When leaders in the world outside of high school are asked what they value most in young people entering college or the workplace, they talk about leadership, teamwork, communication, problem solving, and work ethic. A "competency-based" system emphasizes the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in college, career, and the community. We call those skills and knowledge "competencies." All students need to show that they have met a high level of performance in competencies in order to pass classes and graduate. In addition, competencies are defined in a way that allow students to excel in areas of strength and interest.
LYNX students at Frederick High School have multiple pathways and opportunities to learn and demonstrate competencies, including structured classroom instruction, Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) and Experiential Learning with LYNX partners.
Clear Outcomes. Teachers instruct students about the standards that students are expected to learn and provide them with success criteria in the form of grading rubrics. Students are able to ask questions and discuss success criteria and rubrics with teachers so that they are confident that they understand the outcomes of their learning and can be successful.
Formative Assignments. Students complete formative (practice) assignments and have choice in how they demonstrate their learning. The teacher uses the formative assignments to personalize learning and determine the supports students need to work toward proficiency prior to beginning the summative assignment.
The Feedback Process. Teachers provide students with timely feedback based on formative assignments to help improve proficiency of standards. Students use that feedback and access academic supports, such as Advocacy or Learning Lab, to improve their work. Cycles of feedback may be needed to ensure student success.
Summative Assignments. Students complete summative assignments of varying length and type in order for students to demonstrate proficiency of standards.
Reassessment. Students are encouraged to reassess components of the summative assignment that do not demonstrate mastery of learning standards. Teachers offer opportunities to re-learn material before re-assessing. Scores in Schoology reflect the entire learning process.
To achieve our goal of personalized learning for all students, Frederick County Public Schools is working with Great Schools Partnership to transition to competency-based education at Frederick High School.