Proficiency-Based Grading

In District 100, we believe student achievement occurs through clearly defined standards and authentic learning opportunities. The district strives to provide accurate, meaningful and timely feedback to both students and parents throughout the learning process.

Proficiency-based grading communicates how students perform on a set of clearly defined learning targets called standards. The purpose of proficiency-based grading is to identify what a student knows, or is able to do, in relation to those learning targets – as opposed to simply averaging grades/scores over the course of the grading period, which can mask what a student has learned or not learned.

The Proficiency-Based Movement

Proficiency-Based Education (sometimes called Mastery-Based or Competency-Based) has been part of the district's efforts since 2012 and was formally adopted as a strategy in our Strategic Plan in 2017. We used the Nellie Mae Education Foundation's model to design our philosophy around a new way of school we call Student-Centered Learning.

The National Movement

Belvidere is not the first school to move in the direction of competency-based education. But we are considered a national leader. We've been asked to present our work in California, Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin on our work. We've had visitors from all of the country, and even from schools from other continents!

We are one of 25 school district's nationally to be certified in Marzano's High Reliability School framework, a research-based pathway to Competency Education.

US Adoption, 2018 (iNACOL, 2018)

The Illinois Movement

Belvidere is not the only school in the region moving to proficiency-based learning environment.

All of our schools were accepted to be part of the Illinois State Board of Education's Competency-Pilot program.

A list of the other high schools shifting to a competency/proficiency program in the state are listed here:

  • Huntley Community School District 158
  • Adlai Stevenson High School District 125
  • Community Unit School District 300
  • Ridgewood Community High School District 234
  • Maine Township High School District 207
  • Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School District 307

Our Research Base & Partners