How have we transitioned to a proficiency model?

Over the past several years, BUHS faculty and administration have refined our curriculum, instruction and assessment practices to support student success as well as statewide shifts in educational strategy. Below are some of the steps we have taken.


  • Vermont passed Act 77, a flexible pathways initiative.

  • BUHS implementation of Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics.

  • Development of personalized learning plans with 9th grade students.


  • A diverse group of WSESU educators participated in a comprehensive year long professional development series on proficiency based learning sponsored by the Vermont Agency of Education.

  • All BUHS faculty took a Change Style Indicator inventory, supported by professional development about change management provided by the Vermont Agency of Education.

  • Professional learning communities were used to support teachers in implementation of common core state standards.

  • The Science Department began to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards into their practice, including designing a new freshman science course.

  • An interdisciplinary group of BUHS teachers participated in a BUHS led proficiency based learning (PBL) summer work group. This group developed a set of structures and guides to support the early stages of proficiency implementation in the 2015-16 school year.


  • The PBL summer work group continued to support proficiency implementation throughout the school year. This group re-convened during the summer of 2016 to continue their work.

  • Whole faculty professional development and discussion resulted in the following steps towards proficiency: adoption of BUHS transferable skills required for graduation, development of content proficiencies and assessment rubrics, piloting of some components of proficiency in each classroom, continued rollout of Personalized Learning Plans, development and adoption of a schoolwide Habits of Work rubric.

  • Teachers used our proficiency readiness rubric to guide change in their classrooms.

  • Science teachers developed a new Biology course for 10th grade students based on Next Generation Science Standards.


  • Habits of Work scores are separated from academic content grades, and are included in report cards.

  • Content rubrics are in place for assessing academic content knowledge.

  • Teachers are using a proficiency implementation rubric to self-assess their transition.

  • BUHS is in the process of developing a grading scale for proficiency.