In the spring of 2018, the students now in eighth grade will become the state’s first class to graduate having demonstrated their mastery of all State standards in the eight content areas of the Maine Learning Results.
Last week, the Department rolled out the resources we created to support schools in this transition to the proficiency-based diploma, most notably our comprehensive online resource center at www.maine.gov/doe/proficiency. By now, school administrative units (SAUs) should have also received their share of the $2 million in targeted funding we distributed this fiscal year to help districts cover any ongoing costs of the transition not otherwise subsidized by the State. From hiring coaches to developing a newsletter to educate parents and the public about the benefits of a proficiency-based system, we have a variety of examples on our website of ways SAUs can use these transition funds to build capacity, establish collaborative partnerships, monitor student progress and communicate these changing expectations of our students and their schools.
While 2018 is years away, students, schools and communities need to engage in the transition now to ensure that students have the time, opportunity and support to master the standards needed to earn their diploma then.
We’re happy to provide tools to help. If you are a parent who wants to learn more about the benefits of a proficiency-based diploma, start with our overview or visit our FAQs and glossary of terms. If you are an educator looking for case studies from classrooms, visit our Center for Best Practice for stories and videos from Maine schools that have already successfully started this transition. If you are an administrator wondering which steps your district needs to take first, begin with our self-assessment or review the leadership strategies associated with our suite of resources for addressing the organizational and instructional conditions that are integral to any effective proficiency-based system.
All of us at Maine DOE look forward to supporting our schools as they make this exciting transition that will ensure all students achieve all standards and graduate with a meaningful diploma that signifies they are ready for the world that awaits them.