Examples of state and local policies that support proficiency-based learning, multiple pathways, and personalization for school boards and school leaders.During the transition to a proficiency-based system of teaching and learning, districts and schools will need to review and possibly revise existing policies, while also creating new policies that address emerging models, practices, and learning experiences.

In our view, the best policies balance prescription with flexibility—they provide detailed, unambiguous guidance on the most essential design features of a local educational system, while also allowing school leaders and teachers a great deal of flexibility when it comes to implementation. While effectively written policies can provide clarity and sustain important innovations, educators must also be given the flexibility they need to evolve educational systems and practices over time and remain responsive to emerging student needs.

In this section, school leaders will find a variety of exemplar district policies that can be adapted to suit local needs and contexts. The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or revise our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.

We have also provided a policy checklist that will help school boards, administrators, and teacher-leaders identify policies that may need to be reviewed, revised, or created.

State Policies: New England Secondary School Consortium

References to state statutes related to (1) high school graduation requirements, (2) state learning standards, (3) proficiency-based learning, and (4) multiple/personalized learning pathways in the five New England Secondary School Consortium States of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Connecticut

High School Graduation Requirements
Chapter 170, Boards of Education, Sec. 10–221a. High School Graduation Requirements

State Learning Standards
Chapter 170, Boards of Education, Sec. 10–221a. High school graduation requirements, Paragraphs (d), (f), (g) and (h)
Content-Area Standards
Connecticut Core Standards

Proficiency-Based Learning
Chapter 170, Boards of Education, Sec. 10–221a. High School Graduation Requirements, Paragraphs (d), (f), (g) and (h), and Sec. 10–223a. Promotion and Graduation Policies

Multiple/Personalized Pathways
Chapter 170, Boards of Education, Sec. 10-221a. High school graduation requirements, Paragraphs (d), (f), (g) and (h)

Maine

High School Graduation Requirements
Maine Revised Statutes Title 20–A: Education, Part 3: Elementary & Secondary Education, Chapter 207–A: Instruction, Subchapter 3: Secondary Schools, §4722–A Proficiency-Based Diploma Standards

State Learning Standards
Maine Revised Statutes Title 20–A: Education, Part 3: Elementary & Secondary Education, Chapter 222: Standards and Assessment of Student Performance, Heading: PL 2001, C. 454, §26 (RPR), §6209. System of Learning Results Established
Maine Learning Results

Proficiency-Based Learning
Maine Revised Statutes Title 20–A: Education, Part 3: Elementary & Secondary Education, Chapter 207–A: Instruction, Subchapter 3: Secondary Schools, §4722–A Proficiency-Based Diploma Standards

Multiple/Personalized Pathways
Maine Revised Statutes Title 20–A: Education Part 3: Elementary & Secondary Education Chapter 207–A: Instruction Subchapter 1: General Requirements §4703. Instruction for Individual Students

New Hampshire

High School Graduation Requirements
Minimum Standards for Public School Approval, State Board of Education Regulation 306.27, High School Curriculum, Credits, Graduation Requirements, and Cocurricular Program

State Learning Standards
Minimum Standards for Public School Approval, State Board of Education Regulation 306.27, High School Curriculum, Credits, Graduation Requirements, and Cocurricular Program
New Hampshire College and Career Ready Standards
Common Core State Standards

Proficiency-Based Learning
State Board of Education Regulation 306.27, High School Curriculum, Credits, Graduation Requirements, and Cocurricular Program, Paragraphs (a), (b), (c) (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), and (k)

Multiple/Personalized Pathways
State Board of Education Regulation 306.27, High School Curriculum, Credits, Graduation Requirements, and Cocurricular Program, Paragraphs (a), (b), (c) (d), and (e)

Rhode Island

High School Graduation Requirements
Regulations of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, K-12 Literacy, Restructuring of the Learning Environment at the Middle and High School Levels, and Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements (PBGR) at High Schools, Title L, Secondary Design, Chapter 6, L-6-3.0
Rhode Island Diploma System

State Learning Standards
Regulations of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, K-12 Literacy, Restructuring of the Learning Environment at the Middle and High School Levels, and Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements (PBGR) at High Schools, Title L, Secondary Design, Chapter 6, L-6-3.0
World-Class Standards

Proficiency-Based Learning
Basic Education Program Regulations, Rhode Island Basic Education Plan (Title G), Chapter 14: Safe, Healthy and Supportive Learning Environment, G-14.1 Academic Supports and Interventions for All Students, Paragraphs (b) and (c)

Multiple/Personalized Pathways
Rhode Island Basic Education Plan (Title G), Chapter 13: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, G-13.1 A Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum, G-13-1.1 Framework for a Comprehensive Curriculum, Sub-Paragraph 1

Vermont

High School Graduation Requirements
Vermont State Board of Education, Education Quality Standards, 2120.7 Graduation Requirements, 2120.8 Local Graduation Requirements

State Learning Standards
Vermont State Statutes, Title 16: Education, Chapter 3: State Board of Education, § 164. State board; General Powers and Duties
Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities
Common Core State Standards

Proficiency-Based Learning
Vermont State Board of Education, Education Quality Standards, Section 2114 Definitions, Section 2120.8 Local Graduation Requirements, Section 2123.2 Development and Implementation of Local Comprehensive Assessment System

Multiple/Personalized Pathways
Vermont State Board of Education, Education Quality Standards, Section 2120.2 Flexible Pathways
No. 77. An Act Relating to Encouraging Flexible Pathways to Secondary School Completion, Sec. 1. 16 V.S.A. Chapter 23, Subchapter 2., Flexible Pathways to Secondary School Completion, § 941. Flexible Pathways Initiative

→ Download the NESSC State Policies (.pdf)

District and School Policy Checklist

Implementing Proficiency-Based Systems and Graduation Requirements

The following checklist is intended for use by district and school leaders looking to review, revise, and develop policies for guiding the implementation of proficiency-based learning. The checklist provides a recommended order of priority, with the high-priority policies appearing at the top. Note that additional policies may need to be revised or created by districts and schools transitioning to proficiency-based learning.

  1. Graduation Requirements (Policy File IKF)
  2. Multiple Pathways (Policy File IKFF)
  3. Academic Recognition: Latin Honors and Grade Point Averages (Policy File IKD)
  4. Transcripts (Policy File IKC)
  5. Grading and Reporting System (Policy File IKA)
  6. Dual Enrollment and Early College (Policy File IHCDA)
  7. Assessment of Student Learning (Policy File ILA)
  8. Promotion, Retention, and Acceleration (Policy File IKE)
  9. Demonstrations of Learning, Exhibitions, and Capstone Projects (Policy File ILA)
  10. Academic Interventions (Policy File JCDL)
  11. Personal Learning Plans (Policy File ILAPL)
  12. Portfolios (Policy Files ILA and ILAPL)
  13. Attendance (Policy File JEA)
  14. Academic Eligibility: Athletics and Co-Curricular Activities (Policy File JJIC)

→ Download the District and School Policy Checklist (.doc)

Policy: IKF

Western Mountains Regional School Unit No. 99

Graduation Requirements

Awarding a high school diploma based on the accumulation of credits earned for passing courses has been a longstanding practice in American high schools, but this system has not ensured that students meet high academic standards and demonstrate proficiency. Consequently, many graduates leave high school unprepared to succeed in postsecondary education and modern careers.

To ensure that all students graduate from our schools with the knowledge, skills, and work habits they will need in adult life, the Western Mountains Regional School District has adopted a proficiency-based system of teaching, learning, promotion, and graduation. Beginning with East High School Class of 2019, all students will need to demonstrate achievement of all cross-curricular and content-area graduation standards before receiving a high school diploma. These new graduation requirements will ensure that each student provides evidence that they have achieved expected learning standards, and acquired the knowledge, skills, and work habits that will prepare them for postsecondary education and modern careers.

The district’s proficiency-based diploma system also requires our schools and educators to provide the interventions, support systems, and personalized-learning pathways that each student needs to meet the expected standards and graduate college and career ready.

NOTE: While this policy is written to align with State of Maine graduation requirements and standards, the language and general format can be adapted for other states. 

A. Communicating Graduation Requirements
To ensure that every student and family has the information and resources they need to appropriately plan and sequence the student’s educational decisions, our schools, educators, and staff will clearly and consistently communicate—prior to entering high school and throughout the student’s educational career—the graduation standards and diploma requirements that must be met to earn a high school diploma.

The Superintendent, through the high school principal or other designee, shall be responsible for ensuring that accurate, up-to-date information concerning all graduation standards and diploma requirements are (1) readily available to all incoming students and their families in the spring preceding the start of each school year, and (2) published on the district and high school websites. A detailed guide to graduation standards, academic expectations, and diploma requirements will be disseminated to all incoming ninth-grade students at the time of course selection. This policy will also be referenced in each edition of the high school student handbook and on the district and high school websites.

As soon as it is practical and feasible, the Board expects the Superintendent or designee to inform all students and their families of any modifications made to the district’s graduation requirements, which extends to all applicable changes in relevant state law, rules, or regulations.

The Board has approved the following schedule of minimum requirements for graduation, which encompasses minimum graduation requirements specified by the state and described in relevant laws, rules, and regulations. The Board is aware that current law and regulations are subject to change.

B. Academic Requirements for Graduation
For the East High School classes of 2016–2018, the following graduation requirements remain in effect:

NOTE: In this section, school districts will describe their current graduation requirements, by class, as a transitional policy that will be phased out beginning with the Class of 2018 (state statute requires proficiency-based graduation to be implemented no later than the class of 2021). Depending on the implementation schedule, districts will need to adjust dates throughout this exemplar policy.

Commencing with the Class of 2019, all students attending East High School must meet the following graduation requirements:

B1. All students will demonstrate that they have achieved proficiency in the content-area graduation standards of the Maine Learning Results. Meeting the standard entails demonstrating proficiency in each of the following content areas prior to graduation:

  1. English Language Arts
  2. Mathematics
  3. Social Studies
  4. Science and Technology
  5. Health Education and Physical Education
  6. Visual and Performing Arts
  7. World Languages
  8. Career and Education Development

NOTE: Maine statute provides a phase-in option for each content area. All students must demonstrate proficiency in all eight content areas of the Maine Learning Results by 2025, but districts may accelerate those requirements. Depending on the implementation schedule, districts will need to adjust dates throughout this exemplar policy.

The East High School administration, faculty, and staff will develop and apply a set of graduation standards and performance indicators that align with the content-area standards of the Maine Learning Results.

To satisfy graduation requirements, all students must be engaged in proficiency-based educational experiences in the content areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science and Technology in each year of their secondary school program. The standards of Career and Education Development may be embedded and addressed in other content-area learning experiences.

B2. All students will demonstrate that they have achieved proficiency in the cross-curricular Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results.

The Guiding Principles state that each Maine student must leave school as:

  1. A clear and effective communicator
  2. A self-directed and lifelong learner
  3. A creative and practical problem solver
  4. A responsible and involved citizen
  5. An integrative and informed thinker

The East High School administration, faculty, and staff will develop and apply a set of graduation standards and performance indicators that align with the cross-curricular standards of the Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results.

B3. All students will complete a capstone project, through which students will demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and work habits by conducting in-depth research, using technological applications, producing a high-quality exhibition of learning, and presenting their research and findings to a review panel.

B4. All students will complete and submit at least one application to a postsecondary educational institution, training program, or other certified learning experience, such as the military, that will provide them with continued opportunities for academic, career, and personal growth.

B5. While most students will satisfy graduation requirements over the course of a four-year academic program, students may also satisfy East High School’s graduation requirements during a period of time that is either accelerated or lengthened, based on their distinct learning needs. All students are expected to develop a Personal Learning Plan with assistance from counselors, teachers, and/or administrators that allows them to meet expected standards at the pace and with the support they need.

C. Multiple Pathways
East High School offers all students multiple learning options that allow students to demonstrate proficiency on expected learning standards, earn academic credit, and satisfy graduation requirements. East High School also encourages its students to explore a broad range of learning experiences, including outside-of-school options.

To pursue outside-of-school learning options, students must describe their learning experiences in a Personal Learning Plan, including how the experience satisfies both graduation requirements and expected cross-curricular and content-area standards.

Learning options may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Academic courses offered by the school
  2. Dual enrollment or early college courses
  3. Career and technical education programming
  4. Online or blended learning options
  5. Alternative or at-risk programming
  6. Apprenticeships, internships, field work, or exchange experiences
  7. Independent studies or long-term projects
  8. Adult education

D. Transfer Students
For students who transfer to East High School from another state, country, school, program, or home-schooling situation, including educational programs that are not aligned with East High School’s cross-curricular and content-area graduation standards, the Principal shall evaluate the value of the student’s prior educational experiences and determine to what degree the student has met the school’s graduation requirements. After enrolling in East High School, these students will need to satisfy all assessment, proficiency, and graduation requirements in the appropriate subject areas, as determined by the Principal. The Superintendent will ultimately determine whether these students are eligible to receive a diploma.

E. Home-Schooled Students
For home-schooled students wishing to receive a diploma from East High School, the Principal shall evaluate the value of the student’s prior educational experiences and determine to what degree the student has met the school’s graduation requirements. After enrolling in East High School, these students will need to satisfy all assessment, proficiency, and graduation requirements in the appropriate subject areas, as determined by the Principal. A home-schooled student must have attended East High School for a minimum of two (2) years or four (4) semesters to be eligible for a diploma.

F. Students Receiving Special-Education Services
Students who successfully meet East High School’s cross-curricular and content-area graduation standards, as specified in the goals and objectives of their Individualized Education Plans (IEP), will be awarded diplomas.

G. Delayed Awarding of Diplomas
If a student leaves high school to attend an accredited, degree-granting institution of higher education, the student may, upon satisfactory completion of the freshman year, be awarded a high school diploma, provided that the student has notified the Principal at the time of the early admission.

H. Extended Study
Students are eligible for extended years of study to complete the school’s graduation requirements if they have not reached the age of 20. Students eligible for extended years of study may be referred to adult education or other programs and resources.

I. Participation in Graduation Ceremony
A student must complete all Board requirements for a high school diploma to participate in graduation exercises.

Legal Reference
20-A M.R.S.A. Ch. 207-A § 4511, sub-§3 Accreditation Requirements (as revised 4/19/2016)
20-A M.R.S.A. Ch. 207-A § 4722-A Proficiency-Based Diploma Standards and Transcripts (as revised 4/19/2016)
20-A M.R.S.A. Ch. 207-A § 6209, sub-§3-A Transcripts (as revised 4/19/2016)
Ch. 127 § 7 (Me. Dept. of Ed. Rule) (as revised)

Cross References
IK: Assessment of Student Learning
IKA: Grading and Reporting System
IKC: Transcripts
IHCDA: Dual Enrollment and Early College
IKD: Academic Recognition
IKE: Promotion, Retention, and Acceleration
IKFF: Multiple Pathways

Approved: 00/00/0000

The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or adapt our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.

→ Download the District Policy Exemplar: Graduation Requirements (.doc)

Policy: IKFF

Western Mountains Regional School Unit No. 99

Multiple Pathways and Personalized Learning Plans

East High School offers students a variety of learning options that allow students to demonstrate proficiency on expected learning standards, earn academic credit, and satisfy graduation requirements.

East High School also encourages its students to explore a broad range of learning experiences, including outside-of-school options, that allow them to pursue personal interests and career aspirations, gain applied knowledge and skills, and build strong work habits and character traits. All students will create a Personalized Learning Plan intended to increase educational engagement and motivation, while increasing preparation for postsecondary education and careers.

A. Learning Options
East High School offers multiple learning options to students, including academic courses; career and technical education programming; online and blended learning experiences; dual-enrollment, concurrent-enrollment, and early college courses; alternative and at-risk programming, internship and exchange experiences, and adult education. Many of these options are detailed in the annual program of studies, and some are available to all students through the regular course registration and enrollment process.

B. Personal Learning Plans
In addition to the learning options offered by the school, students can work with advisors, counselors, and teachers to identify alternative courses, programs, or student-designed learning experiences, including independent studies and long-term projects, that engage their personal interests and ambitions, align with one or more learning standards, and meet East High School’s graduation requirements.

To pursue a personalized learning pathway, including outside-of-school learning options, students must describe their learning experiences in a Personal Learning Plan, including how the experience satisfies both graduation requirements and expected cross-curricular and content-area standards.

Outside-of-school learning options may or may not be entirely aligned with specific classroom-based courses, but they must enable students to achieve at least some of the performance indicators taught in a comparable classroom-based course. Some interdisciplinary pathway experiences may enable students to achieve performance indicators addressed in multiple content areas or classroom-based courses. The student’s Personal Learning Plan will detail how the personalized pathway options will enable the student to achieve expected performance indicators, graduation standards, and graduation requirements.

C. Approval, Certification, and Documentation
All learning options must be approved, reviewed, certified, and documented by administrators, teachers, and staff at East High School. Advisors, counselors, and/or teachers, working in collaboration with all participating outside instructors or supervisors, will certify that learning experiences culminate in the demonstration of proficiency on the graduation standards and performance indicators detailed in a student’s approved Personal Learning Plan.

To satisfy East High School graduation requirements, all learning options must (1) be approved in advance by the school and (2) be of an equal or higher rigor and quality as the school’s academic courses. If questions arise about the rigor, quality, or standards of a learning option, the Principal or a designee will make the ultimate determination.

Students who successfully complete an approved learning option will have the experience, and the resulting grade or performance level, reported on the student’s progress reports, report cards, and official East High School transcript.

Legal References
20-A M.R.S.A. Ch. 207-A § 4511, sub-§3 Accreditation Requirements (as revised 4/19/2016)
20-A M.R.S.A. Ch. 207-A § 4703 Instruction for Individual Students
20-A M.R.S.A. Ch. 207-A § 4722-A Proficiency-Based Diploma Standards and Transcripts (as revised 4/19/2016)

Cross References
IKA: Grading and Reporting System
IKC: Transcripts
IKF: Graduation Requirements

Approved: 00/00/0000

The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or adapt our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.

→ Download the District Policy Exemplar: Multiple Pathways (.doc)



Policy: IKD

Western Mountains Regional School Unit No. 99

Academic Recognition: Latin Honors and Grade Point Averages

To recognize high academic achievement as determined by students demonstrating proficiency in the school’s cross-curricular and content-area graduation standards, East High School uses a system of Latin honors and proficiency-based Grade Point Averages to award academic recognition and distinction. Using a system familiar to prospective colleges and universities, East High School does not rank order students based on relative performance, but awards Latin honors based on individual achievement as measured against consistently applied learning standards.

A. Latin Honors
The categories of academic distinction are as follows:

Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors)

Magna Cum Laude (with great honors)

Cum Laude (with honors)

B. Grade Point Averages
East High School will employ a consistent system of grading, scoring, and aggregating proficiency that will produce a rolling and cumulative Grade Point Average for each student. The Grade Point Average will be reported on the official East High School transcript and will be used to determine Latin honors in accordance with the following categories:

Summa Cum Laude: a minimum GPA of 3.9

Magna Cum Laude: a minimum GPA of 3.7

Cum Laude: a minimum GPA of 3.5

Legal Reference
None

Cross References
IKA: Grading and Reporting System
IKC: Transcripts

Approved: 00/00/0000

The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or adapt our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.

→ Download the District Policy Exemplar: Academic Recognition (.doc)

Policy: IKC

Western Mountains Regional School Unit No. 99

Transcripts

An official transcript is created and maintained for all students who attend East High School. To ensure that the transcript conveys a full and accurate picture of a student’s academic record and accomplishments, and that it can be accurately interpreted and understood by diverse external audiences, the following guidelines apply to all official transcripts issued by East High School:

  1. The names of courses, content areas, and other relevant information will be presented in full, not abbreviated.
  2. All learning experiences—whether they are classroom-based courses or approved learning pathway options, such as internships, dual-enrollment courses, or independent studies—will be clearly recorded by title and category type (e.g., course, internship, dual-enrollment, independent study, etc.).
  3. The student’s grade level when the course or learning experience was completed, and its duration (e.g., semester, year, or summer session), will be recorded.
  4. Summary grades and/or proficiency levels for specific courses and learning experiences will be recorded.
  5. The student’s cumulative proficiency-based Grade Point Average will be recorded alongside any Latin honors attained.
  6. The transcript will include a summary of proficiency levels achieved on East High School’s cross-curricular and content-area graduation standards.
  7. Additional academic and co-curricular accomplishments may be recorded, as appropriate, including test scores, significant awards and honors, or the title of the student’s capstone project.
  8. The transcript will include a summary explanation of the school’s grading system and graduation requirements.
  9. Selected student information will be recorded, including the student’s full name, date of enrollment, date of graduation, and other relevant, non-private information.
  10. Contact information for the school, principal, guidance counselor, and/or student advisor will be recorded.

Legal Reference
20-A M.R.S.A. Ch. 207-A § 4722-A Proficiency-Based Diploma Standards and Transcripts (as revised 4/19/2016)
20-A M.R.S.A. Ch. 207-A § 6209, sub-§3-A Transcripts (as revised 4/19/2016)

Cross References
IKA: Grading and Reporting System
IKD: Academic Recognition
IKF: Graduation Requirements

Approved: 00/00/0000

The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or adapt our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.

→ Download the District Policy Exemplar: Transcripts (.doc)
→ Download GSP’s Exemplar Transcript (.pdf)

Policy: IKA

Western Mountains Regional School Unit No. 99

Grading and Reporting System

The purpose of the Western Mountains Regional School Unit grading policy is to establish a set of guiding principles that all district educators will use to establish a system of grading that fairly, clearly, accurately, and consistently communicates student learning progress and achievement.

A. Communicating the Grading System
To ensure that every student and family has the information and resources they need to understand and appropriately plan a student’s educational decisions, our schools, educators, and staff will clearly and consistently communicate—prior to entering high school and throughout the student’s educational career—all important and relevant information related to the grading systems used in East High School.

The Superintendent, through the Principal or other designee, shall be responsible for ensuring that accurate, up-to-date information concerning the East High School grading system is (1) readily available to all incoming students and their families in the spring preceding the start of each school year, and (2) published on the district and high school websites. A detailed guide to grading and reporting practices will be disseminated to all incoming ninth-grade students and their families at the time of course selection. This policy will also be referenced in each edition of the student handbook and on the district and high school websites. As soon as it is practical and feasible, the Board expects the Superintendent or designee to inform all students and their families of any modifications made to the grading system.

B. Academic Grading
All grading and reporting practices at East High School will reflect the following design characteristics:

  1. The primary purpose of the grading system shall be to fairly, clearly, accurately, and consistently communicate learning progress and achievement to students, families, postsecondary institutions, potential employers, and other relevant stakeholders and audiences.
  2. The grading system shall be designed to ensure that students, families, teachers, counselors, advisors, and support specialists have the detailed information they need to make important decisions about a student’s education.
  3. The grading system will measure, report, and document student proficiency against a set of clearly defined cross-curricular and content-area graduation standards developed by the administration, faculty, and staff of East High School.
  4. The grading system will measure, report, and document academic progress and achievement separately from habits of work, character traits, and behaviors.
  5. The grading system will ensure consistency and fairness in the assessment of learning, and in the assignment of scores and proficiency levels, across students, teachers, assessments, learning experiences, content areas, and time.
  6. The grading system shall not be used as a form of punishment. 

C. Habits of Work Grading
All grading and reporting practices for habits of work, character traits, and behaviors at East High School will reflect the following design characteristics:

  1. The East High School administration, faculty, and staff will develop and apply a common set of Habits of Work standards, and related scoring criteria, that teachers will use to grade students on work habits, character traits, and/or behaviors.
  2. The Habits of Work grading system will measure, report, and document habits of work, character traits, and behaviors separately from academic progress and achievement. A student achieving a high level of academic proficiency may demonstrate a low level on Habits of Work proficiency, and vice versa.
  3. Habits of Work will be monitored over the duration of a learning experience and scores, as measured and determined using common assessment methods and scoring criteria, will be reported for each student at the end of a term or grading period.
  4. The Habits of Work grading system will ensure consistency and fairness in the assessment of work habits, and in the assignment of scores and proficiency levels, across students, teachers, assessments, course, learning experiences, content areas, and time.
  5. Habits of Work grades shall be communicated using the same performance levels used for academic reporting.
  6. Habits of Work grades shall not be used as a form of punishment.

D. Grading Assessments
East High School will employ a consistent system of grading that reports student learning progress and achievement across two aligned categories on a 4-point scale that aligns Proficiency Levels with Proficiency Descriptions.

Using rubrics and scoring guides, individual assessments will be scored in accordance with the following Proficiency Levels and Proficiency Descriptions:

Proficiency Levels Proficiency Descriptions
4.0 Exceeds Proficiency
3.5 Proficient
3.0 Proficient
2.5 Partially Proficient
2.0 Partially Proficient
1.0 Insufficient Evidence

E. Grading Courses and Learning Experiences
Aggregate proficiency scores on graduation standards shall be derived through a common and consistently applied process that is collaboratively developed by the administration, faculty, and staff at the school and approved by the Principal.

Aggregate Proficiency Levels and Proficiency Descriptions for (1) academic courses and other learning experiences defined in the district’s Multiple Learning Pathways policy and (2) student achievement of each graduation standard shall be rounded to a single decimal point and reported in accordance with the following categories:

Proficiency Levels Proficiency Descriptions
3.6–4.0 Exceeds Proficiency
3.0–3.5 Proficient
2.0–2.9 Partially Proficient
1.0–1.9 Insufficient Evidence

F. Changes to the Grading System
The school administration, faculty, and staff, under the leadership of the Principal, may modify the reporting system based on the evolving needs of students, teachers, families, and other stakeholders, but the Proficiency Levels shall remain fixed, and will continue to measure, report, and document student proficiency against a set of clearly defined and consistently applied cross-curricular and content-area standards.

G. Grade Point Average
East High School will employ a consistent system of grading, scoring, and aggregating proficiency that will produce a rolling and cumulative Grade Point Average for each student. The Grade Point Average will be reported on the official East High School transcript and will be used to determine Latin honors in accordance with the following categories of academic distinction described in the district Academic Recognition policy:

Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors): a minimum GPA of 3.9

Magna Cum Laude (with great honors): a minimum GPA of 3.7

Cum Laude (with honors): a minimum GPA of 3.5

Legal Reference
None

Cross References
IK: Assessment of Student Learning
IKC: Transcripts
IKD: Academic Recognition
IKFF: Multiple Pathways

Approved: 00/00/0000

The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or adapt our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.

→ Download the District Policy Exemplar: Grading and Reporting System (.doc)

Version A (Standards-Based GPA)

 There are two versions of the eligibility policy for districts to consider. Version A includes a standards-based GPA requirement, while Version B relies on course completion and demonstrated proficiency without the use of a GPA. Districts will need to determine which version is best suited to their policy goals and academic programs.

Policy: JJIC

Western Mountains Regional School Unit No. 99

Academic Eligibility: Athletic and Co-Curricular Participation

The Western Mountains Regional School District recognizes the vital contributions that athletics and co-curricular activities make to the academic, social, emotional, and personal development of our students, and the district strongly encourages all students to participate in the diverse athletic and co-curricular programs offered by East High School. Through their involvement in teams, clubs, and peer groups, students learn essential life skills, assume personal responsibility, strengthen character traits, acquire leadership abilities, and build lifelong relationships. Students who elect to play sports, participate in student governance, or join a school group, club, or team make a voluntary commitment to these pursuits and earn the privilege of representing their school and community.

Student participation in athletics and co-curricular activities is viewed as an integral component of the learning process, and for this reason our eligibility policy is intended to be motivational in design rather than disciplinary. Yet while interscholastic athletics and co-curricular activities complement and enhance the academic program, school attendance must remain focused, first and foremost, on learning the knowledge, skills, and habits of work that every graduate needs to succeed in adult life. The district’s eligibility policy for interscholastic athletics and co-curricular programs is designed to ensure that academic learning and achievement remain the top priority for every student.

NOTE: The breadth of school-sponsored activities covered by an academic eligibility policy varies from school district to school district. For this reason, districts may want to modify the language in this exemplar policy to specify which activities it will be applied to—e.g., interscholastic participation and competitions as opposed to school-based clubs and activities. 

A. Communicating Eligibility Guidelines and Requirements
The athletic administrator, under the direction of the principal, shall be responsible for ensuring that accurate, up-to-date information concerning the academic eligibility policy is communicated to coaches, activity advisors, teachers, students, parents, and the public. This information may be shared through the following: (1) published annually in the student and family handbook, (2) posted on the district and high school websites, (3) explained in the athletic code of conduct, and (4) discussed in relevant student and parent meetings offered throughout the school year.

As soon as it is practical and feasible, the Board expects the principal and athletic administrator to inform all students and their families of any modifications made to the district’s academic eligibility policy, which extends to all applicable changes in relevant state statutes, rules, or regulations.

B. Eligibility Guidelines
The following policy applies to all interscholastic athletics and co-curricular activities offered, organized, or sanctioned by the district, including:

1. Games, competitions, tournaments, scrimmages, performances, debates, and exhibitions;

2. Practice sessions, rehearsals, training opportunities, team meetings, club gatherings, or other planning and preparatory activities;

3. Tryouts, auditions, interviews, and other selective activities, such as campaigns and elections for student governance; and

4. Elected or appointed leadership roles, including team captaincies, student councils, student governance, or other student offices, such as participation on a school board or leadership committee.

By design, this policy complies with the eligibility policies and requirements for interscholastic athletics maintained by the Maine Principals’ Association and all applicable state statutes, rules, and regulations.

To be eligible for participation in interscholastic athletics and co-curricular activities, the student, during the preceding grading period, must have (a) been fully enrolled and is currently enrolled as a full-time student; (b) completed a minimum of five (5) courses and/or school-approved learning experiences—or an equivalent set of courses and learning experiences—leading to graduation; and (c) demonstrated proficiency on the school’s academic and habits-of-work standards. Proficiency toward graduation, as defined by state statute, must be demonstrated in the eight content areas and the Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results.

NOTE: Some district policies require students to complete a lower or higher number of courses or learning experiences than the minimum of five specified above. While a minimum of four courses or learning experiences is recommended in many policies, district leaders should determine minimum course-completion requirements based on the design and instructional goals of the academic program.

Eligibility for fall athletics and co-curricular activities will be based on demonstrated academic performance during the fourth quarter of the preceding academic year. In accordance with the Maine Principals’ Association policy, incoming ninth-grade students are exempt from fourth-quarter eligibility requirements.

All students who have earned a standards-based grade-point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher on both academic and habits-of-work standards during the preceding grading period will be considered eligible to participate in the interscholastic athletics and co-curricular activities offered by East High School.

NOTE: Districts may consider increasing the minimum GPA to 3.0 (proficient) for eligibility in fall athletics and co-curricular activities, given that students are expected to have demonstrated academic proficiency by the end of a given school year.

For those students who did not achieve a GPA of 2.5 or higher during the preceding grading period, the student must meet at least two (2) of the following criteria in all current courses or learning experiences to be considered academically eligible:

1. The student is demonstrating proficiency on a majority of the academic standards.

2. The student is demonstrating proficiency on a majority of the habits-of-work standards.

NOTE: Some districts prefer to base eligibility strictly on academic measures of performance, while others choose to integrate habits-of-work standards into eligibility considerations. Based on local needs, preferences, or instructional goals, districts can modify policies to either integrate or exclude non-academic considerations.

3. The student is participating in an intervention program—which includes all applicable in-school, out-of-school, and vacation intervention programs, including summer school—designed to get the student on track to demonstrating proficiency on all expected standards by the end of a course, learning experience, or grade level.

NOTE: Research indicates that participation in athletics and co-curricular activities not only increases student engagement in school, but also increases the chances that a student will persist and earn a diploma. For this reason, the Great Schools Partnership encourages districts to create policies that use academic eligibility as a motivational incentive rather than a punishment. District leaders will need to determine how strict their eligibility policies will be, and to what degree the policies will either promote or decrease athletic and co-curricular participation.

C. Academic Probation and Intervention Process
Students who are determined to be ineligible shall be placed on academic probation and offered intervention assistance. The district believes that students on academic probation should be given (1) multiple opportunities to meet academic eligibility requirements in ways that address the student’s distinct learning needs and (2) multiple intervention options that allow for an accelerated reinstatement of eligibility if the student is able to demonstrate significant and measurable progress toward proficiency.

All students placed on academic probation will be required to develop—in collaboration with appropriate teachers, advisors, counselors, coaches, and/or parents or guardians—a personalized intervention plan. The intervention plan will be submitted to the athletic administrator and a designated school administrator or intervention coordinator for review and approval when the student is placed on probation.

The ineligible student will be given three weeks to demonstrate progress and satisfy the eligibility criteria described above. During this period, the student will be allowed to participate in practice sessions, team meetings, club gatherings, rehearsals, tryouts, auditions, and other similar activities, but the student will not be allowed to participate in games, competitions, tournaments, scrimmages, performances, debates, and exhibitions during which the student would be officially representing the school. During the initial three-week probationary period, students may attend games or performances, but they are not allowed to dress in official school uniforms (with the exception of any safety equipment that may be required).

If the student satisfies the eligibility criteria during the probationary period, the student will be reinstated for full participation in athletics and co-curricular activities at the end of the three-week period.

If a student continues to be ineligible at the end of the probationary period, the student will continue to follow the designated intervention program. During this extended probationary period, the student will not be allowed to participate in any athletic or co-curricular activities, including any scheduled trips with a school team, club, or group. Academic eligibility status will be evaluated every two weeks by a district or school staff member designated in the intervention plan, who will evaluate academic progress and determine whether eligibility status should be reinstated.

D. Students Requiring Special Services
For students identified for special services, the student’s individualized education program (IEP) will be used to determine academic eligibility. Guidelines for determining eligibility will be implemented by school administrators and subject to review by the superintendent.

E. Transfer Students
For students who transfer into the district, academic eligibility will be determined by the principal and athletic administrator and will be based on the last reported grades earned during the previous grading period at the student’s sending school.

Cross References
IKF: Graduation Requirements
IKA: Grading and Reporting System

Approved: 00/00/0000

→ Download the District Policy Exemplar: Academic Eligibility for Athletic and Co-Curricular Participation (Version A) (.doc)

 

Version B (Course Completion – No GPA)

 There are two versions of the eligibility policy for districts to consider. Version A includes a standards-based GPA requirement, while Version B relies on course completion and demonstrated proficiency without the use of a GPA. Districts will need to determine which version is best suited to their policy goals and academic programs.

Policy: JJIC

Western Mountains Regional School Unit No. 99
East High School

Academic Eligibility: Athletic and Co-Curricular Participation

The Western Mountains Regional School District recognizes the vital contributions that athletics and co-curricular activities make to the academic, social, emotional, and personal development of our students, and the district strongly encourages all students to participate in the diverse athletic and co-curricular programs offered by East High School. Through their involvement in teams, clubs, and peer groups, students learn essential life skills, assume personal responsibility, strengthen character traits, acquire leadership abilities, and build lifelong relationships. Students who elect to play sports, participate in student governance, or join a school group, club, or team make a voluntary commitment to these pursuits and earn the privilege of representing their school and community.

Student participation in athletics and co-curricular activities is viewed as an integral component of the learning process, and for this reason our eligibility policy is intended to be motivational in design rather than disciplinary. Yet while interscholastic athletics and co-curricular activities complement and enhance the academic program, school attendance must remain focused, first and foremost, on learning the knowledge, skills, and habits of work that every graduate needs to succeed in adult life. The district’s eligibility policy for interscholastic athletics and co-curricular programs is designed to ensure that academic learning and achievement remain the top priority for every student.

NOTE: The breadth of school-sponsored activities covered by an academic eligibility policy varies from school district to school district. For this reason, districts may want to modify the language in this exemplar policy to specify which activities it will be applied to—e.g., interscholastic participation and competitions as opposed to school-based clubs and activities. 

A. Communicating Eligibility Guidelines and Requirements
The athletic administrator, under the direction of the principal, shall be responsible for ensuring that accurate, up-to-date information concerning the academic eligibility policy is communicated to coaches, activity advisors, teachers, students, parents, and the public. This information may be shared through the following: (1) published annually in the student and family handbook, (2) posted on the district and high school websites, (3) explained in the athletic code of conduct, and (4) discussed in relevant student and parent meetings offered throughout the school year.

As soon as it is practical and feasible, the Board expects the principal and athletic administrator to inform all students and their families of any modifications made to the district’s academic eligibility policy, which extends to all applicable changes in relevant state statutes, rules, or regulations.

B. Eligibility Guidelines
The following policy and requirements apply to all interscholastic athletics and co-curricular activities offered, organized, or sanctioned by the district, including:

1. Games, competitions, tournaments, scrimmages, performances, debates, and exhibitions;

2. Practice sessions, rehearsals, training opportunities, team meetings, club gatherings, or other planning and preparatory activities;

3. Tryouts, auditions, interviews, and other selective activities, such as campaigns and elections for student governance; and

4. Elected or appointed leadership roles, including team captaincies, student councils, student governance, or other student offices, such as participation on a school board or leadership committee.

By design, this eligibility policy complies with the eligibility policies and requirements for interscholastic athletics maintained by the Maine Principals’ Association and all applicable state statutes, rules, and regulations.

To be eligible for participation in interscholastic athletics and co-curricular activities, the student, during the preceding grading period, must have (a) been fully enrolled and is currently enrolled as a full-time student; (b) completed a minimum of five (5) courses and/or school-approved learning experiences—or an equivalent set of courses and learning experiences—leading to graduation; and (c) demonstrated proficiency on the school’s academic and habits-of-work standards. Proficiency toward graduation, as defined by state statute, must be demonstrated in the eight content areas and the Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results.

NOTE: Some district policies require students to complete a lower or higher number of courses or learning experiences than the minimum of five specified above. While a minimum of four courses or learning experiences is recommended in many policies, district leaders should determine minimum course-completion requirements based on the design and instructional goals of the academic program.

Eligibility for fall athletics and co-curricular activities will be based on demonstrated academic performance during the fourth quarter of the previous academic year. In accordance with the Maine Principals’ Association policy, incoming ninth-grade students are exempt from fourth-quarter eligibility requirements.

For those students who did not meet eligibility requirements during the preceding grading period, the student must meet at least two (2) of the following criteria in all current courses or learning experiences to be considered academically eligible:

1. The student is demonstrating proficiency on a majority of the academic standards.

2. The student is demonstrating proficiency on a majority of the habits-of-work standards.

NOTE: Some districts prefer to base eligibility strictly on academic measures of performance, while others choose to integrate habits-of-work standards into eligibility considerations. Based on local needs, preferences, or instructional goals, districts can modify policies to either integrate or exclude non-academic considerations.

3. The student is participating in an intervention program—which includes all applicable in-school, out-of-school, and vacation intervention programs, including summer school—designed to get the student on track to demonstrating proficiency on all expected standards by the end of a course, learning experience, or grade level.

NOTE: Research indicates that participation in athletics and co-curricular activities not only increases student engagement in school, but also increases the chances that a student will persist and earn a diploma. For this reason, the Great Schools Partnership encourages districts to create policies that use academic eligibility as a motivational incentive rather than a punishment. District leaders will need to determine how strict their eligibility policies will be, and to what degree the policies will either promote or decrease athletic and co-curricular participation.

C. Academic Probation and Intervention Process
Students who are determined to be ineligible shall be placed on academic probation and offered intervention assistance. The district believes that students on academic probation should be given (1) multiple opportunities to meet academic eligibility requirements in ways that address the student’s distinct learning needs and (2) multiple intervention options that allow for an accelerated reinstatement of eligibility if the student is able to demonstrate significant and measurable progress toward proficiency.

All students placed on academic probation will be required to develop—in collaboration with appropriate teachers, advisors, counselors, coaches, and/or parents or guardians—a personalized intervention plan. The intervention plan will be submitted to the athletic administrator and a designated school administrator or intervention coordinator for review and approval when the student is placed on probation.

The ineligible student will be given three weeks to demonstrate progress and satisfy the eligibility criteria described above. During this period, the student will be allowed to participate in practice sessions, team meetings, club gatherings, rehearsals, tryouts, auditions, and other similar activities, but the student will not be allowed to participate in games, competitions, tournaments, scrimmages, performances, debates, and exhibitions during which the student would be officially representing the school. During the initial three-week probationary period, students may attend games or performances, but they are shall not allowed to dress in official school uniforms (with the exception of any safety equipment that may be required).

If the student satisfies the eligibility criteria during the probationary period, the student will be reinstated for full participation in athletics and co-curricular activities at the end of the three-week period.

If a student continues to be ineligible at the end of the probationary period, the student will continue to follow the designated intervention program. During this extended probationary period, the student will not be allowed to participate in any athletic or co-curricular activities, including any scheduled trips with a school team, club, or group. Academic eligibility status will be evaluated every two weeks by a district or school staff member designated in the intervention plan, who will evaluate academic progress and determine whether eligibility status should be reinstated.

D. Students Requiring Special Services
For students identified for special services, the student’s individualized education program (IEP) will be used to determine academic eligibility. Guidelines for determining eligibility will be implemented by school administrators and subject to review by the superintendent.

E. Transfer Students
For students who transfer into the district, academic eligibility will be determined by the principal and athletic administrator and will be based on the last reported grades earned during the previous grading period at the student’s sending school.

Cross References
IKF: Graduation Requirements
IKA: Grading and Reporting System

Approved: 00/00/0000

→ Download the District Policy Exemplar: Academic Eligibility for Athletic and Co-Curricular Participation (Version B) (.doc)

The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or adapt our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.

Policy: IKE

 

Western Mountains Regional School Unit No. 99

Academic Support: Interventions and Extensions

Providing appropriate academic support is essential to the success of every student in our schools. The District is committed to ensuring that administrators, teachers, support specialists, and other staff members assume responsibility for providing the support each student needs to succeed academically. Academic support should be available to all students regardless of whether their parents request additional support or whether state and federal policies (e.g., Title I, IEPs, 504 plans, English-language support) obligate the school to provide supplemental services.

Academic support entails a variety of instructional methods, educational services, and school resources that help students accelerate skill acquisition and learning progress, meet expected school requirements and learning standards, and succeed in their education. In practice, academic support encompasses a broad array of educational strategies, including strategies such as alternative ways of grouping or instructing students, faculty and volunteer advisories, college and career services, tutoring and mentoring programs, supplemental courses and instructional opportunities, summer and vacation-break programs, afterschool and off-site learning programs, and dual-enrollment and early college courses.

The Board believes that academic support must be a fundamental component of all effective schools. This policy is designed to ensure that learning is personalized and that access to high-quality academic support is made available to all students in grades pre-K–12 by teachers, support specialists, and other staff members. In both design and practice, support systems must be integrated into the academic program and daily classroom instruction, and support strategies should be flexible, timely, and responsive to the intensity, length, and manner of support each student needs to succeed.

For teachers, providing academic support to students is part of their daily professional responsibilities, and each school in the District shall create the necessary conditions that allow teachers to provide necessary academic support. The Board recognizes that comprehensive professional-development opportunities and job-embedded professional learning for all teachers, at all levels, is needed to ensure that our schools have effective academic-support systems in place for all students.

A. Extensions
Extensions are academic support strategies that accelerate and enrich learning opportunities for students. Extensions are applied when students have demonstrated or exceeded proficiency on required standards and are prepared to take on new academic, intellectual, and experiential challenges. Extensions must be accessible to all students, and all teachers are expected to integrate extension options into courses, learning experiences, and classroom instruction. Extensions may vary in rigor, intensity, and duration, based on individual student needs, and for some students extensions may include learning opportunities offered by individuals, organizations, and institutions outside of the school or classroom.

B. Interventions
Interventions are academic support strategies that provide remediation, peer or adult support, and extra time for learning, practice, guided instruction, or work revision and improvement. Interventions are applied when students have not yet demonstrated proficiency or are struggling to meet proficiency standards. Interventions must be accessible to all students, and all teachers are expected to integrate intervention strategies into courses, learning experiences, and classroom instruction. Interventions may vary in rigor, intensity, and duration, based on individual student needs, and for some students interventions may include learning opportunities outside of the school or classroom.

C. Implementation of Academic Support
Each school in the district will articulate a system of academic support—i.e., interventions, extensions, and advising—that will be provided or available to all students. Schools will specify how the academic support system will be monitored and evaluated, what professional development the faculty and staff will need to deliver effective academic support, and how support options will be clearly and regularly communicated to all students, parents, guardians, and families.

D. Examples of Academic Support
While the design and purpose of academic-support systems will vary from school to school, the support system may include, but is not limited to, the following examples:

  1. Classroom-based strategies: Teachers continually monitor student performance and learning needs, and then adjust how and what they teach to improve student learning.
  2. Flexible groupings: Teachers in a subject-area, grade-level, or grade-span team group, regroup, or exchange students to provide targeted instruction to learners with different needs.
  3. School-based strategies: Schools create academic-support opportunities during the school day, such as learning labs or peer-tutoring programs, to increase the instructional time that underperforming students receive. Supplemental support opportunities also offer more varied curriculum and instructional options designed to address the distinct learning needs of students.
  4. Outside-of-school strategies: Early college, dual-enrollment, and concurrent-enrollment courses offer students college-level learning experiences and first-hand exposure to collegiate life. Other outside-of-school strategies such as independent research projects; internships with local businesses, nonprofits, and community groups; and volunteer experiences and service-learning programs can help student meet academic standards while also promoting higher aspirations, improving civic literacy, and developing higher-order thinking, problem-solving abilities, skill application, and knowledge transfer.
  5. Extended-hours strategies: Schools provide after-school or before-school programs, within the school building, that provide students with tutoring, mentoring, or assistance preparing for class or acquiring study skills.
  6. Vacation-break strategies: Summer school, summer bridge programs, and intensive, short-term projects help students catch up academically, meet grade-promotion requirements, or increase preparation for the next grade. Support programs and learning opportunities may be provided during the summer session or shorter vacation breaks.
  7. Technology-assisted strategies: Digital and online learning applications, such as virtual courses, visual simulations, or game-based learning, can help students grasp difficult concepts, fill gaps in existing curricula, or augment and enhance existing courses and learning opportunities.
  8. Skill-based support: Specialized services focused on deficits in literacy, math, or language proficiency, for example, provide students with targeted instruction, practice, and guidance in specific learning areas. Skill-based support may be integrated into regular classes, provided during the school day, or offered after regular school hours.

NOTE: Most schools offer some form of academic support, interventions, and extensions, but the range of opportunities is often limited. In a proficiency-based system, however, schools need to provide more diverse and intensive support opportunities to students. In local policy, districts may wish to articulate and specify the support systems, interventions, and extensions that exist. 

E. Evaluation of Academic Support
The Board expects that the administration in the district office and in each school will periodically evaluate the effectiveness of academic support, interventions, and extensions in the schools using both qualitative and quantitative measures. The administration will make recommendations for modification and/or expansion as needed.

Legal Reference
None

Cross References
IKA: Grading and Reporting System
IKC: Transcripts
IKF: Graduation Requirements

Approved: 00/00/0000

→ Download the District Policy: Academic Support (.doc)

The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or adapt our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.

 

Creative Commons License
Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified by Great Schools Partnership is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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