Proficiency-Based Teaching and Learning
Harwood Union has a proficiency-based teaching and learning system. This system of instruction, assessment, and academic reporting is based on students’ demonstration of what they know, understand and are able to do in relation to the identified Harwood Union proficiency-based graduation requirements. In this system, Habits of Work are reported separately from academic achievement.
- The Harwood Union Graduation Requirements are the Transferable Learning Skills and Content Concepts and Practices Proficiencies that all students must meet to earn a diploma.
- All students must complete and submit an application to a post-secondary college, technical center, career training center or the military in order to graduate.
- All students must also complete a Senior Capstone Project in order to graduate.
- The Harwood Union Graduation Requirement Procedures articulate how students are able to achieve the identified academic expectations for graduation.
- All Harwood courses are aligned to our proficiency-based graduation requirements and lead to college, career and democratic citizenry readiness. In addition, students are able to access Flexible Pathways and align them to the Harwood Proficiency-based Graduation Requirements.
- Harwood Union uses a system of assessment and verification to validate achievement of graduation proficiencies - the learning expectations students must achieve to be eligible for grade promotion or a diploma, and based on a their achievement of performance indicators over time. To ensure reliability, teachers assess student work with task-neutral common scoring guides and have time to calibrate their understanding and use.
- Student progress is reported in relation to the intended learning outcomes (performance indicators), and all teachers use the same grading and reporting procedures across classrooms and through flexible pathways to more consistently assess student progress and communicate with students and parents.
Harwood instructional design is based on neuroscience (learning and the brain), and is grounded in the use of four components - clear learning objectives, emotional appeal, targeted practice, and timely feedback. In addition, Harwood uses the Understanding by Design model by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins and the Universal Design for Learning framework for unit development.
In 9th grade, common assessments are given in Global Studies, Integrated Math I and II, and Earth Space Science.
All students in grade 9 are required to develop and maintain a high school Personal Learning Plan in collaboration with teachers, a teacher advisor, school counselor, and parents as a way to achieve short and long terms goals. These plans are based on the belief that a student will be a more engaged learner, achieve more in school, and take ownership of their learning in more profound ways if he/she is able to make informed decisions about their learning.