Proficiency-Based Education: What it is and Why it is Important

What is PBE?

The Maine Department of Education has mandated that the class of 2021 will earn a diploma based on the demonstration of proficiency on a set of recognized standards.  This is called a proficiency-based diploma.  Some schools in Maine and around the nation call this a competency-based or standards-based diploma.  At Machias Memorial High School we will use the term proficiency-based diploma.

In English Language Arts and mathematics the standards used are the national Common Core Standards.  In all other areas – science, social studies, visual and performing arts, career preparation, physical education and health, and foreign language – the Maine State Learning Results will remain the framework of standards.

In addition to the standards students must be proficient in literacy standards across each content area and demonstrate they have gained the skills and knowledge in Maine’s Guiding Principles.  The Guiding Principles include being a clear and effective communicator, a self-directed and lifelong learner, a creative and practical problem solver, a responsible and involved citizen, and an integrative and informed thinker.

Proficiency-based education and traditional education are very different.  In a proficiency-based educational system students are measured on their progress towards showing proficiency on the standards.  Students who don’t show proficiency on a standard, after receiving appropriate instruction, will receive supports and interventions to help them meet the standards.  This contrasts with the traditional system where the class continues moving forward whether a student demonstrates understanding of the content or not.

Another way proficiency-based education differs from traditional education is that the focus is on meeting the standard at the level of proficiency and not on works of habit.  Works of habit are things that traditionally are calculated into a grade like class participation or passing in homework on time.  In a proficiency-based education system the habits of work are still measured and reported, but separately from the demonstration of meeting the standard.

Why is PBE Important?

Although the change to a proficiency-based educational system is being mandated by Augusta it is the right thing to do.  It will change the lives of many students in a positive way.  No longer will students be able to move through high school barely passing their classes and graduate unprepared for college, career, or the military.  A proficiency-based diploma will guarantee that students have met the standards needed to ensure their success after high school.

The transformation to proficiency-based education will be a huge shift for many in education as well as the students, parents, and community.  At Machias Memorial High School we are going to move towards a proficiency-based diploma with caution, seek out the best proven practices, and use what makes sense for our students and community.  Schools have a moral imperative to provide high quality teaching and learning for all students.  Proficiency-based education will help us achieve that goal and do the right thing for students.

Posted in Principal's Page | Comments Off on Proficiency-Based Education: What it is and Why it is Important

Proficiency Based Education: What is it and Why?

Posted in Principal's Page | Comments Off on Proficiency Based Education: What is it and Why?

Principal’s Welcome 2016-2017

WELCOME MESSAGE

August 2016

Welcome to Machias Memorial High School! It is my hope that you and your student take full advantage of the opportunities offered by our school. If you do so your experience here will be engaging, valuable, and fun!

Machias Memorial High School offers many academic opportunities such as early college classes, Career & Technical Education classes, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, honors level classes, internships, apprenticeships, and online classes.

The school also offers opportunities to become involved in other activities such as Close-Up Washington, Band and Chorus, Jobs for Maine Graduates, Student Government, Math Team, Anime Club, Outing Club, Video Club, Skills USA, DECA, and athletics that can enhance your educational experience.

I would like to make you aware of two academic supports available to all students. The first is Bulldog Block. Bulldog Block is a daily block of time in the schedule where all teachers are available to meet with students.

The second is JMG Essentials. JMG Essentials is a required freshmen class that has the goal of teaching students how to be successful academically, socially, and civically. Students will learn about topics such as organization, study skills, time management, information research skills, how to handle and stand up to a bully or cyberbully, and digital citizenship just to name a few. The school feels that these two supports will give students a solid foundation to excel in high school regardless of their current academic, social, or civic competencies.

The school will continue to emphasize good attendance, bullying and harassment prevention, and school safety. I will continue to assess the campus for safety concerns, address them, and work with local and state law enforcement organizations to keep illegal substances out of our school.

We encourage students to enjoy their high school years. Learning is important, but encourage them to join a club, sports team, or make a new friend. Encourage them to be involved in their school and community to make it a better place for all. Encourage them to take pride in themselves and what they accomplish while at Machias Memorial High School. If I can ever help you with anything please come see me. I am committed to helping your child succeed as a student and person.

Sincerely,

Mr. Brian Leavitt
Principal, Machias Memorial High School Director, Coastal Washington CIT

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off on Principal’s Welcome 2016-2017

Mikala Conlin

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-9-11-27-pm

Q: Who inspires you? Why?

A: “Julianna inspires me because she’s always there for me no matter what;  she’s mu best friend.”
Q: If you could have one super power, what would you choose?

A: “I would choose to make people feel better when they’re upset.”

Q: What’s your favorite song?
A: “Don’t have one. I like a lot of music, it’s hard to choose.”

Q: How would you describe yourself?

A: “Kind, loving, caring, sweet, awesome.”

Q: Did you have a summer job this year?

A: “Yes. I worked at Dr. Dorr’s as a dental assistant.”

Q: What are your plans after high school?

A: “I plan on going to college.”

Q: What will you major in?

A: “I haven’t decided yet.”

Posted in Announcements, Student Spotlight | Comments Off on Mikala Conlin

Student Spotlight: Russell Hanscom

 

Russell

This  “student spotlight” is centered around freshman Russell Hanscom, the standout point guard on the varsity boys’ basketball squad. Although Russell enjoyed playing soccer in the fall, he concentrated hard on making the varsity basketball team; so hard in fact, that he earned himself a starting position!

When asked about playing four years at the varsity level, he modestly said, “It will be a great experience, and will make me a better player in the long run.”

When making the transition from junior high to high school, Russell says that he relied on knowing older students that he played basketball with at UMM’s Summer League. Though he kept many of his buddies from junior high, he found himself bonding with his older teammates, even off the court. “Overall”, he says, “the team gets along well and has good sportsmanship.”

Russell says that his focus on basketball motivates him to get good grades in school and work especially hard on the subjects he doesn’t enjoy. When asked what his favorite class is, he quickly replied, “science with Mrs. Gooch.”

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off on Student Spotlight: Russell Hanscom

2015 Principal’s Welcome Message

 

Dear Parents and Students,

I would like to personally welcome you to Machias Memorial High School.  If this is your first year, or your last, the school’s goal is for you to have the best possible educational experience based on your interests and needs.

Machias Memorial High School continues to customize learning and encourage students to take advantage of early college classes, Career & Technical Education classes, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, honors level classes, internships, apprenticeships, and online classes.

There are also many organizations like Close-Up Washington, Band and Chorus, Jobs for Maine Graduates, Student Government, Math Team, Anime Club, Outing Club, Video Club, FCCLA, and athletics that can enhance your educational experience.

The school will continue to support student learning and development with Bulldog Block and JMG Essentials.  Bulldog Block is a daily block of time set in the schedule where all teachers are available for all students who need to meet with them.  We have found that it is sometimes difficult, or even a hardship, for students to meet teachers after school or during their academic labs.

JMG Essentials is a required freshmen class that has the goal of teaching students how to be a successful student academically, socially, and civically.  Students will learn about topics such as organization, study skills, time management, information research skills, how to handle and stand up to a bully or cyberbully, and digital citizenship just to name a few.  The school feels that these two supports will give students a solid foundation to excel in high school regardless of their current academic, social, or civic competencies.

Some areas of focus this year will be attendance, bullying and harassment prevention, and school safety.  Data shows that students who miss more than 18 days of school per year fall behind in their studies and increase their chances of not graduating on time.

Bullying and harassment has increased slightly over the last year.  The school will be delivering programming this year to prevent, reduce, and eliminate these behaviors from our school.  All students deserve to feel safe and be free of bullying or harassing behaviors while attending school.

School safety will continue to be a focus for the staff and I at Machias Memorial High School.  I take my responsibility of caring for your children very seriously.  I will continue to assess the campus for safety concerns, address them, and work with local and state law enforcement organizations to keep illegal substances out of our school.  More details on these areas will be sent home at the beginning of the school year.

We encourage students to enjoy their high school years.  Learning is important, but encourage them to join a club, sports team, or make a new friend.  Encourage them to be involved in their school and community to make it a better place for all.  Encourage them to take pride in themselves and what they accomplish while at Machias Memorial High School.  If I can ever help you with anything please come see me.  I am committed to helping your child succeed as a student and person.

Sincerely,

Full Signature

 

 

Mr. Brian Leavitt

Principal/Athletic Director, Machias Memorial High School

Director, Coastal Washington CIT

Posted in Principal's Page | Comments Off on 2015 Principal’s Welcome Message

MMHS Athletic Boosters Purchase Scoreboards

The Machias Memorial High School Athletic Boosters have purchased two new wireless scoreboards for the gymnasium.  They are expected to be delivered soon and installed in the gym in time for basketball season.

Thank you to all of the Boosters for their continued support of Machias Athletics!

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off on MMHS Athletic Boosters Purchase Scoreboards

Basketball Games this Week

Narraguagus vs. Machias – Wednesday, January 7
Boys JV and Varsity games – 5:00pm and 6:30 pm

Deer Isle-Stonington vs. Machias – Friday, January 9
Girls and Boys Varsity games – 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off on Basketball Games this Week

Magenta Johnson

Magenta JohnsonOur student spotlight this week is on Magenta Johnson, a Junior at Machias Memorial High School. Magenta is the only girl on the boys’ soccer team, so we thought it would be interesting to talk to her about what that’s like. She said that playing soccer with the boys is “entertaining” and that, “It’s fun to push the guys around!”

Most of the time, Magenta plays left or right full back, a defense position. She said that her teammates are great because they get along on and off the field. The Bulldogs ended their season with a record of 3-11 but failed to make it into the post-season.

Besides soccer, Magenta is also involved in other sports, including softball and basketball. She enjoys taking a Latin course at the University of Maine at Machias, which she says is very hard. In class, they read passages out of a book in Latin and then translate it into English. Some of the words that she can say are “fontum” and “casa”, which mean fountain and house.

Posted in Student Spotlight | Comments Off on Magenta Johnson

Downcast Athletic Conference Cheering Competition

The DAC Cheering Competition will be held at Woodland Jr./Sr. High School on Saturday, January 10th. The competition begins at 10:00 am. Good luck to the Machias Bulldogs and to all the other teams participating.

Posted in Announcements, News, Upcoming Events | Comments Off on Downcast Athletic Conference Cheering Competition