NH’s online charter school moves to a competency-based learning model

The Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS), New Hampshire’s online charter school, is incorporating the core tenets of competency-based learning, reported T.H.E. Journal. Students can demonstrate mastery of concepts in different ways, including traditional online coursework, projects, internships, service learning, or work. Counselors and staff help students lay out a plan for their pathway, and VLACS CEO Steve Kossakoski says that the goal is flexibility:

[The program will help them] “design a learning plan that responds to their interests, talents, and dreams…

The overall amount of time and effort required for each learning pathway is the same, but the percentage of time dedicated to assessment, communication, instruction and support may shift depending on the pathway and the needs of the student.”

Other districts throughout New Hampshire are incorporating competency-based education in their schools, including Sanborn Regional School District and Pittsfield Middle High School. The PACE pilot project, which includes eight school districts including Sanborn, replaces several statewide standardized tests with locally-managed, competency-based assessments to reflect students’ interests while providing meaningful data to teachers and administrators.

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