Planning for Proficiency: A Guide for Maine School Leaders

Why We Developed This Guide

This Guide was developed to offer strategies and activities to successfully complete the essential steps in planning and implementing a proficiency-based learning system in your high school. This series of info briefs outlines key issues and strategies districts and schools should address to successfully implement proficiency-based learning.

The Great Schools Partnership and its professional staff support proficiency-based learning in Maine and beyond, including all New England states, Florida, Georgia, Colorado, California, Maryland, and Illinois. From our many years in diverse school settings, we’ve distilled the foundational steps needed to implement a high-quality proficiency-based system. Further, we’ve worked with schools to address issues ranging from school transcripts to data management systems to quality instruction. This Guide provides links to free resources developed by Great Schools Partnership staff and tested in hundreds of schools. We are confident that these resources will be useful for your work.

We know there is no one particular pathway to implementation, as each district is unique, but given essential steps to follow, supported by practical suggestions and quality resources, districts can build a local model that is equitable, personalized, and rigorous for all students. 

The steps we recommend and the resources we provide are grounded in the Framework for Proficiency-Based Learning PBL we have created and assume a general level of familiarity with it.


Briefing TitleRelease Date
Steps to Proficiency: In this brief, we outline the ten steps districts can follow to implement proficiency-based learning in their schoolsJanuary 31, 2017
Assessing Multiple Pathways: Recognizing Student Learning in Career and Technical Education Programs and Other ExperiencesFebruary 7, 2017
Transfer Students: Assessing and Recognizing the Prior Learning of
Transfer Students
February 14, 2017
Ensuring Success for Students With DisabilitiesFebruary 21, 2017
Verification of Performance IndicatorsFebruary 28, 2017
Verification of Graduation StandardsMarch 7, 2017
Assessing Maine’s Guiding PrinciplesMarch 14, 2017
The Report Card: Communicating Student Learning in Proficiency-Based SystemMarch 21, 2017
Revising the High School Transcript March 28, 2017
District Policy ConsiderationsRevising local policy to support a proficiency-based learning system April 4, 2017
Planning Backward: Unit Design in a Proficiency-Based Learning SystemApril 11, 2017
Communication and Community EngagementApril 18, 2017
Selecting a Learning Management SystemApril 25, 2017

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