FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 directors learned Tuesday, Dec. 13 of plans to follow up on actions taken by the district regarding proficiency-based education following a community forum in August.

Proficiency-based education is an academic instruction, assessment, grading and reporting system that requires students to demonstrate they have mastered a defined set of skills before moving on to the next set.

Nearly 100 people attended the forum, which included discussion groups and a question-and-answer session with a panel of education administrators and college admissions representatives.

In 2012, a state law established graduation standards based on students’ proficiency. The law went into effect in 2017, affecting last year’s freshmen.

On July 22, the law was repealed to allow school administrative units to choose between continuing proficiency-based learning or traditional grading requirements.

Following the forum, directors voted to create a grading system that would reflect both traditional and proficiency-based assessment scores.

Traditional assessments are based on a scale, typically 0-50 or 0-100. Proficiency-based assessments are reported on a 1-4 grade; 1 for not proficient, 2 for partially proficient, 3 for proficient and 4 for exceeding proficiency.

Director Iris Silverstein of Farmington told directors Tuesday the Education Policy Committee discussed the follow-up plans at its last meeting, which was held on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Silverstein is the chairman of the committee.

“The administration is going to prepare a fact sheet which will include the actions taken following the forum,” Silverstein said. The fact sheet will be distributed throughout the schools and communities once it is complete.

“In early January, there will be a survey for staff, students, parents and community members regarding their experience following the actions that were taken to make the proficiency-based education more accessible, and relating to where the rubrics were being used and whether there were opportunities for grading on the 4-point scale,” she said.

“There will be a follow-up forum in late January or early February,” she added. “The idea would be for commenting on actions we have already taken.”

The education policy will meet in early January to provide input to survey questions, Silverstein said.


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