New Hampshire’s Competency-Based Performance Standards

The Framework for Proficiency-Based Learning is designed to help schools create efficient and effective systems that will ensure all students graduate prepared to succeed in the college, careers, and communities of the 21st century. For this reason, our model is focused on prioritizing and assessing the most critically important knowledge and skills, while also balancing high academic standards with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity in the classroom.

For proficiency-based learning to be effective, schools and teachers have to prioritize. They will need to determine what knowledge and skills students absolutely need to acquire before they graduate from high school, what content knowledge students need to learn in each subject area, and what essential benchmarks students need to meet as they progress through their education.

New Hampshire’s Curriculum Frameworks, Course-Level Competencies, and Competency-Based Performance Standards (adopted 2003) describe what high school graduates should know and be able to do as a result of completing a K–12 educational experience. Cross-curricular skills are embedded throughout the course-level competencies. The Competency-Based Performance Standards describe the cross-curricular, skill-based standards students are expected to learn and acquire over the course of their high school education.


Ability to Work with Others
Proficiency in Ability to Work with Others means that the student will work effectively with others, including people from diverse backgrounds, and contribute to group efforts by sharing ideas, suggestions, and workloads. The student proficient in the ability to work with others will demonstrate the ability to:

Grades 9–10

  1. Demonstrate individual strengths in group tasks.
  2. Demonstrate respect for cultural and individual differences.
  3. Demonstrate a variety of roles and responsibilities while working with others.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of group skills: listening, brainstorming, clarifying information, showing initiative, acknowledging contributions, defining group tasks, and responding positively to constructive feedback.
  5. Demonstrate skills in recognizing conflict and applying conflict management skills as needed.

Grade 11–12

  1. Apply her/his individual strengths to enhance a group’s performance.
  2. Assume responsibilities within a group.
  3. Demonstrate the use of group skills in a way that enhances a group’s performance.

Communication Skills
Proficiency in Communication Skills means that the student will use a variety of methods, including writing, speaking and discussing, visual aides or video/audio representations, appropriate to the purpose and audience, to communicate effectively.

Grades 9–10

  1. Develop a topic.
  2. Include details to support a main point.
  3. Use appropriate grammar, sentence structure, and vocabulary for clarity and effectiveness.
  4. Organize writing and/or presentation materials.
  5. Use constructive feedback to improve skill.
  6. Participate in discussion and conversation by listening, entering in, taking turns, responding to other’s remarks, asking questions, summarizing, and closing, as appropriate to the given context.
  7. Support her/his ideas in a public forum using the appropriate visual/audio aids.

Grade 11–12

  1. Select and use the appropriate media and method(s) to communicate the subject effectively.
  2. Adapt writing, speaking, and/or visual representations effectively to a particular audience.
  3. Respond appropriately to verbal and non-verbal cues from the audience.

Decision Making and Problem Solving
Proficiency in Decision Making and Problem Solving means that the student will make developmentally appropriate decisions and will use problem solving strategies to investigate information and gain understanding in a variety of settings.

Grades 9–10

  1. Outline issues involved in a situation, problem, or challenge.
  2. Determine, collect, and organize necessary information.
  3. Identify possible solution(s).
  4. Compare and analyze the pros and cons of the possible solution(s).
  5. Develop and test strategies or options that might work.
  6. Provide examples of the strategies or options tested or tried.
  7. Through teamwork, arrive at a decision or determine a solution that is well suited to the task.

Grade 11–12

  1. Independently arrive at a decision or determine a solution that is well suited to the task.
  2. Communicate, in a clear format, how the solution was formed.
  3. Justify or describe how and why a particular solution option was chosen.

Information Use (Technology, Research, Analysis)
Proficiency in Information Use means that the student will use information-gathering techniques in collecting, analyzing, organizing, and presenting information.

Grades 9–10

  1. Show use of a plan for gathering information.
  2. Gather information from a variety of sources, using a variety of technologies.
  3. Use sources that are current and appropriate to the topic.
  4. Evaluate sources for correct and trustworthy information.
  5. Document sources of information appropriately.
  6. Use a filing/organization system for information, such as notebook, disk, etc.
  7. Develop a clear and useful outline.
  8. Develop a topic from thesis statement to conclusion.
  9. Use an appropriate amount and type of evidence to support thesis.

Grade 11–12

  1. Justify the use of a particular organizational system for a particular product.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between thesis, supporting evidence, and conclusion.
  3. Effectively present a thesis, supporting evidence, and conclusion using writing, speaking/discussing, and audio/visual aids.
  4. Target presentation to the audience.

Proficiency in Self-Management means that the student will demonstrate individual qualities such as responsibility, the ability to manage one’s time and conduct, integrity, respect for self and others, flexibility, confidence, and a willingness to explore.

Grades 9–10

  1. Adhere to regulations in school, classroom, and everyday settings.
  2. Demonstrate consistency, dependability, and verbal positive-ness with others.
  3. Ask questions and listen to others.
  4. Keep track of assignments and/or responsibilities.
  5. Have work done on time.
  6. Follow through on commitments.
  7. Respond positively to constructive feedback.
  8. Show respect for others and their points of view.

Grade 11–12

  1. Set individual goals and document progress toward achieving those goals.
  2. Take initiative to pursue learning.
  3. Adapt as necessary to create a positive outcome for self and others.
  4. Advocate appropriately for her/him self.

Download New Hampshire’s Competency-Based Performance Standards (.pdf)

← Return to PBL Tool Menu

Wednesday, January 27

Discovery Session—
Elements of Effective Instruction: Fostering Student Engagement in Remote and Hybrid Learning

  • 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
  • Online Zoom Meeting

Featured Upcoming Event