To: Melrose Public School Communities
From: Cyndy Taymore, Superintendent
Date: December 9, 2015
Re: Competency Based Education Task Force
On December 8, 2015, the Melrose School Committee approved the formation of a Task Force to explore the feasibility of transitioning to Competency Based Education as an educational model for our schools. This Task Force would be under my direction and be composed of a range of stakeholders from the community. The Task Force would include the following persons:
- One (1) central office or building level administrator to be chairperson
- Two (2) additional building or department administrators
- Five (5) teachers representing the grade spans
- Two (2) high school parents
- Two (2) middle school parents
- Two (2) elementary school parents
- One (1) representative from the MPS SEPAC
- Two (2) community members
- One (1) expert in the field of education
- Two (2) School Committee members
Administrators will be chosen by me; teachers will be chosen by the Melrose Education Association; and School Committee members will be chosen by the Chair.
Parent representatives would be chosen by the school site councils and building Parent-Teacher organizations working collaboratively; and SEPAC will chose its representative. I would also choose the expert in education from volunteer applications.
The goal of the Task Force is to determine if and how the Melrose Public Schools should transition to Competency Based Education or some variation of it. This would be accomplished by examining the literature on CBE and studying other districts that have made the transition. Since this is a considerable undertaking, the Task Force’s size will enable it to break into subgroups to research different aspects of any proposed transition.
Some, but certainly not all, of the questions the Task Force should consider are:
- Is this a worthwhile change in education model for MPS?
- Is a change that should be wholesale or some combination of CBE and traditional models?
- Does this change apply to all grade spans? If not, what does that look like and why?
- How do we ensure equity of access and opportunity in a CBE model?
- How does this change impact DESE regulations regarding graduation requirements, time on learning, school year, standardized testing by grade?
- How do we collect data on the results of the change and report out mastery and proficiency ratings for each grade span?
- What training is needed for staff to make this change?
- Do we need any additional resources?
- How does this change impact our class sizes, enrollment, and use of our buildings?
- How does this change impact contractual obligations?
- What policies and procedures need to be changed to accommodate such a change?
- If the change is supported, what would the transition timeline be?
Please contact my office by December 21, 2015 if you or a representative of your organization is interested in serving on the Task Force. Volunteers chosen to serve would be notified by January 15, 2016. A preliminary report would be due in April, 2016 with a final report in June, 2016. Following the final report, the School Committee would consider and vote on its options.