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Aurora Institute

Competency Education at iNACOL18

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

Issue(s): Issues in Practice, Learn Lessons from the Field

Are you heading to Nashville? Here is a sampling of sessions on competency-based education (and there are definitely a lot of other great ones to choose from!). If you aren’t going, this can give you a sense of how the field is moving along, show you the knowledge that is being developed, and highlight possible people for you to contact along the way if you need a thought partner. I’ve added some links to sessions led by people with experience making the transition in schools and districts – you’ll get even more out of the sessions if you do some pre-reads about their districts. (FYI – some of the great CBE sessions are tagged as personalized learning.)

Where Not to Start When Implementing Personalized Competency-Based Education: Learning from Our Mistakes and Understanding the Steps for Success with Doug Finn, Marzano Research Lab

Sometimes you wish there was a reset button on implementing personalized, competency-based education (PCBE). Implementation of PCBE follows a certain framework, which we will review, but the specific details for each school or district can be extremely unique.

Performance-Based Education in the Last Frontier: Chugach School District’s Journey in Meeting the Needs of All Students with Mike Hanley and Deborah Treece from Chugach School District

The transformation of an educational system from one of the lowest performing in the state, to exceeding state results in spite of the challenges of poverty, transportation, and extreme geographic locations: Chugach School District’s Performance-Based Education Model began in 1994 to support student success. From PK-12 one-building sites, to meeting the needs of homeschool students and families throughout Alaska, Chugach School District’s continuous improvement cycle incorporates the ongoing journey of student ownership and success in life.

Blair Elementary Personalized Learning Journey Putting Theory into Practice: Strategies in Closing the Opportunity Gaps with Equity for All Learners with Aida Cruz-Farin, Waukesha School District, Wisconsin

Gain insight in learning and hear specific strategies that build teacher leaders through the personalized learning lens. Learn about how Blair Elementary is implemented theory into action and what has worked and what are some next steps in the journey. Gain ideas on how to develop a strong culture and build a strong school identity that starts with the students as learners inspires student agency starting at Kindergarten all the way to 5th grade and will develop lifelong learners well beyond.

Design Thinking as a Pathway in Competency-Based Education with Lela Kraeuter, Amy Shepherd-Fowler from D51, Colorado

In this interactive workshop, professionals will identify leverageable actions based upon the design thinking process as well as the personalized learning matrix to implement site-based pathways to competency-based education. We will present our own journey as a school who uses design thinking to elicit student agency and personalized approaches to learning. Presenters will use an adapted Stanford d. School Design Thinking Model as it relates to service learning. Additionally, participants will learn the five steps in this process and how each can be used or adapted for each schoolwide plan.

Building Understanding of Competency Education and Changing Grading Practices with Thomas Gaffey, Building 21

Are competencies and standards the same? How do you assess competencies? Why do we create rubrics and convert them to points? Should measurement of learning be punitive? In this session, we will dive deep into these questions by providing an alternative approach to traditional grading. Through a series of activities, participants will engage with the Learning What Matters competency model and leave the session with a fresh perspective on how three Pennsylvania urban district schools assess students.

Achieving Competency-Based Education through Personalized Learning with a team from Rochester School District, New Hampshire

Does Competency-Based Education (CBE) seem daunting to implement, like too far of a leap for your schools? During this seminar, we’ll share how Rochester School Department harnessed personalized learning to pave a pathway for a meaningful and effective implementation of a ‘move on when ready’ competency model.

Using Dynamic Data to Create Successful Competency-Based Schools with Kevin Erickson, Kettle Moraine, Wisconsin

How does progress-monitoring look in a competency-based system? What data might we use to determine how both students and teachers are performing in the system, and how can we use that data to build a culture of trust amongst staff and students. For the past seven years, Kettle Moraine School for Arts and Performance has developed a transparent data model to make decisions about staffing, student success and feedback. During the first half of the session, we will examine how this data has built a culture of self reflection, interdependence and improvement. The second half will be a focused on sharing audience ideas and best practices from their own experiences.

Systemic Implementation of Competency-Based Learning – Lessons Learned from Over 10 Years of Experience with a team from Westminster Public Schools, Colorado

This session will focus mainly on the school principal perspective of leading ten years of personalized, competency-based education (PCBE) in a diverse community. Principals will share successes and challenges of implementing PCBE and leading systemic change, while sharing key tools and resources.

An Idaho Mastery Education Quest: Using Microscope and Telescope Views To Explore Learner-Centered Classrooms & Systems with Kelly Brady, Marita Diffenbaugh

Join us for a time of deep discussion as we navigate through an Idaho Mastery Education Quest that will focus on how to support learner-centered education. Participants will explore resources that will offer mastery learning strategies for classrooms and strategic planning guidance for district and state levels. Together, we will examine school system and classroom success indicators that support implementation and change management of mastery education. As we travel through microscope views and telescope views of mastery education implementation, we will provide lessons learned from our recent Idaho Mastery Education Recommendation to Implementation Study of 72 focus groups that included students, teachers and school leaders, and parents. At the conclusion of this learning quest, participants will have collected mastery education implementation treasures to take back to their learning environments.