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Case Studies

Page history last edited by Eliot Levine 4 years, 11 months ago


This page lists cases studies written about schools and districts that have incorporated competency-based education.


We recently updated the map of competency education because so many states have taken steps forward for state policies to enable and invest in competency-based education. In reflecting upon how competency-based education is developing, we pulled together all the "case studies" we have done based on site visits and interviews in 26 states.


Some districts have used the case studies as discussion tools. Everyone reads about one school and then talks about what is challenging, how their understanding of the traditional system is changing, and what ideas they think might be valuable. It’s a way of understanding the values and assumptions that are the roots of competency-based education.




Chugach School District (2015)

Chugach School District: A Personalized, Performance-Based System

Part 1 - Explorations in Competency Education

Part 2 - Driven by Student Empowerment: Chugach School District

Part 3 - Chugach School District’s Performance-Based Infrastructure

Part 4 - Chugach Teachers Talk about Teaching

Part 5 - Ownership, Not Buy-In: An Interview with Bob Crumley, Superintendent Chugach School District

Part 6 - Chugach School District: Performance-Based Education in a One-Room School House

Part 7 - Teaching through the Culture: Native Education in a Performance-Based System

Part 8 - Performance-Based Home Schooling


Highland Tech Charter School, Alaska (2014)

Part 1 - Highland Tech Charter School - Putting it All Together

Part 2 - Advice From Highland Tech Students




Springdale School District (2015)

Innovation Springing Up in Springdale


Student-Focused Learning in Springdale (2017)

Part 1 - Springdale, Arkansas: A Tradition of Innovation and Future of Opportunity

Part 2 - Building Learning Momentum at Springdale’s School of Innovation

Part 3 - Finding Time and Providing Support for Student-Driven Learning

Part 4 - Encouraging Learning Risks and Growth




Lindsay Unified High School  (2015)

Part 1 - Six Trends at Lindsay Unified School District

Part 2 - Preparing Students for Life….Not Just College and Careers

Part 3 - An Interview with Principal Jaime Robles, Lindsay High School

Part 4 - An Interview with Brett Grimm: How Lindsay Unified Serves ELL Students

Part 5 - It Starts with Pedagogy: How Lindsay Unified is Integrating Blended Learning




District 51 (2017)

Part 1 - Designing Performance-Based Learning at D51

Part 2 - Building Consensus for Change at D51

Part 3 - The Vision of Performance-Based Education at D51

Part 4 - Holacracy: Organizing for Change at D51

Part 5 - Growing into the Framework: D51’s Implementation Strategy

Part 6 - Laying the Foundation with Culture and Climate

Part 7 - Supporting Teachers at D51: A Conversation with the Professional Learning Facilitators

Part 8 - Creating a Transparent Performance-Based System at D51

Part 9 - New Emerson: Learning the Effective Practices of the Learner-Centered Classroom

Part 10 - Transparency and Trust

Part 11 - Lincoln Orchard Mesa: What Did You Notice?

Part 12 - Performance-Based Learning in a Dual Immersion School

Part 13 - R5 High School: Abuzz with Learning

Part 14 - The Teacher Association Perspective on Performance-Based Learning

Part 15 - A Journey of Discovery at Broadway Elementary


Other Colorado District





Superintendents Leading the Way in Connecticut


New Haven (2016)

Creating Meaningful Instruction through Mastery-Based Learning in New Haven, CT

New Haven Academy: Pedagogy Comes First


Windsor Locks Public Schools (2016)

Windsor Locks: Starting with Pedagogy


Naugatuck Public Schools (2016)

Naugatuck Public Schools: Making Meaning for Teachers with Mastery-Based Learning




Lake County Schools (2016)

Part 1 - Lake County Schools: Designing a Strategy to Bring Personalized Learning to Scale

Part 2 - Lake County Schools: Moving at the Speed of Trust at South Lake High School

Part 3 - Lake County Schools: Lost Lake Elementary is Putting the Fun Back into Teaching

Part 4 - Lake County Schools: Sawgrass Bay Elementary Increases Engagement with Personalized Learning

Part 5 - Lake County Schools: Windy Hill Middle School




Henry County, Georgia (2016)

Part 1 - Henry County Schools: Four Big Takeaways

Part 2 - Henry County Schools: Ensuring Success for Each Student

Part 3 - Henry County Schools: Scaling Strategies for Mid-Size Districts

Part 4 - Henry County Schools: What All of This Means for Schools

Part 5 - Henry County Schools: Impact Academy


Fulton County Schools (2014)

Fulton County Schools: A Big District Approach to Competency Education




Mastery-Based Learning in Idaho (2018)

Part 1 - Mastery-Based Learning in Idaho

Part 2 - Finding Synergy at Kuna Middle School

Part 3 - Moving Forward toward Mastery at Kuna School District

Part 4 - Increasing Credits Earned at Initial Point High School

Part 5 - Finding and Fixing the Missing Skills at Greenhurst Elementary School

Part 6 - Columbia High School: How a Comprehensive High School Becomes Mastery-Based

Part 7 - Gathering Insights on Mastery-Based Learning from Columbia High School

Part 8 - Slaying the Dragon: A Conversation with Cory Woolstenhulme on Mastery-Based Learning

Part 9 - Central Academy, West Ada School District

Part 10 - The Sharp Ones: A Few Takeaways from Idaho




CBE in Chicago (2017)

Part 1 - CBE in Chicago

Part 2 - Leap Innovations – Learning Exponentially for Advancing Potential

Part 3 - Loving Learning at Lovett Elementary

Part 4 - Personalizing Learning at West Belden

Part 5 - Getting Results at Lindblom

Part 6 - Servant to Two Masters: Balancing Skills and Content at Lindblom

Part 7 - Juarez Community Academy: When Big Schools Become Competency-Based




Eminence School District (2015)

A Conversation with Buddy Berry in Eminence Kentucky




Road Trip to Maine (2015/2016)

See update on Maine’s proficiency-based diploma policy


Biddeford School District

Part 1 - Biddeford School District: Never Unpack Alone


Casco Bay High School

Part 2 - Casco Bay High School: Tips and Takeaways

Part 3 - Casco Bay High School: Learning as Exploration

Part 4 - Casco Bay High School: The What and HOW of Learning

Part 5 - Casco Bay High School: We Will Shape our School by our Learning


Noble High School

Part 6 - Noble High School: Creating Timely, Differentiated Supports


Deer Isle-Stonington High School

Part 7 - Deer Isle-Stonington High School: Turning Around the Culture

Part 8 - Deer Island-Stonington High School: Breathing Life into the Standards

Part 9 - Deer Isle-Stonington High School: Takeaways and Burning Questions



Part 10 - RSU2: Entering a New Stage in Building a High Quality Proficiency-Based District

Part 11 - RSU2: Continuous Improvement at Richmond Middle and High School

Part 12 - RSU2: Moving Beyond Grade-Driven Learning

Part 13 - RSU2: Moving Beyond the Test Score with Hope

RSU2 (from 2014)

Part 1 - Quick Update from RSU2 Maine

Part 2 - Virgel Hammonds’ Six Insights into Leadership


Wells High School

Part 14 - Wells High School: The Timeline to Transformation


University of Maine at Presque Isle

Part 15 - University of Maine at Presque Isle: Moving at the Speed of Light

Part 16 - UMPI: Faculty Perspective

Part 17 - University of Maine at Presque Isle: Eliminating Remediation


Northern Maine Education Collaborative

Part 18 - Northern Maine Education Collaborative: High Aspirations




Boston Day and Evening Academy (2012)

Part 1 - Reading the Pulse of Students at Boston Day and Evening Academy

Part 2 - Boston Day and Evening Academy: Where Competency Education is Good Teaching Practice

Part 3 - Boston Day and Evening Academy: A Learning Organization


Four Rivers Charter Public School (2019)

Part 1 - Building a Powerful School Culture at Four Rivers

Part 2 - Empowering Teachers as School Leaders at Four Rivers

Part 3 - Active Learning through Expeditions and Internships at Four Rivers


Melrose Public Schools (2016)

Can Melrose Go Deeper with Competency-Based Education?




Schools for the Future (2012)

No One Graduates Before They Are Ready




Eastern Carver County Schools (2016)

Part 1 - Moving from Islands of Innovation to a District of Distinction in Personalized Learning (Part One)

Part 2 - Moving from Islands of Innovation to a District of Distinction in Personalized Learning (Part Two)


Farmington Area School District (2019)

Part 1 - “Radical Trust” and Teacher Agency Drive Deeper Change in Farmington

Part 2 - Shifting the English Department to Competency-Based Learning

Part 3 - Shifting the English Department to Competency-Based Assessment

Part 4 - Interstellar Time at Boeckman Middle School

Part 5 - Innovative Scheduling: Digital e-Learning Days and Academic Support Periods




McComb School District (2018)

Part 1 – Personalizing the Learning in McComb, Mississippi

Part 2 – McComb’s Six Pillars of Student-Centered Learning

Part 3 – McComb’s Strategic Planning Begins with the Community

Part 4 – Piloting Change in McComb

Part 5 – Empowering Scholars at McComb’s Summit Elementary

Part 6 – Starting with the Kindergarteners in McComb

Part 7 – Starting the Journey to CBE at Otken Elementary School

Part 8 – Supporting Practitioners in McComb


New Hampshire


Parker-Varney Elementary (2016)

Parker-Varney Elementary: Keepers of the Bar


Pittsfield School District (2014)

Part 1 - Redesign at Pittsfield School District

Part 2 - Hand in Hand: Pittsfield Integrates Personalized Learning and Competency Education

Part 3 - Pittsfield Rethinks Adult Roles

Part 4 - Implementation Insights from Pittsfield School District


Sanborn Regional School District (2014)

Part 1 - Sanborn Regional School District Flips District Reform

Part 2 - Addressing Root Causes at Memorial Elementary School

Part 3 - Raising the Bar at Sanborn Regional High School


Making Community Connections Charter School  (2014)

Part 1 - Igniting Learning at the Making Community Connections Charter School

Part 2 - Gateways, Not Grades


New Jersey


Merit Prep (2015)

Part 1 - Merit Prep: Where Students Feel Safe to Learn

Part 2 - Non-Linear Progressions and Culture of Safety at Merit Prep


New York, New York City


Overview and Insights (2014)

Part 1 - Magical Mastery Tour

Part 2 - The Big Three Takeaways of the Magical Mastery Tour

Part 10 - All Together Now….the Magical Mastery Tour

Bronx International High School

Part 3 - First Stop of the Magical Mastery Tour: Bronx International High School

Carrol Gardens School for Innovation

Part 4 - Carroll Gardens School for Innovation (MS 442): Intentional School Design

EPIC Schools (See more in 2016)

Part 5 - EPIC Schools: Putting Young Men of Color in the Center of the Design (Part 1)

Part 6 - A Deeper Dive into the EPIC North Design (Part 2)

Bronx Arena

Part 7 - Bronx Arena: Organizing Spaghetti (Part 1)

Part 8 - Bronx Arena: Innovating Until 100% of Students Graduate (Part 2)

Urban Assembly Maker Academy

Part 9 - Asking the Right Questions: Urban Assembly Maker Academy

Overview and Insights (2016)

Part 1 - NYC Big Takeaways

Part 2 - Catalyzing Mastery-Based Learning: NYC’s Mastery Collaborative

Part 8 - Anchoring the Learning: A Discussion with Joel Rose at New Classrooms

Part 9 - Talking Equity with John Duval

The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria

Part 3 - The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria

Flushing International

Part 4 - Flushing International’s Three Learning Outcomes: Habits, Language, and Academic Skills

KAPPA International

Part 5 - KAPPA International: The Story of Angelica

North Queens Community High School

Part 6 - North Queens Community High School: Blooming the Outcomes

EPIC North 

Part 7 - High Expectations at EPIC North


Mastery Collaborative (2019)

Part 1 - The Mastery Collaborative: Dozens of NYC Schools Support Each Other’s Reforms

NYC iSchool

Part 2 - Diversifying the Student Body and Personalizing Student Schedules at NYC iSchool

Urban Assembly Maker Academy

Part 3 - Mastery-Based Making: The Urban Assembly Maker Academy

Part 4 - What’s College Like for Students from Mastery-Based High Schools?

Part 5 - Project Example: Mobile App Design at Urban Assembly Maker Academy




Cleveland Metropolitan Schools (2017)

Part 1 - Cleveland: Where Pedagogy Comes First

Part 2 - Starting with Design Principles in Cleveland

Part 3 - Getting to Know Students’ Business: A Conversation at Lincoln-West’s Schools of Global Studies and Science & Health

Part 4 - E3agle and PACT: Insights from Two New Competency-Based Schools

Part 5 - A Conversation with Teachers in Cleveland




West Albany High School  (2013)

If Failure is Not an Option, Neither are Supports




Building 21 (2016)

Part 1 - Breaking out of the Boxes at Building 21

Part 2 - Building 21’s Competency Dashboard


Rhode Island

Laying the Groundwork for Proficiency-Based Learning in Rhode Island


South Carolina


Competency Education Takes Root in South Carolina

Red Bank Elementary (2016)

Part 1 - Red Bank Elementary: Five Big Takeaways

Part 2 - Red Bank Elementary School: Teaching Students, Not Standards

Part 3 - Red Bank Elementary School: Starting with the Pedagogy

Part 4 - Red Bank Elementary: What Students Have to Say about Personalized Learning

Part 5 - Red Bank Elementary: The Parent Perspective

Part 6 - Reflections on Learning

Part 7 - When Red Bank Went to Lindsay


Charleston County School District (2016)

Part 8 - Charleston County School District: Breaking Ground for Personalized Learning in Big Districts

Part 9 - Charleston: Progression of Implementation for Personalized Learning

Part 10 - Charleston: Personalized Learning at Pepperhill Elementary

Part 11 - Charleston: A Conversation with Teachers at Stall High School

Part 12 - Charleston: A Conversation with Teachers at Goodwin Elementary School

Part 13 - Charleston: Pinehurst Elementary School


South Dakota


Harrisburg School District (2019) 

Part 1 - District-wide Transformation in Harrisburg, South Dakota

Part 2 - Littles, Middles, Molders, and Olders – Multi-age Learning at Journey Elementary

Part 3 - Habits of Mind and Learning New Ways of Learning at Journey Elementary




Montpelier Public Schools (2016)

A Conversation with the Two Mikes from Montpelier




Kettle-Moraine (2017)

Part 1 - Kettle Moraine: Where the Future of Education is Being Created Student by Student

Part 2 - Kettle Moraine: How They Got Here and Where They are Going

Part 3 - The Five Pillars of Teaching and Learning at KM Explore 

Part 4 - The Sound of Learning at Create House at Kettle Moraine Middle School

Part 5 - KM Global: Pedagogy, Curriculum, and Learning Design

Part 6 - Chasing Competencies at KM Perform

Part 7 - Reaching Out into the Community at High School of Health Sciences

Part 8 - Practicing What They Preach: Micro-Credentialing at Kettle Moraine

Part 9 - Distributed Leadership at Kettle Moraine

Part 10 - A Quick Look at Kettle Moraine’s My Learning Collaborative


Waukesha (2017)

Part 1 - Blair Elementary

Part 2 - FLIGHT Academy

STEM Academy

Part 3 - Creating a Learner-Driven System in Waukesha (Part 1) 

Part 4 - Personalizing Instruction and Learning Experiences (Part 2)

Part 5 - Waukesha STEM Academy: Rethinking Space, Time, and Reporting (Part 3)

Part 6 - Waukesha STEM Academy’s Journey from ABC to the Learner Continuum (Part 4)




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