NYC Mastery Collaborative Newsletter: March 2015
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NYC Mastery Collaborative Monthly
Newsletter: Vol. 1 Issue 5   |  2.26.15

Creating Our Dream Platform for Mastery Grading

On February 25th at DCTV, representatives from 20 Mastery Collaborative schools, administrators from the NYC Department of Education, and vendor specialists from 7 educational technology tools came together to collaborate. The event was the first of its kind, and centered around an activity where heterogeneously mixed groups simultaneously created a list of their 'must have' and 'nice-to-have' features and functionality for a mastery-based grading system.

The second round of the activity featured a merger of each smaller group with a neighboring group. Participants consolidated and synthesized their collective 'dream platform' features to a growing list. After the third and final round, our community had created an shared understanding of the most vital elements of a mastery grading tracker or tool. Check out our
final list here!

The second part of our event featured 'Shark Tank'-style speed rounds in which vendors gave 5-minute info sessions about their own mastery-grading features and functions. Representatives from Haiku Learning, JumpRope, Schoology, MasteryConnect, Jupiter Ed, Datacation (Skedula), and itslearning gave demos and interacted with a series of small groups of MC member educators. The fast-paced conversations were enriched by themes from the earlier activity, as ideas about desired functionalities such as custom rubrics and weighting of assignments were fresh in everyone's minds. We had a great time listening in to the rich interactions--and only wish we had had time to capture more for future reference.


March Online Session Recap: BX International Explained!

On March 18th, science teacher and mastery innovator Luincys Fernandez led a group of MC members through the ins and outs of Bronx International High School's school-wide mastery grading systems. A true expert in the field, Luincys has eight years of experience teaching high school science curriculua through the use of transparent, discrete learning outcomes which track progress on sets of content, skills, and language acquisition. She eloquently explained how the grading system touches each element of her classroom, using examples, artifacts, and pictures to walk us through her daily activities and outcomes, rubrics, and her system of conferencing and re-submitting work. Luincys, thanks so much for providing such a valuable resource to the community. And everyone, If you haven't yet read the CompetencyWorks write-up of Bronx International published in December, it is a must read as well!

You can access the presentation here, and a recording of the entire online session here.

Upcoming Events

April's Online Session

When: Wednesday, April 15 2015, 4:00-5:00 PM
What: Overview of Mastery-Based Grading School: TBD

Topic: Mastery Assessment for Math classrooms

Our April Mastery Collaborative Online meeting will be co-facilitated by a wonderful member of our community. Please let us know if you would like to share your mastery practices with the group.

Sign up for what is bound to be a rich and useful discussion.

At and after the session, we'll invite "early adopter" MC math educators to join a discipline-specific math/mastery working group pilot, coming this spring to a borough near you.

Save these Dates!

Upcoming online & in-person meeting for the Mastery Collaborative


Monthly online sessions:


April 22, 2015 - Math & Mastery - ONLINE SESSION RSVP here

May 20, 2015 - TBD - ONLINE SESSION

Quarterly in person sessions:

June 3, 2015 - Mastery Resource Share - IN PERSON SESSION

Forwarding Contest!

Special shout-outs will be given to the schools with the most 'opens' of the March Newsletter. Administrators, feel free to forward to your entire staff! Teachers, forward it around to colleagues and friends you believe could benefit from these resources. Our group will flourish off activity, connections, and resource sharing.

Look out in the April Newsletter to see who the most active consumers and collaborators are in the Mastery Collaborative! There may even be a showcase on the winner(s)!

Mastery Collaborative Schools

Here is a list of members of the Mastery Collaborative working group. Participating schools complete a Mastery Inventory form, and agree to share resources such as frameworks, templates, exemplar competency maps, rubrics, and assignments. Please contact us or fill out the Mastery Collaborative Sign-Up Form if you or others at your school are interested in joining our working group.

Academy of Innovative Technology
Academy for Software Engineering
Bronx Academy for Software Engineering
Bronx Arena High School
Bronx Compass High School
Bronx International High School
Brooklyn International High School
Carroll Gardens School for Innovation
City-As School
Community Health Academy
Curtis High School
East Bronx Academy for the Future
EPIC High School North
EPIC High School South
The Facing History High School
Frank McCourt High School
Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School
Frederick Douglas Academy VII
Hillcrest High School
Hudson High School for Learning Technologies
The James Baldwin School
Laboratory School of Finance Technology
Manhattan International High School
Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice
New Design High School
New Directions Secondary School
North Queens Community High School
NYC Lab High School for Collaborative Studies
NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies
Olympus Academy
Pan American International HS at Monroe
Quest to Learn
Satellite Academy
School of the Future
Urban Assembly Maker Academy
The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria
Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction

In This Issue

February Digital Tools for Mastery Event Recap

March Online Session Recap

Sign-Up for Future Events

Schedule for Spring 2015




April 22nd Online Session (4-5 PM) Registration

Previous Event Links

Mastery Collaborative Launch Slide Deck

Pictures from the Launch

ebruary's Digital Tools for Mastery Event Slide Deck

February's Digital Tools for Mastery 'Dream Platform' List

Pictures from the Digital Tools for Mastery ' Event

Online Session Links

March Online Session Recorded Presentation (Bronx International HS)

March Online Session Slide Deck (Bronx International HS)

January Online Session Recorded Presentation (TYWLS-Astoria)

January Online Session Slide Deck (TYWLS-Astoria)

December Online Session Recorded Presentation (Carroll Gardens School for Innovation)

December Online Session Slide Deck (Carroll Gardens School for Innovation)

November Online Session Presentation 

Mastery Inventory Results

Join the Mastery Collaborative

Mastery Collaborative Google Folder

Mastery Collaborative Folder

Examples of Competencies/Outcomes

Progress Report Examples

Other Mastery Resources

Competency Works

An online resource blog dedicated to providing information and knowledge about competency education in the K-12 education system

Video Link

Mastery-Based Learning (Featuring FDA VII)

The Art and Science of Designing Competencies Issue Brief

Chris Sturgis, Competency Works

The Shift from Cohorts to Competency

Digital Learning Now paper, including background, FAQs, and 10 capabilities of a competency-aligned system

Chris Sturgis, Competency Works
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works
Bronx International Case Study
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works

Urban Assembly Maker Academy Case Study
Chris, Sturgis, Competency Works
About the Mastery Collaborative

This newsletter supports the Mastery Collaborative by connecting the growing number of NYC-based mastery practitioners and spreading the word about upcoming sessions, shared resources, and other opportunities.

If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, you can sign up to get information about upcoming events, recaps of recent events, links for sign-ups, surveys, and profiles of mastery practices at participating schools.

Listed above, you will find links to our shared folders containing resources from the community and links to a growing number of resources from around the country.

Mastery Collaborative
a project from Digital Ready

131 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201