The Gorham Times, Gorham, Maine's Community Newspaper

Staff Writer

At the beginning of the school year, Gorham Superintendent Heather Perry reported progress on the Proficiency Based Learning (PBL) system being implemented over the next four years in all district schools.

“For several years we have focused on creating clear learning targets and solid structures and practices for inter- ventions,” Perry said. “This allows our students to receive support based on their learning needs.”

Information about the PBL system and the learning targets for grades K-12 is available on the district website. A 32-page handbook can be downloaded that explains the graduation standards, performance indicators, and scoring guides for grades K-12 across all content areas.

This year, the Gorham School District is beginning a four-year project that will align the grading and reporting practices with the PBL system. During the 2017-18 school year, student learning in grades K-6 will be reported using a 1-4 grading scale. Middle school science students in grades 7 and 8 will receive grades on this scale. Grades for allied arts will be on a 1-4 scale for all middle school students as well.

Additionally this year, all other learning scores will be reported out using a “blended scale,” one that melds the 1-4 proficiency scale with the traditional ABC system. By the 2020-21 school year, student learning in grades K-12 will all be reported using the 1-4 scale across all learning areas.

To better understand these changes, Perry recommends following her blog on the district website. Her latest update can be found here.

“The 2017-18 progress report is long,” Perry said, “But it contains a useful graph that explains in detail both the 1-4 grading scale and the blended grading scale.”