of content. Partially Competent
73-76 2.65, 2.7, 2.75, 2.8
70-72 2.5, 2.55, 2.6
67-69 1 2.35, 2.4, 2.4, 2.45 Progressing Toward Competency The student is making some progress toward meeting the competency requirements. Performance indicators show that the student is not demonstrating understanding of course-level key concepts, processes and skills and requires additional time and support. Not Yet Competent
63-66 2.15, 2.2, 2.25, 2.3
60-62 2.0, 2.05,  2.1
50-59 0 0 Not Yet Competent The student has not yet met the competency requirements. Not Passing
N/A Insufficient Work Shown The student has not produced enough evidence to determine whether competency has been met or not.

 

Mandatory Assessments and Deadlines

Students are expected to complete all major summative assessments in a timely manner. Students who refuse to complete an assessment on time will receive classroom and/or school-level disciplinary consequences. The grade for that assignment or the overall course will be recorded as Insufficient Work Shown (IWS) until the student completes the work. The teacher will work with the student and their parents to resolve the issue as soon as possible. After ten schools days, if the student does not submit the work, the grade for that assignment may remain as an IWS which would carry a weight of zero. This may impact both competency scores and the overall course grade. An IWS final grade equals no credit for a course.

One Term (Rolling) Grading

A student’s final overall course grade is cumulative over the entire length of a course; it is not an average of quarter grades.

Receiving Course Credit

A student will receive credit for a course when both of the following two conditions have been met:

  • They receive a passing overall course grade (numerical grade of 2.5 (70%) or higher),
  • They receive a passing grade for each competency (grade of PMC, MC, or EC).

If one or both of these conditions are not met, the student will need to do credit or competency recovery. Both of these programs are managed by a guidance counselor who works with the teacher for the course.

Credit Recovery: If a student does not receive a passing overall course grade, they will have to recover the credit for that course by repeating it either at Woodsville or by registering for an approved online program.

Competency Recovery: If a student does not receive a passing grade on one or more of the competencies for that course, they will receive a final course grade of Not Yet Competent (NYC) and they will need to recover each failed competency using an alternative method such as an online module or a teacher-directed project. Once completed successfully, the NYC grade will be replaced with the actual final course grade earned and the competency recovery will be noted in the transcript.

4-Exceeding Competency 3-Meeting Competency 2-Progressing Toward Competency/Partially Meeting Competency 1-Not yet competent
Communication

I can use various media to interpret, question, and express knowledge, information, ideas, feelings, and reasoning to create mutual understanding.

I demonstrate all practices in the proficient category at a high level and/or consistently over multiple projects. I demonstrate all of the following:

  • I communicate effectively using multiple modalities.
  • I interpret information using multiple senses.
  • I demonstrate ownership of the work.
I demonstrate some but not all practices in the proficient category. I demonstrate one or none of the practices in the proficient category.
Creativity

I can use original and flexible thinking to communicate my ideas or construct a unique product or solution.

I demonstrate all practices in the proficient category at a high level and/or consistently over multiple projects. I demonstrate all of the following:

  • I think originally and independently.
  • I take risks.
  • I consider alternate perspectives.
  • I incorporate diverse resources.
I demonstrate some but not all practices in the proficient category. I demonstrate one or none of the practices in the proficient category.
Collaboration

I can work in diverse groups to achieve a common goal.

I demonstrate all practices in the proficient category at a high level and/or consistently over multiple projects. I demonstrate all of the following:

• I contribute respectfully.

• I listen and share resources and ideas.

• I accept and fulfill roles.

• I exercise flexibility and willingness to compromise.

I demonstrate some but not all practices in the proficient category. I demonstrate one or none of the practices in the proficient category.
Self-Direction

I can initiate and manage my learning and demonstrate a “growth” mindset, through self-awareness, self-motivation, self-control, self-advocacy and adaptability as a reflective learner.

I demonstrate all practices in the proficient category at a high level and/or consistently over multiple projects. I demonstrate all of the following:

  • I persevere in completing complex, challenging tasks.
  • I use self-reflection to complete work and goals.
  • I engage stakeholders to gain support.
I demonstrate some but not all practices in the proficient category. I demonstrate one or none of the practices in the proficient category.

Work-Study Practices

 

Source: New Hampshire Work-Study Practices, Rationale for Work-Study Practices, New Hampshire Department of Education, June 014. Print.               

*Modified for self-evaluation

 


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