PBE Frequently Asked Questions

Proficiency-Based Learning FAQ's

Winthrop High School


Graduating Class of 2018

  1. Why has Winthrop High School adopted Proficiency Based Education? Maine Law requires a Proficiency Based Education diploma beginning with the graduating class of 2018.
  2. Will every school k-12 in the district eventually be Proficiency Based? Winthrop Public Schools is working toward Proficiency Based system in every school over the next few years.
  3. Is it true that only this year's freshman are expected to earn a minimum of 3.0 on each learning target? What happens in future years? Yes. Our intention is to expand Proficiency Based learning to apply to freshman and sophomores the next year, etc. to follow the class of 2018.
  4. Is it true that by the end of the year, all freshman must have earned at least a 3.0 on every assessment over the year to get credit? Yes, every student will need to earn a 3.0 or better on each assessment for each standard identified by the instructor in order for credit to be awarded for that course of study.
  5. How should a freshman proceed if he or she fails a test, an essay or other assignments this year? Students are expected to take advantage of available supports, including Powerschool, Tune Up Time, before and after school, tutorials, etc.
  6. When can my freshman re-take an assessment, or "re-assess?" Students can re-assess after they have met with their teacher and completed the teacher/student reassessment plan. The traditional grade will not change, only the proficiency grade with each opportunity for re-assessment.
  7. Is there a deadline for this- end of the semester, or end of the year? Yes, by the completion of the course.
  8. What happens if a freshman has not met proficiency in the standards (called "learning targets?") by the end of freshman year? Would there be a summer school requirement before moving on to grade ten? There are three means of remediation: during the school year working with classroom teachers; summer school at the student's expense; and repeating the course the following year.
  9. What will we do to motivate students to earn a "4" on rubrics/proficiencies? Student's who earn achievement beyond proficiency on 75% of the standards for a given class will have a distinction noted on their transcripts for that respective class.
  10. How is my student going to be graded in each course? We will adopt a hybrid model of grading that will include a traditional grading component (Measure the "Guiding Principles") and standards based grading model, which will be used to define the awarding of credit.
  11. How will eligibility be determined? The definition of a student in "good standing" is: A student who has achieved a 65 or better in the traditional grading system, in addition to, maintaining teacher pace (completion of all standards taught).
  12. What opportunities will exist for remediation for my student? Remediation will take the form of a 30 minute period each day that will be dedicated for your student to receive additional help from each of their classroom teachers.
  13. Have you eliminated the distinction of Top 10 students? The traditional grading model will define a student's grade point average and continue to define our top ten and honor roll status.
  14. What about non-core courses like foreign languages, art, etc.? These courses also have identified standards that require proficiencies
  15. 15.Can the final examination be a "re-assessment" of proficiencies that have not been met? Yes, as long as this is not the first attempt at re-assessment of that particular standard.
  16. How will I monitor my child's progress? We will continue to use Powerschool as our Student Information System for monitoring traditional and standards based grading.
  17. What will my child's transcript look like? Traditional grades will be reflected on the transcript in addition to the number of standards met. Teachers will still grade quarterly for reporting purposes (Eligibility, Honor Roll, Etc.)