Competency Based Education presents a unique opportunity to individualize student learning and measure student growth and progress. It varies from traditional education by focusing on skills and proficiency levels instead of points and grades. Using Novare, a platform that grew through a Reggio approach and created for Competency Based Education, ensures communication with learners and families are optimal to promote a Growth Mindset as intended, to close the achievement gap, not hide or perpetuate it.
This pedagogical shift can be challenging for schools. What do parents think of it? What about teachers? We went to Highlands School to ask them about Novare and how it helps communicate with a different type of reporting for their 4k-3rd grade classrooms. We spoke with Treasure Horton, an insightful elementary teacher at Highlands School to gain her perspective.
Treasure describes how easy it is to personalize and communicate learning. She recalled an example when her class played a math game to help her determine math fluency in addition. Using Novare, she captured the proficiency level easily and could quickly add a note to provide insight, noting that one child surpassed the fluency and was mastering place value.
The new reports provide a clear picture of personalized student growth, and speaks volumes to the benefits of competency based reporting as is evidenced in Highlands School community. Such reports provide a vivid understanding of student growth when communicating with families.
Shifting to this new model is extremely helpful when you have support. Highlands appreciates the support of their Curriculum Director, Elise Blackerby who provides teachers time to learn new systems and reflect on criteria that measure student learning. The shift was facilitated by the ease of use of Novare’s platform. Treasure highlights, “It is fantastic and smooth and is an easy to use program.” Treasure also was quick to point out that she’s thrilled Novare has strong and immediate customer support, “you never hear anyone from Novare say ‘ok, we will get to it’, there is always a timely response to all questions.” Having a platform to support teachers and save time helps teachers focus on students.
Thanks Highlands for your time and feedback! We appreciate the perspective of a school that is on the cutting edge of providing an engaging education. While visiting, we loved seeing the gardens, science labs, flexible seating, and even mood lighting to reduce stress, engage students and invigorate learning!