DIXFIELD — Within the next few years, students from Mountain Valley, Dirigo and Buckfield Junior-Senior high schools will get report cards that state whether they met specific performance standards in English language arts, math, science and technology.
Gloria Jenkins, assistant superintendent and curriculum coordinator, together with the Mountain Valley High School Principal Matt Gilbert, Dirigo High School Principal Mike Poulin and Buckfield Junior-Senior High School George Reuter explained at Monday's RSU 10 board meeting the progress being made toward a performance-based diploma.
“We are working with neighboring districts, the state and the Western Maine Education Collaborative to meet the Proficiency Based Diploma Law,” Superintendent Craig King said.
All school districts in Maine are mandated to begin presenting these diplomas by 2018. Jenkins said committees and teams have been formed to work toward that goal.
Performance-based learning had been called mass customized learning until this year. It involves creating methods for each student to meet the standards.
“Each student may have a different path to meet the goal,” Gilbert said.
He said the thinking behind performance-based learning is not new, since pieces of it are included in other documents that set policy for the schools, such as the mission statement, service learning and other requirements.
“The new stuff is multiple pathways. For example, Eagle Scout projects. (The skills learned) have always been outside of school. Maybe some should be part of the student’s requirements,” he said.
Reuter said the state has provided RSU 10 with just over $30,000 to help put the program in place.
Jenkins said educating parents on the changes to come also must begin soon.
Next school year’s eighth-graders will be the first to be assessed under the new system.
King said education and earning a diploma will no longer be based on credits, “but, can the student do a task that meets proficiency.”